Hybrid work is here to stay. In fact, 72% of survey respondents believe they will adopt hybrid work environments with work happening at home and in the office, according to Steelcase’s Global Return to Workplace Study.

Research shows people need and expect a work experience that’s fundamentally better than what they left. However, talent attraction and retention will at least partially depend on how well organizations do with implementing hybrid strategies, including thoughtful workplace design.

Explore a new hybrid workplace with products + pricing in The Reimagined Office Design & Budget Guide.

But how does that happen? What’s the first step workplace leaders can take in navigating the new hybrid workplace? To create the best possible hybrid work environments, organizations will want to offer a range of reimagined spaces and technology solutions that were even better than before.

3 Relevant Types of Virtual Collaboration

Collaboration may look a lot different today, but the type of activities hasn’t changed. Whether you’re joining a training, brainstorming a new product, or meeting with clients to review their needs, the three relevant types of collaboration are individual passive (listening), group active (participating), and individual active (presenting).

Here’s a deeper dive into what each category really means and what type of hybrid work environments we recommend:

Individual passive – Listening

  • What: Meetings where you are mostly listening; trainings, online learning, broadcasts, seminars.
  • Where: Since these meetings could be taken from anywhere, they do not require an enclosed space. They may require the need to signal “do not disturb” so a quiet, shielded spot in the open plan works best. Both visual and acoustical privacy is important, as well as seating options for a variety of postures.

Application examples:

Steelcase Tent
Steelcase Tents offer a reimagined retreat that gives employees the shelter and visual privacy they crave.
B-Free individual lounges
B-Free individual lounges provide a comfortable, concealed spot in the open plan to remain focused.
FrameOne workstation bench
Employees can head to a desk-height FrameOne workstation bench to accomplish heads down work.

Group active – Participating

  • What: Meetings where you are participating most of the time; informal customer meetings, colleague collaboration sessions, team meetings, informal presentations.
  • Where: When collaborating in a group, you can do that in a variety of settings. From open, semi enclosed, to fully enclosed. With collaboration in the open plan, thoughtful adjacencies and sound masking, acoustical privacy can be achieved. The ability to create equitable experiences for those both in person and remote is critical, so using the right technology gives everyone the ability to see and hear one another.

Application examples:

West Elm Work Belle
This open collaboration area featuring the West Elm Work Belle offers lounge furniture and mobile technology for ad-hoc meetings.
 3-wall semi-enclosed meeting space
The 3-wall semi-enclosed meeting space provides some visual and auditory privacy within the open plan. Microsoft Surface Hub 2S can join the web conferencing system to view content on the Hub and far-end participants on the conferencing display.
The Pitch Room is a dual zone space
The Pitch Room is a dual zone space that supports presenter and team with easy content viewing for local and remote participants. This space was designed for an immersive sales pitch with a remote client by maximizing the visibility and interaction of all participants.

Individual active – Presenting

  • What: Meetings where you are the presenting or leading; sales or investor pitches, formal customer meetings, formal presentations, hybrid teaching.
  • Where: This is the place to create the most professional setting that conveys sophistication and encourages interactive collaboration. To create an immersive experience for remote participants, these enclosed spaces have optimal lighting and acoustics, high-resolution cameras, interactive whiteboards, dual monitors, and custom views of both the presenter and content.

Application examples:

Red Thread Broadcast Studio,
In the Broadcast Studio, you can deliver a company-wide presentation, webinar or other important meetings. High performance technology helps you collaborate, share content, control far-end views, poll the audience and read chats in real time.
Connect Room
This Connect Room offers built-in Zoom or Teams web conferencing technology for easy and effective meetings in a casual lounge posture. Cameras, lighting, sound, and high-resolution displays are all present to create the most dynamic setting.
Connect Room perching
This Connect Room shown here optimizes acoustics and lighting and incorporates a Microsoft Surface Hub 2S, an interactive whiteboard and display device with built-in cameras and microphones. This standing/perching posture allows presenters to casually transition throughout the presentation.

Which applications are relevant for your organization?

Access our Reimagined Office Design and Budget Guide to learn about more research-based applications, technology or retrofit solutions, and pricing.

The Reimagined Office Design & Budget Guide by Red Thread