NEARLY two years into the pandemic and after months of office adjustments, a hybrid setup is seen to be the default arrangement for Asia-Pacific’s work force and work spaces this year and beyond.

“Hybrid work is now a norm. In fact, it’s reported that hybrid is the preferred working arrangement in Southeast Asia, alongside work anywhere and work remotely full-time,” said Samir Sayed, managing director of Plantronics, Inc. for ASEAN and South Korea, in an e-mailed statement.

A hybrid setup offers employees mixed remote and in-office schedules. In the Philippines for instance, some companies require their employees to report to the office once or a few days in a week, and work from home on some days.

Plantronics, a global communications company more known as Poly, is involved in video and audio engineering. It expects company offices to transform into collaboration hubs.

Mr. Sayed said the adoption of hybrid work will impact business leaders’ approach to workplace design and investment decision over the long term. It will become the default arrangement as various markets in the Asia-Pacific region start easing pandemic-related restrictions.

Poly said business leaders “will also look how to make return to office something that employees look forward to. Offices will become collaboration hubs, serving as a place for teams to gather to brainstorm in small groups, host client meetings, celebrate milestones, and work on joint projects. They will also serve as a central hub for community socialization that will help provide a culture that cannot be replicated via remote working.”

It added that the collaboration hub will also complement the greater adoption of asynchronous work practices, which were widely done due to the pandemic.

Industries are also expected to continue decentralizing work practices and processes, enabling effective business continuity for a work force that may be largely working from home.

“To truly succeed in the hybrid era, business leaders will need to devise workplace strategies and investments that will enable workers to have a more equitable work experience regardless of where they are working from, for optimal collaboration and productivity,” Poly Asia-Pacific Senior Vice-President Pierre-Jean Châlon said in a statement. — Marielle C. Lucenio