News article

Hybrid working: Office policies, challenges & opportunities

The way we work has undergone a seismic shift in recent years, driven by the global pandemic and the rise of hybrid working.
Building Automation
02 May 2024

A report from global design and architecture firm Gensler (1) found that while 4 out of 5 respondents want to return to the office in some way each week, 67% want more flexibility in the future. In this blog, we'll explore the challenges and opportunities of hybrid working, from reimagining office spaces to leveraging technology for remote access and security.

There are also plenty of questions to be asked about building technologies. For example, do they allow the building to operate well without wasting energy in unoccupied areas? Does the building management system allow technical teams to have a complete overview of how the office space is functioning? And do they support further changes to the use of the office in the future, no matter what they might be?

The challenges and opportunities of hybrid working

The rise of hybrid working, where employees split their time between working from home and the office, has significant implications for office policies and building systems. Indeed, a survey by Gartner reported that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time (2). 

Let's break down the challenges and opportunities related to office policies and building systems in the light of hybrid working:

1. Flexibility and cost savings

Hybrid working offers flexibility for employees and cost savings for employers. With more employees working remotely, there's less need for extensive office space. Employers can save on rental and operational costs by downsizing office spaces or sharing them with other businesses.

2. Technology and infrastructure

As employees continue to work remotely, employers need to ensure that their infrastructure can support remote work effectively. This includes providing adequate technology and internet connectivity for employees working from home. Employers may also need to invest in building technologies that allow for flexible working arrangements, such as hotdesking and remote monitoring of building systems. Additionally, advancements in technology enable remote troubleshooting and maintenance, providing greater flexibility for technical teams and support companies.

3. Employee experience

The office of the future needs to support activities and experiences that cannot be replicated at home. Employers must design workspaces that foster collaboration, creativity, and connectivity among employees (3). This may involve rethinking office layouts, amenities, and technologies to create a more enjoyable and productive work environment.

4. Energy efficiency and sustainability

With changes in office usage patterns, there's a greater focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. Employers may need to review their building systems to reduce energy consumption, cut costs, and minimise their carbon footprint. Investing in centralised building management systems (BMS) can help optimise energy usage and provide greater control over office climate and lighting. These systems allow for real-time monitoring and adjustment, ensuring that office spaces are comfortable and environmentally sustainable. 

5. Cloud computing

The shift to hybrid working also underscores the importance of cloud computing for supporting remote access to company systems. Cloud platforms offer scalability, flexibility, and security, making them ideal for accommodating remote work needs. Employers may need to migrate their systems to the cloud to ensure reliable remote access and support changing work patterns. Moreover, cloud providers offer advanced security measures to safeguard against evolving threats, such as DDoS attacks and ransomware.

With leading research groups predicting more varied working patterns, employers need to consider whether their offices are really fit for purpose
Koen Somers

Sales Manager

Koen Somers

The future of hybrid working

The rise of hybrid working necessitates a reevaluation of office policies and building systems to accommodate remote work, enhance employee experience, improve energy efficiency, and leverage cloud technology for remote access and security. Employers who adapt to these changes can create a more resilient and productive working environment for their employees and secure work environments that meet the changing needs of their workforce. 

Hybrid working is here to stay, reshaping the future of work in profound ways. Businesses that embrace this shift and adapt their office policies and building systems accordingly will thrive in the new reality of hybrid work. Embracing the future of hybrid working is not just about surviving; it's about thriving in a rapidly changing world.

Priva's solution for hybrid working

The employee of the future is going to want their time in the office to really count – and for it to be an enjoyable experience as well. For many employers a powerful BMS will help them deliver working environments that are flexible and functional. The result will be a much smoother transition to the ‘new reality’ of working.

In our own world of building automation, there has been a decisive trend in favour of partnering with leading cloud providers to ensure that systems remain secure and supportive of changing needs. At Priva, we chose Microsoft Azure because of the standard components it provides, as well as its extensive security measures. The result is that Azure now provides the cloud foundation for a wide range of our solutions.

For more information on Priva’s solutions for offices and other workplaces, please visit





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Bill Whittaker

Business Development Manager

Bill Whittaker