The wheel’s turning

Ann Clarke, Director into the future Workplace at nationwide place of work interior and consultancy style business Claremont, indicates the Hub and Spoke workplace may be the future of the place of work

J ust over this past year – the planet wondered if any office was lifeless and permanent homeworking will be the pandemic’s legacy. Today, with 12 a few months of remote operating under our collective belts and an obvious desire among workers to come back to the place of work for a few of the working 7 days – we have switched our attentions to the way the workplace must respond.

The hub and spoke office design is one idea gaining traction since it offers greater versatility and reflects a fresh group of behaviours – but what really does it certainly mean for companies and their FM groups? And so how exactly does it influence ergonomics?

Hub and spoke describes the thought of having one major central or hq, typically in a town centre – with smaller satellite television offices or flexible areas in secondary places which are nearer to where employees reside.

Intended to provide greatest of both worlds this means that workers don’t need to commute to a town centre space and rather can access smaller sized localised workspaces for the collaboration and neighborhood that homeworking doesn’t provide. Each day with fewer individuals commuting, large expensive head workplaces could be reimagined as powerful brand names hubs – all while occupying smaller sized footprints and realising cost benefits.

The pandemic may be the biggest driver of the model also it serves to emphasize the modifying dynamics of how and where function is done. Subsequently, it offers a compelling chance of employers to check out the function of the place of work with fresh eyes – an activity that starts with focusing on how our connection with any office has been altering for quite a while.

Also before lockdown there is a substantial downturn in peak table occupation and a rise overall in empty tables – just 46 % of tables were occupied in 2019/20. Interestingly average usage of meeting areas was only 35 % and collaboration areas recorded a likewise dismal occupancy of 16 % overall. Despite the generate for purposeful co-employee collaboration of modern times, the settings supplied by many organisations haven’t been supporting employees optimally. They are missing the indicate.

Therefore if workplaces weren’t helping how function was done prior to the pandemic – they most surely won’t when our new-discovered desire to have hybrid working performs out. It’s from this backdrop that place of work reinvention and the hub and spoke design specifically has real appeal – however in doing so, you can find six primary ergonomic factors to handle:

Requirements and motivations

Organisations must know very well what their people have to thrive and what this involves of property and atmosphere.

Place of work and employee needs evaluation can help identify the proper geographic locations, structures and workplace facilities for both hub and the spokes. Following a prolonged period from the workplace that is useful as remote control working has changed procedures particularly, behaviours and what we’ll need whenever we do get together.

For instance – even though there’s a meeting at work, it’s most likely there will be some remote individuals. This implies large board areas have significantly less relevance. Instead, smaller sized meeting pods enhance the experience for actual physical attendees, and built-in tech and collaboration tools ensure it is easy for remote control attendees to participate completely and also have parity of encounter. This can need to consider mixed existence collaboration, lighting, decreasing strobing patterns, daylight manage, proximity to display screen and screen dimension, acoustics, voice amplification and capture.

At a far more strategic level, businesses have to think about these needs and become clear concerning the role and reason for both hub and spoke areas. Are the spoke workplaces for meetings, head-lower functioning or both? And exactly what will end up being at the hub (facilities or encounters) that could make people desire to go there?


The general acceptance that lots of jobs can be executed at home requires any office to consider on a fresh role and provide what remote control working cannot – namely optimistic experiences abundant with employers’ brand ideals, collaboration, learning and community.

From an ergonomic viewpoint this means boardroom areas and desk-covered flooring have much less relevance, as our information shows, towards more range and bookable work areas, tech-enabled collaboration hubs, understanding lounges and on web site cafes. In addition, it requires a knowledge of requirement for these areas and the type of tasks which will be undertaken.

Possibly the hub’s role is really as a ‘university’ – so that it will become a beacon for information and learning experiences, or it really is ‘project HQ’ where in fact the focus is on collaborative group and tasks experiences.

The opportunity to shape positive encounters will, partly, be borne from the requirements and motivations evaluation and can require the insight of the senior administration team – as that is more than a chance to redesign the place of work, but to revisit organisational ethos and convey company brand values.