Combine the Benefits of Working from Home and Going Back to the Office

Fifteen months ago, few employees and companies imagined that remote work would not only be here to stay, but completely change the workforce. Now, many major companies are leaning in that direction. It took some time to get used to, but many employees are now getting more done in less time by setting their own schedules and working remotely. Going back to the office five days a week may be becoming more feasible, but it may no longer be everyone’s preference. 

Still, while many of your employees have begun to realize and enjoy the benefits of remote work, it’s important to remember that there are certain aspects of your company that just work better in person.

With this in mind, it’s time to consider redesigning the workplace to incorporate a balance between the perks of remote work and the in-person conversations that keep companies thriving. Here are some tips for adjusting your workplace to fit a hybrid solution.

Design a Hybrid Workplace Model to Create a Balance

Now that your employees have experienced the benefits of working from home, they are not all going to want to permanently give up remote work even if you’re ready to have them back in the office. A recent PwC survey indicated that just 21% of executives believe returning to a full five-day work week in an office setting is necessary to maintain company culture. Only 5% indicated that not having employees return to the office at all would be a good fit for their company, while the majority support implementing some type of hybrid workplace that combines remote work and in-person work to allow employees and companies to experience both types of benefits. 

The remaining executives indicated that having employees spend between one and four days at the office each week would be the most ideal. With the largest percentage of executives surveyed choosing a preference for a three-day week and over two thirds leaning toward some type of hybrid workplace, it’s clear that finding a way to balance the best of both worlds is key when it comes to reimagining the workplace to meet the needs of the modern world. 

Changes That Benefit Employees

Many of your employees have come to enjoy getting to spend more time with their families during the day while working remotely. So, creating clear guidelines regarding when employees need to be available during the remote workday can help them plan a personal schedule that works for your company and their families. This can be especially true for working parents and caregivers. 

Unfortunately, this benefit of remote work has not been experienced broadly. More than half of parents of young children have frequently struggled to find and afford reliable childcare during the past year, particularly in areas where schools remained closed. Offering extra benefits for parents in need of childcare, especially on the days when they will be back in the office, tops PwC’s list of ways companies can help employees transition to a hybrid workplace model.

Nearly half of executives have considered adding communal work areas to their office space to help employees make the most of the days they spend at the office. Moving to a permanent hybrid workspace will mean that much of what employees used to get done alone at their desks will be delegated to remote work days, which will shift the focus of in-person work days to covering collaborative work needs. Redesigning the office space to include fewer individual cubicles and more areas for meetings and small group discussions can help your employees get more accomplished during fewer days at work.

Changes That Benefit Businesses

Providing training in effective remote and hybrid work, especially for HR employees, managers, and other employees with key leadership roles, can help employees succeed at a higher level as your company and many others around the world consider what it might look like to never return to a traditional five-day work week.

Many employees and employers struggled to be productive with little to no guidance during the first weeks and months of working from home. Most at least somewhat adjusted over time, and approximately half of both groups reported that they were more productive working from home than in the office by December. Shifting to a hybrid model will be a new type of adjustment and providing adequate training from the start can help your employees hold onto what worked well for them at home, improve in areas that did not, and pinpoint how to use a more limited amount of time most effectively in the office. 

Many companies also intend to invest in additional IT infrastructure, hoteling applications, tools for virtual collaboration, and other types of innovative tech tools that will help support a workplace that relies more on technology than ever. By creating new options for signing up for workspaces, working together on a project without being in the same room, and providing laptops, software, and other tools for employees to use at home, businesses can revamp company spending to help employees succeed while creating a completely new type of workplace.       

Businesses can also move to smaller and less expensive buildings if they choose to rotate who is in the office at any given time. By having a smaller percentage of employees in the office every day instead of having everyone in person or at home at the same time, employees can share space and equipment on different days to lower company costs.

Plan an Effective Return to the Office

Although adjusting your company’s physical workplace and your strategies for optimizing both remote and in-person work are important aspects of helping your employees and your business transition to a hybrid workplace model, determining exactly what needs to be done can be challenging. Working with a coaching company can give you the opportunity to discuss the unique needs of your company with experts who can help you optimize each decision you make when creating a reimagined workplace. 

At Sounding Board, we are here to help you find innovative ways to meet your goals when it comes to creating a new version of your company that combines the newly discovered benefits of working from home with the advantages of returning to a limited amount of time at the office. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you plan a customized hybrid workplace that works for your company! 

Subscribe to Our

Stay up to date with new releases, features, how-tos, leadership tips, and more. (Don’t worry, we won’t flood your inbox or share your address.)

We Develop The World's Most Impactful Leaders

Sounding Board offers virtual and scalable enterprise learning solutions that are flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing work environments. Powered by behavioral science and core leadership capabilities, our proven coaching methodology drives measurable business impact.

Niall MacGearailt

SVP of Finance
Niall MacGearailt leads Sounding Board’s finance division as the SVP of Finance and Operations. Niall earned a solid track record of improving P&L and operational expense management for leading companies such as Whirlpool, Logitech, Avaya and most recently Soraa, where he prepared the business for acquisition by leading hi-tech lighting company, Ecosense. In his role, he is responsible for building and leading the finance & relevant operations functions for the company.

Ron Buell

VP of Engineering
Ron Buell is the VP of Engineering at Sounding Board and an accomplished software professional with extensive experience in leadership, software engineering, project management, and product management. Ron has led the development of highly scalable systems and applications across a variety of technologies for companies including OpenFeint (acquired by GREE), Rdio (acquired by Pandora), Lyris Technologies, and Lotus/IBM Software Group. In his role at Sounding Board, Buell is responsible for all engineering efforts in developing, deploying, and maintaining the enterprise software platform and team for the company.

Tommy Perkins


Tommy is at his best helping clients think through complex challenges in order to create a positive impact on their organizations. He thrives when interacting with others whether helping his team succeed or working with clients to build long-term partnerships. He has extensive experience consulting with organizations on driving their employee experience, guiding organizations through change, and working to ensure organizations are moving the needle when it comes to their results.

Most recently, Tommy was a Client Services Leader overseeing some of GP’s most prized accounts on a global level. His responsibilities included overall client growth strategy, retention, and satisfaction. He represented all of GP Strategies’ major business lines including leadership, coaching, and engagement, digital transformation, outsourced services, and technology implementation solutions.

Before GP Strategies, Tommy spent several years with TTEC Digital (formerly rogenSI) where he led the sales team,  eventually becoming the regional Learning & Performance practice leader for North America. While managing the P&L and sales team he also led the largest global relationship for the firm (Deloitte Globally). During his time at TTEC, he focused on delivering blended learning solutions that incorporate technology and hands-on training. Before TTEC Digital, he spent several years dedicated to strength-based leadership disrupting the business landscape regarding performance management and employee engagement with thought leader Marcus Buckingham at The Marcus Buckingham Company / TMBC (now ADP).

Tommy has had the privilege of working with some of the most well-known global brands in professional services, retail, technology, and healthcare including Deloitte, Facebook, Microsoft, Bank of America, Novartis, Gap Inc., lululemon, and Intel. Several projects he led for Deloitte were Global GNPS, New Partner Pivot, NextGen Partner Program Deloitte China, Present to Win, the RPM project on performance management, and Unconscious Bias.

Tommy holds a BS in Health Sciences from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Universidad del CEMA.

Drive hiring, retention, engagement, and DEI initiatives with Sounding Board’s leadership coaching solution

Sounding Board is the first leadership development platform that combines technology to scale with world-class coaches – empowering companies to solve urgent people-problems and gain a long-term talent advantage.

Join our coaching team

Our expert coaches combine top notch coaching, business acumen and organizational savvy to truly become your leadership “Sounding Board”. Sounding Board coaches are all industry certified and strongly vetted going through a 3 step qualification process and receiving ongoing supervision and development.

Lori Mazan

Co-Founder & CCO Sounding Board, Inc.
Lori Mazan is the Co-Founder and Chief Coaching Officer of Sounding Board, the preeminent global leadership development enterprise platform changing the face of leadership development through innovative technology for leaders at all levels of an organization. Lori is a seasoned executive coach who has guided hundreds of corporate executives through 1:1 coaching focused on business outcomes and developing critical leadership skills. Client companies advanced by Lori’s expertise include Fortune titans such as Chevron and Sprint as well as high growth and public companies like Intellikine, and Tapjoy, plus 10XGenomics, which became a public company in 2019 while top executives worked with Lori and the Sounding Board team.
Lori has spent the last 25 years coaching C-Suite executives to leadership excellence. Many of those public and private company CEO’s expressed that they would have liked this caliber of coaching earlier in their careers. Inspired by these experiences, Lori joined with Christine to launch Sounding Board as a feedback-driven, cloud-based leadership coaching platform that could maintain best-in-class leadership coaching while lowering costs to make it affordable and scalable for leaders at every level of their careers.
Before founding Sounding Board, Lori received her Masters’ in Adult Educational Psychology/Counseling from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors’ in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Lori is an educator and has spent over 10 years as a professor of social psychology and group dynamics while acting as the interim Dean of Students at Holy Names University, She is certified by the industry’s gold standard, the Coaches Training Institute, and is a founding member of the Genentech Preferred Network of Coaches. Sounding Board is one of <3% of sole female founded startups receiving venture funding. In 2019 Sounding Board was selected as 1 of 7 startups (out of 100+ applicants) as part of SAP’s HR tech cohort, a group that represents the rising stars of the next-gen HR ecosystem.

Christine Tao

Co-Founder & CEO Sounding Board, Inc.
Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board, a Silicon Valley startup redefining how organizations are developing their leaders. Her extraordinarily rapid career growth to executive management in the media, mobile and tech sectors of Silicon Valley became her inspiration for founding Sounding Board. As she began to manage larger teams and be responsible for growing revenues, it became clear that she needed a “sounding board” to coach her on the development of her leadership skills. That’s where her Sounding Board co-founder, Lori Mazan came on the scene. A seasoned executive coach focused on leadership development, Lori coached Christine on real-world leadership skills that had a direct impact on business outcomes. Based on her positive and impactful experience with leadership development, Christine was driven to make leadership development coaching accessible to people at all levels of the organization.
Christine advises several startups, is a budding angel investor and is also a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow, a foundation dedicated to investing in the success and sustainability of women entrepreneurs.
Prior to co-founding Sounding Board, Christine was a Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy, a venture-backed, leading mobile advertising & publishing network. She led the growth of Tapjoy’s publisher advertising business from 0 to over $100 million in revenues in less than 3 years. Prior to that she led e-commerce partnerships and strategy at YouTube. Christine holds an MBA in Marketing & Operations from Wharton and a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.