A Hybrid approach to work, works, here’s why…

Office buildings now sitting empty for months on end, and it is becoming clear that things may not be going back to how they used to be. Competitive employers are already planning what happens next.

When it comes to the now, new way of working – for employees, it’s all about having options. Sometimes, this will mean a trip into the old office (if it’s still there). Other times, it’ll be about slogging through in a makeshift home office. But increasingly, we have seen a third, purpose-built workspace emerging as a better-than-the-best-of-both-worlds option that makes new levels of productivity and work-life balance possible, while slashing company overhead.

Perceptive employers know just how valuable the flexibility of a dedicated workspace is for employees today – and how a hybrid approach to work lets employees:

Perceptive employers have realised just how valuable the flexibility of a dedicated workspace can be.

– and how a hybrid approach to work lets employees:

How does a hybrid approach benefit employees?

  1. Reconvene the tribe

One thing missing from the work-from-home model, it’s that water-cooler chatter. Water cooler chat existed well before the invention of the water cooler, and for good reason—it gives humans a much-needed break from the next task. It spawns new ways of thinking and builds company culture.

  1. Prioritize productivity

The right environment has the power to make people happy – and when people are happy, they do their best work. From easy collaboration to heads-down, distraction-free working, to the lost art of meeting new people – a modern workspace is as much about the feeling it creates as the work it enables.

  1. Keeping safe

Workplace wellness used to be a buzzword, but today, it’s an absolute must-have across the board. High-end premium air filtration systems, cleanliness stations and desk dividers keep everyone safe. Dedicated workspaces are leading the charge in prioritizing the health and wellness of workers.

  1. Work-life balance

In an office-first model, people are expected to be on the clock between 9 am and 5 pm every workday. In a hybrid work model, employees have more flexibility to get work done when and where they’re most productive. Let’s face it, in the current state of the world, forcing everyone back into 9-to-5 is going to be a big ask. Trust is implicit in letting employees choose how and where they’ll work.

  1. Keeping top talent

It’s no secret that the better the perks, the more likely companies are to attract and retain top talent. Offering flexibility-based benefits will set forward-thinking employers apart. In a recent January 2022 survey, the majority of employees (63%) say flexibility would make them feel more empowered.

  1. Truly feel seen

Every employee is different. Whether their living situation makes working from home a challenge, or truly inspires productivity. As you continue to build a hybrid workplace that’s ideal for your company, remember to gather employee feedback. Be sure to provide more than one way for employees to share their thoughts.

Honouring each individual with thoughtful options shows empathy and makes employees feel seen and appreciated – keeping them motivated for the long haul.

  1. Lead the way

Figuring out how to hybrid is far from straightforward. By supporting bold, new ways of collaborating, employers are enabling entirely new workstreams. Trailblazing teams and innovative workflows are sure to yield amazing results we can’t predict yet, and will set the stage for whatever comes next.

  1. Define boundaries

If you know what your boundaries are, you can be clear about what you want and what you don’t want. Remember that boundaries can also offer safety and clarity. Thoughtful employers are learning that employees need a safe, convenient workspace a few days a week, where they can collaborate, socialize, and be productive – and that lets them return home refreshed and recharged.

  1. Tools and Tech to stay connected

Sure, a lovely place to work is a fine perk – but without the technological infrastructure to drive productivity with flawless integration, it’s just another set of walls. From scheduling meeting spaces, to logging hours and internet that just works, tech makes all the difference and enables true employee autonomy.

  1. Trailblazing

Early adopters of coworking, remote work, and flexible arrangements have long known that being able to choose where and how they work makes a huge difference in job satisfaction and productivity. Today’s circumstances have brought this movement forward at lightning speed and have created a surge in demand across industries.

Are You A Digital Nomad? Do You Want To Be One?


Unless you are one yourself, you might not be familiar with the term “digital nomad”.

Rest assured, you soon will be.

They’re taking over the working world, and you could soon be joining them.

A digital nomad is defined as someone who works remotely and travels at the same time. Before COVID hit the planet, much of that travel was done on a global level, from country to country. For many Kiwi nomads, Asian destinations like Bali or Thailand were popular destinations thanks to the low cost of living but with lower international airfares, the whole world was a potential office. As long as you had a reliable internet connection and a place to work, you could do the business in Bangkok, work in Warsaw, or be productive in Prague.

While the world isn’t quite as open at the moment, there is still every opportunity to be a digital nomad within the not-so-confining confines of New Zealand.  As the classic advertising campaign of the 1980s said: don’t leave town ‘til you’ve seen the country. Now that you can’t actually “leave town”, you might as well see the country and as a digital nomad you can continue to work while you do it.

Pre-COVID, global statistics showed that nearly 25% of all employees were taking the opportunity to work remotely, while the number of companies totally staffed by off-site workers was also increasing. Post-COVID, it’s obvious that the number of remote workers has risen dramatically and given them a taste of working life away from the office. That’s one of the few silver linings about COVID – it has shown employees and employers that the conventional office space is not necessary to maintain output. If anything, it improves it.

Studies have shown that remote work can lead to increased productivity, with Stanford University research suggesting that digital nomads are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts, and take fewer sick days as well. This is probably connected to all the advantages of working away from the office; a better work-life balance, lower stress levels, and no or reduced commute to name just a few.

Moving from place to place as a digital nomad takes the flexibility of remote work one step forward. As we’ve said, all you really need to become a digital nomad is a reliable internet connection and a good place to work. Coworking spaces offer both, and with enterprises like ours now commonplace all over the country, it is possible to travel throughout New Zealand to mix business with pleasure. And soon, with any sort of luck, that combination could be enjoyed worldwide.


How Working At Home Affects Collaboration

Is working at home all it’s cracked up to be?

While it is a dream existence for many, there are just as many who struggle with it.

A lot of those people are currently having a better time of it at our coworking spaces! They enjoy working remotely but found that doing it at home was an isolating and unproductive experience.

A recent survey strongly suggests they’re far from alone.

The survey’s respondents were 600 professional office employees across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The study was done in two parts: just before the COVID lockdowns began when employees were still in their office, and during the lockdowns when they were working at home. The survey was quite specific in its intent: it was set up to study how working at home affected collaboration in three key areas:

  1. The ability to meet and brainstorm
  2. The ability to maintain social relationships
  3. The ability to have unplanned interactions.

With this in mind, the findings from the survey were revealing and backed up what a lot of our clients say about the downsides of working at home. The findings were:

  • The ability to meet and brainstorm dropped an average of 11 % for all respondents since they began working from home during the lockdowns. For employees whose roles rely on collaboration, the drop was even larger and went up to as much as 15 %.
  • The ability to maintain social relationships declined 17 % percent for all respondents since working from home. For employees who have friendly ties to their colleagues the drop was more substantial, ranging from 20 to 26 %.
  • The ability for unplanned interactions dropped by a whopping 25 % on average. Employees who were used to collaborating in close-knit team environments stated that the decline was even larger, as high as 40 %.

In our coworking spaces, we welcome people who want to work remotely but not in isolation.


They want collaboration, a social setting and to be surrounded by people rather than family pets. As those survey findings show, they’re far from alone in wanting those things and that is why spaces like ours give them the best of both worlds; the ability to work remotely without feeling too remote about it all.

How To Be A Good Coworker

One question on our FAQ page asks:

I love eating old fish. Can I?

The answer is no.  (To be more precise: nope)

If you’re the sort of person who even needs to ask about eating old fish, then we hate to break it to you but you’re probably not going to be a great coworker. At Genius, our coworkers respect those around them and, to be fair, there isn’t much that’s respectful about eating old fish.

While we’re on the subject, we might as well go over a few of the other things that make a coworker a good one.

Good coworkers turn up. By doing so, they become an integral part of our community and we value them for it.

Good coworkers seek out those with common interests and are keen to learn from them, and eager to share their knowledge as well.

Good coworkers also seek out those with who they have little in common. It’s all about appreciating that everyone has different strengths and skills. Our tight-knit community becomes even closer as a result.


Good coworkers turn up. By doing so, they become an integral part of our community and we value them for it.

Good coworkers seek out those with common interests and are keen to learn from them, and eager to share their knowledge as well.

Good coworkers also seek out those with who they have little in common. It’s all about appreciating that everyone has different strengths and skills. Our tight-knit community becomes even closer as a result.

Good coworkers keep the volume down when they’re taking phone calls. They’re aware that a loud voice does not a harmonious coworking space create.

Good coworkers clean up after themselves. Those that don’t must wear a t-shirt emblazoned with the words: Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here, Clean Up After Yourself.

Good coworkers laugh politely at lame jokes like: Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here, Clean Up After Yourself.

Good coworkers offer advice and a helping hand when others need it.

Good coworkers attend events and social gatherings in the interests of camaraderie.

Good coworkers smell nice. No one wants to be known as a BOworker.

Good coworkers treat other workers with kindness and respect. (Not eating old fish within 100 metres of them is a big part of this, just saying.)

Good coworkers put things back where they took them from.

Good coworkers respect each other’s space.

If you could sum up everything on that list and express it in one word, it would be this one: consideration.

In three words, it would be this: consideration for others.

Our coworking space brings together people from all walks of life. Some are shy, some are extroverts. Some work in creative fields, and some are involved in less colourful pursuits. Some bring a packed lunch, others go out. It’s all of our differences that make us the great community we are, but consideration is the common thread that ties us together. If you can grasp that concept without having to grab a dictionary to see what “consideration” actually means, then you’ll feel right at home here.

The Psychology Of Coworking

In a practical sense, we know how coworking actually works. People from all walks of life come together in a shared space and they work. That’s how it works where we co-work anyway. But there are probably some of you who would like to know how coworking works in a psychological sense.

Good question.

Sit back and relax as we attempt to give you some sort of sensible answer. In our experience, the psychology of coworking, and how our members make it work for them, can be broken down into four areas.

They are less stressed: What we try and create is an environment where everyone is welcomed, and where they areco-working-less-stressfull comfortable.  We’re not control freaks, micro managers, or bullying bosses. Instead, we’re providers of a coworking space where people are able to be themselves, and where our members work to their own pace and agenda. In this less stressful environment, our members do their best work.

They have more control: Working in a conventional office can seem like being back in school with everyone sitting at their designated desks and under a state of constant supervision. In this authoritarian setting, they’re expected to perform yet having someone looking over your shoulder is actually counter-productive. On the other hand, our members achieve so much more in a co-working environment because it is communal and democratic, and feels more like home than school, or an office.

They’re part of a community: We see our coworking spaces as small communities. That’s very important to us, and to our members. Corporate work environments can be competitive places, and the interactions can seem forced, yet co-coworking-as -part-of-a-communityworking spaces allow our members to meet like-minded people who have the same attitudes, interests, and struggles. This is a fantastic way to grow personal or professional networks while having other people around them that are actually working is a great motivator.





They work when they’re feeling productive: Productivity doesn’t keep office hours, and neither do we. Our memberships are designed to be flexible and we offer access outside traditional office hours by prior arrangement. This fits in with the needs of our members who work at their best while others are taking it easy. Hey, we’re a community and we’re all different in how we work. The psychology of coworking works for us. It makes perfect sense and explains why our members are a productive and happy lot. We’re thrilled we can create an environment where they can do their best work, at a time and pace that suits them.

Coworking characters – Which one are you?

Our coworking spaces feature a diverse cast of characters. It’s what makes our world go round. Without different personalities from all sorts of backgrounds, things around here would be far less interesting. We don’t want that.

We want to create a vibrant and colourful community.

A bit like Woodstock but with better toilet facilities.

If you’re curious about joining us, and even more curious about some of the characters you’ll encounter while you’re here, let us make a few brief introductions.

1. Introverts

There’s this misguided notion that you have to be the outgoing type to be a member of a coworking space. Actually, that’s not true. We have a few quiet and shy types working with us. They tend to hire space in broom cupboards where no one will see them. Actually, that’s not true either.

2. Extroverts

They’re outgoing but not unbearable. Our resident extroverts appreciate that this is a working space and they subdue the volume so everyone can work. Their shirts are often louder than they are.

3. Hipsters, hopsters and hamsters

We love our hipsters and our hopsters. (Hopsters are just like hipsters but with an added fondness for craft beer. So we probably love them a little bit more than our hipsters, just quietly.) But we don’t love hamsters, so please leave them at home.


4. Corporate types

They dress like they mean business.

5. Creative types

They dress like they’ve just dived into a pool of Dulux colour charts.  They often borrow shirts from our extroverts.

6. Coffee snobs

Go and ask them if they’d like a cup of International Roast. Go on. We dare you.

7. Really, really brainy people

Smart people doing PHDs and Masters and Doctorates and brainy stuff like that. They’re so bright we no longer need light bulbs.

8. Night owls

These are the people who come in while everyone else is leaving. (We’re not brave enough to ask what they do while no one else is looking.)

9. Social animals

These are the people who start talking about Friday night drinks from about Tuesday morning. If you need directions to the bar, you know who to ask.

10. Circus animals

No. That would be politically incorrect. Besides, elephants wouldn’t fit through the door. (We’ve tried)

11. Celine Dion fans

We’re not allowed to discriminate so yes, they’re here too. All one of them.

In our coworking spaces, diversity is unity.

We join together in an inclusive community, and even though there’s a “chalk and cheese” element about our membership, it works.

Just why it works?

Well, we haven’t figured that out yet. I guess we should ask our really, really brainy people.