New abbreviations and acronyms are cropping up everyday in this new world of business. Why? Because the Coronavirus pandemic has shaken things up in such an extreme way that we need new terms and words to describe what is going on. On cable news, people are talking about “herd immunity,” BiPap machines, PPE devices, and “flattening the curve.” And at work, people are suddenly throwing around terms like WFH (Work From Home), WFA (Work From Anywhere), and even WNH (Work Near Home).
Just when you thought you understood what everyone was talking about, along comes yet another term that seems to be cropping up in more and more meetings . . .
Hub and Spoke
What is Hub and Spoke, aka Hub & Spoke?
Our own Dan Rosenzweig, co-founder of KettleSpace, explains Hub and Spoke this way:
“The Hub and Spoke model is the idea that there is a central location – a Hub –where people congregate. This could be called your headquarters, where you get your team together. The Spokes are the satellite locations that are spread around. One could be in the city, one or many could be in the suburbs. These are secondary places where your team can work from. “
Why does Hub and Spoke appeal to companies and their employees? Dan explains, “It’s because it gives people their time back. Instead of going to a fixed office every day, they can spend more time with their families. It’s cost-effective, it reduces commute time. It addresses employees’ fears about getting on crowded elevators and taking public transportation. It empowers employees to create the type of environment where they are comfortable. Those are only a few of the reasons employees are asking for it and why companies are following along.”
Hub and Spoke, Where Have You Been All My Life?
People would have loved Hub and Spoke 10 years ago. So why didn’t companies start to offer it back then?
The simple answer is that Hub and Spoke can only exist when there is technology to support it. Today’s Wi-Fi, laptops and smartphones allow employees to work from anywhere. Even though that tech might have existed in year 2000, it was not cheap or readily available.
And here’s another interesting reason why Hub and Spoke is spreading so fast. It’s the fact that it works for companies of all sizes. Whether your company employs 250, 100, 25 or only two workers, it offers solutions that you just might need.
What is the Hub & Spoke Model
The company is at the center of all the spokes. This is the traditional corporate headquarters/centralized office. This office continues to operate but instead of everyone coming into one office the company now has spokes or satellite offices that are closer to employees' homes and providing employees with options on where to work.
Why Have Office Spokes?
In the age of COVID, spokes give your company a number of advantages over operating from a single, traditional office:
- You give employees an option other than working from home – and working from home doesn’t work for some employees.
- You increase productivity by giving your teams shorter commutes to spoke offices.
- You increase employee satisfaction and retention because working at spokes shortens commuting time and allows your people to spend more time with their families.
- You eliminate fears of crowding, which can cause employees to hesitate about coming back to work.
- You provide a place for employees to safely gather and to collaborate on projects. Remember, not all work can be done by employees who are working alone.
- You reduce the number of people at your company headquarters, which allows your organization to occupy less space, which in turn reduces the cost of renting or leasing office space.
Where Can You Set Up Your Office Spoke Locations?
Think first about where your employees live and try to heatmap their homes in relation to each other and your current office. You want to make sure you set up your various locations as conveniently as possible to your people. You also want to make sure the distance between the hub and various spokes makes logistical sense so that you don't end up with multiple offices a few blocks from each other. If you need help with the heat mapping exercise, please feel free to reach out to our experts at KettleSpace for help.
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