They’ve Seen the Future and it’s Hybrid Working

Hybrid working - women on bed working from home

February 2022

They’ve Seen the Future and it’s Hybrid Working

Hybrid working – While the Covid pandemic is anything but over, we’ve seen, post lockdowns, a gradual return to the workplace. Yet the returning to work process hasn’t been anything like as straightforward as was first predicted by many business leaders. It turns out that many workers have adapted rather too well to the new world order and are in no hurry to return to the old one. Is it so surprising that the world of no commuting, no hot desking and lunches at home has proved to be altogether more desirable? Indeed, this piece from The Times, opines that 77 per cent of the UK workforce say they would prefer a mix of office-based and remote working in the long term. They’ve seen the future and it’s hybrid.

Hybrid working - women on bed working from home

A vision of the workplace future

Backing up the hybrid-working vision of the future is research from analysts, McKinsey and Company. They estimate that over 20 per cent of the global work force could be as effective working with remote working, three to five a days a week, as they would be from an office. But, as the CIPD points out, for many organisations, moving to hybrid working can’t happen without an appreciable culture shift. Also, there’ll be a need to establish new working methods and new associated policies and practices.

Employer learnings

While employers can take some learnings from the pandemic-driven-working-from-home there’s no escaping that hybrid working places greater demands on managers and organisations than the urgent move to home working during the lockdowns.

It’s clear that organisations have much to consider when implementing a hybrid approach. There’s no rushing a phased return to the workplace. Not all workers will be able to go back at once. Early signs are indicating a situation with some staff working from home and some from the office. Or even a combination of the two.

Whilst, as always there will be industry variations, it is fair to generalise that hybrid working is here to stay. As The Times article (see link above) contends: ‘The rise of hybrid working forms the biggest change to the workday since the concept of nine-to-five went mainstream over 100 years ago.’

The debate now centres on maximising the benefits from the recognition that remote performance of job roles can be effective, whilst getting the balance right with the benefits of collaborative working and the need for interaction with colleagues. The survey results in this BBC News article are, it’s arguable, no surprise

Higher fuel costs are bound to have an impact, but whether this changes the dynamic remains a moot point.

Joined up working

One of the greatest challenges for teams flung out here, there and everywhere, is that of joined-up working. Research carried out by ServiceNow found that a whopping 91 per cent of executives continue to have offline workflows including document approvals and more. Meanwhile, around 48 per cent voiced concern about the reduction in collaboration between business teams.

It’s evident that employers, are going to have to find ways of balancing the expectations of employees with the needs of your business or organisation. You’re going to need a map of what your people do on a day-to-day basis and how to determine which roles best suit remote working and which don’t.

Challenges abound

It’s fair to say that all the concerns expressed above reflect the post-pandemic experience of larger corporations. Yet it’s true to say also that similar challenges face all employees and employers in businesses of all sizes. You’re going to have to find solutions to ensure your people remain productive and content in their work.

It’s all going to take some navigating that’s for sure. But the good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. Go-Legal HR can support and guide you through it – so don’t struggle. Get in touch now.