Hybrid Working – what will that actually mean?

By Jamie Pollard-Jones

Lead Analyst

The pushback against remote working was an inevitability.

We’ve been clear that organisations have to be cautious about bold proclamations of a completely new way of working becoming the norm, we’re learning in the eye-of-the-COVID-storm it would be wise to instead focus on how things will look when restrictions ease to the point of relative normality.

It may have felt like a procession recently with many of the benefits of remote working being given a ‘free-pass’ without consideration as to the very real downsides, particularly in relationship building and formation.

High-profile figures have started to address this imbalance.

Goldman Sachs’ CEO David Solomon:

“I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us. And it’s not a new normal. It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible,”

He is not alone, speaking at a rail industry conference Prime Minster Boris Johnson said:

“[on conferences being held on Zoom in the future] I don’t believe it. Not for a moment. In a few short months, if all goes to plan, we in the UK are going to be reopening our economy. And then, believe me, the British people will be consumed once again with their desire for the genuine face-to-face meeting that makes all the difference to the deal or whatever it is.”

As large-scale organisations reduce Office Space it appears businesses are gearing up for a transition, but fully remote will never be the answer.

Hybrid working offers a myriad of opportunities; it is environmentally friendlier, it allows flexibility and it fosters a culture of output accountability, rather than a focus on time being spent on the office.

It does, however, compromise on relationship building. Organisations will need to focus on achieving accelerated bonding in times that they have the team together.

The ‘watercooler’ moments of bonding and innovation can still be found, but a culture of teamworking needs to allow this to grow. When in-person meetings are at a premium we can’t be focussing on developing inter-personal relationships, they need to have already been formed, ideally in a way which will endure time apart.

This is where we add our value, we forge bonds through shared experience, accelerate communication with simple to understand take-aways and deliver tangible change to your business.