Hybrid working - the new normal but at what cost?
There is no question that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world of work for ever and presented businesses with myriad human and logistical challenges. Yet many of the pre Covid paradigms and assumptions about the role of the office in ensuring productivity and performance are now being challenged as hybrid working becomes the new norm in this post COVID era.
According to research carried out recently by McKinsey & Company, 80 percent of people reported that they enjoy working from home with 41 percent stating that they are more productive than they had been before and 28 percent that they are at least as productive.
The release from the constraint of the daily commute to the office to more flexible working patterns which better suit individuals’ personal preferences may well have done much to promote wellbeing, better motivation and improved results. However, the qualitative and measurable cost of the loss of those social interactions (the proverbial water cooler moments) and shared experiences that only being physically present with co-workers can offer should not be underplayed.
An argument can be made that the essence of corporate culture and the notion of ‘team’ and ‘community’ are being eroded and with these adaptations, the missed opportunity of significant human and organisational collaboration and personal growth opportunities.
Perhaps the truth is that whilst remote and hybrid working are now essential facets of everyday work life, the importance and role of teambuilding, engagement, partnership, personal development and group activities to promote wellbeing and optimum performance are now more essential than ever.
Whilst tech solutions have evolved to enable seamless remote working it is now incumbent upon organisations to look at creative ways of keeping their people and their teams connected, engaged, motivated and growing!