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Stop talking about hybrid. What we want is flexibility.

Anita Lettink
Anita Lettink
The most ill-used word of 2021 is hybrid: our work will be hybrid, we’re living a hybrid life, and it seems we also need hybrid skills to thrive in a hybrid world as we head into a hybrid future. Yeah, it’s a lot.
I don’t know about you, but I have seen this word a bit too much lately. It has become meaningless. Hybrid is a given, not what people want. What people are looking for is flexibility.
And that’s not new. In fact, when I ran the HR2025 survey back in the fall of 2019, 65% of respondents asked for the flexibility to combine home and office life, and 23% wanted to work from anywhere. Only 10% preferred a fixed location.
Flexibility went beyond location: just 12% wanted to stick to traditional office hours. More than 50% of respondents were looking for flexible working hours. They wanted a better work/life balance, to fit their personal needs.
Interestingly enough, those numbers haven’t changed. Most of the research that has been published in 2021 shows numbers that are close to what we found back in 2019. The biggest change: what people wished to achieve by 2025 became reality in 2020.
Now that companies are reopening physical locations, the challenge is to carefully think through what this means: for the workforce, for individual employees and for your culture.
Being able to decide when and where you work is a strong motivator for productivity, engagement, recruitment and retention. Reverting back to being told to work 9-5 in the office will not go over well, especially not as employees held off on changing jobs. Once economies rebound, we’ll see employees jump on the opportunity to look for a new job.
What can you do? Establishing a thriving corporate culture is key: this seems to be a major factor when employees decide if they want to stay. I’ve included a couple of articles that can help you think through your future corporate culture. Going back to the way it was before the pandemic is not an option.
If you want to have an example of how not to do culture, the new WeWork documentary provides a ton of inspiration. I watched it during the Easter break and was surprised and appalled. This is what happens when one person get to decide what the culture is.
When in doubt about your culture: just ask. Consult with your employees. They’ve shown they can do the work. They deserve to be included. After all, they are the ones that will shape your culture.
Have a great weekend, Anita

HR2025: What working arrangement would you prefer? (Nov 2019)
HR2025: What working arrangement would you prefer? (Nov 2019)
Weekend Reading
Tweet of the week
If you haven’t watched the new documentary on the rise and fall of WeWork you’re missing out. It’s a fascinating story of an immersive and excessive company culture, and the role of its founder. It also led to an animated conversation on the role of HR:
🟣Anita Lettink
I watched #WeWorkDoc last night. And I couldn’t help wonder: where was #HR when all this went down?

What role did they play?

So I looked it up.
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Anita Lettink
Anita Lettink @let_anita

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