Discover more from Future of Work
Stop talking about hybrid. What we want is flexibility.
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
When you establish new working models, you must be clear about communication, career opportunities and team alignment so people feel included. This article looks into the psychology and logistics of our new ways of working and how you can establish a supportive culture.
This new hybrid space where ‘the office’ is, will be multi-site, never 9-5 and flexible in its working patterns. Our working identities, rather like the shifts happening within wider culture around gender and sex, are going to become infinitely more varied and more personalized.
Companies face unknowns as they contemplate a return to the office, but one theme is emerging: the post-pandemic office will be full of sensors capturing data. Be careful: harvesting data on employees requires upfront consent in many countries. Being creepy surely kills your culture.
Ireland has introduced Our Rural Future: a plan where 20% of public sector staff will be remote by the end of 2021. The five-year strategy includes incentives to attract remote workers to rural areas, proposals for revitalizing town centers and efforts to make Ireland a leading destination for adventure tourism. Which country is next?
The announcement comes as many companies take steps to help employees balance their work and home lives. "This is more than a new parental leave policy for our employees – it is the embodiment of our company culture and values," said Hanna Fager, head of corporate functions.
Take a look at some of the key insights from the Anatomy of Work Index 2021 and compare it with the 2019 results. Employees reported growing workloads and longer days spent working. Does that mean productivity is up? Not necessarily.
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:
Did you enjoy this newsletter?
SHARE it on Twitter and your other social media!
FORWARD this email to friends or colleagues.
Have something to share?
Send me an email