This appears to be the new buzzword in HR circles, with all sorts of people offering advice on how to set it up. Now I have always held that being creative with work patterns makes perfect sense in many environments, and back in the 1980’s when working as a software developer for the civil service I used to dream of being set up so I could work from my bed!
I’m just not sure I would have been that productive and I would have missed out on a number of friendships that have lasted to this day. My main motivation was the daily two hours on public transport.
However, with the cost of living going through the roof and the fact that many people have developed local networks close to home during lockdown, I can see that hybrid working might suit quite a few people. There are a few things that need to be borne in mind.
- Internal communications
Despite the growth of messaging systems face to face “chats” often create new ideas which the likes of Slack, Whatsapp et al cannot duplicate.
Many people prefer to feel that they are part of a team. One of the best ways to develop these relationships is if people go for lunch together or just bump into each other by the coffee machine.
- Mutual support
If you have just had a difficult conversation with a customer/manager/work colleague; a good moan to the person you sit next to can relieve the stress.
It’s OK if you have your own home but if you are in your twenties and still living with your parents, it may not be that tempting.
Again younger employees use work as a gateway to meet other people, particularly if they work in the middle of a city but live n the outskirts.
That’s not to say that there aren’t a load of advantages to hybrid working, you just have to plan it in a way that works.
Most importantly, you have to make sure you have good managers in place who know how to get the best from people rather than relying on peer pressure to maintain performance.