After 15 months of lockdowns and working from home, the Dutch government has announced that organizations can finally welcome their employees back to their offices. Although many employees miss the random conversations with colleagues next to the coffee machine, most have become accustomed to the increased flexibility of last months. One of the main learnings of our ‘lockdown experience’ is that giving employees the agency to choose where they work improves work-life balance, has sustainability benefits, and can help to reduce real estate costs.
Organizations are keen to use the experience they have gained during the pandemic to adopt a hybrid working model. This model gives employees the option to combine working at the company’s office and remotely – both at home and at different locations. Based on their agenda needs, people can decide where they work. The work structure has become more activity based. Hybrid working is not a binary choice that consists of working either from home or at the company’s headquarters. Hybrid working adds a different dimension and gives employees access to productive, inspiring and collaborative workspaces to work remotely: a third place.
Everybody is enthusiastic about benefiting from the convenience and benefits of the ‘working from anywhere revolution’. However, transitioning to hybrid working takes time because there is not a one-size-fits all solution that works for all organizations. The organizational culture, the type of activities performed by employees, or the available resources that an organization has are some of the factors that influence what is required for this transition. These are times for experimentation and organizations need to explore what works for them.
As employees are more distributed, as leaders become more skilled and comfortable in managing remote teams, as organizations understand the associated cost savings of working from anywhere, and as technology continues to advance, the transition to hybrid working is a reality. Are you ready to embrace this transition?