Mike Hourigan, your Hybrid Workplace Keynote Speaker
Hybrid Workplaces Have Been Knocking on Your Door for Years, Let them in, already!
(Part 1 of a 5 Part Series)
As a keynote speaker on hybrid workplaces, I am thrilled to see that organizations are finally awakening to the possibilities of what hybrid workplaces can bring. Before we kick-off this 5-part series on hybrid work, let me just say as a motivational speaker on hybrid workplaces that hybrid work is nothing to fear.
Don’t Blame COVID-19
COVID-19 and its variants (sounds like a musical group) can be blamed for many things, but not for hybrid work. I am not only a keynote speaker on hybrid work but blended workplaces as well. As more Millennials entered the workplace and now the first wave of Gen Z, the old work habits have not completely faded away but are undergoing a great modification. My point is that I have seen hybrid workplaces coming for a long time, years before COVID-19 swept our planet.
Ben Wigert of the Gallup Organization has recently written an excellent overview of hybrid workplace based on their in-depth research that I recommend you read. I wanted to pull apart some of the main observations of the research and reflect on what I have seen and experienced in the workplace.
Where Do Employees want to Work?
From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, the battle cry has long been “Why am I commuting two hours (or more) every day, to sit in a cubicle?” Even more absurd: “Why am I commuting to sit in a cubicle and then talking remotely to the rest of my team?”
Right this moment about half of U.S. workers feel they can work quite effectively from home – thank you. And, they’re right.
The workplace “office” has been de-centralizing for years. I cannot tell you how many offices I entered pre-pandemic to observe empty cubicles, empty offices and under-used conference rooms. In fact, prior to mention of COVID, from about 2010 on, we saw a huge proliferation of co-working spaces rising in tandem with skyrocketing contract labor. It was infinitely more practical for most everyone to work as a contract employee in a space 10 minutes from their homes that to be fully employed and commute hours a day.
Those who love control, who currently scream they don’t want their employees goofing off at home or in a coffee shop, apparently were happy when employees could spend an hour or more stuck in traffic or making long public transportation commutes. It really wasn’t working for any of us all the time. The good old days, weren’t always so good.
Pre-Pandemic, organizations were already aggressive in reducing costs by hiring everyone from contract CFOs and marketing teams, to contract sales forces and staff writers. There was no need for any one of them to be in one of your offices.
Of course, there might have been three or four days a month when they joined the team in a face-to-face meeting. This was a hybrid arrangement long before we thought of “hybrid.”
Clearly as commerce has become more far-flung, sales and marketing teams, design teams, development groups, manufacturing groups and such, have no choice but to work remotely. Every so often, teams come together in-person, but is it necessary to provide office space for all of them when we have video-conferencing and other digital tools? I think not.
Research shows that pre-pandemic under 10 percent of us worked remotely. It is now about four times that number. Interestingly, pre-pandemic 32 percent of us were already “hybrid” to some extent. It is currently 42 percent. We have become more used to hybrid work. But it was never a far-off concept.
On the other hand, the millennia of human genetics have not budged at bit when we need to be with one another, though 24 percent of us expect to work remotely on a continuing basis, more than half of us want hybrid arrangements. In fact, it’s about 60 percent.
Yes, many of us like remote work but not on a full-time basis. We want to see one another. It comes back around to blended workplaces.
In the future we will all need to get along some of the time and while doing it, we will need to juggle space all of the time. As a keynote speaker on hybrid work, these are indeed the most exciting of times.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Hybrid Workplace Keynote Speaker, for an in-person or virtual presentation, please call. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.