The Hybrid Workplace Will Get More Complicated (Unless You Do One Thing)
As America’s hybrid workplace motivational speaker, I was recently delivering a keynote speech on the new hybrid way of working to an association when I said, “You know, the hybrid workplace is going to get more complicated.” A collective groan went up through the in-person and remote office. Then I added, “Unless you do this one thing.”
They demanded to know the answer.
“It’s simple,” I said. “Negotiate.”
My answer led to a collective head-scratching.
In the shuffle of hybrid workplaces
In America, and indeed the world, the hybrid workplace went from “0 to 60” within two years. Obviously, some work groups were hybrid working for years before the pandemic however, that situation was largely the domain of contract or remote sales organizations ranging from grocery to real estate to pharma.
For many of us, especially those who once put on suits and ties, then commuted umpteen hours a week to sit in cubicles or offices and meet around faux mahogany conference tables, it was all expected. There was a certain comfort – and status in going from being “an intern in the mailroom” to eventually finding one’s way into the corner office.
The pandemic changed all of it. The firm grip of predictability gave way to a slippery handhold on what-to-do-next and how to cope.
However, at the other end of the spectrum, is a generation who are not only being raised in a digital world with virtual offices and other VR spaces, but who ask “why?” Why, indeed, did some people commute two or three hours each way, fumigating the environment with hydrocarbons only to sit in a space for eight or more hours? A space, by the way, that could be better served to house people who can’t seem to find anything reasonable to rent.
The two sides can mock one another, that is true – there’s a lot of that. It doesn’t help, and in fact it makes the dialog more difficult.
The one thing
Adding to the complexity of the hybrid workplace, is an obvious but often overlooked factor that many are missing. As America’s hybrid workplace motivational speaker, I have made a study of this particular factor for many years. As we all know, “workplaces” are infinitely more than physical work spaces. Employees and co-workers are people, not merely organizational diagrams.
The modern workplace, however you wish to define it, is a blended workplace. Boomers, Gen-X, Millennials and now, the Zoomers occupy the same physical spaces. They have differing values, attitudes toward work, goals and aspirations. Everyone must adjust and process the changes in their own way, but it takes effort and sometimes, courage, to bring us all together.
To bridge the gaps, often the stress-filled gaps, is to negotiate the differences. The one, key factor between success and failure is the difference as to whether we are willing to negotiate with one another to reach safe, comfortable and respectful workplaces, or throw up more shade on one another’s desire to shine.
One thing is certain: the hybrid workplace is not going to go away. The hybrid workplace is a great idea if only we allow one another to be great.
To contact Mike Hourigan, America’s Hybrid Workplace Motivational Speaker, for an in-person or virtual presentation, please call. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.