“Hybrid Workplace is Here to Stay.” It’s a Statement Already Passé.
As a national hybrid workplace keynote speaker and consultant, I am surprised that after at lease 18-months, that there is still so much bluster around hybrid work.
I routinely hear of executive leaders calling for punitive actions against employees who are resisting a full-time return to the office. Then, of course, there is the pontification over issues such as what to do with excess office space, declining bus ridership,” or company cars?
In my keynote speeches on hybrid workplaces going back to before the pandemic, I noted that logical workplace changes were not only coming, but they absolutely needed to do so! Not surprising, the most intractable at that time gave me a lot of push-back. They are losing their battle.
Change was needed in the way teams met, interacted, commuted and worked. The hybrid concept was needed as much in 2019 as it is now. What, exactly, was the purpose behind the mind-numbing Monday morning staff meeting or the incredible 2-hour, one way commute? Teams were already working remote. Office space had already been experiencing a glut. Business travel was down and clearly convention traffic had died.
Corks back in bottles? Hardly.
A recent Gallup Poll (October 9. 2023) has shown that trying to put a 2023 cork into a 2019 bottle will not work. Of the workers responding:
- 76-percent feel hybrid improves the work-life balance
- 64-percent told the pollsters it was a more efficient use of their time
- 61-percent believe hybrid leads to less burnout
- 57-percent are convinced hybrid enables them to better plan their days
- 52-percent feel hybrid is more productive
When poll numbers are this powerful, going back to the way things were become absurd and counterproductive. Hybrid is a fact. Now, it is up to the workplace to respond and grow.
Yes, as a national keynote speaker and consultant on hybrid workplaces and blended organizations, I am well aware of the cat and mouse games in dysfunctional organizations that have gone hybrid. The operative word is dysfunctional.
If management does not strive to communicate and define roles, if we are all so busy worrying about AI mistrust (“Did she write that report or did the software?”), if managers and employees alike bat around innuendo, gossip and pine for the nostalgic good-old days, then productivity will suffer at all levels.
“Hybrid is here to stay,” is already passe. “No one” will flat-out reject meetings providing there is a logic to the meeting. While commuting to a mostly empty office to discuss a project that could have been a 3-minue phone or virtual conversation may briefly win the battle of management over an employee might accomplish something, it is an all-together silly experiment in a power struggle. No one wins.
Hybrid will work with communication, logical objective setting and managing expectations and outcomes.
The unused office space and changes in public conveyances will somehow transform and grow into something new, different and logical…not to mention, spectacular.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Hybrid Workplace Motivational Speaker and Consultant, please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.