Mike Hourigan, Hybrid Workplace Keynote Speaker
Hybrid Workplace Speaker
Remote Workers Like Working Remote; Sometimes, Maybe
(Part 2 of a 5 Part Series)
As a keynote speaker and in my keynote and seminar talks as a keynote speaker for hybrid workplaces, I am often asked if remote work is here to stay. The quick answer is: “Bet on it.”
At least half of remote workers polled have flat-out stated they will leave any organization that does not allow remote working arrangements. As a hybrid workplace motivational speaker, and also a speaker on the closely associated topic of blended workplaces, let me “reassure” many managers that the easiest way to lose valued employees is to demand a full-time return to the office.
As I stated in last week’s post on Hybrid Workplaces, is that a full-time return to the office is not likely in most situations, but what I will add is that one-hundred percent remote work has drawbacks as well.
Alina Clark writing for Forbes magazine pointed to at least five drawbacks to remote office interactions. As a motivational speaker on hybrid workplaces and blended (inter-generational) workplaces, I would like to comment on the points that Clark makes.
- Mental Health Challenges – We need one another, and most of us feed off one another, especially those of us who are outgoing. To cut off all interaction in a “physical cue” sense can be damaging. This is why the lockdown of 2020 going into 2021 raised so many mental health issues in our society. Want to know why so many “remote” employees are again flocking to coffee shops and co-working spaces? This is a prime reason.
- Distractions – The distractions of working from home are enormous. In fact, distractions can easily overwhelm intention. Pulling weeds, petting the Golden Retriever, listening to Sitar music or making linguine in the pasta machine are all fun things to do, but when you’re charged with pulling together the strategic plan, they can – and will, get in the way.
- Communications and Collaboration Difficulties – Research has shown that it is getting increasingly difficult to collaborate when everyone is bordered by Zoom or Google Meet boxes. No matter what the virtual experts say, teams work best together in real-life teams.
- Technical Challenges – Communicating virtually is difficult enough. Communicating with poor equipment makes it exponentially more difficult. This is not necessarily a blended workplace issue; lousy software or hardware is as hard on Zoomers as Boomers.
- Work-Life Unbalance – Humans crave a certain amount of separation. We want to leave work behind, and seek out a place of comfort, nurturing, relaxation and fun. This was not happening with all-the-time remote work.
But wait, you might be saying, is all of this a contradiction? No, it isn’t, it’s a plea for hybrid meetings with purpose. A reason to get together. A flexible schedule around the calendar, along with support, greater empowerment and broader input. As the workspace itself evolves, this may mean a re-examination of in-office childcare, knocking down cubicles in favor of huddle rooms, and a more focused, purposeful meeting mindset.
The hybrid workplace is here to stay. We can fight or embrace it. We sometimes, maybe need to see one another in-person and interactive. It is an exciting and dynamic time.
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.