Remote | Hybrid | Office: Who wins?
At the beginning of the pandemic the work force was essentially divided into two groups. The ones looking forward to working from home and the ones who couldn’t do it. A quick search and you can find numerous studies showing the various outcomes of switching to working remotely. What it came down to were two factors. Those who were settled in their career and soaring through the ranks eased into remote work nicely. Those entry level positions where the person was less established in their career have had a more difficult time with the transition.
A recent study found that high income earners at profitable companies where the group that have been the most pleased with the work from home transition. In a sense, you can say that this is the group of workers who were already on their career path, settled in and in the driver’s seat.
Another group of people who largely benefited from the new remote work lifestyle where the personalities of more introverted people. Now you could completely focus on the work at hand, use the technology to your benefit and worry less about the things that can bring on anxiety to an introvert. The looming small talk or how you appear that day. All these factors can greatly affect how well you accomplish the work in front of you. This is not to say that an office space is only for the extrovert. Office spaces are a great place where people who are talented in communicating with people can shine. Change this into completely online and that opportunity to shine can feel like it’s melted away.
How can you shine? Think of each platform your office uses to connect with each other while working remotely as a room. Google chats is a room like a heading over to someone’s desk, the email is like a private office, Zoom is like a boardroom, etc.
With almost a year of this new norm companies have been able to adjust quickly and most are choosing the route of a hybrid office space. Although some tasks can be easily done remotely in a pinch, numerous tasks are done much more effectively when done in person. Activities such as coaching, counselling, and providing advice and feedback; building relationships with you customer and colleague all bring a different “connection” when done in person. Hiring new employees into a company; negotiating and training can leave a new employee feeling isolated if all done remotely.
Survey’s have shown that majority of employees prefer to work remotely, coming in second would be a hybrid style of work. How do you run a meeting when half the team is clustered in a conference room while the others are on Zoom? How do you foster collaboration when some employees may never see each other in person and others are together multiple times per week?
Adapting a hybrid style seems to be a change that most companies are considering moving forward but larger companies are ready to get back to the normal; pre pandemic. A place where they feel safe. Others have welcomed the new change, learned and adapted. So what will be the new norm? Each office and industry are just as unique as it’s people. There is not a 'one size fits all' formula for success. Success is something learned and doesn’t happen by chance.