The Future is Hybrid

Written by Schiavello's People & Culture Consulting
The Future is a Hybrid Workplace

2020 has seen the greatest, most widespread disruptions of our generation. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused extreme disturbances across the globe, significantly impacting a diverse range of industries and demographic groups. And although COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on us, this pandemic was not the first event to threaten our day-to-day lives, nor will it be the last. As the dust settles on 2020 and we all begin to look forward to a new year and a ‘fresh start’, new and existing disruptions will begin to surface and will inevitably impact our daily lives.

New technologies, economic changes and climate change – plus the residual impact that COVID-19 will have on our lives – will continue to disrupt and challenge our way of living and our way of working moving forward. Whilst the ability for businesses to adapt and respond to pressures was put under the microscope as a result of COVID-19, there is still more to overcome and the need for businesses to be able to adapt and respond is only going to increase.

As employees begin to return to the workplace, in varying degrees, businesses will have to be nimble and able to adjust to the different ways that we will all be working in 2021 and beyond. Business malleability will be essential as employees will all settle back into the workplace differently; having a direct impact on the business that they work for. Whilst many employees will likely be keen to return to the workplace and interact with peers, there will be some who are more reluctant to return due to psychological discomfort. However as time passes and employees establish their new work routines, we will start to see more changes in how individuals and teams will work in the workplace, establishing a new way of working that is more aligned to their long-term needs.

This means that even as businesses prepare for employees to return to the workplace for a COVID normal 2021, they will still need to be prepared to change and evolve the workplace over time. 2021 has been often referred to as ‘the hybrid year’ for workplaces, as there are still far too many unknown variables for any business to be truly confident that they know how their workplaces will function in a year’s time. In the meantime, businesses should focus on 2 things. The first is the collection and interpretation of workplace data so that they are able to understand and effectively manage the workplace based on the changing needs of their employees. Secondly, businesses should opt for flexible workplace solutions to make their workplaces as flexible as possible. The malleability provided will then allow businesses to adapt and change their workplaces based on their workplace data and employees’ needs.