Hybrid Workplace

It’s time we start the tomorrow workplace dialogue and what better theme to start with than hybrid workplace. 

Why? Not because we think the office is dying, but because we need to keep pushing human productivity and collaboration to the next level. The way we work in the digital age plays a decisive role in our corporate culture, strategic execution and business model transformation. 

Rethink and replace

Covid-19 has done a lot of damage and it is our obligation to use those lessons for something positive. Even if it would mean abandoning old ideas of management and workplace thinking. At times like these we need to rethink, redefine and redesign to move forward stronger. Learning means replacing the old with the new.

Hybrid workplace allows us to take new and plural perspectives to work instead of old and singular. Hybrid workplace is allowing individuals and teams to design work for maximum productivity and collaboration with an agile mindset. 

This is sorely needed as even though computers have been our primary tool of work for decades, workplace is still firmly about the office, the beehive to which everyone in the organisation commutes daily regardless of the distance. Hybrid is making workplace about work not space. 

Choose windmill or shelter

The clear trend even prior to Covid-19 has been a steady decline in office use. We need to understand why that is and what it means. Should we embrace and enforce it or try to combat and reverse it? Whatever it is we need to take a clearer stand and be part of the solution not the problem. Smart people know which side you are on anyway.

There is obviously more than one factor driving the trend, but the most obvious one is the cloud. We simply no longer need physical visibility to our people as work itself has become 100% transparent with real time collaborative cloud computing. If it’s collaboration and culture you’re worried about then figure out new ways to grow those instead of the old.

No to monopolies 

Our bias towards seeing work synonymous to office runs deep and wide. But as Covid-19 has forced us to rethink office, an overwhelming majority of us have come to the realisation that hybrid is the ideal for personal well-being and productivity.

Hybrid is not saying working from home is the future but it is saying we should look for alternatives which also exist between home and the office. So instead of feeling sorry for the office’s eroding monopoly on work, we should obsess about finding new ways to make work and productivity flow uninterrupted. 

We should truly embrace hybrid workplace because at the end of the day all people, offices and organisations are different meaning there are no universal solutions applicable to all in every circumstance.

Repurpose and refit

Having a background in coworking I can truly appreciate the modern office experience, but for building productivity and personal well-being refurbishing offices is becoming less and less a priority. 

As we repurpose offices we will have to invest more in technology and services possibly at the expense of design.

Offices hold the key to the past and the future of work. Obsessing that everyone needs to be physically present is the past. Extending workplace to homes is the present. Virtual and distributed are the future. 

Work is not a place where people go, work is what people do. And the more we spend our time doing things instead of going to places the more work drives workplace happiness and sustainability too.

Ola Sundell

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