The new normal: what has hybrid working taught us?
Looking back to this time in 2019, before the pandemic, most of us were commuting to and from work every day and working almost exclusively at our own desk in the office. This seems like some strange distant memory now though as the way we’ve worked has changed so much in recent years. We’ve had to work from home, we’ve begun using new technology, and we’ve definitely developed and embraced a new working “normal”.
work efficiently wherever and whenever
The one thing that’s clear is that Technology is no longer a barrier to remote and on-the-go working. It is constantly improving and adapting, allowing us to work more and more efficiently from wherever and whenever we choose. At the start of the pandemic, when we were all forced to work from home, Microsoft announced that due to the accelerated changes in working behaviour, they achieved 2 years’ digital transformation in 2 months. Not only is this amazing growth, but it highlights that the changes in our working habits didn’t happen because of the pandemic, these changes were coming anyway, but being forced to work from home acted as a catalyst to bring it to the masses sooner. We know this to be true particularly as our work habits have – for the most part – changed for good with the majority of organisations comfortably settling into hybrid working for the foreseeable future.
The tangible things of how and where we work aren’t the only things at play here though. Company culture has been forced to adapt as well. The pandemic afforded many people the opportunity to “take stock” and revaluate what’s important. Commuting to work for an hour or more and working long days in a crowded office just isn’t what people are after anymore. Let’s not forget the bosses of organisations had these reflections as well, so now, a few years on, we can see the fruits of this really come into their own, with businesses more focussed on employee wellbeing. We all need to ensure that we continue on this trajectory and allow employees to work in a way that suits them individually.
Additionally, the time that is spent in the office is more valuable, more focussed and we want to make the most of it – and we’re valuing our colleagues time more as well. Our time in the office is used more efficiently and we’re more productive as a result.
So, will we ever work in the same way that we used to? We think the answer really is “yes” and “no”. Hybrid working seems to be how most organisations have settled and we don’t think it’s going anywhere any time soon. Excuse the cliché, but it really is the best of both worlds! It allows us to maintain that empathy, flexibility, and make the most of the technology available to us, all whilst appreciating and holding onto the benefits of office working.
What does your new normal look like? How has technology impacted your working habits? We’d love to know your thoughts.