Why hybrid work is (not) working!

Back in 2003, I was introduced to being able to work anytime, anywhere. I was working at Microsoft and we had decided that with the advent of the cloud, we would experience this for ourselves. A beautiful journey full of learning moments. For me, the most important lesson was: I took work home but not home to work. I thought it was quite normal to continue working in the evenings, even though I got really nervous if I stopped by the supermarket during the day because that was a convenient time. But the new way of working, as it was called then, was an important way for me to do my job well, to have a career and a good work-life balance. Did I always work at home? No absolutely not. I had arranged my week so that I went to the office several days a week, mainly to meet people, work with my teams to come up with new ideas or implement plans. So mainly NOT going to the office to sit in (online) meetings all day or hide behind my screen.

And then we had Corona! In 2020. So over 17 years after I had already got used to hybrid working. We went to the full extreme, which was just working from home. I was on the edge of my seat watching and learning what this did to all of us. And as always with things that change, it had positive and negative effects. But in any case, everyone had to start experiencing what works and what doesn’t, and each organisation had to think about how to give the right interpretation to ensure people were connected, stayed engaged, were able to work with the technology and had a proper work-life balance. A mega experiment and hybrid working was a reality.

And now? I do feel a little sad about the current interpretation at many organisations of hybrid working. Some organisations are still working exclusively remotely, others are back to the office altogether, and most companies are struggling with an interpretation somewhere in the middle. Should we now mandate 2 days? As far as I am concerned, that is not the right dialogue. Because this is not about setting rules but mainly about determining as an organisation how you can and want to organise work for your employees. Where and how do your employees add value, and how do you help them to do that well. Do people really dare to change the 9-to-5 structure? And for me, that means above all NOT being back in traffic jams anyway and then all diving behind our own screens, answering emails and fighting for a meeting room because you’re in online meetings all day. Our potential lies elsewhere. The future of work demands something different. Let’s discover and facilitate that. Hybrid working is about finding the right form!

De toekomst
van werken

Er wordt al jaren geschreven over de toekomst van werk. Maar is die er niet al lang? We kunnen er naar blijven kijken of over blijven nadenken maar we kunnen ook gewoon gaan doen!

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