Happy with hybrid work? 7 trends to know

A confluence of innovative disruptions is making a “hybrid” set-up a fixture of an expanded definition of workplace. Also in this package

The “workplace” has been disrupted. It no longer refers to a specific physical location; rather, it’s asymmetric. Some call it the “blended” work mode. So, while many return to their traditional workplace as the pandemic wears off, others continue working remotely.

Now, the world of work faces another disruption. The key drivers: cost, productivity and technology. For many businesses and professionals, there’s no going back. The pandemic-driven shift is here to stay. Industry experts say it’s only bound to accelerate. These are the key trends to watch: 1. Hybrid work: A part of the mix, and more

The pandemic has disrupted our world, but work never stopped. It took another form, evolved. So remote work will not only be part of the mix, but will most likely accelerate Globally, the share of team members on a permanent remote work mode is projected to double — to 34.3% compared to the pre-pandemic 16.4%, a poll by the Enterprise Technology Research shows. Nameplate companies — from Google to Twitter and Facebook to Shopify — have embraced the new trend, by offering some form of offsite work for their staff. The goal posts of work has moved elsewhere. The pandemic has forced the move. In March 2021, Microsoft unveiled its hybrid work strategy for the company’s 160,000+ employees. In May 2021, CEO Sundar Pichai shared Google’s own approach to hybrid work for the company 140,000+ staff. The key message of such moves? Allow flexibility for employees. In-person work has its value. But so does remote work, including reduced cost, travel, insurance, traffic, emissions and expanded talent pool.

Lesson: In a post-pandemic world, value of remote work will remain. 2. Hybrid work is not for everyone – yet

The tools available to man — from stone to AI — define every era. By definition, remote work has always been with us, from the time of hunter-gathering societies. Fishermen, farmers, soldiers, train engineers, etc. are, by nature, remote workers. Futurist Peter Diamandis, in his book “Abundance”, pointed out that in 1790, 90% of all Americans made their living as farmers; today it’s less than 2%. But farming jobs did not disappear. Machinery has transformed agriculture.

Then genetic engineering came (with genetically modified foods), and now by AI, too. Certainly, construction, healthcare, assembly-line jobs, flying and dozens of other jobs will not be the stuff of remote work — but maybe not for long. Assembly-line work and face-to-face board meetings are fairly recent inventions, arising from the Industrial Revolution. Image Credit: Shutterstock Technology is a key determinant. In the not-too-distant future, 3D printing could change the nature of construction; robots could disrupt assembly-line work; telemedicine and genome sequencing are changing healthcare; full self-driving technology may disrupt cabbies; AI could further change agriculture or vertical farming.

Lesson: Our tools define the nature of work. 3. Productivity and real ‘presence’ go together

For some, remote or […]

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