With more workers navigating the landscape of return to work, the hybrid format is proving to be more than a passing trend. This shift is because most of the long-term effects of the pandemic are largely unknown, incorporating remote working into the business model is prudent. It will allow employers to pivot quickly, should we go back into lockdown in the future.
Moreover, it’s in line with what employees want. Now that workers have had a taste of such a choice, flexibility comes up repeatedly, as one of the most important things for employees. And lastly, as people become more conscious of the social and environmental impact of what we do, companies have a responsibility to cut unnecessary travel.
However, we need to be realistic and admit that moving towards a new way of working means that employees need to develop a new skill set. Certain things are harder if we are not face-to-face. This could be anything from mending fractious working relationships, creative brainstorming and “reading the room,” a vital aspect of managing conflict and stopping it from escalating. This is not easy to do over video conference. But can still be accomplished if approached prudently. We must find a way to improve how we communicate virtually.