My Initial Thoughts on Hybrid Work

Hybrid working is THE topic of 2021. As companies return to the office, albeit in a different way than before, the conversations I hear about being flexible in work and solving the transition through "Hybrid working."

Hybrid work promises the best of both worlds. Remote workers and a group in one location working seamlessly. It takes practice to get to that point. Otherwise, you'll relive the early days of remote work. I have a story around this:

We were working on a project for a client. They (around four of them) were working in a WeWork in London. We (myself and a designer) were remote, working from our respective homes. This was around 2019.

The client didn't make themselves available to be part of the design process. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case when you don't get full buy-in.

We were sharing the learnings from user testing on a Zoom call and we discovered that they couldn't follow the conversation. To this day, I don't know what it was, but I doubt it was anything to do with the screen share. If I was going to guess, it was four people around a small screen laptop and not hearing the conversation.

It finally came to ahead when the client decided that "this wasn't working" and they ended the call. We realised later that they continued the conversation and made some poor decisions based on not really understanding the learnings.

So this is the kind of thing that goes through my mind when people ask for Hybrid working. We've had a year of forced remote work (with some people still not getting the tech) and now we're hitting the idea that there's a middle ground.

It's not that simple. Tech helps, but people have to learn a new way of working - again. Do you know what? Some people don't have the patience or humility to learn. The danger is when we're now talking about the leadership of a business.

Before you aim for hybrid working, understand what that actually means first. They say it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit.

Ross works directly with founders & visionary teams.
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