Before the joys of various lockdowns whenever I heard the term ‘hybrid’ I automatically thought of expensive cars that could only transport me a few hundred miles without having to recharge!
Today as I drive into work, to my ‘hybrid’ job, it’s now a big topic of conversation. It was even discussed in detail on Radio 5 live this morning (yes I am of that age!) For some people, a commute is still a thing of the past, and listening to the radio whilst travelling down the motorway is not something they’re keen to return to anytime soon.
Listening to the ongoing debate, I’m lost to find the right answer on how companies should set out their new stall. However, working in recruitment allows me to speak to a wide range of business on a daily basis and learn about their challenges and individual needs. My experience over the past 18 months has taught me that there is no straight answer.
For my role, hybrid working is my preferred choice as it gives me flexibility to work from home a couple of days a week and avoid the stress of a 40 minute commute in rush hour. However, without spending time in close proximity to my colleagues in the office I can’t be as effective in my role, which would have a negative impact on the work I do. What’s more, I miss them!
Thankfully, working for a company like Axon Moore has meant my workplace recognises the wider advantages that flexible ‘hybrid’ working can bring to everyone’s role, routine and rhythm. Being physically in the office on certain core days undoubtedly benefits team work and camaraderie. However, I’ve found that by combining this with a flexible style of working on non-core days I am more motivated, I stay fresher and I manage to avoid the frustration of an 80 minute round trip commute. This extra or ‘bonus’ time means I can be more efficient and focus on other areas of my role, which benefits my team in different ways.
However, amongst my many different types of client, some simply don’t have the luxury of being able to work from home, e.g. those who work in product-related industries where being physically present is essential to their role. For those that do have the luxury, for example in service related businesses like Axon Moore, it is a benefit not to be taken for granted. I don’t have to be physically present to perform my role, hit my targets and succeed, however, my experience of the past 18 months has taught me that to be part of tight knit team that wants to be truly collaborative, motivate one another and share in one another’s successes, spending time together in person, not just on a screen or on the phone is really important.
There really is no right or wrong here as we try to adapt to a new way of working, but we do have to be more flexible in whatever ways we can if we want to stay effective. It just has to be what feels right for your individual business and you as an employee. What are your thoughts?