Hybrid work is not a workplace location strategy. Hybrid work is an employee experience strategy.
Employers requesting a post pandemic ‘return to work’ base this on an outdated concept that work is a place we go to when for a significant number of employees work is in fact place-agnostic. Today’s one size fits all ‘return to work’ policy guidelines want to offer workplace certainty, while employees want flexibility and choice. They want their individuality respected.
Employees have changed; have been changed. For two years now, we have learnt new ways of working – have developed new rituals, new rules and behaviours that help us cope with complexity, volatility, ambiguity and uncertainty exacerbated by COVID. These ‘new’ work habits and behaviours are so much a part of our lives now. They are our lives.
In a world where black swans are becoming ordinary, having flexibility and choice helps us navigate work and personal life; helps us regain control over our lives. And while we do not always get it right, our newly discovered agency has empowered and emboldened us. So much so, that going ‘back to work’ is going backwards.
There is no going back to normal. A new normal has been born and she is already two years old.