THE FUTURE OF WORK
YOU South Africa|13 January 2022
Many companies are adopting a hybrid model which allows employees to work from home some of the time. But what does this mean exactly?
MAXINE PETERS

IT WAS actually just madness – a crazy way of operating that we all bought into even though there was so much about it that didn’t make sense.

That’s how one productivity expert describes the days of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to work in the morning then wasting more time sitting on gridlocked highways to get home in the afternoon.

It took a pandemic to expose the “dysfunctional relationship” we had with our workspaces, says productivity expert Bruce Daisley.

“Commuting for an hour each way to sit at your desk answering emails – in hindsight that looks like an act of collective lunacy,” says Daisley, who was previously vice president of Twitter’s European division.

Covid-19 has exposed the myth that working from an office equals productivity and businesses have taken note, experts say. More companies are adopting a hybrid model that allows staff to work remotely on some days and in the office on others.

The trend has taken hold worldwide. Google is embracing it, with CEO Sunda Pichai saying he believes it won’t only boost productivity but also improve employee wellbeing.

His counterpart at Microsoft, Satya Nadella, echoed this sentiment, telling Forbes companies have no choice because hybrid working scenarios are “our future”.

But unlike the chaos of the past two years, companies and employees need to know how to normalise hybrid working to ensure everyone benefits.

Here’s what you need to know about this new style of work.

MAKE THE MOST OF BOTH WORLDS

Think about what a typical week looks like. What tasks can you complete at the office? Which would you be better off doing at home where you can be guaranteed peace and quiet with few interruptions?

Working from home may offer more focus but going into the office allows you to engage with co-workers in ways that a screen doesn’t allow you to do.

Face-to-face interaction is great for morale and will make you feel more connected as a team, Daisley points out. Video calls are a substitute but can’t replicate the real deal, especially when people don’t turn on their cameras.

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