What does a hybrid office demand from employees?
Before we talk good and bad, you need to know what a hybrid office needs from you. The main (not-so-easy) demand is being able to balance. Mortensen and Haas believe hybrid offices “require employees to be ambidextrous – able to balance between and navigate across both worlds – in a way that fully co-located or fully remote working [doesn’t].”
There’s a greater need for effective communication (you may be sitting next to a colleague one day, and not the next) and time management (can you complete the report your at-office boss needs while still fetching kids from school as a remote worker).
Another demand is needing to be pretty good at switching gears. (Maybe this is an episode of Top Gear?). A prime example is being comfortable with both virtual and in-person presentations. Employers expect the same stellar performance when you’re on-screen as when you’re face to face with a prospect. Being hybrid means you need to be adaptable and ensure consistent quality even when the environment changes.
If your entire office has been working remotely and there’s a transition to going hybrid, you may need to get used to reduced flexibility. Virtual meetings don’t usually drag for the simple reason that collaboration and ideation is trickier – someone isn’t popping out of the boardroom to grab a cup of coffee and then rushing back with the big idea that struck while they were boiling the kettle. So, this means your in-office colleagues may meet longer, brainstorm longer, sticky note all over the wall longer. And you? You’ll be there too, virtually, in your car, on your cell, collecting your dog from the vet while simultaneously trying to muffle her barks and contribute constructively to discussions.