Hybrid working is likely to be 2021’s buzzword. But what do multinational leaders really think about it? Harvard Business Review recently published a fascinating first-hand perspective from a former Google leader.
Whilst many think ‘hybrid’ means ‘new’, Laszlo Bock, former Senior VP of People Operations at Google, argues that many professionals split their week between office and home long before Covid-19. Google, Bock tells us, had many employees who worked from home two or three days a week; similarly, it was the norm for our financial services clients to divide their diary pre-pandemic.
Indeed, for years businesses have told us that the city isn’t merely ‘where the office is’. Instead, it is a hub for a diverse range of business activities; a place to meet, train, and socialise. When diaries are full, professionals come into London. On quieter days, you can concentrate at home. In the capital, there has long been a shift towards ownership over when and where you work.
Interestingly, Bock goes on to argue that the fundamentals of work haven’t changed as much as we think in the wake of the pandemic. Ultimately, making hybrid work comes down to the basics of brilliant team work. In his article, drawing insight from his popular 2015 book Work Rules!, Bock sets out five top tips for creating an exceptional team and, in turn, a successful hybrid model.
For example, employees who feel their work does not contribute to their company’s mission are a staggering 630% more likely to quit. He therefore argues that, to build a brilliant team that remains engaged whilst away from the office, the key is to create moments of purpose. We have, for instance, seen the value that weekly in-person meetings can bring to our clients. Sitting around a table to brainstorm, discuss and direct a business has perhaps never been important.
As we enter 2022, we must remember that hybrid working has been successfully deployed for years. What business leaders should do now is to learn from these examples and seek to pepper their team’s week with moments of motivation.