Years ago I read a book called “A Whack on the Side of the Head” by Roger von Oech. It was designed to get people thinking more creatively by challenging conventional thinking and often way out exercises. He followed it up several years later with another book “A Kick in the Seat of the Pants”, which I also read. His point was that we often get stuck in ruts and need forceful action to resume productive thought. Creative Think
I think the pandemic has been such a force. First of all, it forced us to confront doing things remotely. Many companies resisted until they were forced to change their procedures and working arrangements for health reasons. Many found that the remote processing worked. And then, as the pandemic is receding they were confronted with another dilemma. When and how do we return to in-person work, and should we?
This has led to the rise of hybrid working conditions, where either people alternate between working at home and working in the office. Or the workforce at a company is split – some working remotely and some working in the office. This has also happened in non-profits organizations such as Toastmasters, where meetings can be conducted in a hybrid manner. Some members meet in person and some connect remotely. hybrid harmony – Search (bing.com)
The challenges involved include extra equipment and setups to enhance the audio and visual connections between the two groups. Making it so that everyone feels a part of the whole is a challenge, both technically and socially. There have been clubs that had been doing that before the pandemic but not many and the future holds both promise and challenge.
In a similar fashion, companies are coming to terms with the hybrid. Many companies have had employees working from home for years. In my industry, health insurance, most of the claims processors worked from home. Provider reps spent most of their time out in the field visiting doctors and hospitals and were rarely in the office. Especially with the advent of imaging, there was no need to physically be in the office. Even meetings can easily be done by phone or videoconferencing.The Rise of the Hybrid Workplace – Tango (tangoanalytics.com)
But there has always been resistance, either from a desire to micromanage (lack of trust in employees), or lack of imagination (seeing how it could work),. Or just reliance on the “tried and true” methods and fear of change. But when covid hit many places were forced to change, at least temporarily. It remains to be seen how long the changes will last. Will companies see the fading of the pandemic as an excuse to rush back to the office and resume operations as before? Only time will tell. What do you think and how has the covid and hybrid setup affected you? Inquiring minds are eager to hear.