Press releases, 2022-07-08
Why Hybrid Working Is Here To Stay
Konftel’s Jeff May says despite growing pressure for a more permanent office return, the hybrid model will win out in the end.
From Tesla boss Elon Musk to Boris Johnson and reports some staff face a 20% pay cut by working from home, it’s clear the pressure to return to the office on a more permanent basis continues to grow.
But I’m convinced hybrid working, combining a mix of the office and home, is here to stay for the foreseeable future, with perhaps no going back to pre-Covid working practices for many companies.
There are lots of reasons why people should return to their traditional desks, including team and culture building as well as impromptu information sharing. Equally there are many reasons why standard office hours are a thing of the past for people and roles that thrive on a more personal and focussed environment. Creating more flexibility often provides the best of both worlds.
Certainly anyone working for automotive and clean energy giant Tesla, seems to have limited WFH options. Boss Musk has reportedly ordered staff to return to the office full-time, declaring that working remotely is no longer acceptable.
Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week, he has apparently ordered.
Then Boris Johnson recently waded into the argument, stating WFH was a bad idea and people should return to their offices. He claimed people end up obsessively grazing from the fridge, admitting he often found himself spending an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee of hacking off a small piece of cheese before forgetting what it was you’re doing.
I’ve also been reading articles about how staff at a top London law firm have been told they can work from home permanently – but they will have to take a 20% pay cut.
There’s lots of economic reasons why a full return to the office will breathe new life into wider business communities such as shops, cafes and bars. There’s obviously a lot of associated real estate costs to consider too especially if too much office space remains empty on long term leases. Face–to-face interaction is crucial too, not just to catch up on the latest office gossip!
But technology such as video conferencing is now a proven alternative to the office commute and I would argue it is generally just as if not more productive and effective to work from anywhere suitable, including outside the standard 9-5 hours. Work is now what you do not where you go.
There’s sky high fuel prices, traffic delays, time and the work life balance. Plus there’s the environmental impact too. Equally companies that reduce their overall running costs will be very keen to do so. The short term office rental market is booming.
Flexible working is already a key recruitment tool to maintain and attract new staff and I think this will be a growing factor to shape future work trends. Several surveys seem to back this up, which have been picked up by the wider national media.
For example a whopping 75 per cent of Londoners say they will never return to the office full time after experiencing WFH. Around 80 per cent felt working away from the office had a positive impact. For me, it’s easy to see why.
Another important factor is the impact and ramifications on other staff if they can’t all work flexibly. Many organisations have already recognised that to recruit and retain their best talent, they have to offer competitive terms which now include flexible working clauses.
The four-day working week is another interesting concept which seems to be gaining momentum which will further break the chains of Monday-Friday standard office life, and require wider flexibility.
Wherever people work they need the right conditions to perform to their best – and have an equal voice especially when joining meetings remotely. Meeting equity really matters.
Another factor for companies to consider is do they invest in dedicated in room PC-based conferencing or wish staff to bring their own laptop and start a video call on apps of their choice.
Konftel now provides a choice for both. In addition our interactive room type guide is a popular way to identify the right equipment for the right rooms.
Clearly in terms of the general WFH outlook, one size doesn’t fit all and there’s currently lots of fluidity in the market. Every company has to operate in the best way for themselves and their workforce. Whilst one particular company might have all their staff back in the office, their suppliers might not, so that will mean remote meetings are still required.
Choice is good, however and wherever people work. But there’s no time frame or any certainty that we are going back to the way the world was before.
Konftel is a leading company within collaboration endpoint solutions. Since 1988, our mission has been to help people in businesses around the world to have meetings regardless of distance. We know that remote collaboration is an effective way to save time, money and contribute to a more sustainable world. We are Climate Neutral Certified, offering customers an option to purchase video conferencing equipment while keeping a clear climate conscience. Crystal clear audio and a sharp video image are essential for efficient meetings; this is why we only focus on cutting-edge technology in our Collaboration Solutions. Our audio technology OmniSound® is built into all Konftel Conference phones and devices. The products are sold globally under the Konftel brand and our headquarters are based in Sweden. Read more about the company and our products at konftel.com