Full gas, hybrid, electric: Moving to a better place?
The post covid agency operational model for some was already a little flexible pre Covid-19, though the majority still attended school with the register being read out each morning. My how things have changed in 18 months!
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), 81% of the Information & Communication industries continued to work remotely after the restrictions were lifted back in May. When you compare that to other sectors it’s by far the biggest proportion of any sector.
Given that collaboration is key to the success of creativity, this could come as a surprise. However, on the whole, we’re an adaptive industry continually moving forward but you have to ask “is there something missing”?
While this new model of working has changed dynamics, what has evolved is the ability to share, collaborate and develop our thinking in our ‘virtual huddles’. This is not just with our own teams but with our clients too. Whether its collaborative thinking sessions, or even holding global workshops, it’s amazing how we in the communication industry have grappled and then embraced the new way of working in a creative bear hug.
Looking forward it’s claimed that some 2 in 5 (41%) employers will embrace hybrid working by 2023, with only 30% expecting to have their people fully back on site before then. As you would expect, those who prefer the hybrid set up, 44% prefer the 50/50 split between home and office. However, what is most interesting is that more than a third (36%) of those polled in the Willis Towers Watson survey prefer to be in the workplace.
What we have noticed is that for new joiners and people under 40, is the need for office based collaboration and perhaps even more importantly the social benefits of office working, appears to be higher. This is a paradox in that the generation most familiar and well equipped to work remotely due to growing up as digital natives or at least starting careers within the fully electric era, are the ones who are crying out for social interaction through work. This is completely understandable – how many of us have built long lasting relationships through meeting in the office? It’s certainly more of a case of the digital generation needing to be even more connected.
When you look at ONS survey and our own experiences, what is clearly revealed is the need for different models of hybrid working for different people. It cannot be a one size suits all model. That’s the solution for us. It’s certainly a solution that works for people’s individual needs and lives and for us it definitely has increased productivity across our teams, so whether it’s hybrid working, full gas model in the office or fully electric, it’s a new model to power agency work life going forward.

So, whether it’s a full gas, hybrid or fully electric model, will depend on individual appetites and the ability for agencies like us to evolve, adapt and accommodate everyone’s preferred way of working. Either way, it’s working for us and our teams as we move forward.

 

Andrew Golding
Director
2112 Communications Limited

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