Even as corporations and leaders weigh in on the various models of returning to work, the one thing they seem to know for sure is that the office will never be the same – not at least in the near future.
The Indian-origin tech boss began by pointing out something that is beginning to become clearer by the day, i.e., “there is no single standard or blueprint for hybrid work.”
Nadella said that “every organisation’s approach will need to be different to meet the unique needs of their people.”
But organisations will have to do more than just figure out the needs of their employees, they will also have to deal with what Nadella calls the “hybrid work paradox.”
“According to our research, the vast majority of employees say they want more flexible remote work options, but at the same time also say they want more in-person collaboration, post-pandemic. This is the hybrid work paradox,” the 53-year-old wrote.
Elaborating further on this, Nadella says that the company has seen anomalies when it comes to in-person attendance at their offices around the world.
“In China, for example, 81 per cent of our employees are going back to the worksite three-plus days per week, compared with pre-pandemic attendance, while in Australia, in-person attendance is just 19 percent of what it was pre-pandemic,” he cited as an example.
Calling hybrid work “the biggest shift to how we work in our generation,” Nadella said that it will require a new operating model, spanning people, places, and processes.
Sharing snapshots of the plan from the company’s playbook, Nadella divided it into three parts – people, places, and process.
“When it comes to preparing our employees for hybrid work, we are prioritising three things: social capital, knowledge capital, and human capital,” he said.
Remote working has made people accustomed to not just flexible working hours but also flexibility in the location from where they work.
Nadella reiterates this in his post, saying, “In this new era of hybrid work, we will no longer rely solely on shared physical location or a campus to collaborate, connect, or build social capital. But that doesn’t mean physical places and spaces aren’t important. They will just need to be re-imagined.”
In addition to talking about Microsoft’s tools to facilitate in this new workplace, the tech leaders also gives the example of companies like Accenture that have created a “nth floor virtual office experiences where employees can meet new colleagues and have ‘water cooler moments’, entirely in mixed reality.”
Another important aspect of this new work model will also be a focus on security. As people work from different locations, Nadella says companies will have to ensure that all corporate resources are managed and secure.
Read the full post