I’m all for hybrid working. My mantra for the last twenty years or so is to work where you can add the most value. I am fascinated, therefore, by the current debates around the future of work. The tension in the market over working from home or working from the office is being played out in the media yet it is not that simple. Hybrid working should not be about one or the other but rather about the more complex mix of working requirements: by yourself; in your team; in with your customers; quiet; communicative; online; offline.
The list goes on, as will the debate which more often than not is underpinned by property considerations rather than work. Again, I have been saying for a long time that work should be designed around the people first and the building second. The latter must work for the former and not the other way round.
Hybrid is a challenge, for me at least, when it comes to putting on events. I have a lot coming up in September as you may know and with the uncertainty over COVID restrictions and a change in people’s preference i am planning that some of the events will be a mix of the physical and the online.
Some people are itching to get back to being there in person, others less so while many find the online format easier to manage and less time consuming. I miss the personal contact of a live event and, in many ways, it was this that I used to go to events for. Meeting colleagues, old or new, was a fundamental reason to attend. Times have changed though.
Hybrid events add complexity and with complexity comes cost. Hybrid events require a physical space and cameras to live stream. No longer is it sufficient to have everyone on the end of a Zoom call, you will need live coverage at the event. Some speakers will happily turn up while others, for preference or for travel, will want to stay online. Catering becomes more problematic as people have the choice right up to the start of the event.
Still, this is a challenge that I, and those helping me, will rise to. We only have a few weeks now to get it sorted. I’m sure we will.