Back at the Catalyst in Newcastle, in a conversation somewhere around Womble Bond Dickinson’s event. I can’t recall if I was listening to a panel, sitting in a panel or just having a chat with a group of people but someone said that there was no definition of what hybrid working is.
I’m sure they were wrong. There must be hundreds and I am not going to do a search as I know I will be swamped with responses. I’m sure that they are also right in that, as there are so many definitions there probably isn’t one that is definitive.
Forward to Birmingham and a gathering of the board of directors of UKC3. We were meeting for a strategy and planning day. For one reason or another, mainly to do with health, one of the group was unable to sit in the meeting room with the rest of us and ended up sitting in a public area in the hotel. We all dialled into a Google meet so everyone could attend. Eight of us were sitting around a table, all on our own devices, while one of us sat ten metres away.
Is this hybrid? Yes but it is unlikely to be an example I would have found in any search and so this proves the point. Hybrid working is such a broad church that having a hard and fast definition is impossible. Any attempt to define it can only include a broad understanding of location, time, conditions, technology and style etc.
Like art, hybrid working is whatever I say it is. Here then is my attempt to define what hybrid means to me:
Hybrid working is where organisations and their workers agree on a set of objectives, outputs and outcomes, that are arrived at through a flexible combination of different working practices and styles, which may include differing locations, times and technologies.
Is this right or wrong? Yes, it is as right or wrong as any other definition.