Hybrid Working: Re-writing the Norms of Office life

The newfound popularity of hybrid working could be argued as a ‘happy accident’ to many people in Scotland and across the globe since the pandemic hit.

A recent study by the Timewise Scottish has found that 27% of roles advertised in 2021 mentioned flexible working options. This comes from the previous year having 25% and pre pandemic years 19%.

This proves that flexible working is seen, by both employers and employees, as an attractive and safe attribute to a job role. So what could hybrid working look like in the long run, and how, and more importantly, where, do we work?

It can be hard to guide others in the right direction when it comes to working space and flexibility, especially when you may already have a preference to something yourself. We hope to open the realms of hybrid working possibilities to you, in which should, in turn, help guide others to the best working options for their company.

What really is Hybrid working?

So, you would think that after the time we have spent working from home, whilst slowly trying to integrate back into the office again, that we would know what hybrid working is… but do we?

The term ‘hybrid working’ could be considered as different to every company: whether it is hybrid working hours, location, or both. The trouble with defining hybrid working is that ironically, it is such a varied working model, so much so that it can vary week to week for an individual. And that is arguably the beauty of it – hybrid working lends itself to flexibility.  

Hybrid working is an active step towards flexibility; and that level, or type, can vary from company to company.

Keeping options open

One of the wonderful things about hybrid-working is that you have options. And plenty of them. So much so in fact that it can get quite overwhelming. What is the right choice to make? What if this doesn’t work out?

But the possibilities are endless, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them are right for everyone. It is important to make sure that the right choices are made; either for yourself or a company you are supporting. Often, trial and error is the best method in which to do that. But if you are pushed for time, already decided or not even sure where to go from here, flexibility is, and always will be, key for success.

A way to dip the toes of many companies into the pool of working environments, is to suggest trying co-working spaces. A simple search of ‘coworking spaces in Scotland’ can bring up a lot more spaces across the country than you would think. From hot desks to meeting spaces, co-working spaces boast flexibility and many offer an extensive variety of membership packages, to meet every need.

Helen Denny, Strategic Innovation Lead for co-working space, The Melting Pot Edinburgh, states:

“The way we work has changed forever, with a growing shift away from the traditional 9-to-5 working week. The pandemic has only accelerated this change with recent research  showing that 84% of Scottish workers have or want flexibility, of this percentage a further 69% would like more flex, this includes control over where, when and how they work. There are many reason why people want flex including; caring responsibilities, a better work-life balance to improving wellbeing. For employers who offer hybrid and flexible working the impact has been positive, leading to an increase in productivity, employee retention to a better work-life balance across the business. However implementing hybrid and flexible working which meets the needs both of the individual and the business doesn’t come without its challenges. Research shows that the benefits far out way the challenges.”

Still unsure?

If you are still feeling apprehensive about navigating through all the possibilities of working environments for the long-term,  you are not alone. With the uncertainty from the last few years, it would only make sense that most will still be uncomfortable when it comes to transitioning back to a ‘new normal’.

The Can Do Collective have teamed up with The Melting Pot Edinburgh to bring our partners a workshop all about hybrid-working. This will also give Collective members the chance to use and explore The Melting Pot’s facilities.

Helen Denny notes:

In our facilitated conversation on the 27th April, we will explore some of the common challenges that employers have faced, solutions and dig into why hybrid / flexible working is core to the future of work.”

The Hybrid Workshop, facilitated by Helen Denny, will be an excellent opportunity for guests to:

– Look at inclusion and proximity biases

– Delve into the challenges and opportunities of hybrid working

– Be provided with insightful tips and tools to help you on your journey

The Hybrid workshop and Collective social will take place on the 27th, with three main activities taking place: An opportunity to use The Melting Pot’s co-working space, a facilitated Hybrid Workshop, and a Collective Social event. Members can choose whether they want to attend for the full day, or just certain activities.

Find out more about the Hybrid Workshop and Collective Social.

Interested in joining the Collective and taking part in our events? Learn how you can join us.

Additional Sources