Blog

Published on: 04 January 2023

Updated on: 16 January 2023

Read time: 2 minutes

Jason Batour

Creative Director

“Is hybrid working?” My daughter heard the last part of the conversation with my wife. She looked worried – “What’s wrong with the car, daddy?”

How to explain, quickly and simply, before little eyes glaze over and the moment has gone: “A change in the workplace is happening, which lets employees choose how and where they want to work. We call it 'hybrid working’.”

No, too late. I’ve lost her. Never mind…

It got me thinking though. Given the choice, flexible working or static, the majority of us would choose the obvious. Why? Because flexibility allows more freedom and provides us with the ability to manage our time and, more importantly, our lives.

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The opportunity to make our own decisions; to balance our time in the office, from home, or somewhere else, is undoubtedly something we all need in the modern day.

And so, it should be.

Life is about experiences and the ability to choose what we want and how we go about it. This is a positive move as long as we act appropriately, respectfully and morally correct.

As workplace consultants, we design work settings to suit peoples’ needs. One aspect of this is the reviewing of work patterns. Over the years, shifts in those patterns have tended to occur over a gradual period of time. But, recently, there has been a sharp rise in what could be described as a cavalier attitude to gaining that idealistic desire for a work-life balance.

As we all know, this isn't that easy to achieve, but we're seeing there is more onus on ourselves to strive towards, and grab hold of, that.

The demographics, lifestyles and personalities in a workplace vary so much. It stands to reason, therefore, that our ability to manage our time and tasks will also vary. So, what would help?

It has always been challenging to manage or advise from an employer's perspective when it comes to how we work. Historically, 9 to 5, spent sitting at the same desk for five days a week, was perceived as normal. It’s not anymore.

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Life seems more complex now, with the added strain of working long days. There's a blur between work, home, and anything else in between. This can’t be blamed on any particular factor. Over the years, the human desire to evolve has, in part, been led by technology and, with the added explosion of social media and its usage, we see our lives moving at such a fast pace. There are no brakes and this has become the status quo.

As this isn’t going to change any time soon, how are we expected to accommodate it all? How do we position ourselves to be able to cope with life’s demands?

Modern-day living, especially for a family, is difficult. Very difficult. The cost of living adds strain. Most families can’t operate comfortably on a single income and so both parents must work and share the parenting. We’re constantly reminded about the benefits of being present for our children but it’s a struggle for a lot of us to fit everything in.

Managing our time to accommodate everyone and live a healthier lifestyle benefits everyone. And by doing so, our mental wellness has the space to improve. This is all pretty much common sense, by the way and I’m certain it registers with the majority – this is my version of kid speak. It’s not hard to understand.

In our line of work, we see a typical trend, when analysing data from most surveys carried out over the past few years, whereby most people opt for more flexibility in their working days. The ability to manage your day to suit work and personal tasks makes such a difference in modern-day living and the pandemic proved that we can work in a multi-discipline environment.

And most companies, from our observations, accept that or, at least, appreciate this - especially those who are focused on retaining staff and attracting new talent. One solution doesn't suit all, and Office Principles firmly advocates that, but not being able to have a flexible approach to managing our fast-paced lives seems very difficult to ignore.

The traditional work pattern in the office is slowly becoming archived. Mainstream work patterns are changing - the benefits of adopting a hybrid approach outweigh the historical static approach. Change is already here and it’s becoming infectious.

We have the technology. We have the desire. We have a say. We should all have the opportunity to manage our daily routine productively to suit our individual needs. Whatever generation you are, flexibility in the workplace allows us to develop and strive in a positive and productive way.

Is adopting a hybrid approach working? Wrong question. Why haven't you adopted a hybrid approach? That’s the right question. And when my daughter is older, these won’t even be questions. Hybrid will be a well-established norm.

Meet the Author

Jason Batour

Creative Director

With almost thirty years’ industry experience, working across a varying scale of projects, Jason has a strong track record in the commercial sector and is renowned for taking a flexible approach to suit the needs of any given client. Design-led and people-focused, Jason’s interest lies in creating dynamic and inspiring designs that are functional and have longevity.

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