Hybrid Living: The Way Employees Want To Work

hybrid living

Business, we need to talk about hybrid living. The world of work is changing, and workers are increasingly vocal about their expectations. Whether industry leaders like it or not, it’s an urgent conversation that will transform how we work.

“Generation Z represents a continuation and perhaps the culmination of much larger historical forces driving transformations in the workplace that will redefine the experience of workers of all ages.” – What Makes Gen Z Different, And Not So Different, From Older Employees, Forbes.

We can all agree that the conversation is happening. But we also know that there are those “ostriches” – or the world of business – sticking their heads firmly in the sand.

Fortunately, Cloudbooking is the expert in the field, and we’re fluent in ostrich.  

Hybrid Living Vs Hybrid Workplace

Hybrid living empowers workers to work from their kitchen, the beach, or the local coffee shop. No longer content to live a divided life, workers are taking back their time. Multi-generational workers are no longer willing to let work rule their world. Unlike a hybrid workplace, hybrid living isn’t about dividing your time between remote and in-office work. Instead, the office is everywhere and anywhere – and it works around you.

Hybrid working- a halfway house that splits the week between the office and home – has yet to prove malleable for many. We need to offer more. 

“If I’m personalising my work, how do I do that but also meet my team where I need to meet them? Personalisation that is team first- and that’s the movement that we’re moving into, and it’s a very new way of configuration.” – Denise Brouder, Founder SWAYworkplace.

Check out our webinar with our CEO Gerry Brennan and industry experts Marissa Huber from Cushman & Wakefield and Denise Brouder from SWAYworkplace, for an in-depth discussion on the future of how we work here. 

It's time to make work fit around life - not the other way around.

The ‘Business Collective’ Need to Rethink Their Offering

We’re not referring to businesses. There’s plenty of qualitative evidence that individual corporations already have this much-needed discussion internally. Journalists and commentators also cover its elements, albeit one small sub-topic at a time.

We’re talking instead about ‘business’: the collective; the business community; bosses; boards; government; the media. 

To embrace this change in employee expectations and be willing to listen to employee needs, businesses must ask themselves: Have we truly understood the working world post-covid? 

A post-covid workplace must embrace the needs of workers to attract talent and improve employee retention.

Ask Yourself: 

What must we embrace to ensure conventional working models are entirely repurposed and fit for the next decade? And what legacy practices or expectations do we need to let go?

At Cloudbooking, we’re seeing our clients lean into understanding the shifts we all face as large corporations regarding workplace trends and employee expectations

“Change is happening; change so significant that it would be dangerous to ignore”.

Change is scary but necessary- this is the story most consultants and tech vendors employ to win attention and drive action among prospective buyers.

“The best part of the last two years was the world’s largest work-from-home experiment. And it worked! The technology is now overwhelming us on the march towards this new way of working” – Gerry Brennan, CEO of Cloudbooking.

Like this snazzy chameleon, embracing change can have fabulous results.

Change And More Of The Same

As business buyers, we hear it too often and become anaesthetised, too inured by the constant bombardment of ‘change’ that we see as nothing more than a continuation of the same.

But as we seek to steady the ship inside our organisations and to focus on profit and loss, growth, and supply chains while navigating recession in the next two years, we’d be foolhardy not to add working models and employee engagement to that list. 

In America, ignoring this change costs business money and leaves office spaces disturbingly empty once thriving industry properties are like abandoned houses haunted by the ghost of office practices past. 

The American market is waking up to this new reality: “Workers’ office use on average is around 50% of pre-pandemic levels in 10 major U.S.” – Wall Street Journal.

Workers want (and expect) to enjoy time with their family and not prioritise being in the office.

Hybrid Working Vs Hybrid Living

The advantages of a hybrid working policy from an employer’s point of view are clear: there is structure, a plan, and a schedule. But hybrid working does not match the fluidity craved by the employees it is supposed to serve.

Since tasting fully remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic and the following various iterations of flexible working, employees are looking for a working experience that suits their needs. Covid-19 forced many to recognise the importance of their loved ones and that life is for living – we don’t want to be shut in anymore. 

The new generation of talent you’re battling for is increasingly unwilling to fit its daily demands around work. Employees instead want work to fit around their progressively complex lives.

  • Parents feel empowered to put childcare first.
  • Pet owners expect to be able to bring their animals to the office.
  • Individuals and teams want to insert strategies around physical and mental health, exercise, and hobbies.
  • Second jobs and ‘side hustles’ are increasingly factored into working practices.
  • Commuters are choosing to get on a train or walk idly over to their desks at home.

We’re referring to the net effect of these ever-evolving expectations from our employees. Hybrid living – distinct from hybrid working – emphasises blending two separate parts of our daily lives into one. 

Pets are family, and workers want a hybrid working lifestyle that accommodates their needs.

How To Fix the Problem 

Of course, identifying a shift or a trend is all very well. The more significant part of the problem is how to respond to and accommodate that change. What does it mean for our teams? For collaboration culture? Our hiring practices? Optimising our extensive and expensive properties?

“If I do my work and I do it well and am able to do it in my car on a road trip or in an office, or an aeroplane, then that should be good. As long as I can communicate that to the team, I’m getting my deliverables met, and those expectations are aligned with everybody I’m working with.” – Marissa Huber, Workplace Strategy Director, Cushman & Wakefield.

We readily accept that high street organisation and usage require a rethink due to the rapid growth of e-commerce. Shifting cultural practices require us to reimagine our business offering to attract a new kind of employee. 

Beyond expert insights shared by the likes of Julia Hobsbawm, author of ‘The Nowhere Office: Reinventing Work and the Workplace of the Future’ and columnist for Bloomberg’s Work Shift; remote work expert Rowena Hennigan and others, we aren’t doing enough to address this defining issue for the future of work.

Work from anywhere and live life to the fullest - start the journey now.

Get Going

We are well-placed to see if we can track down and gather expertise along with best (and worst) practices.

A good start is a recent conversation we hosted between Cloudbooking founder Gerry Brennan, who sat down with the insightful Marissa Huber from Cushman & Wakefield and Denise Brouder from SWAYworkplace to discuss the re-imagination of the workplace.

Look out for more on this issue because it isn’t going away. 

For any of us. 

Welcome to the age of hybrid living. 

To discuss how Cloudbooking can get your business fully loaded for remote and hybrid working, get in touch here

If you need a solution to help you create an efficient, flexible or hybrid working environment with smart office capabilities, contact the Cloudbooking team. Schedule an obligation-free demo to learn how our workspace management platform works.

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