And the way we live and work has certainly been shaken up in the last 18 months – especially for the corporate world.
So now that we’re 18 months into what is effectively an amazing global ‘experiment’ into the changing world of work, there’s been much said about the ‘new’ hybrid model of working in the media and all the potential benefits it can bring to our working lives.
But the remote and hybrid models aren’t really new to the entrepreneurial world are they? Whilst most corporates were still unquestioningly following that model of a Monday-Friday, 9-5 commute into a central city location, we Entrepreneurs recognised quite some time ago that there was little point in creating a fabulous business only to continue working in the same we we always had in the corporate world.
It would, therefore, be easy to think that there’s nothing for the entrepreneurial world to learn from all of this, but we think that there is.
Firstly, you can’t fail to notice that whilst some companies are embracing the hybrid model, some are resisting with all their might. They cite ‘collaboration’, ‘communication’, and ‘business as usual’ as reasons to get people back into their offices sooner than later. But in doing so are ignoring (and indeed alienating and potentially losing) much of their workforce who have tasted a more flexible way of working, and don’t want to go back to how things were. Not fully anyway.
Secondly, now that we’re 18 months in, even the most hardened ‘flexible working’ campaigner is realising that working home-alone all the time just doesn’t suit everyone. It’s lonely. Not a word that is often used, or a feeling that is very cool to admit. But it’s clear that many have come to realise that all but the most introvert of us does crave and need at least some form of interaction during their working day.
So whilst the central city office market might be taking a bit of a nosedive, the alternative ‘third’ spaces in the ‘burbs’ are really starting to thrive. And it’s no longer the preserve of the digital nomad nursing a single ‘all-day coffee’. Anywhere with spare capacity during the day such as pubs, hotels, community centres and gyms, are gearing up to take advantage of the de-centralisation of our working lives by offering day, weekly and monthly memberships for individuals and teams who are keen to meet face to face in locations outside of the cities.
And thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, our planet needs this respite from the craziness of uninspiring and perhaps now even selfish and thoughtless daily commutes into a central city location. We’ve given our world a bit of time and space to breathe, and it (and probably we) are feeling all the better for it.