Excellent overview of the current state of hybrid work in 2022 by Sarah Green Carmichael.
Here’s how we can build on the milestones noted in the article and take work flexibility to the next level in 2023:
2022: Hybrid work is the norm.
2023: Expand beyond the duality (onsite or home) of “hybrid.” Optimize working flexibly within a broader range of place (onsite at the office, onsite at a co-working space, onsite with a client, home, etc.), space and time parameters that encompass all workers, not just those who can do aspects of their jobs from home.
2022: Manager and employee expectations of days in the office misalign by one day, and bosses have only so much power.2023: Managers and employees partner in a culture of shared leadership. They define together what their priorities are and where, when and how those priorities happen best. They then operate within those mutually agreed guardrails.
2022: Managers “gradually” got comfortable with managing and evaluating employees they don’t see every day.
2023: Accelerate, prioritize and scale the training of managers to effectively build and lead flexible work teams (nipping proximity bias in the bud) AND train employees to play their role in day-to-day flexible work success. Managers can’t do this alone.
2022: Surprise that managers are comfortable allowing remote work on four or more contiguous days.
2023: Limit “surprise” by having managers and their direct reports follow a consistent process to identify the priorities of the team and define where, when and how those priorities are accomplished best. Then there is a rationale behind the outcome (truth is in 2022 most decisions about where and when people work were pretty random and uncoordinated).
2022: One-size-fits-all arrangements don’t work.
2023: Approach flexibility as an intentional, dynamic way of operating–planning, coordinating and executing work–across workplaces, spaces and time, not as an arrangement. What that looks like will be determined by the unique realities of a business and its people.
2022: Long commutes are an obstacle to in-person work, especially for cities.
2023: Government (federal, state, local city and surrounding suburbs), transit, business and real estate leadership join forces to urgently reimagine how cities thrive in the flexible next of work.
2022: Hybrid is more than a schedule and more than just showing up.
2023: Embrace the opportunity to define how your organization will achieve its purpose, live its values, and execute its strategic priorities in a digitally-enabled flexible work reality that’s here to stay.
That’s what has to happen next in 2023 and the good news is…it’s already happening!