It’s been over a year now, that we’ve been doing the hybrid-working ‘Oki Koki’. As someone with little to no dancing ability, this was going to be a steep learning curve.

You only need to check your LinkedIn feed, listen to an industry podcast or, more tellingly, speak with a colleague and the topic of hybrid working tends to crop up.

Should we all be back in the office five days a week? Alan Sugar says so. Should we be free to work (from) where we like? Airbnb say so.

Is there a generational difference? You’d be led to believe so. Have expectations from employees changed since covid? Absolutely.

In my view there is no easy answer to the question, what is the right balance of hybrid working? And whilst our clients have really varied policies pertaining to this, research we’ve conducted on behalf of a range of clients, shows that lifestyle fit has become one of the most sought-after propositions by jobseekers for any organisation, regardless of industry or sector.

Within Client Service at Creed, we’ve been trialling a variety of different ways to get the balance right. And whilst it started as a 2-step, we’re getting much closer to dancing a full-on Charleston now.

What I’ve learned though throughout this year is that irrespective of generation, gender, tenure, introvert/extrovert and so on, this topic is very personal to people. And hybrid working has become somewhat of an expectation, though an expectation where people are better understanding the pros and cons. There’s a lot to be gained from being in the office, but there’s also a lot to be gained working from home.

My take is that finding the right balance ensures you maintain your team culture and community. It provides personal benefit to those who wish to commute, and spend less on travel, whilst allowing time with one another in person to listen, learn, develop, grow, collaborate and build meaningful relationships.

The balance must also benefit the business, our clients and our people. Finding it isn’t easy. But something so personal that has the impact to profoundly affect your business and its culture, is worth spending the time to get right.

There is no one size fits all, I’m not sure there ever will be. The way we work I think has now been fundamentally changed for the foreseeable and I believe those who embrace and adapt will fair all the better than those who don’t.

The Oki Koki will continue, and it’s a dance we’re much better at now than we were 12 months ago.

Dave Walstow
Associate Director