In March 2020, millions left the office and work has never been the same since.
The debate about hybrid working continues to exercise the minds of many senior execs, but is it much greater than about where we work? Is it instead a consequence of the evolution of how we work, why we work and the culture and purpose of who we work for?
My guest this week argues in her new book, The Nowhere Office, that we have a unique opportunity to reset the world of work.
Julia Hobsbawm writes extensively about work culture, work-life balance, and the age of overload. Julia is chair of The Demos Workshift Commission and founder and chair of Editorial Intelligence. In 2021 she was listed in the HR Most Influential list. Her book The Simplicity Principle won Best Business Book of 2020 whilst Fully Connected was shortlisted for Management Book of the Year.
In The Nowhere Office, Julia draws upon history, research, data and extensive interviews with some of the world’s leading workplace thinkers and philosophers looking at the social, cultural and political context of the changes in the workplace. For the HR profession, the challenge is immense.
This fascinating episode of the Oven-Ready HR podcast covers:
- What does working in an office mean today? The office used to be about the ‘place’ but now it’s about so much more
- The pandemic as the ‘tipping point’. Workers frustration with the world of work was already there and the pandemic became the agent of change
- Julia’s view that if hybrid working is good for employees, then surely that’s good for the organisation
- Her view on ‘Peloton politics’ and ‘flex shaming’, and the media stories surrounding some senior government workers who’ve found more time for the exercises regime
- How time has been called on offices being ‘palaces of presenteeism’
- How existing management and leadership systems are not fit for purpose, as evidenced by low productivity, absenteeism and toxic work culture
- The need for HR to shed some layers and ‘kill some darlings’
- How the office of the future is likely to resemble a private members’ club or an airline lounge.