Why Empathy is important for our personal development as well as for others
Having empathy for others can be vital at work and doesn’t just benefit others but can also improve our own self-development.
‘Hybrid’ seems to have become the new buzz-word over the last few weeks and it’s certainly a model that appears to be catching on across office-based industries. But is it really a new way of working?
In reality, Hybrid working is basically the same as what we have always called ‘flexible working’ - you spend some days in the office and some working from home. Of course, a small percentage of people have been doing this for years but the difference is that it now seems to be becoming the norm.
The pandemic thrust most of us into remote working with no preparation. Employers were obviously concerned but it turns out that many people not only enjoy this way of working and find it helpful with their home life but, to the surprise of many business owners, on the whole people are also more productive than they are in the office. So now that bosses have relaxed about the productivity side of things, companies are far more open to remote working.
On the flip side, for young professionals who are just starting out in the world of work and those who live alone, many couldn’t wait to get back into the office to feel part of the team again and build new or better relationships and rapport with colleagues.
In a recent survey, 66%of people said they are missing the office environment including; the emotional wellbeing of being around other people socially, the benefits of being able to have a quick informal chat about a work-related matter and being able to bounce ideas off workmates. Yet out of those same people, 84% said they are also enjoying the flexibility and productivity of working from home - especially women who, even in 2021, still tend to take the majority of responsibility for childcare and running the household.
And so, hybrid working has become the obvious way forward.
While there are still some companies who feel their employees need to be in the office 9-5, the majority seem to think that hybrid is the way forward, giving their employees better work/life balance and empowering them to manage their time as they see fit. It also benefits employers as they now need less office space if they are not accommodating all workers all day, every day.
And it’s no longer just small consultancies or start-ups who are adopting this model, large organisations are on-board with the idea too. UBS have announced that they are letting 2/3 of workforce become hybrid permanently and ASDA are allowing hybrid working for office staff.
Recruiters are also reporting that candidates are actually starting to turn down roles which require them to be in the office 5 days a week in favour of more flexible opportunities, so employers need to consider the balance they offer if they want to attract the best candidates.
Many people report being more productive at home as they can avoid unplanned interruptions or unscheduled meetings and have no commute - all of which gives them more time to focus on tasks - but equally they prefer to have a couple of days of interacting with human beings, having lunch or drinks with colleagues and not filling the day with back-to-back Zoom meetings. There is a social element to being part of a team and things such as company culture, maintaining continuity and connection are hard to reproduce virtually.
Organisations are also concerned about creating the right balance to avoid ‘in office’ and ‘out of office’ groups within their workforce which can create division and animosity between individuals who never get to work together in person. In a recent article, Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford University & Codirector at the National Bureau of Economic Research, recommends that “To encourage coordination, companies should also make sure that teams that often work together have at least 2 days of overlap in the office”. This considered approach to Hybrid working allows for a mix of social interaction and flexibility which resolves this potential issue.
So, it looks like hybrid working is here to stay and with its wellbeing and productivity benefits, the only thing it’s left us all wondering is why we didn’t start doing it years ago!
If you’ve been taking stock of your work/life balance during the pandemic and you’re thinking of a change of direction or if you’re just starting out and want to make the right career choice for you, contact Careers in Depth today to see how we can help get you on the right path.
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