A Reset for Return to the Office? The Journey to Hybrid Working


As the world of work shifts on its axis, Poly is working with the research team at Worktech on a rolling program to create new thinking, define the main challenges and explore emerging opportunities around hybrid working. We encourage our partners and customers to become involved in this work. The picture is changing quickly and in bringing people, spaces and technology together to form a new corporate canvas for hybrid work to unfold, there is much to discover. In this paper, we look at one of the key building blocks of the hybrid model — a successful and effective return to office (RTO). Why are so many companies around the world struggling with this, and what can be done to create a more seamless workplace re-entry for employees on the journey to hybrid?

Reluctance to Return

One of the most important pieces in the puzzle that is hybrid work is the return to office (RTO). Without bringing people back to the workplace in a timely and significant way, even if office attendance forms a new pattern without precedent before the global pandemic, a successful hybrid working model has no basis to develop. It could fail with a workforce that can only be described as remote. 

True flexibility comes from a mix of working modes. RTO is an essential part of that mix. The reasons for an effective return to the office are well rehearsed — more face-to-face collaboration is widely understood to bring key benefits in terms of learning, productivity and wellbeing as well as speed of innovation. Some employees also benefit from enhanced focus and privacy in the workplace. But many organizations around the world are struggling to bring their people back on a regular basis — especially larger ones.

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