- Hub Australia CEO Brad Krauskopf suggests that companies move beyond the idea of hybrid work to instead adopt a “Liberated Work” model.
- “Liberated Work” is allowing a job to be done where and when the worker sees fit.
- Almost 60 percent of corporate Australia employees said they expect to be working across multiple locations in the future.
By Brad Krauskopf, CEO of Hub Australia.
Conventional wisdom decreed that to get work done you needed to be somewhere to do it. Doing your job meant turning up to the office at 9:00 a.m. and staying put until 5:00 p.m.
But this wisdom, of course, has recently been blown to bits. Ubiquitous internet connections and collaborative tools such as Zoom, Slack and Teams, mean many of us not only survived but thrived during COVID-19 lockdowns. We realized we can achieve just as much in our living rooms as we ever did at our desks – and, by and large, manage life better, too.
But don’t be deceived into thinking a stark binary choice between working at home or working in the office is the way forward. Our current work setup is only the beginning of how our standards and expectations of work will change into the future.
Hub Australia and WORKTECH Academy’s Liberated Work report shows only one-fifth of corporate Australia employees ever see themselves returning full-time to the traditional office environment.
Almost 60 percent said they expected to be working across multiple locations in the future, from the office, home, suburban office hubs, coworking spaces, public institutions, and other locations of choice.
If nine-to-five office work was a one-size-fits-all method, then hybrid work is really just a two-sizes-fits-all solution. Is that really effective for the long-term future of work?
Hybrid work is indeed a major step forward, but it’s very far from the end of the road. Australia is on a journey towards genuine “Liberated Work,” which means jobs can be done where and when the worker sees fit.
Individuals, after all, are just that: individuals.
Everyone has their own thoughts about what an “ideal” work arrangement looks like. Some prefer to be around colleagues; others like to work alone. Some prefer set hours; others work better in the morning or at night.
“Liberated” doesn’t just mean libertarian, mind you. It doesn’t mean companies leave employees to sink or swim, or abandon a unified company culture. In fact, it may mean corporations are investing and diversifying in property and employees more than ever, rather than using the shift as a cost-cutting exercise.
The task at hand is to enable workers to be the best judge of how, when and where they best work, in line with what will make a business most productive and successful.
What’s in it for workers?
Big perks are ahead for employees at firms that embrace “Liberated Work.” The future will see financial allowances that enable workers to choose and invest in their own ecosystem of workspaces. And as we move beyond hybrid work, employees will be seeking out near-to-home satellite offices, bookable workspaces in office lobbies, advanced technology in libraries and cafes, and premium coworking spaces that offer hotel-style service.
And why shouldn’t businesses invest in and enable this new way of working? A study by Stanford University found that productivity gains nearly doubled when employees had a choice of where they worked, rather than just allowing them to work remotely.
So, while offices have now reopened, let’s embrace that they’ll never be quite the same again.
Because where there may be a perceived problem for businesses and commercial landlords, there is actually a prime opportunity to burst hybrid work’s bubble and create a truly advanced version of “Liberated Work.”