A new report by McKinsey says most organisations have “only scratched the surface” when it comes to implementing flexible working practices.
The consultancy firm conducted a survey with more than 50 corporate property, workplace and employee experience leaders across a range of industries in ten countries, including the UK. Its questions were based on a set of 12 capabilities that McKinsey has identified as important to successful hybrid work transformations.
There were encouraging results in terms of areas such as employee sentiment, understanding when virtual and in-person interaction is important, and considering environmental sustainability in real estate decisions. However, McKinsey reported it had “observed that relatively few companies have aggressively addressed the full spectrum of capabilities which would create a best-in-class workplace experience”. This, it said, was “surprising”.
Almost three-quarters of respondents said they were using advanced workplace technologies to enable staff to work from anywhere. This demonstrates the robustness of categories such as videoconferencing and digital collaboration tools (smart whiteboards, for example). Future devices to facilitate interactions with colleagues are predicted to feature innovations such as augmented and virtual reality.
McKinsey claims that “almost all companies are struggling with hybrid” even though they acknowledge this way of working as the ‘new normal’. This is more evident in traditional, largely office-based and multinational companies – where perceptions around presence in the office equating to productivity and success may still prevail.
The report concludes: “Many company leaders today are preoccupied with the ongoing debate about days in the office rather than the capabilities and strategies being deployed to create a sustainable, responsive and magnetic workplace experience.
“A world in which flexible work is the norm offers opportunities for companies to create happier, more productive workforces while maximising efficiency in real estate spending. Getting that right isn’t simple, but the rewards can be well worth the effort.”
Read the full document here.