New hybrid working environments create challenges for innovation-fuelled growth

New hybrid working environments create challenges for innovation-fuelled growth

New hybrid working environments create challenges for innovation-fuelled growth

A survey of current working practices carried out by Cambridge Ahead – a membership organisation of nearly 50 major employers in the city – found widespread concern that hybrid working has reduced the opportunities for people to connect beyond their immediate team. Collaboration between teams and with other organisations was more likely to have worsened than improved.

The research found a major shift to remote working with time spent in the workplace falling to 2.5 days on average in the last six months – down from 4.7 days on average before the pandemic. On average, that was expected to increase to 3 days over the next 12 months.

Hybrid working was seen to have been better for the environment and for the organisation’s productivity and financial position but worse for collaboration, professional development, company culture, recruitment and some people’s wellbeing.

Of those looking to boost collaboration over the next 12 months, most effort is focused on supporting culture through encouraging behaviours and setting policies, management activities such as better co-ordination and communications, and adoption of new technology. Very few respondents were planning to change their workplace locations, create new spaces, or reconfigure interiors at this stage.

Commenting on the findings, Jane Paterson-Todd, CEO of Cambridge Ahead, said: “We know that Cambridge’s strength as a high-growth economy lies in its networks between individuals and organisations, which drive cross-fertilisation and creativity. Now, as people spend more time working from home, either in the area or increasingly elsewhere in the country, the nature of the networks that have fuelled the Cambridge eco-system is changing.

“It’s this kind of impact that we’re looking to spot and address through our New Era for the Cambridge Economy (NECE) project. We’re investigating how new behaviours driven by the pandemic may change the way the Cambridge economy functions, and identifying what needs to happen to put our city – and others like it – in the best position to thrive sustainably.”

Dr David Cleevely, entrepreneur, Cambridge Angel and Chair of the NECE Steering Committee, said: “Cambridge companies have a long history of achieving huge competitive advantage through innovation, from commercialising scientific breakthrough to reinventing business models. We can’t underestimate the role that chance meetings have played in Cambridge’s ability to pursue ideas that change the world. Increasingly, we may need to process engineer our serendipity, finding new ways to ensure we continue to work together, design space and connect in the city of ideas.

“The NECE project is an example of influential organisations coming together in a high-growth city to adopt an anti-fragile way of thinking and operating – not just attempting to become more resilient and robust, but also seeking to use a shock like Covid to learn, adapt and improve our economy and quality of life.”

Key findings include:

  • Survey respondents reported employees spent 2.5 days a week in the workplace on average over the six months to November 2021 (down from 4.7 days before the pandemic). Respondents expected that to increase to 3.1 days on average over the next 12 months.
  • More than half of respondents reported that at least some employees were now allowed to choose where in the country to base themselves, and more than a quarter said some employees were allowed to base themselves abroad.
  • While just over a quarter thought collaboration within their team had improved, the same amount thought it had worsened. Getting on for half thought collaboration between teams within their organisation had deteriorated, and more than a third thought collaboration between organisations had worsened.
  • Respondents were optimistic about the future, expecting a positive impact on all the factors measured in due course, suggesting that people see the current time as a period of transition.

Post source : Cambridge Ahead

About The Author

Anthony has worked in the construction industry for many years and looks forward to bringing you news and stories on the highways industry from all over the world.

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