Guest Column | June 21, 2021

Leading Remote Workers Through The Glass — It's Not About Hybrid

By Ray Stasieczko, Consultant/Speaker/Interviewer and Host of End Of The Day With Ray!

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A few years ago, I began suggesting that the new business world and much of life’s activities would occur in what I described as “The intersection between the physical and digital worlds.” It is so imperative for all to embrace the realities of that intersection.

It is now mandatory that all leaders understand how to lead from behind the glass in that intersection between the digital and physical worlds. Leaders must stop searching for a utopia where the old way takes power over creating the new way.

The last 14 months have awakened the status quo to the realities of a changing workplace that has been modifying drastically for over a decade. Unfortunately, the advances in technology have outpaced the baby boomer’s obsession to continue managing the workforce as if the clock stopped at the end of 1999.

We hear so many talking about the new hybrid workplace. A place balanced between the office location and working anywhere anytime. Unfortunately, when reality hits the status quo, the status quo begins a hybrid path to what others already figured out.

Is it possible that the word hybrid is describing procrastination? It seems that as technologies gain momentum, the lagers who continue fighting technology advances eventually give in and start a hybrid path to an eventual new reality. But unfortunately, this hybrid path often comes too late or attempts to replace the innovation, which caused the birth of the hybrid path. Those who already modified or created the innovated modification are provided a great head start in this delay.

Think of the many industries still living in a hybrid world looking to keep and find new customers. All while the innovators who created the replacement to the old way gain momentum, taking away the great relationships of the hybrid folks.

Here’s a few examples of innovation and the old way still attempting a hybrid approach.

Rideshare innovative way – Taxi industry with a half-ass hybrid app whose customers continue flocking to Uber and Lyft

Airbnb Innovative way – Hotel industry, again with clumsy hybrid app technology, still causing the guest to spend too much time in the physical world. 

Electric vehicles innovative way: Some auto manufacturers continue building hybrid electric cars with combustible motors. During the non-acceptance of an all-electric vehicle, the all-electric auto manufacturers are growing and perfecting their product, taking away the old way’s great relationship through a better experience.

As the old way searches for some perceived consensus in building a hybrid approach or fighting for buy-in. The new way continues in creating the new relevance—a relevance made by teams and customers who don’t care at all about the old way or pacifying the old way's insecurities.

So today, as I listen to leaders discussing how the pandemic has somehow created the realities of the modern workforce. It reminds me of how the status quo’s perceived comfort distracts them from getting on the path to continuous relevance.

With today’s innovation, leaders must embrace with full appreciation what is an uncontrollable course toward progress; progress brought forward through unprecedented technologies.

There is no need to create a hybrid business model for remote workforces. Instead, focus on the needed technologies that already exist, allowing your workforce to flourish while remote.

Organizations have been allowing workers remote capabilities for well over a decade. However, the global pandemic just forced all those ignoring the remote worker movement to finally recognize how technologies made remote work possible and brought a new awareness to all workers once held captive in the office. 

The technologies are readily available, and the modern worker has been successfully navigating nearly all aspects of their life with digital tools. Moreover, the global pandemic just increased the speed of the remote working movement.

“Leaders who focus on what they know will never outperform leaders who focus on what they need to learn.”

In closing, remember this, if your industry or organization is threatened by remote work. Ensure your prejudices to maintain the status quo’s comfort are not influencing your ambitions to adapt quickly. 

Please don’t fool yourself as the taxi industry, the hospitality industry, and now the auto industry continues fooling themselves - in the tenure of the status quo.

Because we all know this – “Status Quo is the killer of all that will be invented.”

About The Author

Ray Stasieczko is CEO/Founder of TEASRA, The Innovation Channel, and Host of The End of The Day With Ray! Ray also has an informative YouTube Channel.