Reimagining the Post Pandemic Workforce

By Andrea Alexander, Aaron De Smet, and Mihir Mysore

Pandemic-style working from home may not translate easily to a “next normal” mix of on-site and remote working.

As the pandemic begins to ease, many companies are planning a new combination of remote and on-site working, a hybrid virtual model in which some employees are on premises, while others work from home. The new model promises greater access to talent, increased productivity for individuals and small teams, lower costs, more individual flexibility, and improved employee experiences.

While these potential benefits are substantial, history shows that mixing virtual and on-site working might be a lot harder than it looks—despite its success during the pandemic. Consider how Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer ended that company’s remote-working experiment in 2013, observing that the company needed to become “one Yahoo!” again, or how HP Inc. did the same that year. Specific reasons may have varied. But in each case, the downsides of remote working at scale came to outweigh the positives.

Get creative and help your team embrace a new combination of remote and on-site working. This hybrid virtual model allows some employees to work on premises, while others work from home.

Originally published on mckinsey.com July 7, 2020