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The Hybrid Workplace | English Lesson

Dec 6, 2021

In today’s podcast, we are going to look at what has become a reality for many of you: hybrid work. And by hybrid work, I mean when you some of your job at your traditional place of work, and some of it at home… or at some other place.  Human resource departments and management have a lot of thinking and planning to do.

 Vocabulary:

First, here is some vocabulary that you can use to better discuss the issue of hybrid work, now that many of us are returning to work.

Workforce: People who are engaged in, or ready to work. The workers.

Workplace: The place where people work, like an office, school, or factory.

Remote work: Remote work (also known as work from home or telecommuting,  is a type of flexible working arrangement that allows an employee to work from home, or some other location.

Hybrid working: Hybrid working is a type of flexible working where an employee splits their time between the workplace and working remotely

Pilot program: A pilot program, also called a trial, is a small-scale, short-term experiment that helps an organization learn how a project might work.

Employee wellbeing: The happiness, comfort, and health of employees. Also called “welfare”.

Employee morale: The confidence, enthusiasm, and happiness of employees.

Personnel: people employed in an organization

Well, now that many more people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and the infection rate has dropped, employers – the people, company, or institution that employ people, that give them work – employers, are trying to find a new model of work that allows them to get their employees back to the office, at least for a few days per week. For many, this is a pilot program, which will show them how to arrange the location of where work gets done in the future.

Employees, on the other hand, are not always so anxious to return to their traditional workplace. For some, homeworking has been great! They avoid the traffic, they wear what they want, and they have newfound independence. For other employees though, the opposite is true. They want to go back to work because they feel more comfortable there, and it is better for their morale.

It's complicated!

From the employers’ perspective, managing two shifts. First, moving people away from the office into their homes, and now, back from the homes to the office.  Human resource departments are also known as personnel departments (note the spelling and pronunciation)— personnel departments manage the personnel––the workers––are asking themselves important questions about worker productivity, their morale (and by morale I mean the mood, the feelings of the worker), and the potential cost savings.

There might also be a readjustment of expenditures as some employers begin to reimburse their workers for money they need to spend on the setup and maintenance of their home office.

Working from the office has benefits. Working from home has benefits. In order to try to bring the best of both environments together, so-called “working hubs” are being set up. Hubs blend home and office working and allow for small-scale collaboration and face-to-face meetings. They are convenient for workers to reach.

Here are a few questions that personnel departments are thinking about. What do you think?

How has the working relationship changed between employees during the remote working phase? How will that change be felt when employees begin to meet?

Will a return to a hybrid workplace affect men and women the same way?

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