We no longer work from sunrise to sunset but from zoom to zoom. We wake up looking at our cell phone and we go to sleep looking at our cell phone. And between one and the other we spend between 8 and 12 hours in front of a screen. Postmodern work was supposed to be more effective and that we would have technology at our service to relieve us of tasks and free up some time on the agenda to think, reflect, devise, create and transform. And it seems that this was not the case, quite the opposite. But the pandemic disrupted some plans and accelerated others. As a result, Generation H was born, the Hybrid generation.
The hybrid life that had been incubating for years was manifested with all its power with the declaration of the state of emergency and the mandatory quarantines.
Today’s work activity is being exposed to a digital “burn out” of epic proportions.
“It doesn’t give me life,” says a CEO, “we work more hours than a clock,” says a sales manager discouragedly, “I’ve made up meetings on the agenda to be able to have time,” says another.
I cannot give names, but there are not few who already make this type of reflections.
The digital acceleration to which the pandemic led us first and the quarantine later, made many people discover for the first time the benefits of digital tools, but along the way, very few took into account the importance of assuming digitization with a different perspective. little more human.
“We are not machines, but we work as such” reflected the CEO of a company that has not seen his children for days, although they all live under the same roof.
Work in new scenarios.
Remote work has definitely had mixed results. On the one hand, it has given many employees greater flexibility and eased the burden of childcare and commuting. But on the other hand, many people miss the independence of life in the office and outside the home, and while some workers have improved their performance in a remote environment, others have seen their productivity decline due to multiple domestic distractions.
Employers also have mixed feelings about telecommuting. While remote working saves a lot of money by ditching physical office space, it also limits collaboration and community production to some extent.
Still, several companies are making plans to allow employees to continue working in this new format, either full-time or part-time. But those companies could be the exception rather than the norm.
There are many people who have been hired by companies that they have never physically visited, nor seen face to face with their bosses or with their colleagues or work colleagues, rather than by zoom.
But how do you share and build a culture and a team spirit from a distance?
The problem is that the amount of work and connection hours you spend video conferencing with internal teams is subtracted from the hours spent on creativity, productivity and efficiency.
Virtuality, as fast as it is efficient, has not contemplated, however, basic aspects of sociology and psychology.
The confinement between four walls is nothing, compared to the confinement between screens.
Burdened, exhausted, exhausted and anxious, to mention just a few of the symptoms that are already on the surface and that summarize quite well, what the digitalization of work has generated in many of us.
Leadership, empathy and closeness to face-to-face without glass in between, seem to have faded at the same speed at which digital was embraced.
An increasingly virtual world, more digital and above all more hybrid.
And now we discover, thanks to new studies, that the performance of many workers has not only not improved, but has worsened in this “virtual, digital or hybrid” work environment.
The productivity of those who work from home has been a general concern since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some studies have suggested that working from home decreases productivity, while others have however reached the opposite conclusion.
It would be advisable to take advantage of the experiences lived and value the best that digitization has given us, but at the same time, become aware that people are not machines and that they need their spaces, just as the mind also needs their rhythm.
All work requires a rhythm, and part of that rhythm is also the silences; As in music, having daily spaces without Zoom, Teams, Meet or WhatsApp is essential to work better.
The results of these months of learning will probably end up leading many companies and workers to seek new combinations of face-to-face and remote work.
The hybrid model and the hybrid generation are already among us and finding the ideal balance between connection and disconnection is up to us.