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Phil Simon

Award-Winning AuthorDynamic Keynote Speaker
Workplace-Technology Guru • Advisor Professor

On Hybrid Work, Book Figures, and da Vinci

Employer flexibility is on the rise—and I don't see that trend abating.
Nov | 22 | 2021

Nov | 22 | 2021 | }

Confession of a Design Snob

The pandemic has changed many things. Sadly and as a few recent webinars have reminded me, the design sensibility of many speakers and writers isn’t one of them. PowerPoint and Visio monstrosities remain prevalent in talks and business books. (Free, unsolicited writing/publishing tip: If your figures or tables require the viewer to squint and/or turn the page, you have failed. Don’t be surprised when they tune out.)

As an unabashed design snob, I was hell-bent on making the charts and tables in Reimagining Collaboration as simple, legible, and compelling as possible. To that end, I created mockups in Canva and then worked closely with my longtime designer. The time, effort, and cost paid off: I’m downright thrilled with the results. Here’s one of my faves:

Still, one original—and, dare I say, compelling—visual eluded the final version of the book:

The idea for this bad boy came to me in March of this year, well after the book had shipped. All is not lost, though. There are always foreign translations, future editions of the book, talks, tweets, and posts like this one.

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

I’m hardly the one to feel a tinge of creative regret after the big reveal. Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” No matter how much time you devote to a creative endeavor, at some point you need to let it go. (Cue Voltaire quote.)

The Employee-Employer Tension of Hybrid Work

Returning to the figure above, though, we’ve known for a long time now that people want to work from home roughly two to three days per week. Newly empowered workers are demanding that their work lives revolve around their personal ones—inverting the pre-pandemic status quo. As I’ve said in every talk that I’ve given on the new book over the past year, that will be the work legacy of COVID-19.

That’s all well and good, but will employers accommodate their employees’ preferences? Or will they stick to their guns and demand in-person, synchronous work?

To answer that question, consider some interesting data that WFH Research dropped last week:

It turns out that employers are generally listening to their workforces. Perhaps it will stem the Great Resignation, Reset, or whatever the cognoscenti are calling it these days.

Whether the trend of increased workplace flexibility will continue is anyone’s guess, but I’m betting that it will. Ditto for the continued adoption of internal collaboration hubs.

Simon Says: Hybrid work is here to stay—for some folks.

Here’s a prediction: In two years, the idea of a knowledge worker commuting every day to clock in from 9-5 will be as rare as distributed companies were 20 years ago.

Have a great holiday and stay safe,

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