Workplaces are in the midst of a revolution. Innovation, technology, and the COVID pandemic have all fueled the demand for workplace changes. Things are moving fast, and it’s imperative for companies to stay flexible and agile.
In this podcast episode, Miro Miroslavov, CEO at OfficeRnD, shares his experience with building a hybrid workplace company and his insights on the future of work. Miro speaks openly about embracing flexibility, the power held by employees, and finding success by starting small and listening to customers.
Join us as we discuss:
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid work existed, but not to the degree that it does today. For most companies, the idea of remote or hybrid work took away the ability to effectively lead teams — What if productivity goes down because management can’t keep an eye on their employees?
Pushing fear aside, the pandemic has shown multiple companies that a hybrid work environment is not only possible, but has proven profitable in a lot of situations.
More than just profit
How, then, did Miro know to jump on board the hybrid work bandwagon so early? While it’s easy to see that signing a 10 year lease to house his employees isn’t the most attractive option, it was about more than just the cost savings.
“It is the cost, but it’s more of fixing things up that, in my opinion, I cannot fix in 7-10 years into the future.” — Miro Miroslavov
He saw limitations to a static business that may have supported the company goals for a while, but would eventually fail if drastic changes were not made.
Imagine a scenario where Miro has 2,000 employees that need an office building to work in — Complete with physical maintenance of the space. 5 years down the road, however, the workforce has been cut in half. Now, that building that made sense before is a huge wasted expense.
Why, then, does Miro describe the pandemic as the perfect storm for his company if they had already transitioned? While his company was in a good position, selling a software product that manages spaces to a world that can no longer afford an office lease (during Covid) is daunting.
Luckily, those customers found their way through the pandemic and came out the other side.
Recently, Brian Chesky, current CEO of Airbnb, announced that the entire company would be hybrid/remote forever. A move that resulted in approximately 800,000 hits on their career page.
Conversely, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, proclaimed himself a traditionalist that didn’t know how to manage remote workers well — Requiring at least 3 days in the office for employees no matter what. A surprising statement considering the highly innovative company that he spoke for.
CEOs everywhere are trying to make the right decisions for their employees; and while those that stand firm on a more traditional approach to work are getting vilified on social media, it’s not easy for anyone right now.
Despite the hybrid nature of work established before the pandemic for Miro and his company, the total flexibility of working from wherever, whenever adds a whole new level of complexity that Miro was unfamiliar with.
So, as we move out of the pandemic, where should CEOs focus their efforts to get the most out of their workforce? Miro’s suggestion: Keep a close eye on all the positive and negative metrics that come out in the near future. Yes, remote work may look beneficial for your employees, but if that benefit doesn’t extend to your shareholders, it can be disastrous.
With the perspective of today, it’s clear to see that employees will define the future of work — A great power but an equally great burden. What might be best for the individual may not necessarily be best for the company.
Think of the employee that wants to work from home indefinitely. Yes, at-home work may be perfect for focused work. But the office is still the better option when it comes to strategic work like planning, cooperation, and innovation.
Miro comments on how interesting it will be to watch which companies thrive in the near future and which ones fail. His bet is on those willing to embrace the hybrid workspace.
“The more progressive companies like Airbnb will have an upper hand in this and some will lose traction; maybe we’ll have less motivated teams because they were forced and they will have to adjust eventually.” — Miro Miroslavov
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