After reading the article “Needed: Design Thinking for Remote and Hybrid Workplaces” by Joe McKendrick, I concluded that industries across a wide spectrum have changed how they accept remote and hybrid work while adjusting to a new world where individuals and families require flexibility and time. This is also true within my own world in marketing and design as my needs have changed over the course of my career as well. Expectations for working in the office as opposed to working from home has been struggle for leaders of organizations and this article expands on the idea that multiple teams all work and operate differently. Most companies have found that a significant portion of their work can be done remotely. But the exact portion of work that is remote and in person is a design decision that should be made at the team level, rather than a uniform rule across the entire organization. (McKendrick, 2022) This article goes on to explain that function, location, organization, culture, and scheduling all play a pivotal role in whether or not remote and hybrid working environments are beneficial for a company. It was thought that leaders were always responsible for these five aspects of their business but some of the control has shifted away from leadership as technology, individual needs, and access to files has become easier. Ensuring everyone has access to the same opportunities, regardless of where they work, is also a vital component to a successful remote work culture. (McKendrick, 2022)

The concepts of design thinking, when it comes to remote and hybrid working, is ideal in these types of environments. Design thinking requires a certain level of self-motivation and independent thought as one gains a thorough understanding of their customer or issue and they work on defining and providing ideas that will help their clients solve their problem. Remote and hybrid work can sound lonely and quiet but it’s quite the opposite. There is easy and direct access to others at anytime and with the presentation technology at our fingertips, presenting solutions has become easier. The risk of working remotely is minimal and I have personally found it to be beneficial for my work habits and professional and personal relationships. I feel freedom to speak up and explain more than I would in a conference room that can feel stuffy and closed in. There seems to be more energy and motivation when people feel the freedom to express, and they feel more value in their work. According to the 2021 State of Remote Work Report from Owl Labs, 2021 was the year the world stayed remote, and 90% of the 2,050 full-time remote workers surveyed said they were as productive or more productive working remotely, compared to when they toiled in the office. (Robinson, 2022)

The statistic that was just stated is one thing that is missing in the article reviewed. Without true stats on the work environment and understanding how people feel and what motivates them would have made this article stronger and more complete. The author wrote directly about the need for remote and hybrid workplaces but didn’t go on to explain the impact of working remotely and how the adjustment occurred pre- and post-Covid. Further access to this information would have made this article stand out more instead of having the reader search for other articles on the percentage of people working remotely and how it has affected them personally and professionally. Towards the end of the article the author states that providing options of working remotely can create an equitable environment in which both remote and in-office employees can equally engage and collaborate in a transparent and efficient way and make meaningful contributions that fuel innovation and business growth. (McKendrick, 2022) This is such a strong statement in the midst of questioning the importance of hybrid working environments. The remote work revolution unleashed by the pandemic has brought huge changes in the labor market, with social and economic implications that we’ll be dealing with for generations. (Fox, 2022)

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