Bored with the hybrid worker obsession? Say hi to the hyper worker

I’m sorry in advance if you are still preoccupied by where people work; five, four, three, two days a week. Or even just one day of the week from home, coffee shop, pub turned drop-in office, layby at the side of the A34, kitchen, bedroom, etc. A few of us even took not going to the office dead seriously by abandoning their desk in Docklands, and, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall style, taking themselves down to a small holding in Dorset. “That’ll be the chickens. Let me know if you want some eggs when I come up to town in seven weeks.”

Any obsession with today’s workplaces was of course fuelled by COVID, then by the Great Resignation, and thereafter a post-pandemic lockdown euphoria that coincided with a skills shortage. This was all combined with an urban exodus by the many whose garden-less flat with on-street parking bought them a small pile in the country, a new work/life balance, and a predilection for posting pics from the Old World of busy underground stations and a protestation of never going back to such mad ways of living.

People professionals, progressive CEOs, and work-life balance coaches bombarded LinkedIn with posts postulating that those who even suggested human beings enjoyed being with each other in an office were at best ignorant of a new normal. At worst? These folk were WFH heretics who deserved a seat in a dunking chair (preferably in their own back garden to avoid the witch trial commute). Float and you were a WFH heretic. Sink and you were a true believer.

So in my first prediction of 2023, I believe it is time we accept that we can all work from anywhere and get over hybrid working being the Be All and End All of attracting talent, making your business a great place to work, while remaining growing and profitable.

It is time we accept that we can all work from anywhere and get over hybrid working being Be All and End All

Instead of this preoccupation about the place we prop our professions, we will instead focus our fixations on the thing that is going to dramatically improve our businesses and the lives of the people who work in them. And that is focusing on how we work.

Because readers of ERP Today, here is the truth. Being unproductive, unsatisfied, unloved, and under-remunerated in your garden room or Hobbit Hole leaves you in exactly the same puddle of gloom, apart from you don’t get to commute to see your fellow travelers in the office, a place where you at least get free coffee and your boss pays your heating bill for the day. And, if you are a business owner and you think ‘empowering’ your people to follow the wrong processes, using the wrong tools, in the wrong way, for the wrong job – whilst being allowed to ‘work’ meaning everything will be hunky dory – then you have been totally distracted on what really makes a business and its people thrive.

So move over the Hybrid Worker, and say hello to a new generation of hyper-productive, hyper-happy, and hyper-contributing Hyper Workers.

No, I am not talking about genetically-modified humans who sprout new hands and limbs. The Hyper Worker will be digitally enhanced and augmented and make light work of drudgery, stand up against hours wasted on Excel or doing paperwork, and dash out data-driven decisions instead of making stuff up as they go along.

The Hyper Worker is going to take advantage of, and be empowered by, the fusion of a set of technologies that will place them and the companies they work in at the head of the Darwinian pack of economic evolution.

The Hyper Worker will be digitally enhanced and augmented and make light work of drudgery

Your business, if it adopts a Hyper Worker policy, will be inundated with the best talent your industry has to offer, because you can elevate your job adverts above the rest of the pack who are still banging on about their apparently amazing hybrid work options. Below is an example I’ve cooked up.

Hyper Worker Wanted (Finance): Fast growing business wants an enthusiastic and empowered individual to come and make incredibly smart decisions in our finance function. Your job will be to make decisions on how best we can improve cash flow, control costs, increase revenues and grow our profitability. Your own personal digital automation assistant will take care of mundane tasks that will stop you from focusing on those core outcomes, letting you excel at your job. Your digital data assistant will make sure you have every insight you need to make the small or big decisions that will make a huge difference to our business. And your digital workflow assistant will make sure everything you need to do is as simple and seamless as possible so you don’t waste valuable time making mistakes. 

“We don’t care where you work.  We care about you knowing everything is being done to make your job as fulfilling as possible and that you simply love doing the things that add value to our business, not simply adding tasks to your day or your job description.”

And once you have your Hyper Workforce thanks to job ads like these, none of your Hyper Workers will ever leave, because no other business will be able to give them the work/life synergy they deserve.

The Hyper Worker will be empowered to get the right things done in the most efficient, accurate, intelligent, and meaningful way, 100 percent focused on using their professional talents to make a difference and deliver outstanding outcomes.

Hyper Workers of course will earn more than their hybrid working colleagues because their economic output will be worthy of greater remuneration. And you will be happy to pay them because your workforce will be as productive as possible because you will do the one thing many businesses simply don’t focus on: wasting the time of your people!

My prediction may sound like the wishful thinking of a strategy officer, but trust me, the Hyper Worker is already emerging and being empowered by technological innovation that will become the new normal in new generations of core business operations platforms that sit in your business today.

The Hyper Worker will undoubtedly emerge in 2023, so if you are truly interested in putting your people at the core of your business strategy, you will start to build your Hyper Worker strategy at the heart of your business.

Right, I am off to put the kettle on and feed the chickens.