Hybrid working, meaning a combination of office work and working remotely, is here to stay according to US corporation Microsoft and corporate social networking site LinkedIn.

The two companies’ CEOs, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and LinkedIn’s Ryan Roslansky, met to discuss crucial, observable patterns in the business world, including how companies have been evolving and adapting to a hybrid working model.

“As Satya and Ryan mentioned, the evolving Delta variant is compelling many of us to adjust plans for reopening worksites,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Modern Work Jared Spataro said on Thursday, September 9.

“It’s a stark reminder that this is the new normal,” Spataro added, explaining that people’s ability to come together will ‘ebb and flow’.

Spataro stated that Microsoft had been aiming to have its first day of full reopening of their Redmond headquarters in Washington on October 4 of this year but they reconsidered and postponed this event after having discussed it with their employees.

“Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we’ve decided against attempting to forecast a new date for a full reopening of our U.S. work sites in favour of opening U.S. work sites as soon as we’re able to do so safely based on public health guidance,” the Microsoft man said.

“From there, we’ll communicate a 30-day transition period that provides time for employees to prepare while allowing us to continue to be agile and flexible as we look to the data and make choices to protect employee health, safety and well-being,” he added.

In a report titled WTI Pulse Report: To Thrive in Hybrid Work, Build a Culture of Trust and Flexibility, Microsoft highlighted how pivotal it is for organisations to accept and support different models of working, as well as for them to be open to accepting ideas and suggestions floated internally.

“Microsoft employee survey data shows feelings of inclusion and manager support are at all-time highs, while self-reported productivity levels remain consistent,” Microsoft said in the report.

The report also makes note of several interesting points stemming from Microsoft’s survey of their 180,000 employees from around the world.

One is that organisations should accept what Microsoft calls the ‘hybrid paradox’, meaning the simultaneous desire of employees to be able to work from remote locations while at the same time wanting more face-to-face communication.

Moreover, the company emphasises that organisations should not rely on a solution or formula that works elsewhere and instead find the optimum model for their own requirements.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach: some employees cite work-life balance, focus time, and meetings as reasons to go into the office,” the report said. “Others see those as reasons to stay home,” it added.