What will hybrid-working mean for marketing operations?

Working remotelyWhat’s attractive about hybrid-working for the employer?

Large office buildings are expensive to rent and operate. Having one central location can leave an organisation more vulnerable to disruption.

Businesses need flexibility; being asked to sign a long lease that commits you to a fixed-sized building is, increasingly, an unattractive option.

The truth is, that many 20th century assumptions about how a business should operate are being debunked.

Technology has changed everything. There will be no going back.

What’s attractive about hybrid-working for the employee?

Long commutes, long hours in the office, a ‘shirt and tie’, flying there-and-back in a day for a 1-hour meeting; is that really the smart way to work?

Achieving a work-life balance matters to the young. They don’t care about being seen to be the last to leave the office at the end of the day. Attitudes have changed.

When you work, and where you work, now matters less. The Monday-to-Friday-nine-to-five routine is old-hat. Many now work part-time, or on short-term contracts, or no contract at all. For better or worse, weekdays and weekends are less defined. When it comes to time, employers and employees have to give and take.

Flexibility is as attractive to some as pay. People increasingly value their mental and physical health. The old status symbols of house and car are becoming less important; houses are too expensive for most to ever own and cars pollute and depreciate. This is not 1980. People want a life, not just stuff.

Today’s graduates will be forced to work for more years than their parents and grandparents did. That is of course unless automation or AI renders their job redundant – but then they will just retrain and adapt. The concept of ‘a job for life’ died last century. Many will have multiple careers.

All of these factors point to a future when the relationship between work and life is very different from before. The Religion of Workism is heading for its Reformation.

Who’s moving to a hybrid-working model?

The U.K. Civil Service and Standard Chartered Bank are amongst the lastest converts to a more flexible approach to ‘work’. Their staff can now pick and choose where to work via a network of local serviced office spaces which span the globe. Twitter Inc. has told its staff that they can work from home forevermore if that’s what they want. Many more companies are following suit.

Start-ups have, for many years, started life in flexible shared office environments. It seems likely that, rather than scale up (at great cost) to their own dedicated buildings, some will want to retain the financial flexibility and locality they already enjoy.

Countries too are adapting to attract the hybrid-worker. Croatia moved to allow remote workers to settle temporarily during the pandemic and other countries offer residency packages to attract young, highly skilled workers. If your personal ‘product’ is intellectual – as opposed to physical –  the world really is your oyster!

Marketing operations for the hybrid-working model

Ultimately humans are social animals. Not everyone has enjoyed working from home during the pandemic and of course, not everyone can work from home. But that aside, the likelihood is that your audience, whether it be clients or colleagues, will be located in more locations than before.

Physical events will return, although various factors are likely to mean that they may become smaller, more numerous, and much more localized. Face-to-face meetings may, in themselves, become more event-like.

International business travel is likely to become much more expensive as governments punish, by way of taxation, regular usage of the polluting methods for transport.

All of this points to the need to ship marketing collateral, in smaller quantities, to a much greater number of locations.

So what does that mean for your operation?

Well, either you create an in-house logistics operation, with all the associated costs and commitments, or you outsource your requirements to a third party.

If, as most tend to do, you go down the outsourcing route, you need to be sure of a few things;

  1. Will the third party keep your data safe?
  2. Does the third party offer a carbon-neutral shipment option?
  3. Does the third party use environmentally friendly packaging where possible?
  4. Will the third party manage all shipping-related queries and issues? i.e. customs, duty, and returns.

Managing logistics is time-consuming. Having the resources to store and pack lots of parcels is expensive; if you are unsure as to what the cost really is, just ask your CFO.

Conclusion

  1. What ‘working’ and ‘at work’ means has changed and will continue to change.
  2. Increasingly, marketing collateral will need to be shipped, in smaller quantities, to a larger number of locations.
  3. Managing more shipments involves sharing data and making sure your activity is environmentally friendly.

Looking for someone to manage your marketing operations? check out our Services page.

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