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The Re-Branding Of Hybrid Policies Is An Unofficial Milestone In The Return-To-Office

Language matters in this confusing new world of post-pandemic work. We can’t stop inventing buzzwords for workplace trends, from “Great Resignation” to “Quiet Quitting.” Corporate occupiers are getting in on the act now, too, as they re-brand their hybrid work policies. As I recently reported, hybrid work may be here to stay, but what an occupier calls it makes a difference (to them, at least).

Increasingly, employers are developing catchphrases to promote hybrid policies and establish norms in a constantly evolving modern workplace. The phrases run the gamut from 3M Co.’s “Work Your Way” to KPMG’s “Flex with Purpose” to General Motors’ “Work Appropriately.” One phrase being used less is “Return to Office” because of its connotations for harsh mandates.

These catchphrases are bound to be the subject of employee inside jokes, but they mark a milestone in the return to work. It shows some occupiers may be letting go of aspirations for full-time office schedules and embracing hybrid. That doesn’t mean employers have hybrid all figured out, though. Nearly half of companies still rely on informal hybrid guidelines, a third have formal rules, and the rest are basically winging it, according to a recent Mercer survey. If there’s one thing certain about the nebulous return to the office, it’s uncertainty.

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