Omni Working

Jul 14, 2023

Omni-Working – What’s in a name?

As I share my concept for post-pandemic working more widely I’m often asked where the name came from, and why I use Omni-Working instead of hybrid working or flexible working?

πŸŒ€ In an earlier life, I spent many years working in retail. I loved it and have many friends and colleagues who are still in that exciting world. As internet shopping began to grow I watched with interest as retailers adapted and adjusted their operating models to embrace online shopping and mobile shopping alongside physical stores, telesales, and catalogues. Before long the phrase ‘omni-channel’ retailing emerged; multiple ways of having a shopping experience.

βœ… I see parallels between the world of retail and how the world of work is being reimagined post-pandemic to embrace multiple ways of having a working experience.

For me hybrid working and flexible working aren’t the same as Omni-Working. They are also not the same as each other, but they are both important.

πŸŒ€ Hybrid working is one of the multiple ways I can experience working and relating to others. I call it a working modality. Some days we are working face-to-face in the same physical space, sometimes we are entirely virtual, and sometimes a mix of the two when we join a hybrid meeting. Hybrid can also mean how we mix working together synchronously with working together asynchronously during a project or programme of work.

πŸŒ€Flexible working is about more than flexibility of the location of my work. It’s not just about how many days each week I might work in the office, or from home, or from another location. It’s also about flexibility of my schedule, at what time I sync my working hours with my colleagues, and when I can totally flex the time of day I work, and what I work on.

βœ… Omni-Working is about more than hybrid working and flexible working. It is the whole eco-system of work that includes future-fit technology, workplace strategy, guiding principles, leader and manager relational flexibility, and fluency with different working modalities.

βœ… These elements co-exist within the cultural eco-system and are shaped by the wider context within which that organisation thrives.