Hybrid workforce – another pointless term

You may have been reading a lot from some analysts about so-called hybrid workforces recently. In the tech market we like to use a lot of redundant words to create buzz terms. This is one of the most redundant terms you are ever going to use.

Workforces are by their nature hybrid and have been for a very long time. This isn’t news.

  • We have been outsourcing functions for a very long time.
  • We have been using temporary staff and contractors for a very long time.
  • We have been working in partnership with other firms in supply chains for a very long time.
  • We have even been utilising gig economy workers (see Is your business ready to support the rise and rise of the nanobusiness?) for quite some time.
  • Homeworkers have been a thing since at least the 90s, and in other shapes and sizes long before that.

Ask yourself – what is the alternative to a hybrid workforce? A fully employed workforce where all functions are done in house and everyone works 9-5 from a central location on the same terms and conditions. Does such a business exist?

Workforces are hybrid by nature and increasingly distributed because we now have the ICT tools and the business motivation to support this. The digital revolution is effectively turning back the clock to the pre-industrial age when pretty much everyone worked from home or very near to home, rather than in large cities whose very existence is often down to the demands of industrialisation on our workforces.

Get out of the echo chamber. Cut the redundant words. Talk about workforces by all means. But no need to adopt a new term to state the blindingly obvious.

Instead, read our paper on new types of business that are emerging.

Teresa Cottam
Teresa Cottam

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