Nearly half of Massachusetts’ 42,000 government workers are performing their jobs in a hybrid or remote environment in 2022, according to Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
“Hybrid or flexible work is here to stay,” Polito said during the first Hybrid Hub Summit held earlier this month in Boston. The event was co-sponsored by NWN Carousel, a Cloud Communications Service Provider, and Fisher College.
“I think we’ve all learned that the hybrid model can work,” she added. “It’s all about professionalizing hybrid or flexible work while also providing college students with mentoring opportunities and the ability to collaborate with others around the world.”
Polito led the commonwealth’s efforts to re-open businesses during the pandemic in a safe way, which accelerated Massachusetts’ hybrid work model.
The Hybrid Hub Summit also featured a panel discussion focused on the future of work led by Boston Globe business reporter Jon Chesto.
“The future of work has been an opportunity for many organizations to re-imagine what the employee experience and what the customer experience could be using cloud-based technology, where companies get to design a great environment to work from anywhere and to help their employees do their best work wherever they are inspired,” said panelist Andrew Gilman, Chief Marketing Officer, NWN Carousel.
As Massachusetts was forced to accelerate its hybrid work model during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses also had to adapt to this new practice.
“We had a panic attack at the beginning of the pandemic and had to re-evaluate how our employees interacted with customers and with each other,” said fellow panelist William Senné, President and Chief Executive Officer, Senné Company, Inc. “Now, we need to continue to master the culture of remote work as employees want options to work in the office and from home.”
Today’s high school and college students are also at the forefront of the future of work.
“Our pivot was easy, as we had been using online education for many years,” said Janet Kuser, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Fisher College. “For our faculty, it’s always been a bit of a hybrid model, not chained to a desk five days a week. The rest of the world is now catching up. We transitioned to a hybrid model, which means one day in class and the second day online via instructional materials to better prepare students for today’s professional working environment.”
But hybrid work is still a work in progress in the healthcare field.
“We had to keep our business open, the clinicians had to stay, but the support staff was not allowed into the hospital, nor were patient families,” explained panelist Patrick Kane, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Cape Cod Healthcare. “This created a very different environment. Telemedicine opened up for the benefit of clinicians and patients and caregivers. But now, the inpatient care volume is back. However, things will not be like they were before. Many non-emergency patients are now opting for Zoom appointments with their doctors.”
The 2022 Hybrid Hub Summit also featured Peter Matamala, Vice President, IT Operations, HomeServe and Dr. Debra Lerner from Tufts Medical Center. The panel discussed a number of topics ranging from how to prepare a workforce for the future; best practices for creating a sustainable, equitable workplace through technology; and accelerating economic development for employees and customers.