Hybrid working isn’t new!

We tend to assume that the concept of remote working and hybrid working came about as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

But it is a concept that has been around since the 1960s.

It came about when a rocket scientist, Jack Nilles, was summoned from Los Angeles to a briefing at the Pentagon, and after travelling there to find the meeting was cancelled, he found himself speculating on the possibility of working from home.

He called his idea “part time telecommuting” and he began an experiment in hybrid working thanks to a contact at the University of Southern California and a job offer from them as a director in interdisciplinary program development.

The experiment was granted funding and testing began in 1973, with the cooperation of a large insurance company, which agreed to trial the concept.

Within nine months data collected from the experiment showed that staff turnover had reduced by 35% and productivity had risen by 15%. The company was also saving money on training, sick pay and expenses.

While other businesses also joined the experiment and the results were undeniably positive, it was to take much longer to get employers to accept the idea.

Evidently it takes a pandemic to convince them!