Remote Work / Pexels

Workplace culture has changed drastically in the last three years. From a bustling office-based lifestyle where people are constantly interacting physically, to a work-from-home environment that is dependent on virtual connections and technology.

As the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic ensued, a number of businesses sought to combine the benefits of remote working, with those of physical workplaces, to form hybrid working.

However, not every business leader has seen this change as a positive one. One such leader is Mark Debono, Director at Systemato and Co-Founder of Gallarija.mt and NOOK Property Services, who on Wednesday labelled the reliance on hybrid work as a “cop out” and a “total waste of time”.

Mark Debono
Systemato Director Mark Debono / LinkedIn

As part of an opinion piece posted on Systemato’s website, Mr Debono remarked that something that is placed in between two things, like hybrid working, is very often a compromise, yet a compromise “isn’t always a good thing”.

To start off, he pointed out that hybrid cars fall into the same category, as driving around with a petrol engine and an electric motor and battery makes the vehicle much heavier, leading to more energy being required. He gives further voice to his scepticism surrounding this concept by stating that one also needs the right materials to build both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor and battery, adding further questions “about how eco-friendly” a hybrid car is.

He links this to hybrid work environments, stating that it is “an absolutely terrible idea” as it “doesn’t combine the best of working in the office with the best of working remotely”, but the “worst aspects” of the two.

Mr Debono acknowledged that this view is not only coming from his side, but also from a number of other business leaders who have run their businesses on an entirely remote basis, and have had great success doing so.

“All that hybrid working arrangements do are let micromanaging nincompoop managers extend their fiefdoms, while forcing employees to endure soul-crushing, time-wasteful, boring commuting a few times a week instead of every day, only so they can turn up to an office that’s half empty and do video calls from there,” he explained.

“Hybrid work is a cowardly cop out that benefits no one,” he continued.

Mr Debono says that he is a “huge” believer in remote working, yet if that type of work environment is not suitable for a business, then it is better to stay completely working from the office rather than implementing a “half-baked, half-cocked ‘solution’ like hybrid working”.

He added that hybrid might be the “wrong word” to use, as flexible might be more appropriate. He clarified that by flexible he means that workers can “work from home, or a co-working space” or else from their “favourite coffee shop, or the beach, or the office”, as often or as infrequently as they want, “with no boundaries and no rules” for everyone in the organisation.

“Anything short of that is a compromised cop out that even the micromanaging nincompoop managers don’t stand to benefit at all from,” he concluded.

Mr Debono is a vastly experienced digital marketing professional, specialising in digital marketing strategies, writing content for the web, social media marketing, pay-per-click and Google Ads, among other skills.

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