Is your organisation flexible with its working from home policy? Do you have a hybrid work style? Then you’ve probably been practising the hub-and-spoke organisational structure, even if you didn’t know it.
Before the pandemic, hybrid working existed but it certainly wasn’t the norm.
However, all of us, from huge companies to small startups, were forced quickly into remote working by the pandemic. Now, going back to the normal office-based work style isn’t necessarily on the cards.
Organisations are adopting new models that are more responsive and better suited to the rapid changes of the pandemic – in short, more agile ways of working. One example of this is the ‘hub-and-spoke’ model.
What is the hub-and-spoke model?
The structure is fairly self-explanatory, just envision a wheel: the ‘spokes’ are where individuals can work alone or in smaller groups, and the ‘hub’ is a place for everyone to come together, engage in activities and share ideas.
A spoke needs not be an office space, which is one of the marked differences from traditional working models. It just needs to be a place where you can access the internet and be productive: a home, a neighbourhood coffee shop, a small office – you get the idea.
The hub-and-spoke model allows companies greater flexibility, access to a wider talent pool and the ability to access candidates that previously would have been dismissed due to geographical distance.
Changing style to changing mindset
Clearly, the hub-and-spoke style of working is a lot more responsive to change, so it is considerably more agile when compared to traditional organisational structures.
It also, in my opinion, changes the way you view your time in the office. Bryan Robinson for Forbes agrees:
“By definition, the hub is “the effective center of an activity, region or network.” This is a far more exciting and dynamic way to describe the office of the future—we no longer go to the office to work but instead are learning how to leverage it as a hub for engagement and activity.”
If employees want to be in-office and want to engage, rather than doing it as part of a routine, it’s hard not to see hub-and-spoke style models as the way to the future. Technology seems to think so, too…
Tech’s on its toes
The future of work is no longer committed to a specific work environment. This means separating the how from the where. Technology is catching up to this idea, and platforms are appearing to facilitate hub-and-spoke style systems.
Zoom is an obvious example, as are the multitude of messaging platforms that coworkers can use both on-site and while working from home.
The technologies underpinning the metaverse are developing to reinforce the ability to work and live anywhere while maintaining human interaction experiences in virtual reality meetings, so going forward the hub-and-spoke model will only become easier to facilitate.
So, do you think the hub-and-spoke style is worthwhile?
No one was really given the choice back in 2020; we all had to adapt, and quickly, to remote working. Personally, I think that this move propelled us all into the future of work, and has improved the work/life balance.
However, not everyone will feel that way. To them, I would note that most hub-and-spoke structures do provide the option for one to continually work at the ‘hub’, so even if your coworkers want to reinvent their workstyle, you wouldn’t necessarily have to.
Anyway, I can champion this model and its benefits to you all I want, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether you want to take it on. Only you know what’s best for your team!
What do you think?
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