3 min read

Blended Working can only benefit us all

By Simon Taylor on Feb 5, 2019 1:00:00 PM

Blended working - macbook on a desk with a with iphone and pen/paper

Health warning.

This may upset your boss who attempts to micromanage you and only believes in presenteeism.


For some time now, there has been much talk and discussion around the concept of ‘Work Life Balance’. That being, the ability to deliver both a happy home and family life together with being the superhero you try to be at work. Many articles have been written by those individuals who profess to have attained the elixia of the work life balance and can spin plates with both skill and wizardry that most of us can only look upon with awe and wonder. My question is, are they working harder at finding the ‘balance’ than actually completing the activities in the first place?

Are we now far better off trying to achieve a life/work ‘blend’ which allows us to find a happy and functional balance as to how and when we complete all of our life’s activities, with the ability to make a choice as to when and where we do these. 

Advancements in technology across the wide spectrum of home and business devices, now enable us to work from absolutely anywhere and at any time we choose. This generates a whole different range of questions and work concepts that many of us have not yet taken on board, let alone allowed them to become part of our working life. Many organisation still operate the outdated concept that work only ever takes place in the workplace, whilst others are rapidly increasing their productivity and retention rates by not only encouraging and enabling their employees to work in a ‘blended’ way, but are actively requiring them to do this as they downsize expensive corporate office and admin functions, preferring a low cost and flexible corporate presence. The tools for a work life blend are easy to attain and are low cost compared to office suites with all the additional functions required to support these. A smart phone and a Chromebook are all that are needed. No longer do we even require Laptops with hard drives and massive memory capacities, as all we need to do is access the cloud.

Of course, there will always be certain work based activities that can only take place on a business site. Manufacturing being an example of this, with investment being made in production lines and assembly plants. However, many support functions set around these plants are now taking place ‘off-site’ and even in a different continent. For example, Pinder Print in Scarborough receive twenty four hour plant support from Germany during the day shift and Australia during the night shift.

The 'blend spectrum'

There seems to be two ends of a spectrum developing however, with only a few organisations working their way along the ‘blend’ spectrum.

Grid of information about organisations that employ hybrid, blended and presenteeism

Certainly as our industrial sectors begin to make the shift required post Brexit, to increasingly low cost and in some cases ‘Pop-Up’ organisations, we may see rapid increases in a shift to the right of the spectrum above. As businesses only secure competitive advantage is around cost and being a low cost but high quality provider, this cannot be achieved by having a massive corporate footprint. Accommodating staff that could easily and more often than not complete that work more productively in a coffee shop post dropping the kids off at nursery and before completing a gym class, but using their Wifi after to jump into a meeting in Sunderland. Then in the afternoon, doing much the same but for a different business organisation or client.

Watch out, because it’s coming towards us faster than we think. Five years ago the only proper hybrid car on the market was the Toyota Prius. Now every manufacturer has both a hybrid and an all electric vehicle in their showrooms.

About Ascento

Ascento learning and development specialise in providing workforce development apprenticeship programmes to both apprenticeship levy paying employers and non levy employers. We work closely with employers to identify the key areas for development and design  strategic solutions to tackle these with programmes that are tailored to each individual learner. With two schools of excellence focusing on Management and Digital Marketing we don’t deliver every qualification under the sun, but focus on what we know best and ensure that quality is at the heart of everything we do.


Simon Taylor

Written by Simon Taylor

Ascento L5 Management Tutor.