Blog | 12.01.2022

NWN Carousel Hosts First Hybrid Hub Summit With Fisher College

Massachusetts Lt Gov. Karyn Polito Kicks-Off Summit: Hybrid Work is Here to Stay

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito who led the Commonwealth’s efforts to re-open businesses during the pandemic kicked-off our first Hybrid Hub Summit held in Boston with partner Fisher College.  “Hybrid or flexible work is here to stay,” said Lt Governor Polito advising that this year nearly half of the Commonwealth’s 42,000 government workers have been performing their jobs in a hybrid or remote environment.

“I think we’ve all learned that the hybrid model can work,” added Lt. Governor Polito. “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.”

Joining moderator Jon Chesto, business reporter at the Boston Globe were leaders from academia, healthcare, real estate and technology who examined the future of work and how it is reshaping the economy, educational system and our future.

Summit panelists discussed how hybrid work has impacted employees including the effects of long commutes, recruitment and retention of employees, lack of childcare as well as improved quality of life issues for families. 

Andrew Gilman, NWN Carousel’s CMO discussed how preparing for the future of work has been an opportunity for many organizations allowing them to re-imagine what the employee experience and what the customer experience can look like. “Companies are rapidly adopting a hybrid experience using cloud-based technology, where they can design a superior environment to work from anywhere and support their employees do their best work wherever they are inspired,” said Gilman.

Panelists addressed how they had to quickly adapt and accelerate a hybrid work model during the pandemic. “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 William Senné, president CEO, 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.”   

Academia was an early leader in adopting hybrid into their educational programs and for preparing students for 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.” 

Patrick Kane, senior VP of Business Development at Cape Cod Healthcare, advised that hybrid 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.

“This created a very different environment,” added Kane. “Telemedicine opened up for the benefit of clinicians and patients and caregivers. Now, 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.” 

Dr. Debra Lerner from Tufts Medical Center discussed the pandemic’s impact on patient care and administrators noting that “one of the biggest challenges was being on Zoom seven hours a day – we all miss the human interaction.” She also noted the impact on front-line workers who diligently thru the pandemic delivering healthcare services. 

Market leader HomeServe learned quickly how to provide and deliver solutions to their customers. “People have figured out this is the new normal. When you are company that likes working together you have to figure out how to do it separately and still service the customer,” said Peter Matamala, VP, IT Operations, HomeServe 

Panelists also touched on 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.