This conversation, from the CIO Leaders Summit 2023 in Singapore, features Ross O’Brien, Principal Advisor at Focus Network, interviewing Darren Heng, Former CIO – Marketing & Services, APME at TotalEnergies .

Ross and Darren discuss the ongoing debate surrounding how effective it is to work remotely. While some companies, worry about productivity and the erosion of office culture, Darren supports hybrid work, citing Meta’s model of combining in-office days with remote work as a good balance.
Darren notes that many companies have overcome early remote work challenges such as security and monitoring but stresses the need for agile policies and continuous feedback. He advocates for a fixed in-office schedule (e.g. Monday to Wednesday) combined with remote work to balance collaboration and flexibility, whilst addressing isolation and maintaining productivity.

He also highlights hybrid work’s role in expanding the talent pool beyond geographical limits, aiding in attracting and retaining high-value talent by offering work-life balance and flexibility.

Darren addresses managerial challenges, particularly the proximity bias and suggests using data and clear objectives to track performance and recommends regular check-ins to ensure alignment and address issues. Properly managed hybrid teams, he concludes, can lead to more satisfied and productive employees.

Overall, the discussion emphasises the need for adaptability, effective management, and leveraging technology being key to successful hybrid work models.