top of page


noun: the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

Research Summary: During the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees alike have recognized the benefits of remote work. The relative success of this unplanned experiment has led to many companies moving towards a permanent hybrid work model. Here are the key hybrid work statistics and the future of work:

  • 74% of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model.

  • 44% of U.S. employees prefer a hybrid work model, compared to 51% of employers.

  • 63% of high-growth companies use a “productivity anywhere” hybrid work model.

  • 55% of employees want to work remotely at least three days a week.

  • Companies’ average IT spending went up 6.7% from 2020 to 2021 as they continued to adjust to their employees working remotely or on hybrid models.

  • 59% of employees are more likely to choose an employer that offers remote work opportunities over one that doesn’t.

Research by Abby McCain (February 20, 2023)

Ok so it is pretty obvious to everyone at this point that the hybrid work model is here to stay. So, now what?

Business is all about relationships and your ability to network effectively determines how successful you are. When the game changes the very best thing you can do is to stop playing the old game and figure out how to win the new one.

For most sales executives working remotely has always been part of the job however, that is much different than what we all experienced during covid. Not leaving our homes for days or weeks at a time, trading in our polished looks for elastic waist bands and being on our computers & phones nonstop.

Parts of this were nice in the beginning but there are some parts that we have held on to that have impacted us personally and professionally in a negative way. We have become lazy. Especially when it comes to making an effort to connect with people and build genuine relationships and grow our professional network.

There are entire segments of the workforce that were hired between 2020-2022 that never set foot in an office and started in their new role entirely remotely. They missed out on the natural opportunity on how to build great working relationships, aka networking.

For the more experienced employee this new way of working meant that a part of what they counted on to thrive at work was gone and they had to learn a new way to do something that had come easily and naturally in the past.

Let’s face it - it just feels awkward. Many companies have recently brought back larger meetings in person where sales executives and leadership are in the same room with customers and partners. For some this is a reunion but for others this is the first time they have ever experienced this, as they may have started during covid.

I have had the privilege of being in some of these rooms and witnessing it first-hand. Regardless of which category you fit in to, people are feeling “rusty”.

Here is the feedback I have heard…

“We have these incredible tools like text and social media that make us all feel like we all know each other so when we meet in person there isn’t much to say. “

“There is anxiety leading up to the meeting because you haven’t seen people in a while and you are not really sure how it will go.”

“There is an uncomfortable silence in the gaps in conversation and I wish it was just easier”

What if you took a fresh new look at networking by going back to the very basics. I think sometimes with the world being so busy and so connected that we have lost sight of the very simple things that still work.

Remember when you were a kid and you played outside? Or if you are like my kids (who are now adults) playdates were arranged by me and other moms so that we could make sure our children had friends. So funny but true.

Well networking is exactly like that. It is a modern playdate for adults! Whether it is arranged by your company as a meeting (like moms do for their kids) or you are connecting with your network (like going outside to play) here are some things to make this new version of networking much easier.

Here are the three things to focus on while networking in person. They are the same three things that you were (hopefully) taught as a child when you played with friends.

  • BE NICE. This is so obvious but the most important part. Just be nice no matter what. This means that you don’t engage in saying anything hurtful to or about anyone.

  • BE A GOOD LISTENER. Look people in the eye and focus on what they are saying. Stop thinking about yourself and be present and pay attention to what they are sharing with you. You will have your turn to talk but now it is their turn.

  • SHARE. Just like you were told to share your toys. Think about how you can share your experience, resources or network to help the person

In our quest to make things better we often make them more complicated. Going back to these simple ways of thinking will allow you to be present when you are seeing people again or meeting them for the first time. Sometimes we need to go back to go forward. Go back to the happy childhood version of you and think of networking as an opportunity and have fun with it!

40 views0 comments