I’ve been taking the temperature of agency owners about coming back to the office, and it’s clear, most leaders want their people back. In one Newsweek survey, 83% of CEOs want employees to return to the office.
In some ways, this is unsurprising; most of the benefits of being in the office accrue to the leaders!
- It’s easier to “keep tabs on everyone.”
- We can maintain the company culture.
- There’s more opportunity for collaboration and spontaneous meetings.
- It allows us to see who’s working!
Not to mention that leaders are invested in a lease that they can’t get out of – and paying that rent feels like a waste if people aren’t coming in!
Here’s the view from your team
Also, unsurprisingly, your team has a different viewpoint. That same Newsweek survey showed that only 10% of employees want to come back full-time!
- We’ve been getting work done for 18 months without coming to the office.
- Sure, training and culture are hard in a remote setting, but companies were doing it before the pandemic. We could learn.
- When the boss needs to “buckle down and get something done,” do they come to the office? No, they stay home! So this is clearly not a productivity issue.
- I don’t want to deal with the germs, smells, or noise of the office, and the idea of a commute makes me ill!
Now I’m not necessarily arguing that every company should go fully remote. In fact, some employees are chomping at the bit to get back to the office. Younger workers may not have a good workspace at home, folks with young children may need physical separation between work and home space, to name just two reasons.
What do you want to move TOWARD?
Without having to do another employee survey, I can tell you that your team wants you to forge a new remote work policy that gives them some flexibility about when and where they work.
We can’t just “go back to the office” – both the office and the team are forever changed by the last 18 months. So we need to stop and thoughtfully engage in a new remote work policy that explains the norms for how often folks will work in the office and under what circumstances you’ll be willing to hire staff outside of commuting range. What support are you willing to offer remote workers, and what expectations do you have of them?
What are your plans for your office? Hit reply; I’d love to hear your thoughts.