Nearly every office worker worldwide has taken part in a forced remote work exercise. Incredibly and perhaps surprisingly, we’ve passed with flying colors and demonstrated our ability to adapt to a non-office environment.
The experiment is not over. We’ve learned some things, but not everything.
We’re finding a significant portion of companies are wrestling with the long term implication of Work From Home (WFH). The challenge is that everyone has an opinion and they are not consistent – most staff love WFH, some hate it, and productivity results vary by department, tenure, and even personality type. Making a blanket policy “Anyone can work from home up to X days/week” will not be the right way to manage it.
For companies, here is the important consideration: Your competition will offer it. Some prospective hires will value WFH over salary. The competition will be able to reduce their operating expenses if they’re using less office space. Your staff may feel micromanaged by being expected to clock in 8-5 M-F when that is no longer the social norm.
Everyone has an opinion. Workers think the solution is whatever their personal preferences may be. Landlords and the global real estate firms that represent them insist that offices will remain vital. The CEO’s of many large companies (Morgan Stanley, Twitter, PayPal, Nielsen, Barclays) are either declaring their obsolescence or questioning the need for the notion of a daily M-F workplace.
Here’s the answer: There is no single answer. Like a custom tailored suit, your firm will need a solution that fits your unique work and culture. The issue is complex.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to interview top executives, real estate industry experts, and cultural thought leaders to understand “Where do we go from here?”
Next up: “The Office is Not Dead. The ROI Has Changed.”
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