In an organization where you are valued based on your results, working from home vs. the office shouldn’t be a big issue. With webcams, Slack, online meeting software, cloud storage, etc., the drawbacks are minimal.
Some managers worry about how their remote employees are spending their time. What if they spend half their day binge-watching a Netflix series? That’s a problem, but it’s not a “working from home” problem; instead, it’s a “wrong person” problem. Forcing an underperforming employee to work in the office won’t fix anything.
In some industries, particularly technology, requiring employees to come back to the office has become a recruiting problem. In a LinkedIn post, Cardinal Digital Marketing CEO Alex Membrillo discusses working 5 days in the office in brutally frank terms: “If your employer demands it, find a new gig – plenty of their competitors won’t.” He adds that there are huge benefits to a hybrid approach, e.g. working 2 days in the office.
At Steelray, we’ve had open discussions about what feels right, and the consensus was to work 2 days in the office and 3 days at home. So far, the hybrid approach seems to be working well. Personally, I prefer working in the office over working from home, so most days I go in, but that’s my choice.
What will happen when the pandemic is over and it’s safe to share a working space with your co-workers? This is just a guess, but while some organizations will reopen their office and require their employees to come back to the office, I think a number of them will leave existing policies in place. For us, we are considering office sharing and other hybrid approaches.
Because if it’s working for us and people are happier, why would we change anything?