Since early 2021, big companies have made public announcements about their workplace scenario, claiming they're returning to the office (RTO) by a certain date. Then, their workforce loudly complains and they delay or walk back the announcement. This has happened in industry after industry, sparking a country-wide debate on whether RTO plans are feasible. So, who will be staying remote or going back into the office? We think it’s a bit more complex than that…
Work From Home Forever
Companies like Twitter have taken the Work From Home (WFH) forever approach (if the employee wishes). Some smaller companies, however, may not have a choice but to remain remote forever. During the pandemic, many let their leases on corporate working spaces go, thereby saving money and signaling to employees that WFH perpetually would be the new normal. Other companies started during the pandemic and hired workers from all corners of the world, deciding that it’s better to find the right people for the job than hire locals exclusively. They also might have discovered that conducting remote interviews can be easier than once thought. Depending on your business operations and how your teams are working with one another, WFH may continue to be your best option for all. It certainly enables strong trust between coworkers and managers and allows people to prioritize their lives accordingly. Work is not our entire lives, after all.
Return to Office ASAP
But not all companies embrace the WFH model. Large banks are some of the biggest proponents of heading back into the office, not only embracing hustle culture but also condemning working from home as something “only the slackers do”. While we don’t agree with that assessment, there are definite benefits from working together in a space as opposed to a virtual one, depending on your position and team's needs. Some companies might even be able to move to a 4-day work week, given the sheer amount of progress people can make while sitting in a room together. Whether or not this work needs to happen in a coworking space or at an official office is hard to say. Hence, the great benefit of hybrid work models. If you’re thinking about banning WFH at your office, think first about the potential benefits your employees want. Ask what works for them and move forward accordingly.
Why not both? The Work From Anywhere policy
Many of these big companies, like Spotify and Salesforce, have decided to let their employees decide where they would like to work. This model is super attractive for obvious reasons: it puts humans first. After several difficult years, some of these companies have learned to prioritize their employees’ lives, whether someone needs to work from home indefinitely due to familial needs while another person wants to get back into the steady flow of going to and from an office. Spotify is even paying for coworking space subscriptions for employees who want separate working quarters. Plus, it’s obviously a great PR move for these companies. When you can boast that you offer essential benefits everyone needs right now, you’re bound to attract more job applicants.
Speaking of applicants, if you’re looking for talent and haven’t found the right people just yet, we can help you!