I’m irrationally mad about the “return to office” discussion/debate/controversy. It’s probably because it is bringing back memories from early on in my career when a bunch of old guys were in charge and the mentality was “if I can’t see you, then you’re not actually working.” I had one boss who demanded you sign in and out of the office…even though I was salary. I used to just put “leaving” or “arriving.” Performance wasn’t measured on results or deliverables, it was measured on how consistently your butt was in your seat. WTF.
I thought we had progressed past this but if you look at the news lately, we’ve very clearly regressed. Companies just spent the last year working from home and adapting to a virtual workforce, now they want to throw it all out the window because…they need to “see” people in the office. For what f*cking reason? Is it an ego thing? Control?
Forcing people back into the office 100% of the time so you can feel like a big deal is going to kill your company’s productivity and crush your talent pipeline. People are going to quit, and they should. A survey conducted by theSkimm found that more than 1 in 5 millennial women said they would rule out working for an employer that banned working from home in the future.
What is even funnier about this whole thing, is CEOs are surprised. If you are such a hotshot CEO, shouldn’t you know what the hell your employees need and want? In a CNBC interview on Wednesday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff observed that the popularity of remote work among rank-and-file had caught corporate chiefs by surprise. “Not as many employees are coming back into their offices locally as any CEO expected,” he said. “You’re really starting to see some very low attendance numbers in offices because employees are so productive at home.”
NO SHIT! Like…where have you dudes been in the last year? Was your head buried in the sand at your expensive beachside condo?
An article from NBC News states that CEOs are aware productivity has gone up in the last year since WFH became the norm but they are still operating under the notion “if the cats away the mice will play.” The fact they are still using this ancient analogy really tells us all we need to know.
Rhiannon Staples, chief marketing officer at Hibob, an HR technology company states in the article, “We’re seeing employees walk away from companies that are entirely rolling back their remote work policies. I don’t think forcing people back to the office will equate to employee engagement and satisfaction.”
The negative effects of forcing employees back to the office far outweigh your ego.
This last year has changed EVERYTHING. If your strategy is to go back to the way things were, you’re only going to hurt your company…but at least your pride will be protected.