The “Great Return” to in-office working
I can already feel how polarizing this subject will be. Many cringe at the thought of the increasing hybrid work format and the direction it could be headed. I get it; really, I do. The added stress of a commute can be frustrating, especially when the ROI for the added pressure isn’t adding up. Balance is everything, but there are some solid reasons you may benefit from spending time in the office.
How can it be great? It can be great for your career, skill development and advancement. While some organizations are certainly doing this better than others, working from home within a remote team has cut employees off from the larger organization and isolated our work into micro silos, with fewer ideas, less perspective and a lot of isolation. Some of the advantages of in-office work that benefit everyone is:
- Being visible to senior leaders across various parts of the organization is always great for being top of mind when new opportunities come around.
- Discussing & hearing input and solutions from various business departments to broaden your point of view is invaluable.
- Hearing the corporate, business or team vision in person and being able to ask questions, discuss and iron out details before a rollout saves a lot of missteps
- Learning good and bad through everyone around you is incredibly valuable. What body language can tell us is often underestimated. Learning how to navigate business by observing others doing it well is one of my favourite ways to learn.
- Building confidence by speaking in/to an in-person group – a skill that many, particularly junior staff, struggle with, especially post-pandemic.
- Showcasing your talent
- Deepening personal connections with your teammates and clients
- Celebration is so much more fun in person than over group emails and video calls
As a leader, when you’re asking staff to spend more time in the office, consider how you can incorporate some of these advantages to make the most out of in-person workdays. It’s up to you to help make coming into the office “worth it.” If a team isn’t even sitting together because of a new hotel desk policy, or everyone comes into the office only to have the same number of zoom calls they do at home, the value of being physically together is lost, and the mood can sour quickly.