Covid changed the workplace forever as employees adopted work from home. Now employers want their teams back in the office. Can they compromise? In this issue, employers make their case for the office.
By now, almost everyone has heard the ultimatum that Elon Musk gave Tesla employees around working from home. In short, the message was, get back in the office or get out of Tesla. This move has inspired some companies while others choose to navigate things differently. To weigh in on the return-to-work compromise from a management point of view, we invited David Berry back to share his perspective.
In our last edition, Senior Project Manager, David Berry shared his experience working from home and some of the great ways it has helped him prevent burnout and prioritize his family. In this edition, David shares three reasons why the office still plays a vital role in the success of a business and its employees.
Realigning Employee Expectations
POWER Engineers recognizes that things have changed over the last two years, and they must take time to realign expectations. “A challenge companies are facing is that if you told someone two years ago that they could work from home two days a week, they would have jumped at it. Now bringing people back to the office is like pulling teeth.” To help realign employee expectations, they are breaking down requirements by job role. For example, it makes sense from an accountability standpoint to have production staff in the office. Meanwhile, an engineer can be hybrid. Depending on the job role, industry, and a person’s social skills, some individuals need to be in the office.
Socialization & Personal Interactions
Regarding productivity, David recognizes that while employees have been more productive, they lack socialization. “When you’re in the office, you might have banter that lowers your efficiency but improves your network, socialization, and maybe your self-actualization. That is a key benefit of having the office. It is great being in the office to see staff, but you also collaborate more. You also talk about what it means to be an employee in a company, and those personal interactions are so important for personal growth.”
Promoting From Within
Perhaps the most valuable part of being in the office is growth. POWER tries to promote leadership within the company. “A lot of those decisions are based on direct interaction with employees. It is difficult to determine growth on phone interviews or email responses. A lot is based on the knowledge and expectation of how someone will interact and their leadership skills. I think it will affect their growth trajectory if people don’t go into the office to meet with key staff. In that regard, the office will always be an integral part of any company.”
Whether it is for accountability, socializing, or personal growth, the office still plays a vital role in an employee’s success.
Read David’s previous article here.
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