On August 26, 2021, Forbes.com published the following article written by Brad Sousa, Chief Technology Officer at AVI Systems. In it, Brad suggests company's can win the return-to-workplace effort if they clear three critical hurdles.
Executives aren't bashful about their return-to-work plans. In fact, I believe most would agree that they want their knowledge workers back in the office. What's more, from my experience, I believe the majority of knowledge workers want to get back into the workplace, too. It's easy to understand why.
Workplace community is directly tied to our personal work purpose and satisfaction with work. This is especially true for younger workers. When the world turned upside down in March 2020, we discovered that people could be productive working from home. However, being happy with work is a totally different story.
If your organization hopes to "win" with an effective return-to-office initiative, you'll need to stay focused on the three strategies outlined below. Failure to win in all three areas will almost certainly result in defeat, forcing you to, once again, hit the reset button.
Create a return-to-office environment that employees want to rejoin.
1. Know that the purpose of the workplace has changed. With a resurgence in the importance of workplace community, the workplace's primary role isn't about doing tasks; it's about enabling people to meet and collaborate. Space allocated to desks and workstations is on the decline, while space reserved for meeting places and collaboration is rising. This reflects a desire to use the "workplace as the meeting place."
A winning return-to-office strategy recognizes the change in the purpose of the workplace and embraces it. It recognizes that, for the foreseeable future (probably the next three to five years), the priority of the workplace is collaboration and meetings, not completing tasks.