So…my last post was focused on why companies that think returning all employees to the office all the time is a good idea. To sum it up…they are wrong, all the time.
But the post also included a comment that those companies needed to find a balance between returning employees to the office full time and allowing some level, maybe a big level, of work from home flexibility.
If you liked that post, as many of you did (Thank You) then you likely won’t like this one quite so much. Cause this one is about getting your rear in gear and returning to the office.
I don’t take back one word of my last post but that “balance” comment applies to employees as much as employers.
Even if your employer allows full time remote work you would be silly to accept it. LOTS of good things happen in an office environment and they happen ONLY in an office environment.
You’ll learn more in a week of being in the office then you can learn in 3 months of video calls. Those hallway conversations are literally priceless when it comes to learning. I think I’ve used every video platform ever invented over the last 15 months and I’ve yet to find a hallway in any of them.
Working entirely remotely will hamper your career development. You need to be noticed in ways you never will be on a Zoom call. You need the opportunity for even a brief interaction with people high up in your organization who may never see you on a video call.
It’s tough to “pop-in” to someone’s office on TEAMS. It’s really hard for someone else to stop by your cube for a quick insight on WebEx. Short spontaneous in-person conversations can change a career. They can change your life.
Those kinds of conversations virtually (pun intended) stopped over the last 15 months. That’s a huge casualty of remote work.
Now many of you are saying to yourself that you’ve been every bit as productive working from home as you’ve ever been while working in the office. For some of you that’s true but I’d remind you that building your reputation and advancing your career requires more than being productive.
For those of you who have convinced yourself that you “haven’t missed a beat” in 15 months of working from home I’d remind you that denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. You have to be honest with yourself.
You, as it is with your employer, need to find a balance between working from home exclusively and investing some time in an office environment. I’m pretty sure that if it’s possible to work from the office exclusively and possible to work from home exclusively then it’s also possible to split time between the two.
Companies that want to succeed in the future will understand that. People who want to excel in their jobs and advance their careers will understand that too.