The purpose of an office is to bring people together. Instead, they’ve become a source of division. There are two types of employees:
- those who can’t wait to see colleagues in the flesh and establish boundaries between home and work, and
- those for whom the office is nothing but pointless travelling and greater health risks. Many factors influence which camp you belong to. But one stands out specifically: seniority.
Senior management, in general, are far keener on getting back to the office than other employees. The cynical explanation for this is that executives like the status that the office brings. A kinder one is they genuinely believe that in-person interactions are better for the company and individuals. This may be because that’s the environment in which they achieved their own success. But whatever the reason, the upshot is that bosses are less likely to investigate the actual effectiveness of the office.
To tell the truth, a hybrid future is likely, and managers need to improve both environments. However, it may not bode well that the majority of return-to-work policies have been designed with scant input from employees.