From Rae Ringel, writing in the Harvard Business Review…
Three days in the office, two working from home? Or two weeks in the office, then two at home (or some other, more alluring remote locale)? Everyone in all the time, like in 2019?
These are some of the options leaders are considering as they grapple with what going back to work should look like. Some of these new arrangements are landing uneasily. At Apple, for example, employees are pushing back against a policy requiring them to be in the office three days a week, describing a “disconnect between how the executive team thinks about remote/location-flexible work and the lived experiences of many of Apple’s employees.”
To get beyond this stressful push and pull, we need to reframe the conversation and focus on what we’re actually trying to achieve rather than where, precisely, we’ll be sitting when we achieve it. This involves examining the precise nature of the tasks in front of us, our specific objectives, and the weight we attach to the ones that compete, like efficiency, effectiveness, camaraderie, and mental health. Once we determine which parts of our work should be done in person, which should be virtual, and which can benefit from a mix, we can design toward that ideal.
As Priya Parker notes in The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, “Gatherings consume our days and help determine the kind of world we live in.” And so, to ensure that we go forward — not back — to the office, it’s critical that we reimagine a cornerstone of the modern workplace: how we meet.
It’s a confusing time. As you plot out your team’s work plan, here are six questions you should be asking.
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