The cobwebs under your desk


It’s interesting to note how many different approaches there are right now to the notion of ‘getting back to normal’ and returning to the office.

There are bosses saying that their workers are ‘abusing’ working from home and ordering them back to the office every day, there are those who are using the last couple of years as a proof of concept and moving towards flexible and hybrid working being their new normal. There are those who are in chaos and confusion and others who are in a delicate consultation mode.

But let’s take a moment here and remind ourselves of a few things that are more important:

  1. Everyone’s experience of the pandemic has been different. Some are still grieving, some are still fearful. Others are confused. A lucky few have found untold opportunities. Perhaps the only common experience is that everyone is more exhausted than they realise right now.
  2. Talking to people and treating them as individuals with unique needs and situations rather than as policy statistics is always a good idea. Now is no different.
  3. Offices are generally set up for extroverts. Many introverts had been craving more quiet time for years until this thing came along. And no one is only an introvert or an extrovert, we are all on a spectrum. Most jobs are, too. This is an opportunity for balance.
  4. Productivity is about attention, which is aided by minimising distraction. Creativity and collaboration are about listening, which is harder to do on Zoom than in a room.
  5. Cultures need structure. Don’t be afraid to be the one suggesting new structures to the day or week that might help everyone. Be brave. As long as you’re not a dictator, then taking the initiative, making suggestions and working through it collaboratively will bring welcome clarity.

And I guess the main thing to remember is…

If your biggest concern about the people who work for you is where their desks are, then you’re doing it wrong.

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