<gasp> I’m flipping the cards over today.
I’m an unabashed Team Remote homer. But that’s my personal preference. The 30 second commute can’t be beat.
That said: remote isn’t the only way. In some cases, it isn’t the best way. Or even possible.
We’re seeing companies (including some of our clients) go back to some level of onsite, for good reasons. I worry LinkedIn has become an all-remote echo chamber.
Let’s step outside for a second.
1. Give good reasons. Beyond “it’s time” or “it feels right.”
If there’s one thing the return-to-office crowd has done a sh*t job of so far, it’s explaining the why. (A lot of them don’t know themselves.)
Words like “collaboration” get thrown around. Rule of thumb: anything that can be done via Zoom (or um, email) isn’t real collaboration.
One good example: We see companies where true cross functional training is essential to the business. Where everyone sits with every team. Learns everyone’s function. Everyone understands the bigger picture.
The kids call it “shared vision.” It doesn’t have to be just a buzzword. And you can’t really do it remote.
People aren’t stupid. Flex that EQ. Give them a reason that you’d understand if you were in their shoes.
2. Ditch the 2010 crappy perks. Get real ones people care about.
Free lunch. Beer taps. Donut day. Foosball tournaments.
Meh. That stuff was played 10 years ago. You look silly leaning into it now (which we’re absolutely seeing companies do.)
What do people really care about?
We can’t kill the commute, sadly. But maybe free onsite childcare would turn a few heads?
A no questions asked policy around time off to hit those doc appts?
Ditching your awful open office layout? (Seriously, the worst.)
3. Recognize hiring will never go back to the pre-2020. Ever.
If there’s one company in the country offering full remote: you’ve got competition for talent *in your local market.*
This is the point people seem to miss. E.g. if you’re in Chicago, ~1.5% of that nation’s Java developers are local. Not only did you cut out 98.5% of the talent, that remaining 1.5% has virtually unlimited opportunities. They don’t have to stay local just because you do.
This doesn’t mean hiring is impossible. But it WILL be harder.
Whether inhouse or via agency, it’s going to cost more time and/or money than it did before.
4. If you make a productivity claim, back it up with data.
Microsoft released a hysterical report last week. 87% of remote employees feel productive. But 85% of leaders don’t have confidence their teams are productive.
Talk about a disconnect.
Surveys on how people “feel” aren’t true data though. One report from SHRM says remote employees are 77% more productive. But that’s just one source. In any case:
????In any case: cite sources.