Many executives are asking the question: Is it time to bring employees back to the office? All of them, some of them? A recent interview of 15 CEOs by Bethany Cianciolo and Kathryn Vasel published on September 9, 2021, suggested that most of them wanted their employees back in the office in some form or fashion. Why? Most executives feel it will add to most of their employees’ productivity by being face to face with their colleagues at least some of the work week. Also, simply put, they are paying for the office space so might as well use it. But executives know much of their staff like working from home, so they are getting creative with ways to entice them into the office. Oracle, Facebook, and Apple started a trend, pre-COVID, spending millions of dollars on outdoor green space. The thought was, and it’s bearing out true now, that by having outdoor green space in a patio area, balcony or on the roof, it would create a space conducive to the health and betterment of the employee and they will be more likely to go to the office. It seems to be working and other firms, and even landlords, are following suit.
The interview of the 15 CEOs including companies such as Chebani, Dropbox and General Motors, resulted in a common theme — flexibility. As Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox said, “2020 was a tipping point…with enormous ramifications.” I agree. We will look back on 2020 with bittersweet thoughts. It caused hardship, sorrow, and death for many, but also accelerated the flex work concept we were eventually heading towards. Many executives I talk to are on the right path, but don’t even realize it. Key in on your employees and what will make them the most satisfied and productive and that’s your answer to success.