Return to office is dead. Get your peeps a dog instead.
9. Februar 2024
While I poke some fun at the absurd policy-making around "return to office" and remote work here, there's also some sad truth behind this. During COVID, we saw a surge in dog adoptions because people felt lonely. With RTO mandates, we were seeing a surge in dogs being taken to shelters because people could no longer work from home. One could now call these people irresponsible, because they knew they would need to return to the office. But nobody knew anything during the pandemic. People got dogs because they felt lonely, and only their dogs cared about them.
However, dogs are far from the only ones suffering due to office mandates. Families and friends are being torn apart. People with disabilities are excluded from workplaces. Parents waste hours on commutes every day that they could spend much better with their kids.
And just in case humans matter less than business: A lot of talent is simply going to be lost for all the wrong reasons. Those who can afford it, those organizations need most, will find a better place elsewhere.
Creative innovators remain exactly that, no matter their place of work. Super-productive people stay just that too. I also go to an office when it makes sense; it's just that working with people from all over the place is so much more interesting. No policy needed.
The good news is... Data shows that RTO de-facto died in 2023, with most organizations opting for some hybrid approach. RTO is just a massive waste of human potential. And for all the wrong reasons.
In that sense, my "RTO policy" is honest advice! Whenever someone suggests "returning to the office"... Maybe better get them a dog, instead of catapulting your business into the last century.
See also ..