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Designing a Successful Return-to-Office Plan

As vaccines become more widely adopted and we seem to be gaining a handle on the virus, more leaders are considering what a return to normal might look like.

Published Thu Oct 14 2021

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As vaccines become more widely adopted and we seem to be gaining a handle on the virus, more leaders are considering what a return to normal might look like. Some feel that a return to traditional office spaces is best for everyone, while others think pivoting to a remote-work-only model will help them succeed. Still, others feel that the solution is somewhere in the middle—adopting hybrid work models with employees in the office for some of their time and remote for the rest. Exactly what this would look like, though, is nebulous at best. If you’re trying to design a hybrid work environment, first consider that not everyone thinks the way you think or works the way you work. For a hybrid work model to be successful, solicit feedback from key stakeholders and ask them how their teams perform best. Design with the 95 percent in mind, not the 5 percent whose performance might have slipped while working remotely. Creating a program to whip poor performers into shape will only disenfranchise the higher-performing employees who handled themselves professionally. Finally, it’s important to shift how you think about success from being activity-focused to outcome-focused. For better or worse, work structures have been changed forever, and demanding everyone be in a physical place “looking busy” is not a recipe for long-term success.

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