October 2023
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TD Magazine

Word Wiz: Desk Bombing

Monday, October 2, 2023

In the first half of 2023, 1.5 million US employees saw new return-to-office policies take effect, according to real estate services firm JLL's US Office Outlook—Q2 2023 report. An additional 1 million workers will face similar policies by the end of this year. The restoration of traditional workspaces is not without challenges, such as the threat of desk bombing.

Desk bombing is when a co-worker converges on your workspace for an unscheduled chat. The content of the discussion may or may not be work related.


While there are concrete benefits to work-related drop-ins, such as interacting with colleagues face-to-face, receiving important information in a timely matter, and not having to rely on email, workers do not universally perceive desk bombing as a positive trend.

In fact, desk bombing creates neither a welcoming environment, nor incentive for those who prefer their homes. Many US workers have been resistant to returning to the office—for example, 2,000 Amazon employees staged a walkout due to conflict with management, including the company's return-to-office mandate.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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