There is a large disparity between the way businesses are thinking about coming back into the office and the way candidates/employees are looking at it.
The genie is out of the bottle folks and there is no way it’s going back! It’s been proven that we don’t need to be in an office to do our jobs well. Managers not having their eyes on us did not result in hundreds or thousands of businesses crashing and burning. Employees have proven themselves to be dedicated and committed to their employers and their own success. After an initial period early in the pandemic, of employees having to figure out how to help their children learn while having embarrassing moments on Zoom and learning how to NOT work 18 hours a day, employees gained the discipline of having a start time, lunch time and end time. People also found that they are happier, feeling successful as parents, spouses and employees, once they got into the groove. They realized there seemed to be a lot less pressure overall with no commute, traffic, etc.. They could put dinner together during their lunchtime, the plumber could come in the middle of the day without having to leave work early, and if one of the kid’s is sick there was not that awful choice of “what am I going to do?”
Another upside is that with this crazy talent market right now, if businesses continue with remote, they have access to the best talent no matter where they are – there is no downside to that.
It’s not that employees never want to go to the office, but Mr. or Ms. Leadership, please consider the lives of your employees as humans. Ask them how they want to work, what works for them and listen to their answers. This is a pivotal time, don’t bulldoze over it because you can or you are apt to lose some of the best talent in your organization – and some of those people are irreplaceable.