After a prolonged absence -for which I sincerely apologize- I would like to return with a topic that entered the grand stage of public discussion earlier this year and has since then been talked about left and right: home office. Or as more refined people call it: remote work. As we all know, the coronavirus -and the measures taken to combat it- have compelled companies to send most of their office workers home and allow them to work from there. Early reports (post corona outbreak) indicated that although remote working was not without its challenges, it seemed to be perceived as a good and, indeed, useful development.
Since then, that sentiment has grown further. “Technology is going to be key to how we work in the future” is a phrase that, in one way or another, most of us must have heard aplenty by now. It is also referenced to in this wonderful article on the topic by Rebecca Seal, albeit as an ironic prelude to a point made later in the article: Namely that, when discussing the sustainability of remote work, the focus of attention should not really lie on the technological aspects of the development, but rather on ‘basic’ things like the availability of suitable workspace infrastructure at home or psychological elements like work-life boundaries and the necessary change of mindset that comes with working at home.
And herein lies the managerial challenge organizations are currently faced with: To continue pushing remote work -with all its obvious advantages- on the one hand, while circumnavigating the dangers of employee despair and loss of company culture on the other. Considering the stakes at hand, let us hope they succeed.