The push by some companies to go back to the office full time is profoundly misguided.
The remote work environment is conducive to increased productivity, better work, life integration, and is the future.
Yes, if you need to build widgets or if you need to serve at the restaurant then of course you need to be physically present at the place of work. But for all of us who work on our computers, we can work anywhere in the world. I think it is important for companies to understand that people must be trusted to be passionate about what they do, and as a consequence, to be measured by the objectives that they reach. To pretend to control that someone is sitting at their desk in the office and work as the middle manager walks past their back, controlling that they are at least pretending to be busy is an Orwellian nightmare. And it is totally unnecessary.
But the best place and the best combination is what you should aim for where there is reciprocal, well placed trust and that is what all of us should aim to achieve. That is what should drive our engagement in such an important activity in our lives as the place of work. And once that is achieved, really, you can as long as you have internet connectivity, you have your computer or your advanced tablet or phone. You can do your work anywhere at your own pace, together with your other members of the remote team, using asynchronous communication, email, but also chat systems like Slack, managing everyone tasks on Asana, the task management system or any other similar tool in and then of course, having periodic online meetings, maybe every day, to make sure that things that could derail a project and lead to misunderstandings are clarified, everything is in sync, everyone is on the same page.
So the expectation is that with the end of the pandemic, hopefully, people should go back to the office after having been able to work from home or wherever they wanted. And having successfully done so is misguided backwards, and the companies that impose it should pay a penalty. Those companies that embrace remote work and maintain it in their culture will reap great benefits in terms of productivity, the satisfaction of the team members and the ability to hire the best talent worldwide.