What Bosses Really Think About Returning to the Office
The number of millennials hitting the office has skyrocketed in recent years, and many of them are turning to entrepreneurship or working from home. But, as the work-from-home trend continues to grow, it’s becoming clear that not all of them are taking their jobs home with them. Rather, when many workers come back to the office, they are looking for more: better relationships with coworkers, greater autonomy, more access to career opportunities, and more time together.
That’s why I have a particular interest in one question every boss should be asking the next time a returning worker comes back to the office: “Who are you?”
What do employees want from a return to the office, and how are they different from people who work remotely? How important are those differences in terms of the worker’s career success and how do they impact employee engagement?
I was recently hired to write the #TentTricks blog for the Financial Times, and my first challenge was answering that question, and developing the strategy to answer it fully.
I spent several weeks collecting qualitative data from all kinds of employees, who had either returned to the office after having worked remotely, or who otherwise had never worked at all. The people I spoke to in the weeks following were mostly people from the financial sector, and their experiences were generally positive:
“Our culture of teamwork and collaboration is better when I have the day off,” said one who worked from home and now works at a Wall Street bank. “The other day someone left a note on my desk, saying, ‘Just wanted to let you know I’ll be back tomorrow,’” he said.
Another from the financial sector said: “Returning to the office is an important part of my job. I’m working from home now, but on a day-to-day basis, I’m still working. The office is the place where I work when