In this episode of Beneficial Intelligence, I discuss whether you should force people back to the office. This will be your most important leadership decision this year.
Apple told everyone to report back to the office. Apple CEO Tim Cook says that "in-person collaboration is essential to our culture." Google is expecting 20% of employees to work from home in the long term, while Facebook is expecting 50% remote work. The big Wall Street banks, on the other hand, require everyone back in their New York offices five days a week.
Remote working presents two problems: Culture and promotion.
Deciding on a remote working policy is your most important leadership task right now. Not making a decision and letting people work it out for themselves is the worst option. It will mean that experienced employees will stay at home and the new hires will wander the halls of empty offices, quickly quitting again. And your leadership team will become less diverse.
Your job as a leader is not to be popular. Your job is to do make decisions that ensure your organization meets its goals. This year, that is likely to involve forcing some people back to the office.
Beneficial Intelligence is a bi-weekly podcast with stories and pragmatic advice for CIOs, CTOs, and other IT leaders. To get in touch, please contact me at email@example.com