THE FUTURE OF COMMUNICATION, WITH EDWARD J.BELTRAN
In response to this CNN article, ”
Employers take note: Most remote workers don’t want to go back to the office”
Before we begin, I just want to thank everyone for the continued conversation and dialogue around the topics we’ve done the last couple of weeks. It’s been very enriching, and I have very much enjoyed it. And as we’ve talked about over the past couple of weeks, a lot of it is centered around return to office, and the implications it holds for your workforce and culture.
Pew Research has found and they just released over the past month that 60% of workers who can work from home prefer to work from home. And this is up from 54% a year ago. I want to be clear that here at Fierce, we aren’t advocating a policy one way or the other. Instead, we’re making a case that regardless of your policy, in office, remote, or hybrid, leaders really should be equipped to focus on and manage the results. And also to be really cognizant of the culture that’s developed around equipping leaders and people with the right tools.
I want to share two stories that I’ve experienced over the past two years that have stuck with me, and really made me think through what is currently happening. The first one is a conversation I had with a tenured leader at a large international company, who made the comment that people who work remotely can hide easier. So this obviously stung me. This is a very accomplished person who I have a lot of respect for. I responded back and I said, “I’m gonna ask you a question. And I really just want you to think about it, and its implications before you answer…What are they hiding from?” In which case it was an awkward silence, and then we changed the subject. But I think that’s an interesting dialogue and one that I’m sure you’ve heard as well.
The second one is with the senior partner at a top law firm who said to me, “We’ve determined that we have to do this hybrid and flexible work arrangement. However, there’s large agreement that this is going to limit career advancement for those who choose to be away from the office.” Again, this had me paused, and I just simply said, “I don’t think you get it.” And the conversation quickly shifted from there.
This is really symptomatic of leadership and the cultural shifts that need to start at the top. And I’ve said this, and I absolutely mean it, that the focus of the manager needs to be on results. I know it’s easier said than done. All leaders and managers have pressures. There are a lot of supply chain issues happening, turnover with the great reshuffle, the resignation. There are a lot of market uncertainties and frankly, maybe leaders and managers are even insecure about their own job security with everything that’s going on. However, firms cannot afford to ignore this anymore. And it’s time to focus on the shifts, and there are solutions that can immediately help. And it starts with acknowledging that the conversation is the culture.
Interested in ways to support remote team communication? Check out our training program: Fierce Conversations for Remote Teams.
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