Forcing Return to Office Misses Opportunities

Leadership Tip: Remote work is not the problem. DOn't try to solve your leadership issues by forcing people into the office

For remote work to work, leaders need to:

  • Trust people
  • Communicate effectively
  • Actively build relationships
  • Get clear on the objectives
  • Monitor and discuss the objectives
  • Schedule time to connect
  • Deal with performance issues quickly and effectively

These leadership practices build morale and motivation and contribute positively to performance both remotely AND in the office. 

The “back to the office to get results” mandates are highlighting that managers are missing these essential skills.  They want people back in the office so they can do things like:

  • Use “butt in seat time” as a measure of success
  • Look over shoulders
  • Micro-manage
  • Rely on people walking by their office
  • Hope the problems sort themselves out

However, these types of management practices actually squash morale, motivation, engagement, and productivity.    

Remote work isn’t the problem. How we have learned to manage and lead people is the problem. And we have an opportunity to learn and apply thinking, skills, and habits that not only support remote work but also help people feel and do their best in any work environment.