“Cigna announces plan to bring employees back to the office”
“JPMorgan ends remote work for senior bankers”
“Federal workers called back to the office”
These and other recent headlines point to the fact that the pendulum is beginning to swing strongly back to an in-office work environment. Disney, Starbucks, General Motors, and UPS are among the many major companies across greater Boston and the country that reportedly no longer allow employees to be fully remote.
Top 3 Benefits To In-Person Work:
Collaboration and Synergy
Zoom and other virtual platforms were indispensable to many businesses at the height of the pandemic. The video format enabled a higher level of connection and conversation than one could gain from a simple phone call.
These platforms’ technology, however, tends to make conversations more stilted, less free flowing, and much less engaging than in-person interactions. And they certainly cannot replace serendipitous—and potentially highly productive—chats when team members cross paths in the break room or hallway.
As Disney CEO Bob Iger wrote to his employees: “In a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together.”
Although some mentoring relationships are based on regularly scheduled meetings, a great deal of mentoring involves newer colleagues observing their more experienced teammates in action on a daily basis. Just a handful of examples of unplanned yet highly educational opportunities are:
- Sitting in on a fierce negotiation
- Seeing another colleague juggle multiple assignments
- Watching the way key leaders interact with and motivate staff
- Listening to the co-worker in the next cubicle calm an upset client
Recognizing the critical role that senior team members play in training and influencing those who are less experienced, JPMorgan Chase wrote in a memo to its staff: “Our leaders play a critical role in reinforcing our culture and running our businesses… They should always be accessible for immediate feedback and impromptu meetings.”
Improved Company Culture and Retention
Every company has both written and unwritten rules that dictate its culture. That culture guides whether you send a calendar invitation or simply holler over the cube when you want to speak with a colleague; whether you speak with clients in a formal manner or keep it warm and casual; and whether you share the details of your weekend with co-workers or limit your conversation topics to professional matters.
Culture is part of what attracts workers to a company—and what keeps them there. But culture can easily be lost if people are not present to maintain it. And without culture, jobs become more like commodities; they are easily interchangeable when another offer comes along.
Recognizing the value of an in-person work format, multinational healthcare and insurance company Cigna wrote in a statement: “We see significant benefits to in-person work—fostering collaboration, inclusion, and strengthening our culture—which are necessary to support our growth and impact.”
In Search Of An Office Space For Your Company? Contact Cumming’s Properties Today!
If your company is making a return to the office, contact Cummings Properties’ leasing team at 781-935-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about our affordable, highway accessible office space and lab space north of Boston.