CEO considerations for the “back to the office”​ transition

CEO considerations for "back to the office" transition

Since Covid-restrictions are gradually lifted, CEOs have asked us how to deal with the “going back to the office” question. Apart from the logistical issues (1.5m distance, disinfecting, business continuity when someone would be infected), an important dilemma that always comes up is: should we go back to full time in the office, or should we go for part-time or allow certain people to continue WFH on a fulltime basis?

Recent studies have confirmed that many people who were fulltime in the office before the Covid-lockdown started, are actually quite happy to continue with the WFH situation. There are elements of the working-in-the-office that they miss, particularly the face to face interactions with colleagues, the team spirit that is felt while being in the office and a better division between worktime and private time. But there are several benefits that they very much appreciate about WFH. These consist of the elimination of the time-consuming commutes and being more flexible with their working hours.

One of the conclusions is that some workers don’t want to go back to the inflexible working arrangements of before.

So this underpins the question of the CEOs we speak with.

In a recent publication, Matt Mullenweg talks about the 5 levels of autonomy for distributed work. These 5 levels are based on the modelling of the autonomy levels of self-driving cars and Matt describes the relationship of these 5 levels to the three things that really matter in motivating people: mastery, purpose, and autonomy.

Give the article a read as it may help you to decide about who and how often people should be in the office in the future.

Want to know more?

Feel free to call ECG if you would like to further discuss our experience with this dilemma or any other issues in your organisation.