It is tiresome reading news reports claiming that businesses and business CEOs want employees to return to the office – often backed by a survey of CEOs.
Sure, some do. But, plenty don’t.
These stories about returning to the office are often vested interest based: landlords wanting their commercial space to be filled, companies wanting the space they have leased to be filled, businesses needing office-based trade to thrive and consultants serving businesses in these situations.
Think about local retailers benefiting from people working from home, regional retailers too. Force people back to the office and they lose the business they have won.
Landlords, property developers and others wanting people to return to the office for selfish reasons need to stop being selfish.
Smart employees of workers who want work from anywhere want their people to work where they are happiest. If that’s home, let them work from home.
Happy employees are valuable to any business.
Journalists and news outlets need to stop being boosters for the selfish demanding people work at the office and not from home.
Families benefit from more time with people able to work from home rather than losing family time to a commute.
Local communities benefit from people working from home shopping more locally and having mor time for local engagement.
Those calling for people to return to the office think their needs are more important than family time or local community time. They are wrong.
At our POS software company, Tower Systems, where people work is up to them. We actually started on this model in 2019, ahead of the pandemic, and then we escalated it to be companywide. We are lucky to be in a business where work location is not an issue.
We hire people we trust, provide them with resources they need and offer as much flexibility as we can in terms of their work situation. We have some team members saving close to twenty hours a week – that’s money in the bank for them.
Sure, we have a small crew in the office, where the job requires it. We support them. We are also grateful that each member of this crew actually prefers to be there, in the office.
Now, we do have a vested interest in all this. We make software for local small business retailers. They benefit from more people who work from home. So, of course we will support work from home from a commercial perspective. But our pitch makes sense right – happy people = productive people = people less likely to look elsewhere = a more successful business.
We think it all comes down to how you view people working in your business. If you see them as a line item on your P&L, a cog in a big machine that serves a P&L result only, you miss the opportunity to see people working in your business as people, families, members of local communities.
We don’t support the calls for people to return to the office and we wish news outlets would stop being used as mouthpieces for the vested interests making these selfish pitches.