Remote work – end or return?

During the COVID-19 pandemic several companies worldwide were forced to adopt remote work. However, some studies acknowledge remote work benefits, which solution has seemingly been classified as temporary or short-term. This is because large multinational companies (e.g., Google, Facebook, etc.) are imposing return to offices. And, this trend has been replicated by other stakeholders…

Some reasons quoted regarding such strategic choice are: i) productivity; ii) communication and collaboration; and, iii) interconnection between those realities. Productivity issues illustrate employees behavioural duality. In other words, while some have found comfort in remote work to enhance their results, others had problems regarding motivation and team connection.

Multinational companies also point out communication and collaboration as a dilemma, since it is more challenging to maintain constant contact with teams and build relationships without sharing space and experiences. Therefore, remote work is depicted as an obstacle to company culture due to less supervision and monitoring. In my opinion, this is a fallacy! Supervision and monitoring do not require physical presence and connection/relationship is based on respect, generosity, and commitment from each individual (sense of belonging).

The way to deal with decreased productivity and communication failures is through investment in correct tools, employee and leadership training, daily monitoring or, the option of a hybrid solution where employees go to office according to their preference and results.