I categorized remarks for each CEO as positive, negative, or “on the fence”. So how do the CEOs feel about remote work?
- 3 positive
- 9 negative
- 7 on the fence
- We adapted, we adjusted, hard to believe but we did it.
- Some work can be done well remotely.
- “cannot get the same quality of work”
- productivity drops
- need social interaction for personal and professional development
- for innovation, creativity we need people together
1. My guess is that remote workers might be more positive than those in the C-suite. In the WSJ’s small sample there were those who felt remote work was problematic – less quality, less productivity, less innovation and creativity. In some organizations, in certain work cultures, this may be true. In other cases it may simply reflect attitudes about what it takes to lead that organization’s workforce.
2. Positive comments spoke to organizational resilience. We had to go to remote work and we did it. We adjusted. We adapted. And we are still getting the job done. The comments were not about advantages of remote work.
3. What does the future hold? I expect to see large individual and organizational differences. Individuals will know whether they prefer remote work and may seek to be employed in organizations that allow that. Organizations' use of remote work will depend on environment and strategy. Many will go to a hybrid model, (1) either some workers in company offices and others at home or (2) workers rotating in and out depending on the week.
4. The pandemic has forced leaders to make choices. Likewise it has broadened horizons of employees as to what is possible and what is not possible in their daily work life. Perhaps more importantly, the pandemic has given all of us an opportunity to reassess our priorities, our plans, our relationships, and how we want to live.
Illustration by RoadLight. https://pixabay.com/illustrations/remote-work-office-home-office-5491791/
© John Ballard, PhD, 2021. All rights reserved.
Decoding the Workplace “deals with principles and practices that are timeless . . . Is this a must-have for managers and would-be managers? Yes.” Academy of Management Learning & Education, June, 2018. Available as ebook, hardback, paperback, and audiobook. The best-selling audiobook is narrated by Timothy Andrés Pabon.