Return to Office Enters the Desperation Phase - The New York Times:
The engineers reminded him of their commutes. The working parents reminded him of school pickup times. Mr. Medina replied with arguments he has delineated so often that they have come to feel like personal mantras: Being near each other makes the work better. Mr. Medina approached three years of mushy remote-plus-office work as an experiment. His takeaway was that ideas bubble up more organically in the clamor of the office.
“You can interrupt each other without being rude when you’re in person,” said Mr. Medina, whose company, Outreach, is now in the office on a hybrid basis. “In a Zoom conversation, you have to let somebody finish their thought.”
And there we have it—god forbid you have to let someone finish their thought!
The problem with all of this return-to-office stuff is that it is driven by senior executives and is based on their experiences of being in the office. That is a very different experience from that of the average worker who has to schlep in to a desk every day and then sit on Teams or Zoom or Slack meetings anyway.
This is not those folks’ experience:
“It’s the impromptu-ness of in-person – so for example, I was at the office and there was somebody from Chicago, she was in the San Francisco office – ‘Oh do you have time to go and chat and have a meeting about a strategy that we’re rolling out?’” said Nathalie Scardino, Salesforce’s global head of talent strategy.
An executive’s in-office experience is being able to wander around and button-hole anyone as they see fit, have impromptu chats because no one will take them to task when they’re late to their next meeting, and be able to see all of their worker bees busy and productive. Thus, they’re all stuck in this return-to-office mindset because they can’t fathom—or don’t care—what the impact is on the lives of regular employees.