Eric Handler headshot Written by: Eric Handler

Post-Pandemic: What if Coming Back Isn’t the Right Answer?

In this post-pandemic, new normal world we’re all living in, the way in which we work has been a big topic of discussion. Do we stay remote? Do we do a hybrid model? Do we ask employees to come back to the office?

What if coming back to the office at all is not the right answer?

As we recruit Leaders Worth Following, we want our clients to know candidates are asking about potential employer’s WFH policies and that policy is an integral part of their decision to move forward or not with the new opportunity.

We wrote about the pros and cons of a hybrid workplace model here. But even looking at these pros, we can tell you that for many, coming back to the office at all just does not make sense.

“The challenges of bridging together the digital and physical worlds look different across industries. While companies in the financial services and insurance space could perform up to 76% of the work remotely while still being effective, in manufacturing that number is 19%, according to a McKinsey study. Construction industry employees could spend about 15% of their time working remotely, while in agriculture that standard falls to just 7%.” – Rugged Mobility

The challenge here is to look at your specific industry and company. It’s not going to be the same answer for everyone. As you can see in the stats above, industries like the insurance space can do a majority of their work remotely and may want to strongly consider at the very least a hybrid model. But then you look at the agriculture industry and see that coming back to work is a must and hybrid just isn’t an option.

Think about the industries that have been at work this entire time like healthcare.

Back of man looking at computer raising his hand, post-pandmic work employees on computer video call with hands raised

Questions you need to ask to determine if you should come back to the office in this post-pandemic work world:

  • Have we been able to accomplish tasks working from home?
  • Is this sustainable?
  • Have goals been met and/or succeeded?
  • Do we have a sense of how our employees feel?
  • Are employees happy working from home?
  • How has our culture changed since working from home?
  • Would we lose any leaders with our decision?

These are tough questions, and unfortunately, not questions we can help answer for you. Put a survey out to your employees to help make this decision. But as a leader of the company, it’s past time to answer them.