Journal Article

Opinion: Why Is Returning to the Office Contentious?

Abstract: A trusted colleague recently relayed an article about CEOs taking a harder line on bringing staff back to the office. I found the employers' views expressed in the article understandable. When it comes to bringing people together in the workplace, it's often the case in specialized teamwork settings that what I as a leader am looking for is simple availability. Stuff needing quick attention comes up in any organization, especially when others are waiting for one team member to dispose of an issue. It is bad for business, and personally frustrating, when such agility is compromised. A rigid in-office policy more or less solves this in a crude but effective way: Team members are physically available should the need arise. Yet I suspect that return to office, or RTO, is not a "return" in the sense of going back to the past. Instead, it is a new approach combining what we always knew about physical proximity with what we learned about its costs and benefits during the pandemic.

Keywords: Human Capital; Labor;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Econ Focus

Publication Date: 2023-12

Volume: 23

Issue: 4Q

Pages: 31-32