The Trend of Re-Officing

The question of whether virtual work is superior to in-person work has been answered once and for all! Zoom, the company most closely identified as the one which enabled the US economy to stay alive in 2020, now requests that their employees return to the office at least two days per week! Can you imagine the internal wrangling that had to go on at Zoom? This announcement, in a way, undercuts their very brand promise – that virtual can be made to work as effectively as live person-to-person interaction!

Tune in this week as Wayne explores Zoom’s decision, offers examples of where in-person meeting is clearly better than virtual, and offers seven tips for persuading your people to return, at least some of the time, to your office. What’s your opinion? Will we gradually go back to “normal?” And what can construction teach other industries? After all, construction has ALWAYS had a manner of separation between field and office workers, right? Please share with us in the comments.

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  1. Wayne,
    I’ve observed several owners who wanted to spend less time in the office near the twilight of their careers but still wanted to retain ownership and involvement. In my opinion, the ones who did it the best gave clear understanding to their employees who were expected to run day to day operations. They clearly let management know their schedules and what duties would be delegated. The best example that I saw was an owner who would come in each day till noon open he mail and hand deliver it to his management team. He was consistent, engaged, communicative, and yet was able to eat lunch with his wife and spend the afternoon in semi-retirement.
    The worst example that I’ve seen is an owner who wanted to retain ownership and involvement, but no one knew his work schedule or plan for delegation. The former owner retired gracefully; the latter handicapped his capable team, and the business eventually faltered because of a lack of communication, consistency, leadership, and key employees’ lack of confidence in their futures.
    I agree with your comments, regarding “leading by example.” Employees notice way more than most owners give them credit for!

    • Thanks, Doug!

  2. I want my people engaged in whatever their responsibilities are. PM’s should be in office some, but I want them frequently going by jobs to make sure they have they have a good grasp of the pulse of the job.

    Estimating can be remote, but we insist that bid day is in person in the office.

    Hybrid is best solution. I don’t need to see you every day, but I want to see you some every week.

    • Thanks, Chip.

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