Is it my imagination or has there been a shift in attitude towards WFH since the early days of Covid?
In an article I posted here in March last year, I referred to a snap poll taken by an office manager who found that less than 50% of her colleagues were enthusiastic about the idea.
At the time, I expressed the thought that their preference for coming to the office might be because being part of a group of co-workers gave them a feeling of purpose and wellbeing.
A year later, I don’t seem to hear so much talk about WFH. Maybe we’ve all got used to the idea and/or accepted it? Either that or it didn’t happen on the scale expected.
When I’ve raised the subject , opinions seem to differ along the lines of age. In a poll I conducted last week, those expressing support for WFH were all younger than those that weren’t happy with the idea.
Was that was because younger employees value the social aspects of office work more highly than their elders?
But then a comment on an article I published here last week gave me a different insight. A parent lamented the lack of any free time working from home with children around who, with schools closed, have also been working from home.
While the frazzled-parent problem may be largely resolved when schools reopen, the lack of social contact between colleagues will continue. This is the biggest negative I hear about and one which could potentially impact staff turnover and how will WFH affect activities like how managers will assess the application by their team of OKR ’s if they can’t observe them in the office ?
So far, the WFH applications I’ve seen and heard about appear to be experimental and the feedback is that some roles are better suited to it than others: Sales, Client Management and Creative seem happier at home; Finance and IT in-house.
And from what I’ve seen so far, people have been encouraged to work the logistics out themselves.
This WFH scenario seems to fall short of the culture-changing, climate-saving hope for the future that was forecast for WFH at the outbreak of Covid, when it was hailed as a shining example of Disruptive Innovation allowing the unthinkable to happen.
Have we moved on, or is that it? Is it already being applied by those who want it?
If not, maybe we just weren’t ready for a self-starting work ethic based on a contemplative approach to work.
We’ll see, but if not, I hope it’s a while before we have another encounter with Disruption .