💬 Issue #40 - Win-win-win
Ready, OK! RTO is DOA
An economist declares hybrid work alive and here to stay; and you can optimize your workforce, wherever your people are. Grab your pom poms, it’s Friday!
Calling All Autobots: Come Home!
Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom drives a stake in the Decepticon heart of RTO mandates. Bloom puts it succinctly: “what is profitable in a capitalist economy sticks.” And the data is abundantly clear. Remote work cuts costs and increases productivity.
What’s more, hybrid arrangements are pretty damn popular. Workers hate their commutes more than actually doing their work at the office: “Employees equate a mix of working in the office and working from home to an 8 percent raise.” Orgs intent on bringing everyone back to the office full time should get cracking on creating teleportation devices to make M-F 9-5 a future reality.
Though they just might come around in the end, as Bloom says: “We should support the working-from-home revolution that has finally yielded a win-win-win. Companies, employees and society all benefit.”
Where Is My Mind?
So, if we say the RTO question is settled (jk, it’ll never be settled!) -- what then? Chris Kay, founder of andOpen.xyz, suggests we refocus these conversations around optimization of work, regardless of location. Kay points to a Gartner report that outlines nine future-of-work trends that range from attracting and retaining talent through well-being initiatives, to mitigating bias, and supporting overloading managers (and how to effectively manage that hybrid work thing).
Kay says orgs need to start at the top: CEOs must lead with vision, rather than punting future-of-work questions to HR. With vision established and coherently communicated, companies can identify how their org’s talent (as in, the people who work there) adds value. Rather than trying to figure out the cheapest way to accomplish a goal, orgs will be better served by optimizing the skills and enthusiasms of their workforce. This approach will also save money. Kay suggests AI may be effective in matching talent with projects and timelines appropriate to their skills. And finally, to shepherd in this era, leaders will need their own support systems to keep focus and motivation as they build a new, sustainable way to work -- for themselves, and for their teams.
The Land of Super Flextime
Remote work is catching on in a perhaps unlikely place. Famous for a culture of overwork so intense as to lead to office deaths – the phenomenon of karoshi – Japan has begun to embrace remote work.
The Japanese government is promoting remote work arrangements, launching its Super Flextime campaign to promote flexible work hours and off-peak commutes. As in many places where a hybrid work model is taking hold, Japanese workers are enthusiastic about the blend of work/life benefits a flexible workday promises.
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See ya next week,
– The EiT crew at Status Hero