by Rob Joseph, Director, BeaconCFO Plus
For many of us, 2020 blurred into 2021, with the ongoing pandemic defining our day-to-day life and our work environment. 2022 will not be like the past two years—it will come into sharp focus. When we look back on this time, 2022 will be remembered as the year we all got back to work.
This isn’t to suggest that COVID, and all its challenges, will simply disappear. As this Economist article begins, “Pandemics do not die—they fade away.” Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to navigate vaccine mandates, compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity Laws, and possibly setting new hours or work-from-home policies. But while some of your employees may take a little urging, the return to work—and to the office—has benefits for all involved.
There’s one major benefit to returning to the office, noted by the Harvard Business Review: You can strengthen company culture. It is particularly important for new hires to spend time in an office setting with their colleagues (not to mention the challenge of remote onboarding). When people are together, they can more easily share a sense of purpose, as well as build rapport and relationships with their teammates that simply are not replicable in a Google Hangout.
We’ve also discussed the importance of creating an idea-friendly workplace. Again, this is difficult to emulate through remote work. Quick chats in Slack or a scheduled brainstorm session on Zoom aren’t quite the same as two colleagues passing each other in the hallway and pausing to talk or the conversations held around a shared table in the break room. Problem-solving, asking questions, collaboration—all contribute to a better employee experience. Happier employees are typically more satisfied in their roles and will build team morale.
Bringing together employees in an office setting also allows you to drive the mission of your company forward. When you are working at home from your kitchen table, it can be hard to feel connected to the mission of your organization. You can lose sight of the “Why” behind what you’re doing and simply check off tasks and to-dos. Many employees may not even realize this sense of shared purpose that has been lacking over the past few years. Regaining this will help align your team’s work around common goals and an overarching mission.
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How can we help your organization get back to work in the new year? Our experienced CFOs are here to help you navigate this challenge, realign your company’s long-term strategy, and prepare for future growth and success.