Are you going to the office tomorrow?

As vaccination rates increase in some parts of the world, businesses are re-opening.

Maybe you’re lucky to live in a country where the number of infected people is dropping, and you’re getting your laptop bag out of the closet, and ditching your leggings or sweatpants in exchange for what will feel like getting your normal life and self back.

Just like you, I’m much looking forward to re-entering the world of in-person meetings.

But I also feel a bit unprepared.

If you’re like me, once the excitement over occasionally escaping the home office settles, you’ll be starting to think about the nuances and changes in your current work scheme, and how you should best approach them.

Here are some questions on my mind that you too may be wondering about:

Is it ok to ask whether your colleague/business partner/client is vaccinated?

Will you wear a mask? In which circumstances and when is it okay not to?

Are you ready to speak up and ask others to wear a mask if they’re not complying?

Can you excuse yourself from a meeting if you know that some of the attendees aren’t vaccinated?

How will we keep safety at the forefront when we’re tired of this topic and desperately wish to feel and behave “normal”?

If I could come up with those questions in less than 30 seconds, so will your team members, business partners, and colleagues.

Do you know what your answers will be? It’s hard, I know.

There’s no doubt we’re entering different offices from those we left in 2020. But what are we entering?

Gartner’s 2021 Hybrid Work Employee Survey found that 54% of employees confirm that their employer’s approach to flexibility will impact whether they’ll stay at their organization. A Microsoft study shows an even higher number  – 73%.

We’re entering an environment that will have to offer radically more flexibility than before. Otherwise, employers risk their employees’ satisfaction—and their own reputations. Microsoft state that 41 % employees are considering leaving their current employer. Deloitte’s recent survey found that 57% of employed women assume to leave their current workplace within two year they’ll change their positions.

The fight for employee satisfaction and loyalty is real.

Only 21% of HR leaders polled by Gartner have a clear vision for the future role of the physical workplace.

If you’re lucky, you belong to that 21% of companies with a strategic-enough HR function to have been timely in defining their hybrid work strategies. Even if you do, it still may not mean that leaders like you will get all the detailed information you may need to feel prepared for holding effective conversations on the specific situations of hybrid working during and post-pandemic.

Heidrick Consulting confirms that wealthiest nations are vaccinating 25 time faster what leads to uneven prospect for global recovery. It’s close to impossible to prepare for resulting highly individualized local conditions, as vaccination rates will continue to be different in different locations.

So what does this mean for you or any leader?

You need to be clear about the demands of the hybrid world, how you’ll adjust your leadership style and what skillset you need to be hybrid-ready.

It’s time to test your beliefs, values, and skills acquired along the way. Don’t expect others to prescribe how to lead through these times. Instead, observe what works and what doesn’t. Be ready to listen and nurture a frictionless mind.  Explore your authentic leadership style.

As Gartner and Harvard Business Review suggest, being thoughtful around safety, staying flexible, and communicating clearly are fundamental success factors during this period of profound change in our work environments.

These are formative experiences for any leader. In the end, they’ll give more meaning to your life and work!

Ready to re-enter the office?

If you’re not clear how you want to approach this, or if you feel uncomfortable opening the conversation, you may benefit from a reflective conversation or direct support in creating your strategy. Book a free intro call.