These are the 2 topics leaders are discussing most as we figure out what “returning to the office” looks like.

Research during the pandemic has shown that strong performers have performed even better while working  at home/remotely.

While weak performers are “mailing it in” even more than usual.

Eventually both get noticed – good leaders aren’t fooled – they know who is “doing the work” and moving the busines ahead every day!

And often (but not always) it is these same performers who inspire a healthy culture.

So how do we create “culture” when performers are motivated working remotely?

Performers are often the people we want to be around – they are good energy!

Mandating back to the office practices may demotivate them.

So, what do we do?

Navigating the opportunity to go “back to the office” is going to require a highly conscious and considered approach.

I think each organization is going to need to co-create new ways of working that take into consideration:

  1. learning from the past year (what worked and what  didn’t) 
  2. daily/weekly performance management goals (weed and feed continuously – sounds harsh but its honest!)
  3. what a healthy culture means to their team and the ensuing ways to foster and continuously evolve it

I also think there is going to be a new role arising – think the “Mindset Coach” in the TV show Billions. A person who knows the work (aka has credibility – has walked in the shoes of other team members) and also knows how to motivate, inspire and lead…a unicorn? No. These people exist and leaders would be wise to get them on board asap to support in the development of creating what the future of work looks like for their company and their most valuable asset – their people.

Interesting times ahead…but aren’t there always? Let’s go! the future is what we make it and we have lots of making to do!

Photo credit: Unspash