This article first appeared in City AM on October 22, 2020.
When the pandemic first struck, the prospect of returning to the office by September was a light at the end of a tunnel of uncertainty.
Rising Covid-19 case numbers now mean many of us face a long winter of remote working. In fact, it’s likely that the next few years may be defined by periods of release and re-confinement.
If companies want to come back stronger from the Coronavirus Recession, it’s time to shift the expectation away from getting “back to normal”
So if companies want to come back stronger from the Coronavirus Recession, it’s time to shift the expectation away from getting “back to normal.”
One of the riskiest things business leaders can do is set false hopes through unrealistic deadlines, with a full return to the office glorified as the ultimate prize. This can make people feel punished every time new restrictions are introduced, or another milestone passes. As harsh as it sounds, it may be better for managers to help their people accept that office working may never be the same again, and find a new, more meaningful, mission that does not revolve around the concept of physically getting “back to work” full-time.
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