A few days ago I needed to book a doctor’s appointment and called my Hospital. As usual, my phone call was answered by a call-centre operator that followed up on my request with all sympathy and professionalism. This would be a normal call, if not for the fact that the call was interrupted by a bird twittering, which left the call-centre operator feeling awkward about the situation.
Was the bird the problem? Of course not. The bird was, probably, peacefully at his owner’s bedroom or living room balcony. Naturally, it doesn’t make sense to let our pets go because of the fact that our company is making us work from home, even though they can interfere in our job and provide a bad customer experience.
After a lot has been written last year about the benefits of working from home, millions of employees all over the world now question themselves if they are working from home or living at work. Many companies are going back on the decisions they made at the beginning of the pandemic, when they declared "working from home forever”, and from that time on nothing would be like before. Well, ask the hospital contact centre lady about that!
A recent study conducted by the American company CNBC with top executives from human resources, finance and IT concluded that less than half of the companies (45%) decided to adopt a hybrid work model on the second semester of 2021 and about a third (32%) chose the traditional work model, also known as "in-person first”.
We’re not only talking about the lack of working conditions that many employees face to execute their roles fully. Recently, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase informed the actionists of the company that he would order the comeback of most of the employees, after coming to the conclusion that working from home almost eradicates the opportunities of team collaboration and creativity, affecting seriously the company culture.
It’s not by chance that Steve Jobs would say that creativity would appear essentially in spontaneous meetings and random discussions. When Jobs projected the new Apple Headquarters, he established as a premise team’s interaction, making people go out of their work posts and meet at the central hall. To Jobs, the concept of developing ideas through digital communication was absurd. His successor, Tim Cook, stated recently, on a note to his employees, that conference calls narrowed down the distance between workers, but there are things that can simply be replicated.
I have no doubts that the world will be back to the way it was. And why would it change if we were happy like that?