July 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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You may be wrong when it comes back to the office

You may be wrong when it comes back to the office

According to two researchers, “FOMO” is your best friend. (Photo: Jason Goodman for Unsplash)

RHéveil-matin is a daily column where we offer managers and their employees inspiring solutions to start their day off right. While sipping your favorite beverage, discover new tips to make your 9@5 productive and stimulating.


Wake-up-morning. Fear of missing out, as English speakers call it “FOMO” or “fear of missing out,” can be your best ally in getting your employees back to the office.

Mark Mortensen, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the European Institute of Business Administration, and Amy C., Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School. Edmondson advises.

In a paper they wrote Harvard Business ReviewBoth experts point out that narratives about going back to the office are overblown in the media: suggestions are arbitrary, tone-deaf to staff grievances and take all forms. A dictatorship.

According to a study conducted at Microsoft, Tesla and Apple, “surprisingly,” they wrote, they caused frustration among employees in waves of departures, especially among veteran players.

The authors advise that “companies should engage in dialogue with employees and be clear and honest about the key outcomes expected” since returning to the workplace.

How you present this approach is critical, a part of the equation that organizations typically don't think about. It's like turning a problematic situation into a learning opportunity, Mark Mortensen and Amy C. Describes the Edmondsons.

They urge bosses to stop portraying their needs to inspire innovation or bring employees back into the workplace to foster a corporate culture that isn't conducive to team members.

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Otherwise, “the question becomes more difficult to resolve because 'wars' prevent agreements and 'battles' are won or lost and cannot be redefined,” experts said based on their respective findings.

Everybody's business

Leaders must accept from the outset that compromises are necessary to avoid the appearance of dualism, a division between the interests of one party and the other.

Since the start of the pandemic, some workers have developed new habits or changed their living environment, which makes returning to the workplace more complicated. Leaders must recognize this, as well as the guidelines adopted in the past that may have contributed to the complex situation they face today.

“It's not about abandoning unpopular policies, but recognizing that your employees face real and daunting challenges and considering ways to help them solve them,” he added.

Management must make it everyone's responsibility and an opportunity to contribute to the resolution of problems arising from the return to the workplace.

Change the way benefits are presented

The benefits expected by the employer from the return of members of his organization to the office do not extend to him alone. However, he often struggles to understand them.

So, most of the time, employees appreciate such a statement by their employer thinking that promoting a strong corporate culture is more valuable than spending more time with their loved ones.

However, face-to-face work also offers real benefits to the worker, as many studies have shown. Being part of an innovative organization is stimulating and has a positive impact on employee well-being.

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Note that the opposite is also true. Companies benefit from recalcitrant staff having control over their own work schedule, and it reduces turnover by maintaining employee happiness. Remind the authors that “a greater sense of responsibility and ownership translates into performance and more efficient distribution of tasks.”

Allow yourself to make mistakes

There is no single procedure to follow to ensure a smooth return. What each company embraces is specific to it, but above all, it must be iterative and focus on collaboration.

Above all, the authors suggest that management should allow the right to make mistakes. They are very important for drawing and learning lessons. The first return to office policy is full of them and calls for change according to the new realities of the world of work. It is essential to know about the adoption as soon as possible.

“A key part of your process is early recognition and communication that any policy needs periodic review,” said Mark Mortensen and Amy C. Edmondson concluded.

The question of whether to telework or not to telework is troubling many companies.

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