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Should we follow Zoom’s lead in the work from home versus office debate?

Well done to everyone in HR for negotiating this incredibly complex journey towards where people can/should work. You’ve taken business leaders through from panic, bias and ‘controlling parent’ (ref. Transactional Analysis) through to calm, considered and adult respect.

I love the irony that Zoom are insisting that people within a 50-mile radius must come into the office 2 days a week. That’s the kind of hybrid package that we seem to be settling into, and well done Zoom for recognising that your tech isn’t the complete answer.

Gethin Nadin’s HRZone article gives a really balanced view about the WFH versus hybrid debate. His ten considerations are helpful in coming to the right conclusion for the human being as well as the employer:

  1. For us to be successful in a team, we have to spend time with the people in it
  2. Technology is good at maintaining relationships, but not very good at forming them
  3. A commute buffers us against role spillover and offers us an important moment of quiet reflection
  4. Social distancing harms our wellbeing – we rely on being among a community
  5. ‘Always on’ rarely happens in the office
  6. Time spent with others in person establishes high-quality, regular communication, understanding and cohesion
  7. Representation of diverse and marginalised groups drops when we aren’t together
  8. Career success relies on networking internally
  9. Large social networks at work buffer against stress and burnout
  10. In person social interaction increases positive feelings, altruism and mental functioning.

We’re learning so much about the real value of human contact – when it matters and when it helps – the work as well as the person. Humanity is winning. So is great HR.

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