Embrace the Possibilities

I'm seeing some interesting trends in the work-world right now. Organizations are falling into two broad camps - those that are biding their time until things get back to "normal" and everyone can come back to the office, and those that are fully embracing the possibilities of a remote and hybrid workforce.

As a professional, which camp do you fall into? It's worth spending some time thinking about. You might be longing to go back to normal - to separate your work life from your home life. That does not mean your team does, for what it's worth. I'm getting many job seekers who are ready to leave their jobs if their current company makes them go back every day.

I hate to break it to the "back to normal" camp, but at this point everything has changed and work will never be the same. In multiple surveys, fully 90% of people whose jobs are remote-capable want a hybrid or fully-remote option. As a recruiter, I can tell you it will be a tough (and expensive) sell convincing a hybrid or remote worker at another company to come to your company if it means schlepping to the office five days a week...or convincing workers to stay once they are called back in on a daily basis.

Even the once-recommended remote-work rules are becoming invalid. Rules like "Dress like you would at the office" or "have a dedicated workspace" are falling away.

My advice is to stop waiting for normal to return and recognize that the rules no longer apply. Think of what is possible now that you would have never dreamed possible just a few years ago -

Spend the afternoon on the back porch (leaf blowers permitting). Meet your boss for coffee and have a strategy or career planning session. Have the weekly team meeting or quarterly off-site at a park.

Rent a house away from home for a month or two - the beach, the mountains, or even another country, depending on how the time zones works out for you. Opening up positions on your team to possibly "fully remote" can net you an all-star in another part of the country that is not willing or able to relocate.

My point is to start deconstructing what has been pounded into our heads about what work is - namely, reporting to an office setting for 8-10 hours a day. It will take some work - leading a remote or hybrid team or remote/hybrid team has it's own challenges, but the upsides are huge.

If done right, we can be happier and more productive in our work, healthier in our lives, and find that elusive balance between work and life.

I'm not an expert in what happens next (I'd be day-trading if I was) but I do have a lot of data points based on what I do. If you want to talk over what is next for you and your team, I'm always open to chat. Let me know!

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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