A (virtually) new phase

June 29, 2023
3 min read

SBA is about to embark on a new journey in the coming weeks, one where we go mostly remote.

This impending change has made me think about the ongoing debate of companies going remote vs returning to the office, and I realized that it really isn’t a debate anymore. For most of the corporate world, the question should not be IF they should go virtual, but HOW virtual they should go. The days of the 40 hour in-office work week are gone, probably forever.

We all know the usual pros and cons of working remotely. Flexible scheduling, reduced commuting hassles vs. the effects on company culture, employees taking advantage, among others. We’re not going to re-hash them here. But I would like to share some thoughts that have been bouncing around my head recently about this issue – thoughts that are not usually brought up.

  • Peace of mind is priceless: I recently took an international trip and through a series of unfortunate events, had to unexpectedly stay a few days longer than anticipated. The comfort of knowing I could work remotely without worrying about any disruption to others by not being in the office was worth more than you could imagine.
  • Adulting shouldn’t be hard: If you must physically watch over employees to ensure they are performing their duties, that says much more about the employees you’re hiring than it does about the need to return to the office.
  • Mark my words: once their office space leases expire and they can drastically downsize rent expenditure, many of the companies forcing the return to office will all-of-a-sudden become more agreeable to remote working.
  • The need for structured mentoring programs is more necessary than ever: early in my career, I learned the most by just being nosey. That’s missing in the world of remote working. As a result, mentors need to impart their knowledge and experience purposefully to others – that means being intentional and meaningful in mentoring new/younger professionals, not just checking the box on a once-a-quarter meeting.

Some companies are so desperate to get people to come back into the office, they are practically bribing employees to do so. While that doesn’t seem like the best answer, neither is the notion that workers should dictate whether they can go remote and how much. It’s fair to want flexibility, but some flexibility is also way better than it used to be.

It’s a new era for SBA. (In fact, keep an eye out for a new re-brand for SBA coming soon!) And while we’ll all miss the office space we’ve been in for over a decade, we’re also looking forward to the new ways, places, and screens where we’ll be collaborating together.

© 2024 Soubriet Byrne & Associates, Inc.