Big corporate’s dead and I’ll never go back to an office without a body suit and my own breathing system.  Oh, no, reality going forward is a hybrid basis.  Forget about y’all, I’m going back to the office where I can finally get some work done!  Heard any of these?  So have we, and more.  In today’s podcast we discuss these scenarios and more.

Reading a recent article published on Medium, it stated that there would be three main reasons why remote won’t work:  1.  Communication issues with partially-remote workforces; 2.  Decision inclusion and 3. Optics.  I agree that all of these are going to be significant issues in the future.  People who are satisfied to do their job and aren’t interested in promotion and moving up in the company may be happy working from home long-term, but these are all reasons why ambitious people will want to get back to the office as soon as possible.

Let’s discuss each item in a bit more detail – #1 – Communication issues with partially-remote workforces.  We experienced this just this week on our weekly status meeting-Zoom wouldn’t work for everyone.  Two of us had sight and sound the other two had sight only.  Details!  We worked around it but it definitely cost some downtime and we had a hard stop this week on that meeting.  Anything technical is always going to be prone to issues, such is life, but with that being your only connection for the office can be troublesome.

#2 – Decision inclusion-sounds like the old song – “if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with”.  How many times do you forget to include someone simply because they’re not there – not top of mind?  This is a major issue in social groups, but also in business situations.  People are fearful of being left out.  They want to be included.  They want to be part of the decision.  And they will come back to the office to be sure they are.

#3 – Optics-caving to peer pressure, are we?  I think it’s much more than peer pressure.  If most folks go back to the office and you’re still working from home, how likely is it that you are going to be considered for promotion?  If you can’t build the relationships with the people who will promote you, if you are out of sight, if they can’t see you interacting with others, how will they compare you to someone who comes to the office all the time, who goes to lunch with them, who are told by coworkers what a great person you are?

So, if people are working remotely, are there ways for them to overcome these negatives?  Absolutely!  Daily Zoom (Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc) calls, virtual happy hours, great CRM system that keeps everyone in the loop, etc.  This can be done, it is usually just a tad more difficult.

I would like to propose a fourth reason for remote working not being a long lasting solution-loneliness.  Relationships are often built in the office-and it’s pretty obvious worldwide, that these are being desperately missed.

Going forward I think the keyword will be flexibility.  We’re all going to have to learn how to navigate our new world.

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate (also known as a tenant rep) with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies which lease or buy office and warehouse properties.