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JOE’S NOTEBOOK: Redefining Work

May 25, 2021

Awkward Meetings and Midweek Crowding

“The employer before just could say, ‘Our culture is this,’” says Tara Wolckenhauer, a human-resources executive. “Employers have to take a step back and think about it very differently.”

Most employees indicated that they enjoyed working remotely but missed the planning, ideation and collaboration that takes place in person, says Rob Falzon, vice chair of the company.

As employers firm up plans to bring white-collar workers back into offices while still allowing them to do some work at home, many are encountering obstacles.

Companies are grappling with what new schedules employees should follow, where people should sit in redesigned offices and how best to prevent employees at home from feeling left out of impromptu office discussions or being passed over for opportunities, say chief executives, board directors and others.

Hybrid work “is going to redefine expectations, rules, permissions,” says Kevin McCarty, chief executive officer of the Chicago-based consulting firm West Monroe, which employs 1,360 people, and is rethinking when its employees should work at home or come into its offices.

Factors including the length of a commute, type of job and an employee’s seniority could determine how often an employee needs to visit an office, executives say.

— from today’s Wall Street Journal, Companies Wrestle With Hybrid Work Plans—Awkward Meetings and Midweek Crowding – WSJ

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