Remain flexible or return to a more traditional environment?
Do you want to remain flexible or return to a dedicated, more traditional office environment? Real estate remains the second highest cost to the bottom line of every business, exceeded only by staff salary. With the impetus for firms to maintain some semblance of a flexible workplace, how might management convince their teams to return to the traditional office?
I’m guessing that while most of us might still be pining for the camaraderie of water cooler chit-chat. After work impromptu happy hours, that type of workplace will struggle to maintain relevance in these evolving times.
Big business with expensive HQ facilities is facing the fact that money spent on a glorious facility might stay more half empty than half-complete. Therein lies the corporate struggle between ego and spending.
Logically, spending will likely be adjusted around lease renewals or termination, while ego will struggle with feeling like an empty nester. And what about the money spent on bills for goods and services (such as utilities, cleaning, security, and healthcare)? This spending keeps our brand front and center in the eyes of the public.
It seems to me to remain committed to a flexible workplace culture or return to a traditional office space could be as complicated or simple as an SAT word problem:
Headquarters A has five mixed-use sites, 300k SF, 3500 staff, 4200 desks, and five years remaining on their lease.
In contrast, headquarter B has a newly renovated headquarters location with 2500 working stations for the 8000 staff merging in from 3 satellite offices.
Who wants to WFH or come back to the workspace?
It may be as simple a solution as what the C-suite determines is best for the business’s bottom line. Let’s face it. They pay you. You work for them.
They will ultimately determine where and how you work based on cost vs. spending, right size vs. downsize, employee positivity around flexible schedules, or negativity about an enforced return to the office.
I’ve got a balance whereby I can work from home in my bunny slippers without commuting or come to the office for a team environment, water cooler chit-chat, and impromptu happy hours. I’m good, are you?