No One Else Was in the Room Where It Happens

This is Nedra, reporting live this month from a new location: The office. 

After more than two years of editing this newsletter from home, I decided to spend the month of July going to FGS Global five, yes FIVE, days a week. And let me tell you, it is giving me LIFE.

The question of how to balance remote verses in-person work has become a dilemma for many employers. And I’m here to evangelize that we all make our best efforts to be together again. 

This is not easy for me: I’m a single mom of two kids who are going to different schools on opposite sides of town. Getting into the office some days from my house seems more complicated than launching a space shuttle. But I’m convinced it’s well worth the maneuvering. Here’s why: 

  • I love my job and the work I get to do. But I’m going to admit my favorite things about being a professional really are more basic – hanging out with friends and wearing nice clothes. The endorphin shot I’ve gotten from restoring those two routines has given me a renewed energy for my career I simply can’t get from unmuting myself at my dining room table. 
  • Our firm is encouraging attendance two to three days a week. Michele Soho, our savvy chief operating officer for North America, says she wants our employees to have FOMO if they aren’t in person. So the firm is taking a smart approach to incentivizing in-office attendance with meals and treats Tuesday-Thursday. It’s clearly working. The numbers are up those days, while Mondays and Fridays I can practically hear myself echoing off the vast expanse of empty desks. 
  • Hybrid meetings, where some attendees are in person and some are on video, are hard. We can’t see and hear each other clearly, the tech set-up is more complicated on a big screen than a laptop and we’ll have to find better ways to make that work. Clearly hybrid meetings are here to stay. One consideration: Is it a good time to bring back the conference call?
  • But my advice: Get in the room and off the Zoom, even if it takes a little extra effort. Reconnecting is electric.