The after is now

How do you feel about going back to work in person? So many articles touting the benefits that I wonder what moderates my enthusiasm. Is it because I’m unused to human contact, as some experts claim?

It would also be easy to attribute my reaction to the simple fact that I am afraid of losing personal comfort. It is true that it is difficult to be delighted at the idea of ​​rediscovering the irritants that were part of everyday life before COVID-19: wasting time in transport and suffering the discomfort, or even having to play a balancing act. on the thread of the accommodation of family life with work.

The enthusiasm of some colleagues in front of the face-to-face return, however, forces me to ask myself what really bothers me. Looking back, my record of the past 18 months is far more positive than negative for me and my family.

I also dare to say that my employer has benefited from the fulfilled employee that I have been. It is also true that my reality was not the same as that of the person next door, just as it is true that teleworking is not suitable for everyone or for all tasks. But how do we know what is working or not, what to build on and what to leave behind, if it is not documented? There it is, the missing link in the return to face-to-face.

From the onset of the pandemic, telecommuting and flexibility were the lifeline that kept the community functioning. Today, the question is no longer to know what it brings, but what it will cost to no longer have it. Even if teleworking is still seen as a gift given to employees, it should be noted that gifts whose return on investment is also interesting for the person offering it (retention, attractiveness and efficiency) are very rare.

Thus, removing it without a reasonable explanation is akin to arbitrary punishment. To date, who has seen the results of objective surveys that anchor the tenacious wish of “everyone in the office” in concrete terms and that demonstrate the failure of teleworking? It is also striking to note the absence of coherence between the fact of defending the face-to-face to promote, among other things, social interactions (not always very productive), whereas the argument against teleworking is precisely the fear that employees do not work!

The desire to return to a pre-COVID is so strong that it makes you forget to analyze the situation before proposing actions that will allow a truly winning renewal. People in a position of authority are not stingy with positivism or discourse advocating humane and benevolent management, but they forget to dialogue with all the players and simply ask them how it went for them during the pandemic.

Still, it’s normal for people to expect to be questioned and heard: don’t they know what worked? Instead of including ourselves in the reflections, we are sold emotion, we are dizzy with initiatives to return the worker-consumers to the offices and live “as before”. It is also legitimate to ask where innovation is when choosing to miss the potential for increased productivity and employee well-being. The solutions for tomorrow that are proposed to us are so lacking in daring: why settle for reheated expired?

Executives and chambers of commerce like to say that we are an innovative company. However, the mindset conducive to innovation is not forged in management practices that are now obsolete. Embrace the change and welcome to 2021!

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