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Top Down Has To Be Done Right


Giving people autonomy and choice has a lot of upside, but there can be a benefit in companies implementing well-thought-out hybrid work policies. 

Data from Future Forum has shown that women and people of colour are more likely to prefer to work from home than their male or white counterparts. And, as Stanford economist Nick Bloom has pointed out, research shows those people that come into the office most are also the most likely to be promoted. 

Taken together, if companies do let staff simply choose which days they come in, there is a risk promotions go to those for whom flexibility does not offer a life benefit. Women and people of colour are even less likely to get promoted than they are now and diversity suffers at the executive level. Intentionally setting days for who can come in and when has the potential to avoid this pitfall. 

But this has to be explained to employees. 

“For a lot of companies, they decided they don’t want to go fully remote, people don’t want to come back in full time, so I guess we’re hybrid,” Humanyze’s Ben Waber says. “Companies need to have a clear strategy, based on data, and say to people, we’re going on a journey, we don’t know exactly what this will look like, but here’s the evidence we’re basing our decisions on.”

If people think that policies are simply being imposed from above, it can erode trust and make the company vulnerable to resignations.

On the whole, it will pay for real estate owners to have a much deeper understanding of how their tenants structure their business, as this will be a factor in whether those tenants succeed or fail. 

“People have to love their job and love what they do in order for them to go into an office,” RealCorp Capital co-founder Chris Kanwei said. “If they don’t you will find them going away from the office very, very quickly.”

That is an existential, almost spiritual change in our attitude to work. But the physical environment will have an impact, too. To find out how, read on …

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Related Topics: Future of work, Chris Kanwei