You Need On-Site Time

You can work from home as long as you also put in 40 hours at the office. That’s official policy at Tesla, where Elon Musk has thrown down the gauntlet at his executives. The factory workers put in 40+ hours and their managers should, too.

There are some jobs that lend themselves well to remote working, and some that don’t. Elon has a point that managing people involves being visible, and much leadership happens outside official meetings. Nobody has figured out a way to simulate the informal encounters of the workplace in Zoom. That is why some on-site time is necessary for everyone inside the organization. We are seeing that fully remote workers never assimilate the culture of the organization, don’t feel a sense of belonging, and quit much faster than people who still have an in-person connection to the organization. People who are 100% remote should be contractors, not employees.

Google Just Challenged You

Google just challenged your IT organization. They created a free version of their Workspace plan where users get collaboration spaces, chat, video conferencing, and the usual Google programs Sheets, Slides, and Docs.

This dramatically increases the risk that people in your organization will create a free Google Workspace Essentials account and run their projects from there. That means all your data is under the control of Google instead of you. If the person who set up the Workspace forgets to appoint another administrator and leaves the company, your data is stuck on Google servers with no option to apply the corporate data governance.

To face this challenge, you need a stick and a carrot. The stick is an official policy prohibiting unauthorized collaboration spaces on third-party servers. The carrot is officially approved collaboration software with great usability. It’s easy to create the stick, but it doesn’t work without the carrot. Do you have the carrot?

Who Gets to be in the Office?

What happens if more people want to be in the office than can safely be accommodated? With coronavirus distancing rules, you can use less of your space. As employees get work-at-home jitters and want to come in to the office to get away from the kids and congregate at the coffee machine,  you might run out of space.

A New York startup, faced with some of the most expensive office space in the world, had this problem. There are many considerations to balance: Do teams need to work together? Do you want people from different parts of the company to meet? Do you need to give everyone equal visibility in the office?

They decided to build an AI-based algorithm to select who gets one of their coveted office spots. How do you decide who gets to be in the office? That is a leadership decision and not something that should be left to chance.