Remote work vs. in office work conflicts are back front and center today. I explored this topic a few weeks ago and I quote that post…“ the wisdom of working suggests that the real learnings of business happen in the margins (aka young people are the biggest beneficiary of connection and mentoring) … It’s what we call in our office “the social fabric”; that binder not made of hierarchy, but relationship. It’s what makes a company… a company

Now it seems that some leading financial minds are lining up behind me … Well they don’t know me, but let’s just say they see some of the same limitations with hybrid work as I see. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase has been a staunch proponent of returning to “mostly” in-office work for almost a year now. While he’s fine with the greater flexibility allowed by employees working from home part time, he said that’s no substitute for being at the office. Says Dimon, “We want people back to work … It doesn’t work for culture” 

Now it appears that Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon is on the full back to office hunt himself. The company appears frustrated with the failed attempt to get employees back voluntarily on February 1, when its company headquarters was reopened in New York. Predictably, only about half showed up. Solomon has come out from the pack. In an CNBC blog “MakeIT”, Soloman stated that remote work is an “aberration” that needed course correction “as quickly as possible… I do think for a business like ours which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us and it’s not a new normal,”

That is absolutely what we have in the A/E space and at CP, a collaborative, apprenticeship culture. Although Cuhaci Peterson has some full remote employees that support us, we have been mostly back in office for a year now (having our main office in Florida helps that quite a bit). 

So, the hot take here is …”There is NO real work from home. Home is home; work is work.” While there maybe hybrid spaces in the “house” where work happens, that place is NOT home. Home is a construct that brings with it a variety of distractions, which ultimately become counterproductive, and in some cases even lead to anxiety and depression. Hybrid spaces are spaces in homes where work gets done, and conversely work can be left behind.

Career and team growth happen at the intersection of experienced employees and younger staff. In a recent Future Forum survey (by Slack), “Forty-two percent of executives report they work from the office 3-4 days a week as compared to just 30% of non-executives. And 75% of executives currently working fully remotely report they would prefer to work from the office three or more days a week, as compared to 37% of non-executive

This striking difference in opinion may be somewhat generational, but I think for most folks in today’s executive tier, they respect those interactions that helped them to get where they are in their career. The rise of technologies’ darlings that didn’t get through school and ended with big stock options also cloud perspective of the masses (you might as well plan on playing for a major league sports team or winning the lottery).

One of my greatest learnings come from a well published old saying, “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment”. And the best way to avoid having to learn every lesson through “bad judgement” is to be around people who have been there and “broke” things before you got there. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know … and you won’t figure that out in a vacuum.