49% of remote employees have returned to the office full-time in 2022. However, returning to the office full-time isn't exactly popular with most remote workers. 68% of Americans prefer working remotely, and 97% of workers desire some form of either remote or hybrid work. Statistics like these are crucial for figuring out broad patterns, but stories also help add color, so today, I'd like to share one.
Two weeks ago, I noticed that we had two people in the office that had never met each other: Nicolas Angleys, our most tenured project manager, and Philippe Faubert, a recently hired salesperson. I pulled them together for an informal coffee/chat, thinking this might be a rare opportunity for casual face time. Realistically, this meeting would not have happened in a purely remote context.
A passionate discussion about the ideal client handoff from sales to operations followed. But perhaps more valuable, the moment was about people getting to know and trust each other.
We've always known that proximity makes the mechanics of collaboration better. Still, I'll suggest that this positive effect is nothing compared with the positive externalities that impact attitudes and behaviours.
We've made a foundational decision at HalfSerious: to trust our colleagues to make the call about where to work from, believing they will balance the need for personal productivity and "team health".
This year, we also invested in a lovely space we call "the ClubHouse". This space (and associated services) tries to influence people to show up and synch up. It's easy to get just a little too comfy at home, and we want people to WANT to make visits to the clubhouse part of their natural rhythm.
The experience is ongoing. Next year, we plan on being less top-down about events; instead, we're helping teams organize micro-events. We are also going to dedicate a whole floor as a social space.
I'm always curious about what others are doing, so don't hesitate to comment or DM me.