“Not being able to get together in person is a pure negative.” — Reed Hastings

After allowing their employees to work from home for the last year, CEOs are asking their employees to show up to the office after Labor Day.

Many CEOs have one message to their employees, Enough.

Jonathan Wasserstrum, the CEO of SquareFoot, told his staff. “I believe that work is better when most of the people are in the office most of the time together.”

Are CEOs making the right decision by asking employees to come back to the office?

Let’s explore the answer to this question.

The Office As a Battlefield

For the last ten years, working from home’s advocates has done a great job painting working from the office as a pain to employees and a pleasure to employers. So, employees became resistant to the idea of going to the office.

The problem with the war against the office is that it projects the office as a battlefield between the employers and the employees. When employees view the office as a war zone, it is natural for employees to resist the idea of showing up to work,

So, employers have a tough job convincing employees to go back to the office, and I think you can gain a competitive advantage over your coworkers if you decide to show to the office more often.

It Is Not About Productivity

Most people defend work from home with one statement, “I can be more productive at home.” What if working from the office wasn’t about productivity?

Stop using an economic formula to solve the office vs. home problem. It is a sociological issue and not a purely economic issue.

The office provides you with a safe place where you can socialize with your coworkers. I know you can do that virtually, but it is a lot harder to be vulnerable when you haven’t met people face to face.

Going to the office gives you a needed mental break from your daily routine. According to psychologist Ramani Durvasula, working from home can negatively impact your relationship with your family, so step out of the house and head to your office.

Dr. Durvasula added by coining the term“the sweatpants paradox” to warn employees about the disadvantage of working remotely. She explains that working from home gives you the benefit of wearing anything, but not dressing up and going to the office impacts your self-esteem and dulls your sex life.

Now that I have your full attention stop looking at going to the office as a benefit to your employer. It has profound sociological and psychological benefits to you as well.

Young Employees Lose The Most

I established my professional credibility, and I earned the respect of my colleagues by connecting with them face-to-face.

Had I worked remotely 100 % of the time, I would have lost the 1000s of network lunches that I attended in the last 15 years and the benefit of exchanging small talks with my coworkers around the water cooler.

David Solomon, Goldman Sachs chief executive officer, realizes this hidden benefit of going to the office, “I don’t want another class of young people arriving [remotely] that aren’t getting more direct contact, direct apprenticeship, direct mentorship. ”

As a young employee, you need as much mentorship and apprenticeship as possible. Go to the office.

Employers Can’t Reward What They Can’t See

When it comes to your value to the marketplace, you have to be visible. If you don’t think visibility is important, ask Kim Kardashian.

We know from research that work from home increases productivity by 13 percent, but we also know that this increased productivity isn’t always rewarded. You have to be visible to your supervisors and your customers.

Going to the office helps young employees to be seen and recognized. In addition, it allows them to interact with their supervisors, which improves their chances of moving up and earning more money.

More Hidden Benefits of the Office

Employers need to frame working at the office as a huge benefit to their team.

Art Markman mentions three benefits that can help employees come to the office, culture, collaboration, and purpose.

  1. It is hard for new employees to learn the culture of their companies remotely. Moreover, it deprives young employees of interacting and learning from more experienced staff.
  2. Collaboration is not only about getting things done. It is about transferring knowledge from one employee to another. When people work remotely, the focus becomes getting the job done and not sharing knowledge.
  3. Going to the office reinforces the sense of belonging to your team and makes your job more enjoyable.

You need to stop looking at your job as a paycheck. Your job serves a bigger purpose, and it has a symbolic value. It connects you with the world and exposes you to different people with different backgrounds.

How Employers Can Approach Working Remotely Issue

If employees are companies' most significant assets, inflexibility won’t create a loyal workforce.

Forcing people to work full time from an office is a recipe for disaster, and it will create a pool of unhappy employees. Employers have to create a hybrid approach so they can attract and retain great employees.

1. Design an intentional work from home policy

If human resources departments want to become relevant again, they need to promote work from anywhere to their CEOs as a competitive advantage.

It helps companies recruit better talent, retain good employees and promote the most productive ones.

2. Help employees to be more productive at home

Train employees to work from home by providing them with tools and resources to get the job done remotely.

3. Ask employees to designate a specific workstation

It is easy to get distracted and get too comfortable at home. Ask employees to select a place at their homes so they can stay as productive as possible.

4. Choose two days when everyone shows up at the office

Ask employees to show at the office at least two days per week to connect with their coworkers and learn about your organization's culture.

5. Be clear about your performance metrics

Clarify performance metrics. For example, how many hours should they work? Discuss quality, quantity, and deadlines very often.

6. Assign a mentor for every new employee

Every young or new person to the organization should work closely with someone else with more experience to help them learn about your culture.

7. Have daily huddles and weekly meetings with your team

Start each day with five minutes huddles where people update their coworkers about what they are working on. Once a week, meet with your team and provide an opportunity for everyone to give an update on their projects.

This approach will help you work from home productively and help your organization be more efficient and productive. The bottom line, stop resisting the idea of going to the office.

Your boss is not wrong. Go back to the office, and earn more money.