The return to the office

As people slowly return to the office, we need to think carefully about who works there and what they do. Just having half the workforce there at one time makes little sense.
We need to understand what the office can do, and what it can’t, and what digital technologies can do, and what they can’t too.
In ‘The Social Organization’, I suggested offices were mainly about communication, collaboration and co-operation, but can these benefits still be achieved when working 2m apart?
And although everyone complains about Zoom calls, there’s a lot we can do online, including developing trust and psychological safety.
To get the balance, or combination of physical and digital workspaces right, we need to consider what people need to do – and importantly (and missing from most other suggestions on this area), what organisational groups and networks need to do too.
I write about all this at Workspace Connect:
Jon Ingham


I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).

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