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Leaders Letter 85 – The Only Way Non-Traditional Office Work Works Is If Leaders Lead

Dear Leaders, 

Over the last two years, the majority of office-based work had taken place from home. 

We have all had to learn how it works and how it works as effectively and productively as possible.

When some offices opened back up, the majority with senior titles rushed back into the office, why? 

A number of reasons: conditioning, proximity bias, wanting to reconnect and wanting to be seen front and centre, “leading from the front’. 

The next phase is WFA – work from anywhere (safe and secure), whether that’s working from home, working from a co-working space, working from the office or working from a third space. Somewhere you can work, safely and securely with information and conversations. 

Some companies have already decided to close offices for good and reduce the requirement for a dedicated office or even reduce or remove coworking spaces and membership.

Is this a smart, a good or bad approach? The company performance will show, staff happiness and retention will be the guide.  

Other large businesses such as Google, Google have placed their bets, close to a billion pounds of bets in London alone. 

Is this Fight, Flight Or Freeze time for leaders? 

Fight to keep what they truly believe is the right way of work. 
Allow flight and have to embrace change and coach managers around them. 
Or freeze, let the next six to twelve months play out and see where they land? 

The internal dispute for leadership teams and CEO’s/MD’s will be – this goes against everything they know, what they have worked through and have been taught by their bosses and mentors. 

I have written about removing the first one last one out mentality, this is something that goes hand in hand with reshaping organisations and reshaping how leaders actually lead. 

Leaders Lead 

Over the next phase, we have to see leaders lead, being based five days a week in the office will set up a challenging dynamic for the company, for the management team(s) and for hybrid work to work everyone at all levels have to embrace hybrid work, especially the c-suite (founders and co-founders). Without that leadership status games, being promoted by proximity and two-tiered systems of work will happen. 

Leaders it is time to step up, find better tech solutions, find a way to work from home or hire dedicated space or an office for you to work. If there are important meetings you can do these in person but do not call out those who cannot make in-person work or choose that hybrid will work for them. 

Your existing organisational health and future company culture demand you embrace this hybrid change. 

Action for you this week: Make hybrid work a leadership principle that you and your leadership team follow and lead on!

It’s never easy changing but for you to stay the leader and drive the business into the next phase of successful businesses, they will be and is demand for hybrid work and successful hybrid work. 

Have a good and productive week ahead and remember, if you are the only one not changing or adopting you slow the people around you and influence your people and performance. 

Thanks,

Danny Denhard


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