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op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 07, 2021 11:24AM
[www.washingtonpost.com]

This part, from the 1st paragraph, sets the tone: "... But also like my peers, I am concerned about the unfortunately common office worker who wants to continue working at home and just go into the office on occasion."

Bummer? Let's see what the concerns are.

"In several group calls with chief executives, ..." Hey I'm not saying the CEO is being highly insular, but possibly you can see where this is headed. Those "common office workers" sure can be hard to understand, amirite?

the claims:
- people don't want to go back into an office and this hurts leadership (people do not want to work)
- we might just be forced to ditch salaries/bennies because you won't be around to do extra work outside of your job description

- we don't know how to manage people who work remotely, don't know how to gauge what they do

and this gem:

Quote

People considering just dropping into their office should also think about FOMO, fear of missing out. Those who work from home probably won’t have FOMO, they will just have MO. The casual meetings that take place during the workday. The “Do you have three minutes to discuss X?” These encounters will happen. Information will be shared. Decisions will be made. Maybe if you are at home you’ll be Zoomed in, but probably not. As one CEO put it, “There is no such thing as a three-minute Zoom.” Being out of that informal loop is likely to make you a less valuable employee.

I have 3-minute calls and video calls all the time. We also text or chat online. I worked for several years in an office and regularly "missed out." She's full of it.


Quote

Remember something every manager knows: The hardest people to let go are the ones you know.

My supervisor loves what I do. We are simpatico on all policies and procedures. I've seen her only once in person, many years ago and many years before I was hired. The CEO who wrote this piece is probably still trying to figure out how to work Teams or Zoom, and guess what, that's not MY problem.


Unsurprisingly she was eviscerated in the comment section. Her list of critics include presumably "regular people," other CEOs, and yeah, some of her staff. Oh, and there's this:

[mobile.twitter.com]

If you happen to visit The Washingtonian's web site you might find a feature article from last summer extolling the wonder of their new office, revealed at precisely the wrong time. Her company publishes a lifestyle magazine. The irony of not being able to publish an online mag with remote workers notwithstanding, she naturally wants her cathedral -- and her throne -- to be valued.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2021 11:25AM by deckeda.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 07, 2021 11:27AM
Her tone is tone deaf. Notice the language, where she describes remote workers as people who choose to "just drop in" (as if they don't care.)
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: mikebw
Date: May 07, 2021 11:32AM
Another angle - Working from home is great for introverts where you can maintain more control over your interactions. Extroverts can still be social however, as much as there are other extroverts to meet or chat with.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 07, 2021 11:39AM
And now NYT has picked it up: [www.nytimes.com]
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 07, 2021 11:41AM
"I have a background in crayons, where's my CEO job?"

[leanin.org]

Quote

So I banished the thought of what my father would do and chose instead to trust my gut, to take a look with fresh eyes and to make my own mistakes without his shadow hanging over me.

That tracks.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 07, 2021 11:46AM
Glad they didn’t publish it!

And yes, we’re going to see a ton of this sort of thing. Lots of managers want butts in seats because they otherwise don’t know how they’re providing value. And for good reason, they’re probably not!



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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 07, 2021 12:05PM
Im in central CA, with clients in FL, TN, TX, MI, SC, AZ and SF -- some of them I haven't even spoken to on the phone in months.

They are all super happy, no FOMO.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 07, 2021 12:32PM
An early commenter notes that the original headline was this:

"As a CEO, I want my employees to understand the risks of not returning to work in the office."

That's particularly interesting in light of her thinly veiled suggestion to illegally misclassify workers as contractors. The IRS would likely not be amused.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 07, 2021 01:00PM
On AFL-CIO's radar: [twitter.com]


and, "Those participating in the work-stoppage include senior editors, top food critics and web producers."

[www.washingtonpost.com]

Note that they are not unionized.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 07, 2021 04:44PM
"...the unfortunately common office worker."

An unfortunate choice of words from someone seeking sympathy.

...

She could have cut the editorial down to this and received a whole lot less criticism:

...we need feedback — good and bad — to successfully manage employees, and they need it to succeed. A friend at a Fortune 500 company tells of a colleague who was hired just as the pandemic hit. He struggled. He wasn’t getting the job done. It was very hard for the leadership team to tell what the problem was. Was it because he was new? Was he not up to the work? What was the specific issue? Worse, no one wanted to give him feedback over Zoom when they hadn’t even met him. Professional development is hard to do remotely.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2021 04:47PM by Sarcany.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: Don C
Date: May 07, 2021 09:16PM
I found office hallway "micro-meetings" to be very valuable back in my working days. Things were mentioned or discussed that did not rise to "when can we meet about this" but were useful to know.

One department in particular had several directors over the years. Directors who did not really know how to manage put a lot of effort into time management, keeping logs of where you were and what you were doing every minute, for example.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 08, 2021 10:38AM
It's going to be an interesting time in transition. I value physical time and space meetings and judging body language, which I'm good at deciphering. But I also have not worked for some years in an office, before all of this. I'd love to go back into a collaborative environment, though. If you've never done it, you probably wouldn't understand what you are missing in the first place, though, so that's a part of this that is not stated.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: sekker
Date: May 08, 2021 07:36PM
And here I thought this was a new 'Friday Funny!'

Seriously, we are entering a new world. I think some companies are going to benefit, and some will suffer from this forced change in work culture.
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Re: op-ed: CEO laments lack of office culture, since no staffers are around. It doesn't go well.
Posted by: Acer
Date: May 09, 2021 09:01AM
I work in small office with people I consider friends. We've long had a culture of casual collaboration. So working in the office is enjoyable and valuable.

That said, I do like the breaking of the wall where I feel I can now work at home when I professionally find it convenient or useful to do.
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