Returning To The Office

As summer winds down and the new season begins, many companies are thinking about who will return to the office. Instead of getting everyone back in one place, maybe we should think about how the balance between work and life might be better for everyone.

For the white-collar workforce, their head space has changed. Many people running companies came from an era where work was number one. I took gratification in putting in ninety hours a week when I began my career. Nobody should or wants to do that anymore.

We have all realized that one could be productive in their job no matter where they hang their hat. You can physically be in Paris, work all day remotely for a company in NYC and get the job done. Indeed, physically interacting with your working peers is a positive thing, but does it need to occur every day? The answer is a resounding no.

Perhaps moving into a new work ethic will improve everyone’s mental health and family life. People are negotiating that they do not have to be in the office more than three days a week. People aren’t taking jobs where they have to be in the office five days a week.

NY is in the midst of one of the second worst developments in the city, the first being Hudson Yards. To believe that the area surrounding Penn Station should have ten towers of offices when the data clearly points to fewer people returning to the offices will be a colossal disaster. We shouldn’t be listening to the real estate developers who make their money regardless, and we should be talking to the new generation of workers and how they will work.

Our work lives have evolved. It is time for the heads of companies to embrace this change publicly. Let’s welcome a new balanced office workforce.