The Work from Home Paradox

In his list of Covid-related Leadership Challenges for 2022, Miles, Founder and CEO of The Miles Group/TMG, which advises top CEOs and boards globally, addresses the specific challenges brought on by Covid that leaders are worried about today:

  • Work from Home Paradox: Highest Engagement Scores, but Highest Attrition Rates

    “People are attracted to companies, but they work for individuals. And it is a really hard time to work for individuals right now, with little personal contact between supervisors and their teams. In the current operating environment, employee trust and loyalty are running on fumes and have sharply decreased as connectivity (to their company, managers, and peers) is significantly lower than ever before.

    “Most employees in the virtual environment have gotten no feedback, no coaching, no mentoring, and no career conversations, because that would be just one more Zoom session. Leaders have kicked that can down the road because they’ve got 14 Zoom sessions back-to-back and are stressed and overwhelmed. So, there’s been a period of time where there’s been really little attraction to the person that you work for, and very little development. Employees are feeling like transactional robots, sitting in their living rooms, basically only on video, and not thinking or brainstorming or truly connecting to people.
  • Buyer’s Remorse

    “And THIS is why we have buyer’s remorse. A fairly large cohort of people are trading their jobs while they’re in their living rooms, or even their pajamas. They have no real feel for the culture of where they are going. They have no real idea who they’re working for.

    “And the world will go back. History would suggest that we will go back to much of what we did pre-Covid. I don’t care what armchair quarterback is telling you that everything’s changed – we’re going back in some way, shape or form, and there’s going to be buyer’s remorse. There are going to be cultural misfits. There’s going to be widespread realization that the grass really was not greener.”
  • Returning to Work Single File

    “We left in a ‘herd’ and we are heading back ‘single file.’ Many people have lost their ‘human game’ and need to get ready for returning to the office, if even initially for only a few days.

    “People need to get ready for getting up and at it for the commute, for not relying on multiple screens with their notes in order to present, and generally interacting back in the ‘real world.’ Most clients have seen that if they have below 40% back in the office, employees see it as just another place to be on their screen, so why make the trek in? Once you get above 40% of your employees back in the office, there is a shift to ‘office FOMO’ and there is a lot more voluntary uptake of returning to the office.”

“We have a lot of people who are burned out psychologically. They have high manifest stress at home and high manifest stress at work and they are in the same place now as they were two years ago, with no transitions available. Part of what’s behind changing companies is just to get a reset and a refresh.”

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