We are still feeling the consequences of the pandemic. One of the main effects is the way people approach work, which will never be the same again. After several months of working from home, many employees were not happy when some managers started calling them back to the office.
While this phenomenon is taking place, there is a “lack of manpower” and difficulty in attracting talented workers, especially in specialised fields, such as IT, with many workers now demanding flexible ways of working. In this regard, coach Jeremy Moore sheds light on what is best for business.
If remote work has advantages, it also has downsides, like everything in life. "I can argue that this works for me and you can argue that this works for you. We can keep going back and forth, but that doesn't answer the question. There are arguments for both sides," said Jeremy Moore, who has been coaching for more than 20 years at Zoomcow.
According to Jeremy: “Business is a competitive activity. The problem is that nobody won an Olympic gold medal because it was convenient. Winning is inconvenient. Winning requires sacrifice, winning requires dedication, winning requires having a shared mission”.
“Some might say that working from home is convenient and I say that might be true, but you won’t win because the organisation that chooses to work together, I believe will beat the organisation that chooses to work apart, particularly when there is a new product development and we are a bit unsure about some of the product features”, he added.
On the one hand zoom meetings can be a useful tool when people are away to avoid long journeys to do a 30 minute meeting, on the other hand, if they are used on a daily basis, Jeremy says they create confusion in the team.
"I don't believe that meeting in Zoom is the same, in Zoom we don't have the same clarity. Working remotely just creates confusion. That's been my observation. If you Google the main companies that are asking people to come back to the office they are highly competitive and successful companies. Tesla, Goldman Sachs, all the most competitive companies want people to work from the office. The medium-sized companies are not as interested," he said.
"For example, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has said that all workers must spend a minimum of 40 hours a week in the office or find another job. The CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Salomon, has been on a campaign to get everyone back to the office. I've been hearing more and more calls. The CEO of Open AI, Samuel Altman, said that one of the worst mistakes was making people work remotely. More and more people are finding that working from home is not actually work”, Jeremy pointed out.
“Trust is the most important emotion when it comes to being a successful team, you don’t have to like your colleagues very much, as long as you trust each other. Even if there are only one or two people that you don’t trust it will destroy all the team” and, according to him, it is easier to trust when people are sitting next to others.
Another important factor that we should never forget is that we are social beings and we need emotional connections to learn. Humans have an innate capacity for forming social bonds and socialisation plays a critical role in our personal and emotional development.
In this regard, Jeremy shared a recent experience: "I went to WebSummit Lisbon 2023, where there were a lot of super talented people, but no joy, and joy comes from sharing the work together, the enthusiasm for each other. It's not convenient, relationships are not convenient, marriage is not convenient, being a parent is inconvenient."
When he saw all those young and intelligent people he felt disappointed. “It was very intense but no smiles, no happiness. It was the most dehumanised experience I’ve ever seen in my life and if that’s what the young generation wants I feel sorry for that. I really do. It is a very dangerous road”, he pointed out.
All in all, I asked Jeremy how we can combine attractive recruitment policies while forcing people back to the offices, to which Jeremy replied that a team of talented people who are willing to come together in the office will beat the super-talented.
“Give me five people who are talented but not super-talented and I’d still beat the super-talented with the people that have a shared mission, have a very clear goal and clear vision and want to win and by winning I’ll eventually attract the super-talented. Nobody is bigger than the team”, he said.
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252