Discover more from Product Party
The battle between remote and in-person work. Part 1.
This week's topic: You may (unfortunately) need to make your way into the office to make work suck less.
Ever considered why your company is encouraging you to return to the office, despite the convenience of remote work? It boils down to some fundamental benefits they believe come from in-person collaboration.
However, the key isn't necessarily about choosing one or the other but finding the sweet spot between both. Especially for those early in their career, leveraging a part-time office schedule can be a strategic move to strengthen relationships and facilitate growth.
I will break this topic up into two posts this week to change it up.
On to the first flavor of this topic.
Let’s be honest. Many meeting types work way better in person.
Teams or Zoom meetings can be plagued with technical glitches - frozen screens, patchy audio, and delayed responses. Most of the time, your coworkers are unwilling to jump on camera, so you’re staring into an emotionless thumbnail of them ten years ago.
Compare that with in-person conversations. You get immediate feedback, observe non-verbal cues, and participate in spontaneous brainstorming sessions. Managers - especially senior leadership - often prefer these physical meetings for their dynamic, real-time nature. We grew up on it, so it’s a natural feeling, which is why many are (selfishly) pushing to go back in.
Check out this graph that outlines the biggest concerns from leaders back in the summer of d2020 (click the image for the link):
The funny/sad thing is that many of those leaders pushing for more in-office probably never actually figured out how to adapt their leadership skills. Although many of us who are fully remote may never want to see another office, most of us would greatly benefit from finding some balance between in-person and remote.
That being said…my take is:
If you get to go in OR you have to go in with some frequency, I would suggest using your office days strategically. Schedule meetings or discussions on those days to maximize face-to-face interactions. Lean in on being face-to-face so you can feel more embedded in the culture and get more from the relationships when you return to being remote.
I know you may hate to make that drive with any frequency, but if everyone buys into the same approach, you can get the most out of your time and will appreciate putting in the effort to be physically present.
That’s all for today. In the next release, we’ll hit on company culture/vibes and what we should consider when getting in person more often.
Share Product Party
Like what you’re reading? Think you have some product manager friends who might benefit from this type of content?
Tell some friends by clicking here and picking your favorite place to promote your favorite newsletters: