Who’s calling? photo of the number of days you end up working in the office? The bosses gradually realized that it was not them. Those who hold real power? The elusive “top talent” every company is trying to attract.
Raj Choudhury, an economist from Harvard Business School, argues that throughout history it has been the most sought-after candidates who will shape what our jobs look like. For example, in the early 90s, using email on our phones was a luxury reserved for CEOs. Soon, however, top talent in companies started asking for it and as a result we can’t get rid of email now.
Today, Choudhury’s keen senses are buzzing with the need for extreme flexibility: Top talent doesn’t just want hybrid work, they want to work wherever they want. “There are two types of companies,” explains Choudhury. “One is going to accept work from anywhere, and the second is refusing — I feel those companies will lose their workforce.” “Companies that are trying to push back in time will lose some of their best talent, and that dynamic will force these companies to catch up,” he argues.
This could be a revelation for workers currently experiencing the top-down 3/2 model in their workplace. This “three days in, two days out” model is certainly expected to become the norm when we first imagine, during a pandemic, what life will be like after Covid. But ever since we stepped out of the bedroom and the kitchen table, we realized we weren’t finished with this story – we were still at the beginning of it. Stanford economist Nick Bloom’s data proves this: In June 2020, most companies expected employees to work from home about a day and a half a week, but two years later, Homework expectations increase each month in a row—most companies now expect workers to stay home for nearly half a week.
Agile startups have a big advantage due to this cultural shift. Indeed, in 2023, we will see startups transition to the remote working model first. Older companies, on the other hand, will be given a decision on whether to stick to expensive real estate and retarded managers or just follow the new trend.
This will not be an easy transition. For example, according to a report by workplace research firm Leesman, working in the office is most common with a team — senior leaders who have their own offices (or private meeting spaces). Thus, in 2023, veteran business managers will likely use the recession to make a last-ditch effort to pull workers back into the office. It is unthinkable that these more traditional managers could rub their hands at the prospect of an economic downturn in the near term, but using a softer job market as leverage to bring Returning employees to the office can be a popular strategy. It may be too late; Top talent has made its mind up. There may be a conflict ahead as it resolves itself.