Headline, July 10 2022/ ''' '' IN PERSON IS '' '''


''' '' IN PERSON IS '' '''

' IT'S THE IMPROMPTU-NESS OF IN-PERSON. ' Companies really, really want their employees to go back to the office. And some employers say that the results of their remote work experiment are in. They want some-in-person time.

Manny Medina, the chief executive of a Seattle-based artificial intelligence sales company, doesn't mind repeating himself. That proved convenient this year, as he faced the same question innumerable times.

WAIT, so why was it you wanted us back in the office?

SALESFORCE - THE BUSINESS SOFTWARE BEHEMOTH - announced that for a 10 day period, it will give a $10 charitable donation per day on behalf of any employee who comes into the office [ or for remote employees who attend company events].

A spokeswoman said it was only natural the company would want to find moments for '' doing well and doing good.''

But to some employees, it might feel like a tonal shift, given that the company's previous workplace plans were announced with fanfare for a future in which much of its staff could be fully or particularly remote forever. [ The company emphasised that this remains the case.]

'' An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers,'' the company wrote in a February 2021 memo. '' The 9-to-5 workday is dead.''

It was very much alive on a recent Monday at Salesforce Tower in New York, as a hum of activity filled the 41-story building looming over Bryant Park. Desks and conference rooms were filled with employees, some of them visiting from San Francisco for the company's A.I. focused day.

In the top floor lounge, workers stood in line waiting for coffee, as Salesforce's catering team prepared shrimp tacos for an event that week.

Scattered throughout the office were the company's animal mascots. Brandy the fox represents marketing. Astro the astronaut sat behind a piano in the 41st floor lounge. Codey the bear stood guard near the developers.

'' It's the impromptu-ness of in-person - so for example, I was at the office and there was somebody from Chicago, she was in the San Francisco office - 'Oh do you have time to go and chat and have a meeting about a strategy that we're rolling out? ' '' said Natalie Scardin, Salesforce's global head of talent strategy.

'' Inevitably, as a high-tech company, you have to keep changing to meet the needs of the business, of the customer.''

It's not often that the entire white-collar business world gets thrown into an impromptu experiment - executives left to discern in between bursts of  ''you're on mute,'' employees figuring out how to forge friendships and nudge mentors for advice while sitting next to piles of laundry.

And for the last three years, some office decision-making has come to feel like parents scrambling to impose rules on an unruly home : '' Do this.'' ''Why?''

''Because I said so.'' But now some business leaders say that the results of their remote work experiment are in.

They feel emphatically that they need some in-person time. After months of layoffs, especially in tech, their next business moves feel particularly consequential.

'' When the economy was warm, executives thought, ' I'd really like to have people back but it's OK because I have this margin of error,'' said Mark Ein, chairman of Kastle, the security firm whose  '' back to work barometer '' made it a pandemic celebrity. '' Now that things are tougher, they want to hunker down and have their people in the office.''

DocuSign, which has more than 6,500 employees spread across the globe, became a poster child for the lurching back-and-forth over return-to-office planning.

The company had hoped to call employees back in May 2020, then August 2020, then October 2021, then January 2022. Then the plans disintegrated altogether.

But last month, much of the company finally returned to the office. Since February, executives have evaluated every rule at the company and decided roughly 70 percent were hybrid, meaning people would be partly in the office and partly remote, 30 percent were fully remote and under 1 percent were fully in the office.

Jennifer Christie, the company's new chief people officer, absorbed dozens of questions from concerned employees.

'' This can be a very polarising subject,'' she said, adding that she views this summer as a period of experimentation in which she and other company leaders will evaluate what part of their hybrid plan need changing.

'' We're running water through pipes that haven't had water run through them in a long time. So where are there going to be leaks?''

But Docusign's leaders were ready, she added, to stop talking about how to get people back in the office and start making their plans real.

'' We could debate it forever, we could speculate about what's going to happen forever, but the best way for us understand how this will impact our culture and productivity and collaboration is to just start doing it.''

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on State-of-the-World and Remote Work, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Emma Goldberg.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See You all prepare for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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