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Who Gets to Make the Decision?

When the pandemic started, things were so hectic and crazy that we were looking for answers from any one. Professionally, we looked to company leaders and managers to give the needed guidance. The reality was they had no more answers than we did. They made the decisions and we muddled along adjusting the entire time.

Things have slowed down in terms of disruptions, but change is still occurring regularly. In fact, as society continues to open, the one thing that seems to be clear is that we wont go back to the way we were. Remote and hybrid work models will continue, with companies struggling to make it work as efficiently as possible. This means new guidance and new policies.

Who will be making those decisions?

These will be major decisions that will impact every worker.

  • Does each manager have the power to decide who can be remote vs. who has to be in person?

  • If so, what criteria do they use?

  • What say will IT, HR, or other departments have in the decision?

  • How about financial aspects: will the company pay for office furniture, setup, or internet? Lighting?

As manager, you will have to have numerous discussions to determine your scope of influence vs. the rest of the company. You also need to be able to justify any decisions you make. Why let Ahmed work at home, but Susan needs to be in person? If they are hybrid, how is it determined when they are home versus in the office? How are you tracking productivity?

Be open and honest with your team. As these decisions are made, it will be messy. There will be tests and changes. Most companies have never dealt with this in any significant way, so it will be an adventure.

Focus on advocating for your team to get the best work situation for them, measuring key data, and communicating with everyone as much as possible (and more than you think necessary).

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