The article below advises managers at financial advisories to take a slow, thoughtful approach, but to also be prepared to manage some turnover if having everyone in the office is the goal. I think they are underselling that point.
I think permanent work-from-home will be a differentiator in the war for top talent. I think we have proven over the last few months that there are plenty of office jobs that can just as easily be done from anywhere outside the office as well. (I’d argue some can be done ever better outside of office distractions too.)
Smart employees will look at their jobs, and the realization that things have gone better than expected, and there’s been no drop in productivity and ask themselves, why should I commute an hour each way to do the same work I have been doing right here? Why should I take the risk of sitting in an open office environment with people who may or may not be very careful about avoiding COVID-19? If we have to have socially distanced meetings anyway, why not just do them virtually? If clients and customers don’t feel safe coming in person, why be in one location?
I suspect many people are asking themselves the same questions I asked when I went from a remote job to working in an office before switching back. Why do I need to be here, at this desk, when everything I do can be done anywhere with an internet connection?
I think if your decision is that you want your business to be 100% onsite, regardless of what you’ve experienced the last few months, you’re going to be dealing with quite a lot of turnover, and smart competitors will be cherry-picking from your staff.
Because, while there are challenges related to WFH, smart companies and managers work them out, and reap the benefits. You will not.