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How To Watch Out For The Joys And Pain Of Returning To The Office
Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert Val Wright -- Global Leadership and Innovation Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, June 22, 2021


We’ve all talked about it for over a year. Some of you may have been back a long time, others may yet to have ventured back into the office, physically met with colleagues, or been on a plane for business. 

After 16months of leading executive strategy sessions, keynote speeches, workshops, and executive advisory work from my hastily converted attic office (yes, it used to be a storage room!) I had the pure delight of traveling for business last week. I thought you might like to hear sone of the lessons I learned so you and your company can be prepared:

Day One is really here. Amazon asks its employees to act like every single day is Day One to avoid apathy and fresh thinking. Returning to the office requires this same mindset. Just like you couldn’t switch everything you did to Zoom and Teams, you have to consider given where your business is today. How do you want to make decisions and communicate?

Digital : Physical : Hybrid working all require focused intention. Just like the cadence and flow of conversations digitally needed practice and discipline, so do physical conversations. Your first physical meetings and conversations may require some adjusting, Physical meetings aren’t automatically more effective than digital meetings, in fact they could be inefficient for a while as everyone satisfies their craving of real life human interaction, unless you carefully craft agendas, outputs, and how the conversation will be lead. 

Social interactions aren’t all valued the same. Find ten people who hates working remote and you will likely find ten more who loves the solace. Depending if someone is craving or dreading social interaction will determine if returning to the office is a positive or negative change. The key is knowing just how set expectations and be a truth teller if someone isn’t reading someone else’s desire for social chit chat or social silence. 

Fake spontaneity for a while. This past week the sofas outside the board meeting room were where the real connections and conversations happened. As each leader waited for their spot on the agenda many spontaneous conversations happened. The number one complaint I’ve heard in the last year is the missing unexpected conversations in company coffee shops, in hotel lobby’s and in taxi rides. You can create these moments but it requires forethought. 

Reset New Employee Launches If you’ve joined a company or new team in the last year one of the most painful issues has been launching successfully into the company. Don’t forget you can now alleviate some of that pain by catching up on their Onboarding now. It is not too late. 

No, physical only isn’t the answer. I had five physical days at my clients HQ last week. Board Meeting, Strategy Planning, Executive Team Galvanization, product reviews, and planning for exciting future projects I can’t yet disclose… It would be easy to say NONE of this work could be done digitally, when actually that’s not true. The key is knowing the right cadence for real in person time together and maintaining momentum, while having the right technology, preparation, and Conversation Leadership to make forward progress digitally. 

Give me a real conference room not a digital room and I’m at my happiest, but this past year has taught me to be innovative and pivoted far more of my business virtually and reach a larger audience around the world. 

Enjoy and treasure your re-emerging moments.

Dedicated to growing your business,


P.S. I hope you enjoyed this week's VAL-uable Insights, sign up here to get them in your inbox each Monday morning: http://valwrightconsulting.com/newsletter-sign-up/

  Val Wright is a recognized leadership and organization expert. Working with Xbox, Microsoft, Amazon and LinkedIn, she has spent the last 20 years partnering with executives to accelerate growth and gain market superiority across the the games, technology, retail and e-commerce industries.

She is know for telling leaders what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Leaders seek her out when they need to accelerate their business results, build organizations, develop leaders and create world-class people strategies. Val is a dynamic speaker who will provoke, inspire and provide immediate value to your audience. She has been quoted in Fast Company, E-commerce times, Yahoo.com, Aol.com, usnews.com, NJ.com, TheNetworkJournal.com and TechNerwsWorld.com.

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