"The problem is not the problem, it’s your attitude to the problem” said somebody clever one time.
The problem is not that people are working from home, it’s the dinosaurs failing to manage them properly.
Poor management of people is the problem.
The inconvenient truth is that UK productivity has been stubborn ever since the global financial crisis of 2008 .
For sure, Brexit hasn't helped, and as for the darned pandemic…
Good/great salespeople are good/great communicators. Sales Managers, at least the good ones, trust their teams to work from home.
It's been that way for decades and the reason it's worked well in the past and it will work well going forward is this:
There’s nothing like a sales revenue report to reveal how productive people are
Good managers know how to manage their people and get the best out of them.
Poor managers, on the other hand, simply resort to needing to see them in the office.
If people aren't being productive, then it’s the manager's fault, the manager needs to change their attitude to the problem.
My sense is that managers are simply ill equipped to manage their people remotely.
Communication is the key to all of this and it’s up to the manager to agree expectations with each person and each person will have different needs.
Some are 100% self-sufficient; you can just leave them and they’ll go off and do their thing to perfection in line with your expectations and the needs of the process.
Others will need a little more support a little more interaction Little app and flow recalling to the individual needs of the business and the manager themselves and the person themselves.
And there are those who need lots of support for whatever reason that might be that the managers duty of care and the companies duty of care, to support them in order for them to be productive
All of the above may involve people being required in the office, or it may not.
Course, the option of last resort is the employment contract. What does it say in the employment contract as to where people are based?
If the employment contract states that the employee who is based at (insert office address, here), and there can be no arguments about worthy expectation, no arguments about the rights of the manager to assist the employee comes to the office every day per the employment contract
But that would be an incredibly shortsighted and risky approach to take
The world of work has changed due to a number of different things, most notably the pandemic (yes, that again), soaring energy, costs, and high inflation, appalling and unreliable train, service services, making it expensive and emotionally draining for people to travel into the office every day
Managers have the right to insist people come to the office, but that will create a lot of angst among amongst the workforce, and the people that are the most productive, and the most confident in their position and finding alternative employment will vote with their feet (or keyboards).
Jacob Rees-Mogg can insist all he likes that people return to the office because they’re not very productive, but mere insistence that they return to the office is likely to result in resentment; resentment will almost certainly lead to even lower productivity, exacerbating the issue and, more likely than not, result in an exodus of talent from the civil service, leaving only the most unproductive people who probably couldn’t get a job elsewhere anyway.
Yes, you’ve got it, that would make the Civil Service even less productive than it is now.
Yes, indeed, ministers want to see more civil servants back in the office, then they are going to have to encourage people back into the office, make it more of a while. A bit like trying to coax a nervous kitten out from under the table; bribes, incentives, or even kindness Are all examples successful approaches to achieve this.
As an example, a civil servant I know chooses not to go into the office because it’s so freakin’ cold in there. There’s no one in the office because the office air-conditioning systems are configured, assuming the office is going to be manned during the day. When the office is empty, there is no heat generated by people, machinery, et cetera and so the office gets cold; really cold.
What has all got to do with sales, you might reasonably be thinking?
Well, I believe sales is the ability to influence, persuade, reason with people to come about to your way of thinking.
It is not about mandating, dictating one or any other *ating.
That’s bullying and there’s no place for it in the modern workplace.