What comes next — will you go back to the office?

Tom McCallum
4 min readApr 16, 2020

After lockdown, will you go back to the office, or start working remotely?

empty office space

Last week I wrote about working from three time frames through the current environment:

  • What Comes Now
  • What Comes Next
  • What Comes in the Future

For many of us, we have been in lockdown anything from 3–6 weeks, with anything from 2–6+ weeks to go before limited changes are made by various governments around the world.

My question today is: “will you go back to the office?

I’ve got two thoughts on why this is not an automatic “yes”, and a “flip the paradigm” idea to support you in considering this.

Remote vs “Working from Home”

My first thought is to “flip the paradigm”.

We’ve heard so many people say they are “working from home”, yet this contains within it an unconscious thought that their reality is that work is something you normally don’t do at home, instead you go to an office or other place of work.

Now, I’ve been a “remote worker” since 1993 and wrote a long piece on this about a year ago called: “WorkAnywhere”. Going beyond “Remote”, but for many, the whole idea of “Working from Home” is very new so they feel really challenged. In that long post I referenced the book “Remote” by Jason and David, founders of Basecamp, I’m a big fan of their mindset and ideas in leading a remote company and recommend their books to anyone considering a shift to be more remote.

So, my thought is to ask yourself:

What if we thought of ourselves as a remote company?

In a remote company, your starting point is that everyone works remotely as the default starting point.

You only go into the office when it is more effective to do so, such as when “facetime” for a meeting is truly key.

Effectiveness vs Efficiency

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the…

Tom McCallum

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