Malcolm Gladwell recently slammed the work-from-home concept, and he has taken a lot of heat as a result. I have read a few of the articles that rendered him out of touch and elitist in his comments, and wonder if there is more than the polarized approach of adopting his perspective or repelling it. The entire podcast is over an hour, and the topics span a lot of areas of interest. I encourage you to watch/listen to the videos as time-stamped below and notice a couple of points that may help with your discernment about this hybrid working stuff.
First, notice the discussion about neglect (1.14), and how that influences us as humans. “It’s not conflict that drives people away, it’s neglect.” Think about your organization and who gets attention and who doesn’t. Think about how you connect your people to the mission of your organization. Think about how often you address mistakes and bad behavior. These are examples of neglect if they aren’t happening. Neglect drives people away, not conflict. And doing these things remotely is harder, and perhaps forgotten.
Second, notice the discussion about focus (1.24). Leaders are better decision-makers when information is provided with focus. Prioritizing your time and focusing on your decisions will guide you to more success. Working in isolation provides you focus, does it provide you the information you need to make the decision?
I wonder if his approach offers us a little courage to question ourselves as to where we are most connected and most productive in all the ways that are measured, not only in the metrics of time and to-do lists.