Recently I had a chance to connect with the Fort Collins Chamber’s Talent Summit, which focused on the 2021 emphasis of workers returning to the office. There were a number of golden nuggets that I’ll explore in the coming weeks.

McKinsey has done a big study on Return To Work, and discovered that 29% of employees would consider switching employers if required to return to the office full time. That’s a stunning number, something we couldn’t have predicted a year ago.

If this transition is mismanaged, you could easily lose over a quarter of your workforce. And probably the most valuable workers, since they have the greatest mobility to other companies.

What we’ve experienced in the last year is that you can effectively do many jobs from home, and in fact there are some advantages. You might be interrupted by the kids or the dog, but at home you have more flexibility for that to not be disruptive.

The communication technologies actually work pretty well, and it’s nice to be able to connect with someone no matter where they are. Online document repositories help us to share work in real time.

On the other hand, a lot of us are absolutely Zoomed out. It can be mentally and emotionally taxing, giving us a feeling of kinda connecting with our team members but not really. If communication isn’t handled well, it can feel like we’re working 24/7 and never have any personal time.

For many organizations, a solution for the next year may be to use a model where each worker is in the office some days, at home other days. People will come in for events where personal contact is valuable, and more casual social connections. They’ll work from home to save travel time, do heads-down focused work, and have flexibility with personal schedules.

It’s time to start working with our people to design the right model which combines the best of both worlds, for both the employer and the employee.

Because you don’t want to lose your top 29%, right?