As and ex-employee of Lloyds I’ve heard a lot about the new policy in the past week due to being close to a number of people who work there.

My overwhelming sense from what they and some other companies are trying to do is not to just take things back to how things were pre-pandemic but back decades to a time when it was possible to have standardised working patterns due to far fewer families having both parents in full time work.

The “people in charge” are flailing, they don’t know how to deal with this sudden change in working styles and patterns so they try to go backwards.

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Hi, I've only recently discovered this newsletter and I like the combination of subtopics you've covered under this post. I spent close to 29 years working in an office 5 days per week, then spent the better part of three years working from home until switching to a hybrid working model where I'm in the office at least two days a week. I can appreciate all sides of the debates but a few things you mentioned seemed important to me:

I'm fortunate enough to have worked for the same corporation for my entire career. This turned out to be an incredible asset when the pandemic hit as I've developed a good network of colleagues over the years and leveraging those relationships helped make it possible to continue to be productive. I feel for people who joined companies during the pandemic and who have undoubtedly found it very hard to develop strong bonds with their colleagues without in person interaction. There's a lot of unwritten information about companies and the teams within them that is extremely difficult to grok without in person connections. So I think for many jobs some level of in person contact is critical.

But on the flipside, it's important to remember the impact of open office concepts on a person's work, especially when they were used to having offices or even cubicle walls. The socialization aspects of work are very important but so is the ability to buckle down and do some focused work with minimal interruptions. That's the beauty of hybrid working, at least for someone like me who has adult children: a place to focus with fewer distractions.

Also, if a company's been successful during the past three years of the pandemic, I think it strongly need to question any suggestion that hybrid or work from home is detrimental to performance.

I seriously hope that hybrid work remains a viable option for all workers where possible.

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Our office is hybrid now too, three days in the office. Every one of our employees loves it, except for my boss of course. But he would also love it if we all lived and worked together 24/7, haha. Next year I'll be looking for a new job fully remote. Who wants to use a public bathroom multiple times a day?  A lot of it comes down to personal choice/personalities/commutes. I don't know if there is a perfect solution anymore. 

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Good points. We’re still on a journey where work is concerned. Anyone who isn’t prepared to give a little is going to find it tough.

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