It’s an issue of what employees want out of work when returning to the office.
Rich Handler, CEO of investment bank Jeffries, is the latest person to weigh in on the return to office battle. He writes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to working from home and that showing up to the office would help investment bankers demonstrate their value when they are laid off. He says that how an employee splits their time between the office and home depends on their career choice.
He suggests putting in more time for face time if it is the latter.
If you want a job, stay remote all the time and be efficient in a very limited way. If you want a career, engage with the rest of us in the office and use wfh only when smart, flexibility is essential, mental health calls and life balance needs help.
He told Fortune that he views a job as working for a paycheck and focused on short-term goals. Career goals include personal development, forging relationships, caring about the organization and building long-term wealth.
He writes that hybrid work will stick around, but that workers should be wary of dismissing the value of collaborating in person, which he says helps fuel growth, education and relationship building. He tells Fortune that if you are in the office, you are pulled into a lot of interesting real time situations.
In May, Brian Friedman sent a staff memo about a return to work. While it didn’t issue an in-office mandate, it preached that the magic of being together in person outweighs the negatives of being in the office. Stating that mental health has improved as the office has filled, the executives wrote that mid-level and junior employees are feeling abandoned.
The future of work can be seen in the model of work that has workers mostly in the office with no penalty for time working from home when it is needed. Giving people choice is something he emphasizes.
He says they want their people to have optimal balance in their lives while being able to build meaningful careers. We want them to be able to raise families, spend quality time with their loved ones, add a degree of flexibility when necessary, and build their futures at our firm for the long term.
Both Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai have implemented hybrid models, which is similar to the views of Handler. Many executives are eager to see their employees back in the office, but he may not be rejecting hybrid work the way several CEOs have been rejecting it.
While implementation of these plans can be difficult for CEOs as employees put up a fight against in-office mandates, Handler believes that the workers themselves are the most affected by this choice.
He writes in his post that it’s up to you whether you want a job or career. Don’t be surprised or disappointed by certain outcomes, no judgement on which to pick.
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