Numerous organizations continue to mandate that employees return to the office, typically for at least a few days each week. This article underscores the significance of setting “in-person” office expectations based on “moments that matter” instead of enforcing a minimum number of office days. It suggests that teams should customize their approach to suit the nature of their work, pinpointing key occasions or reasons for in-person meetings. The article highlights research identifying three scenarios where in-person connections offer distinct advantages:
- Strengthening team cohesion, especially vital in the context of increasingly dispersed organizations.
- Facilitating effective onboarding for new roles, teams, or companies, as face-to-face interactions foster trust and relationship-building during the initial stages of a new job.
- Initiating a project, particularly in its early phases, to align team members, stimulate innovation, and share tacit knowledge.
Regarding projects, I am sharing a Gartner article illustrating one example of how a team embarking on a six-month, five-phase project could convene in person at pivotal points during the project. While this approach may not be universally applicable, it offers an alternative to the prevailing “days per week” model many organizations have been adopting. As suggested in the Microsoft article, organizations should ask: “What are the moments that matter for us?” This answer can provide guidance for determining when in-office interactions are likely to be meaningful and deliver value.