The Return to Office (RTO) Dilemma for Executive Briefings

Jan 23, 2024

by Pamela Evans
A recent Silicon Valley Business Journal Article published on January 10, 2024, “Remote-work battle rages on as big companies keep calling for a return to the office,” revealed some statistics worth noting from several research studies. Both sides of the coin “to return or not to return to the office” were examined. Subjects such as company culture, productivity, time savings, and employee satisfaction were taken into account.

Overall, in one study the results indicated that managers should NOT impose mandates. Rather, when it comes to Return to the Office (RTO) policies, flexibility and choice where the employee is concerned should be taken into consideration if productivity and job satisfaction increases are goals.
Six business people walking up the steps of their office buildings entrance as they return to workSix business people walking up the steps of their office buildings entrance as they return to work
While today’s employers and employees are busy negotiating “return to the office” terms, it is important to note that in the Executive Briefing world, it may be the customer who sets the tone in this conversation. Depending upon whether a customer engagement is in-person, virtual, or hybrid, the decision about RTO (we’re talking executive briefing professionals, company executives, sales teams, and product/solution experts) on any given day may be dictated by the customer’s desires and needs. For instance, the preparation for an executive briefing may be done virtually, but if an in-person, on-site engagement is requested by the customer, then all host company parties involved should plan to attend that engagement…in-person. On the flip side, if the customer engagement is 100% virtual, then host company participants should be able to perform their duties that day…remotely.

Bottom line. When determining the model for conducting business, many variables must be considered, and decisions made based on the business outcomes desired. The third party that must be included in this equation is the customer. What is best for the customer most likely will be what drives favorable business results including strengthened partnerships, accelerated opportunities, and greater overall customer satisfaction. In a customer engagement scenario, reasonable, flexible, customer-oriented decisions should become the determining factors for RTO and not simply employer/employee work model preferences.