July 13, 2021

#004: Is Your Home Office the Workplace of the Future?

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There’s no arguing that remote set-ups have helped multiple businesses survive during the pandemic. But as normalcy starts kicking in, leaders should consider going back to the workplace. Some research has shown increased productivity in remote set-ups, but what does that mean for workplace culture? How will that impact long-term performance, productivity, and progress? In this episode, George Randle and Tom Lokar dive deep into the significance of in-person office set-ups and how it affects the way your team builds relationships and creates culture and belongingness. They also talk about the importance of striking a work-life balance and the value of prioritization as we adjust to the world after COVID.

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Our topic is timely. We had to move things around. It’s about coming back to work, hybrid, remote all the time or in the office full-time. We’re going to get after it here shortly. Tom, we had to switch around topics. With the vaccinations, 50% of the population vaccinated now and people are trying to figure out how to get people back to work. I know that’s got to be pressing on your mind because your business is truly hands-on. Do you see it too?

The healthcare industry never went home. Our patients need us 24/7. What I thought as cool early strategies that our CEO here at Oceans had was if our people on the shop floor in the hospitals are at work, then we’re coming into the office, unless you have some prevailing condition that would make getting COVID more risky for you. We’ve been full-time. Everyone came back full-time in our corporate centers, what we call our support centers. Otherwise, if you look at any healthcare system, hospital, acute care, home health, their folks were in the office, in the building and there to support their healthcare providers on what I call the shop floor. It’s probably the wrong term for hospitals. The interesting thing was I was listening to another show, The All-In Podcast. They happened to mention and then I looked it up on the internet that a lot of the tech companies have started to reverse their position and say, “We are coming back to work.”

Some are doing a hybrid 3 on 2 home and then you can pick. I probably should have dug into it a little more leading to this show but you could pick which 3 are which 2 other companies. Twitter is never coming back because their CEO is an introvert and doesn’t like people. He likes tweeting. Jack is going to stay home and keep the people home. Zuckerberg had made comments, I heard on this podcast, about liking the time to clear his head. I’ll get to my thoughts and hand over to you. These are all younger tech billionaires in this All-In Podcast.

Two of them I worked with at AOL, Jason Calacanis and Chamath Palihapitiya. Chamath went on to become employee fifteen at Facebook. Imagine how well he did after he left AOL in 2005 when we were all signing up on Facebook but still had our Myspace accounts. I got thinking as I was listening to them, I was driving back from a business trip. I was thinking about coming back to work for any company, whether it was restaurant, retail, corporate. There’s the whole commercial real estate side of things, where that industry is going and where they’re at.

Another business that I was only briefly associated with was the parking industry. Imagine what happened to the parking industry and cities around the country, the valet industry. No one was going into work during the lockdown. All of that is turning around. People are coming back in the office. My little office park here, George, back behind our old HP Headquarters in Plano, Texas, which was the original EDS campus, I see more and more cars in the parking lot. Traffic is a little worse at 7:30. You used to get on at 7:30, and it was like 5:00 AM on a Sunday. There’s nobody there, but traffic’s there. You have to hit the brakes. I got to pay attention. I can’t text, drink, coffee and drive. I think about what is happening and what is going to happen. I wrote a blog post, which will be published about this. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this topic and your thoughts on coming back to work.

I believe that we need physical presence to not be productive but to be engaged and happy at work. It’s not the presence through this screen as you and I are doing this show and can see each other. It’s the presence of your electrons, my electrons, seeing each other face to face, the nuances of our hand gestures, our eye gestures, our tone. You and I have been working together. I live here in Dallas. You live in Austin. It was always great when we were doing work and I was there. It’s so much more like I was a part of the company and the team than when I was on the call 2 or 3 times a week from my home. The big human psychology movement or experiment here is we need to be present with each other or we’re missing something. We’re plastic silicon electrons through a computer and that’s not good enough. I send in the post. At some point, you got to smell someone’s breath and feel their presence. We’re in HR, so it’s okay. We get to hug each other because no one will report us. You need to be around your colleagues in a more intimate way but what I mean is a present way where we’re present together.

I’m grateful for the Talent War Group. We were EF Overwatch Talent War Group. We got this nice office and we see each other. There’s a part of me that enjoyed the freedom of working remotely. There were some upsides to the pandemic. It certainly did force people to learn how to lead and to manage people remotely. I know that people got used to it, but I’m one of those people that’s like you. I can’t even calculate the value of a drive-by meeting in the hallway. Zoom fatigue is a real thing for me. Thank God I have people in the office, but at my previous employer, who shall not be named, I got Zoom fatigue because every simple conversation was turned into ten minutes. The challenge is that leaders recognize the importance of that human connection, that human presence, those drive-bys.

Those five-minute conversations over coffee where all of a sudden, you’ve moved to project two weeks ahead by getting coffee. Leaders are struggling. I want to segue back to the previous episode. You said this is the era of the CHRO. I think you’re damn right. CHROs are having the coach leaders through how firms should you be on requiring people to come back to work? I’ve had 3 or 4 clients that are like, “We’re forcing people to come back to work, but we’re getting resistance.” I’m like, “We have to move into the storytelling. Being together is good. Let’s get after it again.” I can’t imagine not being around people. There are some people that the employees are saying, “I don’t want to come back.” What’s an HR leader do?

The answer to that for me as a CHRO is, do we know what our productivity has been since we’ve been more work from home than work in the office? If that productivity has stayed the same or gone up, then maybe you don’t force the issue but then think about the long-term impact of people working away from each other, what it means for your culture, to be a company and for adding new employees. Those employees that have already worked for you, they’ve already been oriented and inculturated. You send them home for a year and they’re working from their desktop. It’s working fine. They’re knowledge workers. I did a quick scan of contact center, call center businesses. Many of them are reporting productivity upticks via the throughput of work through their contact center. As you know with contact centers, they are highly automated, but they’re highly metric. We measure everything in call-in contact centers. They’re noticing an uptick.

Frankly, I’m not surprised because when I was at HP, I had the opportunity to go to Vegas, to one of the big contact center conferences before the HP discovery event. The week before, they would overlap. This was already happening. In fact, I ended up flying there with a CEO of a company. He was the CEO of this contact center company. He had 1,000 employees. They all worked from home. After HP, I went to Mytel. We made contact software and products for contact centers. I saw how productive my wife could be if she wanted to be a contact center employee or a call center employee from her house. They ship you the technology and the software. You take the training. Next thing you know, you’re taking calls, you’re processing credit cards or whatever the business is that you’re supporting. You’re processing online orders.

I’m doing a parallel here, a comparison. Having run call centers at AOL where being present and being part of the AOL culture was important to the ethos of what we were trying to do for members, products and services. I feel like that would be missing. To try to bring new people in, they’re never going to be a part of your culture. You’re going to be paying them full-time, but it’s almost like they’re 10-99 in working from home. The long-term company EQ impact is what I would be concerned about. If you’ve watched my LinkedIn, I’m on a rant about mental health and mental health awareness in companies. I worry about the long-term impact on mental health if we aren’t around each other.

I was trying to put it into having been in the town of acquisition space when you and I worked together years ago. I had anywhere from 275 to 400 people stretched out. You had to manage that way because you’re a global leader. Fast forward to the last company that I was at that shall not be named because of my non-disparagement agreement. It was interesting we had this bullpen of recruiters. The level of activity, productivity, connection, personality and that buzz of the hive was 200% more effective than having everybody remote. That’s my little sample group. I appreciate flex, but there’s a lot. I’m one of those proponents. I appreciate that there’s the commute. We have childcare issues. We have all those other issues we have to deal with day to day, but you can’t go without people being in the office and having that in-person shared sense of community.

We need physical presence not just to be productive but to be engaged and happy at work. Click To Tweet

I can’t imagine being one of those people that says, “You could work remotely.” There are some functions that can but that human interaction, it’s everything. Hearing those people around you, how they’re working, how they’re talking to people, those drive-bys, those informal meetings that you don’t get scheduled but you bump into somebody. You move a project along, you move something ahead, you learn a piece of information that you never ever thought that you would get otherwise in an office, I can’t imagine. I was talking to somebody and I said, “I appreciate that everybody thinks the pendulum will swing into the full remote.” I think it’s temporary. Everybody’s going to be back in the office. Maybe we flex a little bit more than we did because we’ve learned how to work remote, but if I were a leader, I’d be saying, “3, 4 days a week, 3.5, whatever the number is, I want that tribe in the office. I want them interacting because there are too many intangibles that make the place better.”

There’s a hidden cost to work in rope beyond the lack of presence and interaction. That is what I’ve noticed. I noticed this in 2020. I started this, George, but I took a CHRO job with a company, headquartered in a different state. The plan was to relocate there, but because of COVID, I started remotely as the head of HR for this 30,000-person company. Seventeen leaders I had to meet via Microsoft Teams or Zoom and then fifteen other more important leaders I needed to see over time. To me, it was a recipe for disaster. There was no way they were going to understand who I was, how I operated. You never knew whether you were being accepted through the video because you were constantly on to the next video and all they took from it was whatever you gave them on camera. I’m not that great of an actor. I tend to be pretty authentic and straightforward to a fault.

It didn’t work for me, but the other thing that I’ve noticed that I’ve been working here at Oceans when we had people still at home and I noticed this at that other company as well, you thought email volume and email takeover of your day was difficult pre-COVID. The amount of emails people are sending. I’ll give you a perfect example and you’ve already hit on it, but we were on a 40-person call about a bunch of hospital startups. We have an integration meeting. We call it a biweekly integration meeting. I’m on that call. An issue came up on call center movement of employees who are already in our payroll system.

They’re going to be moving hospitals and they’re going to be clocking in to a new facility. The way we have our payroll system set up is they have to be moved in the call center and in the payroll system. They can’t clock in. I was incredulous. I was like, “That sounds like we set up our payroll system wrong.” Instead of sending an email to twenty people, I went down the hall, grabbed my two HR people that I needed to talk to and the finance person said, “What’s going on here? Is there a way that we could reconfigure? This seems like a manual move that’s too much of a pain in the ass.”

We solved it. I can give you ten other examples that have happened in the first six weeks here. We’re walking down the hall, my CEO pops in and say, “Have you thought about this? Can you take a look at this?” It ends up being gold because I’m like, “No, I hadn’t.” Could you imagine if he sent that in an email? What does this email mean? Does he mean I’m supposed to go there? What he’s asking? I got to call him or I send him an email for clarification. I’m sorry, younger generation. There’s no substitute for human interaction. I know none of them have ever seen that United Commercial where the executives, sales leaders handing out tickets to each of his sales reps and telling them where they’re going because they had a customer complained that they don’t care about their customer anymore.

They ask him, “Where are you going, Bob?” Bob says, “I’m going to see that customer.” That’s the end of the United Commercial. It’s brilliant. I still think that resonates. There’s no substitute for physical presence. I got lots of friends who’ve tried the remote relationship. Their marriages are no longer. This is human nature. I don’t have to cite a ton of data. It’s hard to have relationships and to be truly productive on a human level without presence, in my humble opinion.

I was thinking about the email thing as soon as COVID kicked off and we were all remote, two things. One, you can’t convey tone in an email like you can in person. There’s so much to the human connection like the body language that in person you can’t convey in an email, otherwise you’d be scrolling forever if you typed out every possible thought. One of the things that struck me is when I was working remote, people that didn’t know how to manage and lead generally, their CYA moment was, “I’m going to add people in the CC line.” As a vice president, my normal email was probably 150, 175 inbound a day, which was normal. It’s not a big deal. That doubled or tripled in COVID.

I have the four Ds. I’ve been trying to teach Talent War Group. I said, “There’s the four D. Do it. If you can do it in two minutes or less, do it. Don’t work out of your inbox. Delete it, defer it or delegate it.” With every email, do those. I was getting to a point because of COVID, where I’d have 300 emails in my inbox. Most of our jobs and for those global leaders out there that are maybe in the US, they have to follow the sun. You’ve got the Philippines waking up, China, Singapore and Bangalore. As you roll that over towards the West, I would wake up each morning and all of a sudden, I wake up to 150 unread emails. I’m in the CC line because nobody’s in the office. We’re all remote and they’re like, “I want to make sure George knows about this.”

We’re not going to have a conversation with anybody. The email volume would go down. The mental health would go up. You’ll accomplish so much more. I’m seeing those studies too. The people that are writing some of these studies about the productivity during COVID are the same people that are writing efficacy statements for all the new drugs that you see on TV. It’s paid research. People are finding that I’m 40%, 50% more productive at home. You gained some productivity, but seriously, half over that you’re more productive at home? I find that hard to believe.

That’s perceived exertion. Those are all like our employee opinion surveys. I love a good employee opinion survey, but it’s not hard science there. You’re looking for themes and patterns. You randomly asked 2,000 people, do they feel more productive, on a scale of 1 to 5, you’re going to get some data that might be interesting. Is it causal? No. Is it longitudinal? No. Are there other factors or variables to be considered that could have affected that productivity? Yes. None of that’s controlled for in these studies. I never see the linear multiple regression line that shows how the data correlates.

There are about fifteen people reading this or are going to read this show that are going to Google that phrase and wonder what the hell you’re talking about.

It’s when you correlate independent variables around a dependent variable to determine cause and effect relationships. I’m saying these studies that are done that are cited in the news as percentages. CNN or Fox tells you this group of people believes this. As a scientist, I have to ask myself, “What was the hypothesis we were testing? How did we test that? How did we control for variables?” It’s the same science that we use to come up with the vaccine double blinds. We use those same kinds of methodologies, the experimental method in understanding human psychology or studying anything. I don’t believe, to your point, George, what you’re reading is scientific. I don’t believe it.

There's so much to the human connection, like the body language that in person you can't convey in an email. Click To Tweet

It’s how you feel about that. I know we’re about halfway through the show, so I’m going to ask a little bit harder question. One of the things that we want to make sure of is that we don’t talk about the issues. We provide and use some relative thoughts. There are a lot of leaders that are faced with how they address their teams. As you approach this come back to work, what would you be telling those leaders, both C-Suite and 1, 2, 3 click downs?

I would start with the culture of our team. I might take some ownership over my leadership frailties and say, “I’ve been doing this for a year. I’ve appreciated your flexibility and the flexibility in my own life, but the culture of our team and the effectiveness of our team are best when we’re on the field together.” For me, it’s important that if there aren’t any underlying health issues that would cause you not to come back, I want us to come back together, back to work. The company needs us together. They need us working side-by-side, cube to cube, going out to lunch, having a beer after work and having a five-minute quick meeting on X, Y and Z. The company’s life, soul and heartbeat are us. To me, it’s important for that reason, as well as the performance of this team, the performance of our company that we come back together. That might be my angle.

I know sometimes I’m not the most brilliant when it comes to advice. I was thinking that more people would want to come back to work. One of the things that we did here at the Talent War Group is we looked at each individual person and we said, “What’s working for them?” How do we balance the needs of building the team, building the tribe, having that buzz in the office, that shared productivity, those pop-ins, those drive-bys? How do we balance that against what you’ve got going on in your personal life? I do think that’s the one benefit. It did make leaders a lot more cognizant and have to or be forced to deal with and recognize that people do have a life outside of work. That work isn’t their life. They were forced to manage those things. That’s the part I don’t want to lose.

I would tell leaders, “Don’t lose those things. Still be cognizant of your people.” Still be cognizant of, “We’ve got to figure out the right balance here.” I would be like, “We’re going to figure this out, but you’re coming back into the office. You’re coming back into our location. You’re going to be out visiting clients.” By the way, I’m headed up for Father’s Day to surprise my dad. I got a notification from Austin airport that said, “Expect more than a two-hour delay just to get through security.” Clearly, at least in the state of Texas, we are full tilt back out in the open.

I took my daughter to her camp in Alabama, which she’s been going to for years. I could not believe the amount of people in the terminal. That’s summertime, so it’s always summertime. It’s less business. It’s always much more diverse population of flyers, but it is a way more diverse population of flyers. George, I’m going to warn you. Be patient because there are people that don’t know how to get through TSA as astutely as you do. There are rules and protocols. If we all follow them like the highway, we all get there safely and faster. Get on the plane. Get your luggage up above and take your seat.

The seats are numbered and alphabetize for Christ’s sake. If you don’t know your alphabet, you don’t know your numbers and how they go, 1, 2, 3, all the way up to row 32, please don’t get on a plane for God’s sakes.

The country is full tilt. I was in the terminal where you had more regional flights. I was going to Birmingham, Alabama, but people were going all over the country, to Mexico. Flights were packed. That’s a good sign that the economy is cooking along. People are getting out and about. It will be good for commercial real estate that people come back to work. That’s not an industry I want to see dying.

I don’t want to see that either. The only time where I don’t have traffic is 4:30 going to the gym. The traffic is picking up.

I have heard your question and the advice you gave about that we learned balance is important. I have heard anecdotally that people are making different work choices if their companies are requiring them to come back. Working from home became more important than working in office. If you’re that type of person, then you might make a career change. You might make a choice to do something else. That’s unfortunate but that’s how you start making prioritizations. Especially if you’re young in your career, make those prioritizations because if you don’t, you’re going to be miserable later. You’re going to find yourself trapped in a career or a job that you don’t want to be in because you didn’t make those choices early on. For people who are being required to go back to work but they still want some freedom, go ask. You never know what the answer is going to be unless you ask and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Maybe your manager or your company will make accommodations of some kind.

We could do a whole show on that. As a matter of fact, we need to about the term ask. There’s that whole thing that we need to be giving to employees who aren’t in leadership positions about asking for what they want and having adult professional conversations to advance their careers. People should learn to come back, ask and say, “This is what I need to stay productive.” I know we’ve got a lot of leaders out there that are facing that challenge where people are saying, “I don’t want to come back to the office.” That’s putting CHROs and every leader at every level in a very precarious position.

My advice to them would simply be, you’ve got to determine it is productivity what that person is delivering. Is it okay to be done 100% remotely? If it’s not, you need to hold the line. Your responsibility as a leader is that full team dynamic. You do have to honor the individual. You do have to honor their balance. You want to make every accommodation, but ultimately, like we’ve talked about in the book, the teams win. Individuals don’t. You got to be thinking of the team. Case by case basis, you’re going to have to look at it and make some hard calls coming up. You’re right. There’s going to be a lot of people who don’t want to come back to work, lay down that gauntlet and say, “I’m not coming back.”

This may seem a little more frivolous than how we’re talking about it. Let’s not make the topic life or death. Thinking to be back at work, what is your favorite back at work activity, team activity or bonding? What is it that you most enjoy or have enjoyed about being at work versus at home, being with your people versus distant from them?

You need to go for the balance because there’s nothing like a team in person. Click To Tweet

My two things were coffee and happy hour. We had these great big kitchens, so we had good coffee. It was the greatest thing to grab 2 or 3 people on the team, whether they were in my team or the greater HR team and say, “Left go refill our coffee.” You can pull ten minutes. You’re away from email. You’re away from your phone. Your cell phone is off. You have the undivided attention. Just a good connection moment of 10, 15 minutes in the kitchen and you never know where that conversation is going to go. I always loved that. We had a thing every other Friday. It’s probably not great to advertise, but there were some adult beverages that were hidden away in the office. We would celebrate the wins of the week on Friday before we left.

It humanized the team and us as leaders. It allowed us to celebrate wins. We didn’t have to go anywhere. We got known for it. People would start coming down from other departments and they would stop by. What it did for all of us is it popped the balloon of the work stress. Everybody realized and said, “This is a good group of people. We’re all in the same ecosystem. We’re all in the same fishbowl together. Let’s toast to the great things we did this week.” It’s between coffee and a happy hour. Oddly enough, both involved drinking. They were some of the best times. It was the first thing that I missed when COVID hit.

My favorite of all time that I enjoyed after we did a strategy meeting, a top board meeting or an operations review when I was at Mytel was the pizza afterwards, hanging out and having a few beers. We’d be at the office for fifteen hours, so going back to the hotel, getting the jeans on and a t-shirt, sit down in the lobby bar talking about life and getting to know people personally. At AOL, we had a group of us that biked mountain and road. We had a regular Friday afternoon, especially in the summers because we had alternating half days, so 75% of us could take Friday off at noon. The other 25% had to be there to cover and then you rotate it around through the summer. We did that summer bike ride. We’d go, get wings and have a contest as to who could eat the hottest wing. The one wing, I swear to God, they put pepper spray on it at the very end. They brought it out. My HR colleague, Dave Harmon, who’s a serial CHRO as well, now retired, made better career decisions than me. He and I both ate that. I’m going to tell you that was the funniest time, the worst night of my life. It beats any flu I have ever had. It’s ridiculous.

It’s one of the things when I think about the happy hour. Having them every other week is probably a little bit too much. What I remember fondly, favorably is when you’re going in the jobs that you’ve had, Tom, or the jobs that I’ve had and if you’re in talent acquisition, it’s drinking from two fire hoses. What was nice is during that happy hour, that little session in the office, my whole team got my undivided attention. They got to ask whatever the heck they wanted to ask. If they wanted to know, “What did the CEO mean by this? This came out. I heard somebody resigned,” the office gossip or the rumor mill, whatever was going around, that whole VP mock-to with my ass on fire was able to stop. My team got my time.

That’s what I liked because I was able to convey some of the best information. I was able to give them the most important thing that I could give them, which was my time, my authenticity and straightforward answers. Usually, after the second drink, those answers got a little bit more colorful, but the team appreciated it. I appreciated being removed from all of the death by PowerPoint, running to this meeting, going to ask for this more, budget money, trying to get this tool implemented, get this contract signed, put out this fire, put out that fire. Everything got shut off. I got to be with the people that when you think about it, you’re spending so much time with. It was a great thing. People going back to the office, I can’t fathom being without that.

One of my regrets in my career is I’ve changed companies a couple of times, five times and made great friends at all those companies, but life moves on. Your career moves on and you can’t see all of them or stay in touch with them as you’d like. During those 5 or 6 year periods, you were brothers and sisters in arms. I don’t want to equate work with war. I made it more from a collegial standpoint. You are bonded to those people. I can’t say I have any bad experiences or regrets of anyone I’ve worked with professionally. It’s been a hoot. The only regret is you don’t get to stay best friends with them for as long as you’d like because you move on to another company, they move on, life changes. I know if I ran into them because I occasionally have, you don’t miss a beat. That’s a sign of friendship.

If you’re going to be on slide chains number 52 for 100 slide decks, for a QBR, for a board meeting, for your close-out pick your meeting, Opex review, your next year planning, let’s be honest, it sucked. It’s like I wanted a jab, a sharp object through my computer screen, so many times doing slide revisions for data that I knew that they would look at for 0.5 seconds and then move on. You’re right. I got to do that stuff with colleagues that were feeling the same stress and the same pressure that I was. We finally got to launch that last revision or we got to get that last communication, that last product line, that last message to our customers and clients out the door. Sit and have a beer, cocktail, share pizza, whatever we catered in, whatever box lunch.

Tom, this is a true, crazy offline topic, but that’s one of the things that make the Talent War Group great. We get to hang out together. We have shared lunches. We do things because it’s a team, it’s that tribe. There’s so much you lose by being remote. People ought to be excited about going back into the office because I know that those are some of the best times. Not the slide making but the fact that at the end of the day, we could say, “We killed it. As far as our function goes, we put up the best stuff. We took care of it. We got the business on track. We’re showing how well we did. It was painful to do it but we’re proud of our work. Let’s celebrate.”

You reminded me who understands this although they’re all still on lockdown, Europeans. Breaking bread, having a meal together is so important to understanding who you are as a business person. I learned that in my time at HP and Mytel. I remember going out with my Belgium colleagues in Mytel. We went out for lunch. We had pasta and beers. They’re going to have beers with lunch. We had wine and dessert, and 2.5 hours later, we were going back to the office. I’m in a food coma. It’s like Thanksgiving for me. I’m trying not to lay down, undo my belt buckle and turn football on. They’re ready to go.

They feel like we accomplished something in those 2.5 hours because we got to know Tom. He got to know us and he broke bread with us. That was true for all. Name the country. Those were the most important moments. Negotiating works council agreements and sometimes labor reductions, which were truly negative experiences. I never relished. They were made a little more doable because of the trust that was formed from being present with a bowl of pasta, a beer or a glass of wine.

You’d agree with me. Every time that I would do one of those trips, break bread, have beers and then when I came back to the States and I had to be in a meeting with those people, that meeting was infinitely better and far more productive. I was like, “George is on the call. This is great. We’re going to get this shit straightened out.” It built that trust. There’s plenty of dynamic in great people, in great leaders. I applaud all of those who have managed, led and made it happen, got after it via Zoom, via Teams, via whatever tool you use, but there’s no replacing. I’m excited that people are going to get back to work. God loved the people that have to deal with striking the balance, but if you’re a good leader out there, you need to go for the balance because there’s nothing like a team in person. That’s what you and I agree on.

What the Talent War Group looks forward to is seeing our clients in person and being present with you as we work through those business opportunities you have. We’re looking forward to forming those relationships with you personally and that’s going to happen by being present.

The last client I talked to, I’ve been promised great Memphis barbecue. That’s a pretty sweet deal. I can’t wait for that. We’re getting up on time. One of the things we do as we close out is make sure that you read the next episode. What Tom and I wanted to talk about in episode five is we’re going to talk about executive blind spots and executive coaching. How do we make our leadership teams better? I can’t imagine that you’re going to be at a loss for words on that topic, Tom.

I’ll do my best not to be too verbose and allow you an opportunity.

Any closing thoughts on the get back in the office, build great teams, build a great culture, do great things?

I think we said it all. I’m looking forward to high-fiving and hugging people in person.

You’re going to be down here. We’re going to have the team together. I’m looking forward to that. Everybody that’s reading, get back in the office, break bread, build culture, build teams, build fun, get after it. The most powerful thing in the world is the US economy and that’s what businesses do. Thank you very much for reading episode four of the show. We hope you join us for episode five, Executive Blind Spots. Until then, talent is what powers the world. Never forget it.

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