Katalyst Group

Remote work

Seeing more people walking around downtown Chicago, an increase in traffic, and lines at your favorite lunch spots may be all indicators of returning to the office but thinking about the number of virtual meetings over a given week, it’s safe to say that the remote workforce is still going strong. While employers may be encouraging or requiring employees to return to the office full-time or part-time, organizations are carefully examining what an effective remote workforce means to their business and work culture, such as:

  • Retaining their cherished employees
  • Creating a safe space for employees to collaborate when required to do so onsite
  • Eliminating reasons for their team members to evaluate career opportunities elsewhere
  • Positioning themselves to attract new members to their organization for key positions


Executives and leaders are addressing these questions while balancing what is best for their respective organizations. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all approach, there are key risks to consider when evaluating when and whether to return to the office, in any capacity, such as:

  • Team members may not be able to return to office (working parents may find a lack of childcare options, underlying health issues, proximity to an at-risk family member or friend that they have frequent contact with)
  • Other organizations offering 100% remote work opportunities may lure your team members to evaluate new career opportunities
  • Unintended exposure to Covid-19 requiring a full or partial office shutdown and renewed business disruption
  • Lack of flexibility and adaptability of the organization’s policies towards appreciating the needs of their employees and families
  • Loss of productivity due to time spent commuting from home to office
  • Difficulty in attracting new members to the organization to fill key positions, thereby limiting access to the best skilled individuals

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