There are plenty of companies that are starting to consider bringing people to the office. A few are tentatively making plans, Microsoft has opened campus with the option of 50% time at home. Google is aiming for Sept 1 and requires you to request remote work for more than 14 days a year. A few other friends are starting to go back 1-2 days a week at their companies, with the idea that this may increase over time.
Redgate has still extended full time remote to the end of 2021, and I have no idea what things will look like after that. I'm curious, and anxious, as I want to go back to the office. Like mentioned in this piece, I am missing others, along with the interactions and the chance meetings. Grant wrote about things we miss recently, and that was my response. Not necessarily the office, but just missing the chance to interact with adults and talk tech.
The bigger issue that I see, is that many of us may feel forced back into the office to take advantage of opportunities. The chance to get visibility with people outside our team, especially those that might be in management positions and can impact our careers. The face time, especially casual encounters outside of meetings, are a chance to impress others and give us an advantage over others.
To me, this is the challenge of remote work when not everyone is remote. Out of sight, out of mind is an apt expression. While you might constantly contact those that you work with, who are the people that may give you a raise, a promotion, or a spot on a project that everyone wants to work on? Or the people that might decide who gets let go? If these are people you contact often, great. If not, that's a problem, and in my experience, I don't often get the chance to sell myself to them unless I'm in the office.
These days I'm not as ambitious in my career, so I worry less about impressing others. I do want to see people, and that is what I miss the most during this pandemic. I do hope I can go back to the Redgate office and see people this fall, and I am hoping some events start to take place in person, perhaps with limited audiences, but in some way that allows us to have those chance, serendipitous interactions.