Peter Schott wrote:
The idea that "we pay a lot for this space" is a bad reason to get people into the office. As you mentioned, that money is already spent and it might be a better option to see about releasing that space in favor of giving people a choice. From what I've head, a lot of people are opting to work remotely if given the choice - avoiding long commutes, time away from family, and allowing some freedom to handle small tasks during the day without needing to take a whole day off.
On the other hand, "we pay a lot for your time too". In fact, probably lots more than for the space. And since the companies pay for your time, they own it, as far as I'm concerned. From my eleven years in an IT management position responsible for seven people, employees need supervision and oversight.
Now I've never been in favor of lots meetings, in fact I've been sort of famous for my feeling that:
"If a meeting involves more than three people and/or lasts more than fifteen minutes, you are wasting someone's time".
But management needs to be and should be constantly aware of what employees are doing, what progress is being made, and what today's needs are. You can't really do this without close oversight.
One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.