I've had a few encounters with gatekeepers at the start of the year that when asking why I'm contacting their higher-ups - unlocking distinctive video sales calls - reply with a terse, 'we're all back in the office now thank you very much'.
As if that's an end of it.
Pretty much all ᴍsᴍ coverage in this arena is that the great ʀᴛᴏ (Return to Office) is essential. Holdouts cannot be allowed to strangle the economy by ᴡꜰʜ, with varying slices of hybrid attendance.
Indeed, a London writer I generally admire is vehement on this point. One recent sign-off on what he gleefully sees as the coming mass ʀꜰʜ (Redundancies from Home) claiming;
"... the way the great ᴡꜰʜ experiment comes to an end won’t be with companies insisting on a return to the office. It will end because the refuseniks steadily get laid off. By the end of the decade, working patterns will be back where they started – but there will be a lot of pain along the way."
Pretty bleak. If you consider so many remote ways of working are vital components of 'future work'. And that's the huge point missed in all such commentary.
So the pyjama class are getting their ticket? When it comes to those remotely delivering taxpayers ever worsening public sector 'service', computer-says-no corporate customer agents, or anyone adding bottleneck, delay or blocks to your provision, we can celebrate their demise.
Yet the big problem is that the ire of such disappointed clients, and perhaps most vocally the management consumed by their perceived loss of control, erroneously equate the unwanted view of a sea of empty office chairs with meaning any 'remote' way of working as not just bad, but which must be banished from their organisation.
Who cares if working patterns of 2019 will re-emerge as the norm come 2029?
What is important, is that if you truly aim to gain genuine productivity uplifts, you cannot ignore the ways in which you can work well, better even, with anyone not sitting directly next to you.
You didn't rip out all the phones in 2022, did you? If you're an Enterprise, Solution, B2B selling endeavour, the likelihood is that none of colleagues, customers, suppliers nor partners, all reside in your building, town or even timezone.
How do you push work forward with them? Async with emails and workflow apps. Sync with live chat and phone calls. Then there's video calls.
Do you know why, when and how a video call will bring greater punch than any of the alternative contact options?
Thinking that everybody back in the office now means videoing can be consigned to carrier pigeon, telegraph, fax machine style history will be your undoing.
It is a vital way to show you in unique and preferable light. All while speeding you through, or saving you significant, time.
Productivity improvements for those so inclined will not follow from back-to-office mandates alone. They build from deploying the right medium to use for the right conversation. And video calls are a fundamental part of this.
Are you cracking that code?