Some agencies seem reluctant to allow employees to work from home during the current crisis because they prefer to have in-office workers and are concerned about the precedent they may be setting.
I’ll set aside for a moment that the remote work genie is out of the bottle and the 2020 pandemic will only accelerate broader long-term adoption.
Instead, let me focus on the most important thing that you can do as an agency leader: be human.
Most agency employees can be very effective from home. Our industry is fortunate in that regard. Plenty of other workers have no choice and must be in their places of employment to do their jobs.
Use that flexibility to let your teams do what is right for themselves and their families.
Don’t make it seem like you’re doing a great favor. Forcing employees to request one-off exceptions so that they can work from home due to extenuating circumstances doesn’t help morale and build loyalty.
And you’re likely to need all of the goodwill you can muster in the months ahead because it is likely to be a rocky road for many agencies.
I’m not saying you should close your office — that’s a personal decision for you to make based on your individual circumstances and the guidance of local authorities.
In fact, some employees may well be more comfortable coming in to the office during the crisis — for a sense of normalcy or because their at-home working conditions are less than ideal.
But let each employee make that choice for themselves.