I recently met with a friend, and the topic of the ideal work environment came up. He’s a successful entrepreneur and investor. Like many, he’s worked from home quite a bit during the last few years.
He’s learned that working from home isn’t ideal for him. He can focus well, but he believes it comes at a cost. It’s harder for him to do his best work without interacting with other people. He says the buzz and energy level are polar opposites at home and the office. The office’s energy helps him get into the zone where he has his best ideas and can do his best work.
He recognizes that things have changed and flexibility is a high priority now for people on most teams, and he thinks hybrid setups offer the best of both worlds if implemented well. They satisfy the needs of folks like him while giving others flexibility.
I hadn’t thought about this lately until he brought it up, but I think the ideal work environment depends on the company’s culture and stage. Hard-charging start-ups trying to find product–market fit whose founders feed off each other for ideas might be better suited to in-person work. Slower-growth companies with mature offerings, a steady customer base, and an established culture may do well in a hybrid or even fully remote environment.