Returning to the office is a consultation, not an announcement

Ben Campbell
2 min readOct 17, 2021


If your company’s return to office policy is an announcement, not a consultation, you have already failed the first post-covid culture test.

Because the senior executive team that make the return to work decisions will not be the team most impacted by these decisions.

Returning to the office is different if you’re in the working class, not the executive class.

Returning to the office is different if you have an unreliable car, poor health insurance, or you don’t have access to childcare.

Returning to the office is different if you live in the outer suburbs and have a long commute. Or if you live in a multi-generational household.

But of course senior executives are happy to go back to the office. The office looks pretty good when you have a nice wardrobe, a company car park and a Lexus. It’s great being able to spend $40 on lunch in the city each day.

I’m looking forward to all of this. But then again, I am not the average employee. So it wouldn’t be fair for me to make these decisions.

This is your chance to survey and understand the people within your business, and importantly, the people who in the future might want to join your business. Because your return to work policy doesn’t just impact those who are currently on the payroll, but also the talent that you’re looking to attract in the future — including the under 30’s, who have told us again and again, that they have no interest in working in an office.

This is your chance to build a new culture, rather than drag everyone back to the old culture that let’s be honest, didn’t really work anyway.

Do not mess this up.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn on 15th October, 2021.



Ben Campbell

Nomadic Australian, perennial traveller and lover of great coffee.