To: All Employees
From: James Norfolk, CEO
Subject: An update on the Biite office
Good morning Biiters,
Let me begin by stating the obvious: it’s been a hell of a ride! Trying to navigate our way through a global, catastrophic, reality-altering pandemic wasn’t easy, and our company would be nowhere without you, our tireless employees.
If you read the 36-line, 89-word LinkedIn post I wrote three months ago extolling the virtues of remote work, you’ll know that I’m all for it. As I said in my post,
“It’s the future.
It’s our future, remote work, and it belongs to those who claim it...
… Remotely, of course ;)”
I think my point there is pretty straightforward: I’m really glad that we all got the opportunity to work remotely while it was impossible for us to be together. But now we’re turning a corner.
I want to be 100% clear that no one is being forced to return to the office. Remote work makes sense for a lot of people: parents, people with accessibility considerations, and the global employees we hired over the last two years, to name a few.
To the rest of you, again: you are under absolutely no pressure to return to the office. But like… you definitely want to, right? I can’t be the only one who’s feeling like our lack of a physical office has led to a pretty substantial loss of culture. I mean, need I remind you that we’ve all missed out on 81 consecutive opportunities to partake in Friday C-E-Oke? I can’t be the only one who’s longing to go back to belting the hits, James Corden style, with a rotating cast of randomly-chosen-in-the-moment employees while the rest of you look on from your (catered!!!) lunches.
Look, I’m fully aware that we’re all capable of getting our jobs done perfectly well—with fewer distractions—from home. And I know a lot of you are enjoying the perks of this setup, like going on lots of walks (not that I mind, but how many walks does a person realistically need to take in a day?), cutting down on commute times and expenses (the subway is not nearly as busy as it used to be, by the way, just saying), and having a real opportunity to exercise boundaries around meetings, workload, and limits for the first time (although maybe it’s worth noting that “boundaries” is a word many real families do not know the meaning of… and are we not a family here?).
Ultimately, the choice to return to the office is yours, and I am committed to providing a work environment that honours all our employees’ needs, preferences, and selfish whims that I do not currently and probably never will understand.
I’ll leave you with this: I’m going back to the office, and not without making a sacrifice or two! Do you think my kids like hanging out with our live-in nanny all day?
For anyone else who wants to join me, I’ll welcome you back with open arms (so to speak, of course! I’ll keep a respectable distance unless we’re one-miking it for a C-E-Oke sesh). And as a token of appreciation for heading back to the office, those who return will be receiving a number of special thank you's that will be announced shortly… Though if you like the phrase, “prime seats at the next Raptors game,” I doubt you’ll be disappointed!
For the rest of you, I’m sorry that these perks are for office-returners only, but you have your walks, so at least there’s that, right?
See you in the office—or not! Again, totally your choice.