MMM | Why You May Not Be Back in Your Office ’til 2021


This weekend, I am finding it is starting to feel more “normal” when you have to run errands. There is something comforting seeing movement back in our society & economy.


In the world of work, more & more organizations are starting to open up. Our clients are working through return and recovery plans as they anticipate the starting of the different phases in our recovery.


“Shopify is a digital by default company…Office centricity is officially over.” Shopify’s CEO Tobi Lutke tweeted.

In this announcement Shopify, one of our corporate partners, is officially moving to a digital first culture and they will no longer be “office” centric. They will be keeping their offices closed to the end of 2021- which means their team will be working remotely for another 18 months.


My team and I have been having many discussions with our publicprivate & not-for-profit partners about the short- and long-term impacts on how and where we do our work.


This announcement is just the beginning of a new reality of work. COVID-19 is accelerating us to what we have been sharing as Work 4.0


Work 4.0 is about working from anywhere, leading from anywhere & delivering results in a way that is more efficient, more carbon friendly, and truly can lead to that holy grail of work/life integration.


It is also deeply complex, both on an organizational and individual level. It has impacts on everywhere on our society, from technology and office design, to business locations and commutes. I had heard this week that Metrolinx was cutting its service by 50% for this season.


What happens when possibly 30% of employees no longer travel to downtown Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary etc?


Who would have even remotely considered that as a possibility 3 months ago. Certainly not leaders in the public transit, commercial real estate industries, not to mention cafe and restaurant owners in our large metropolitan cities.


It is one thing to create a mandate to move to a work-from-anywhere business. It’s a complete technological and more fundamentally a substantive shift in how to lead and engage teams.


For some, this idea of working from anywhere is so relieving, for others it’s not truly how they work best. In certain areas of work, this idea is simply not a reality. There are so many moving parts, not to mention the discussion around health safety in offices etc.


I am proud to say that we are working with a number of our corporate partners to support this move. We are providing support from the strategic elements, through to training & leadership coaching on how to thrive in & through this new reality.


This is not about returning to a “new normal.” This is about Work 4.0. The beginning of something new and much more substantive.


Along the road with you,




PS. Join me for “CBC Ontario Today” from 12-1 PM tomorrow on Tues May 26. I’ll be sharing about the new work reality & taking calls to chat with you about its opportunities and challenges. Feel free to call in at 1-888-817-8995.


P.P.S. Looking for a conversation with our team on how we can support your leadership & teams in dealing with the complexities of Work 4.0? Call Jason Parks at 1-877-256-2569 ext 600 or reach out by email at