My latest for Medium looks the limits of power in getting people to return to the office. The alternative: a focus on making the best, highest use of everyone’s time–and that includes when and where they are together.

“Forcing employees back to the office is likely to depress engagement. For some, it decreases productivity. It encourages passive resistance and quiet quitting. Or active resistance and actual quitting.

Think instead of pursuing usefulness. If you make time in the office truly useful for people, they are more likely to want to return. When collaboration and mentoring are a reality, the office becomes attractive. When I feel that I do my best work and am supported as a parent, elder caregiver, and lifelong learner because of my time in the office, I want to be there.

This requires a more supportive than authoritarian approach to managing and leading. It doesn’t come naturally to many CEOs. They are used to minimizing their investment per square foot in their real estate or building a temple to satisfy their edifice complex.”