Company Culture, leadership | Article

How to Make Remote Employees Want to Come to the Office

Surveys show workers want to stay at home and RTO plans are falling short. But that’s not the case for one organization in particular.

When offices started opening back up amidst the pandemic, most organizations had a similar experience. People were hesitant to return. They got used to the remote lifestyle and didn’t want to go back to the way things were. Many employees even demanded hybrid or remote schedules. If their employer refused, some left to find companies that would accept flexibility.

Diego Cubas had a very different experience with his company Cornerstone Peru. They used the Covid shutdown to remodel their Lima offices. The day the new offices opened after the shutdown, Cubas recounts that “everyone showed up. They wanted to be there. They enjoy working with each other.”

So, how do you create an environment that employees are excited to return to every day?

Cubas identifies three keys: Leadership, purpose, and values. We’ll break down each of the three keys and how you can start utilizing them in your own organization.


Everyone is a leader. Therefore, you should hire and develop for leadership. Not just for leadership positions, but for any role at any level. Look for leadership qualities like passion, teamwork, and drive. Hire people who dream big and always try to do the right thing. Beyond that, invest in developing the positive traits you have identified in all your people.

Don’t be afraid to say goodbye to employees when you need to. Let go of those who fail to live up to the company’s standards even after attempts at development. Don’t let anyone bring down others in your organization.


Have a purpose instead of a mission. Cornerstone Peru’s stated purpose is to “positively impact people’s lives around the world to transcend.” The transcendence is both professional and personal. Cubas believes missions are a bit confining while a purpose extends further. Ultimately, you need to know your organization’s purpose and how you fit into it. Then you can help everyone else understand the purpose and how they contribute to it as well.


Many organization leaders say their people are their most important asset and that they care about the values. But how many really believe it? How many truly live and breathe the values? As a leader, it is important that you really define and live out your values at all times. Encourage your employees to do the same. Reinforce the behaviors that reflect those values with a recognition program. That is how you create an inspired organization that people really love working for. Lead by example and lead face-to-face. It’s the best way to generate trust, connect with others, and instill values.

If you want remote and hybrid workers to come into the office, don’t focus on the consequences. Punishing them for not coming in may get you compliance at best. Instead, think about how you can enable and empower them to co-create a culture and office experience they want to be part of.