No more sweatpants?! Susan J. Ashford talks about return to work on Stateside

August 23, 2021

Photo: Chris Montgomery on Unsplash


Susan Ashford

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty associate Susan J. Ashford offers her expertise on the Stateside segment, “What to expect when you’re expected at work,” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The episode explores a variety of pandemic-related issues, including the segment in which Ashford and Michigan State University Associate Professor Angela Hall discuss how employees and employers can ease back into the office.

Ashford suggests that employers begin by anonymously asking teams to express their concerns about returning to the office.

“The popular opinion right now is that nobody wants to go back to the office. I’m not sure that’s true,” Ashford says. “I’m sure it’s quite mixed for people, where there are some things that they miss completely and want to get back to and other things that they’re very happy to forgo and never have to do again, starting with the morning commute.”

For employees who want or need to continue working from home, Ashford says it’s important to be transparent with employers about why and to establish benchmarks that can be used to monitor progress and achievement.

Ashford is the Michael & Susan Jandernoa Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan.