“Back to School” at Work: Capturing the Invigorating Feeling of Fall

Sep 21, 2023

I was dropping my older daughter off at school last week when I got into a conversation with another parent about the return of school.

As parents of young children, we talked about the kids’ summers and our family vacations, of time spent splashing in pools and playing ball in the park and melting ice cream cones and soft evenings lit by fireflies.

We also talked about how we were grateful for the return of all that school brings: routines, abundant opportunities to learn and challenge yourself, gatherings with many friends, holidays.

It got me thinking about how I always used to look forward to September when I was a kid. I loved summer, to be sure, but as the sun would begin to set earlier and the nights grew crisper, I would buzz with excitement about the upcoming year. That got me thinking about how adults don’t necessarily get to experience that same rush with the start of autumn—especially these days, as remote and hybrid teams are the norm and there isn’t a sudden influx of people in the office—fresh off summer vacation and raring to go—to signal the beginning of a new season.

And yet, I do think that the best companies can recreate, and therefore capitalize, on this invigorating “return to school” feeling. That’s because they’ve managed to create strong company cultures that make everyone, from in-office personnel to fully remote employees, feel like they’re part of the team.


The Washington Post had a great article on this very topic. A few tips included:

  • Creating intentional spaces and times for socializing, both in person and virtually
  • Including perks that address different work environments—offering reimbursement for home office supplies and standing desks, for example
  • Embracing transparency
  • Using tools that allow for asynchronous work, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Sharepoint

What are some of your top tips for creating a strong company culture—one that can energize your people for a new season?


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