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WWD reports that Target has decided to move out "of its City Center offices in downtown Minneapolis one year after the coronavirus made its way around the globe and the company’s corporate workforce was forced to work remotely.

The new development is part of the big-box retailer’s plan to allow employees to continue to work from home, at least partially, post-pandemic."

According to the story, "the roughly 3,500 Target employees currently based in the City Center building will be relocated to one of Target’s four other spaces in the Twin Cities region, split between downtown Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park, Minn., later in the year … A representative from Target confirmed that the company is not laying off employees in the move and that the Twin Cities will remain the retailer’s headquarters."

"We are embracing this moment to think differently and reimagine the future of work at headquarters,” Melissa Kremer, Target executive vice president and chief human resources officer, said in an email to employees.  "Our hybrid ‘Flex for Your Day’ approach will offer team members the benefits of both virtual and on-site collaboration when we gradually return to headquarters later this year.

"Our headquarters will always play a central role in who we are and how we work at Target.  We believe in the culture, collaboration and competitive advantages of working together at our vibrant headquarters in the Twin Cities and around the world. But the reality is that ‘Flex for Your Day’ will require less office space."

KC's View:

As the story notes, Target is just one company rethinking the notion of what "headquarters" means in 2021 and beyond, as innovations imposed by pandemic-era adjustments are adapted for what some already are referring to as the "after-times."

It's not that offices are going away - providing people with a place where they can mingle (eventually) and stimulate ideas and energy is going to remain important.  But a stasis that may have developed is being challenged, and that's a good thing.

This story makes me think of the late, great Feargal Quinn, who when he was running Superquinn in Ireland had a rule - what most people call "headquarters" had to be referred to as the "support office," or people would have to pay a small fine.  The goal was to make sure people remembered what was important - the stores, the front line employees, and the customers.

If one accepts that notion, then it absolutely makes sense to rethink the idea of a monolithic headquarters building.