I fundamentally disagree with all of the organizations who have made public statements that they will be moving to a permanent work from home model. This early decision seems to be based on appeasing workers fears in the current pandemic. Already Shopify, Twitter, Square and others have announced policies that extend beyond the end of the pandemic. But is this the best decision going forward?
I for one think that the benefit of the office is something that people underestimate. Think of all of the friends in your network you’ve met because of going to work. Maybe even relationships or perhaps you met your spouse in the office or at least, through co-workers. You might have moved cities and experienced parts of the world through travel because of your office location. And think of all the social interactions you have on a daily basis just by being in a different location than the one in which you live.
It will turn loyal employees into gig workers
My main concern is that the notion of loyalty will disappear. By sitting at home and limiting physical and real connections, and I don’t mean through video chat, but real connections to people and the physical office, I truly believe that the notion of employment will rapidly shift from people who were once loyal, to more of a free agent model. As employees get bored and lose interest because of the day-to-day monotony of working from home, they will ultimately be more open to shift jobs more frequently for some of the more basic reasons, specifically money!
Basically, my point is that for people to work from home without an ability to go to an office, it will be incredibly difficult to define and maintain a culture. For the employee that means not feeling that they belong to something bigger than themselves. For employers, a challenge in that they lose one of their main assets that attracts and retains employees. Have you ever been to the campuses of one of the tech giants? If you have you, then will completely understand what you would be missing not going to the office. Snacks, scooters, cafeterias full of conversations, and the ability to just get up and walk to connect with people.
Would it still be as interesting if you couldn’t do all of that?
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