Tuesday January 05, 2021 |Notes

Remote work culture

One of the most remarkable shifts over the past 10 months of the pandemic in the United States is the shift in work norms. Work from home has become the norm for millions of office workers. Employees and companies have experience both the pros and cons, and the future of commercial real estate is still quite uncertain at this stage.

I'm curretly listening to How Google Works by Eric Schmidt. It was published in 2014 and sounds as though it were much longer ago.

The chapter on culture particularly stands out. Schmidt stresses the importance of being physically close to people in order to work, and is adamantly against the idea of working from home. Innovation is often bred from necessity, and needles to say, most of the 'smart creatives' at Google have made the shift, though it does lead me to wonder how much of a detrimental effect this shift has had on businesses not necessarily designed for this structure.

Interestingly, Schmidt stresses that Google is a developer lead company that always puts users first, doesn't care about ad revenue, and is always willing to listen to employees at any level. From the outside, it's hard to accept these as simple truisms of the company in 2021.

Some companies are built with a culture of remote work ingrained. Not every company can simply make the shift, and the abrupt rise in importance of technology this year makes it difficult to know exactly what has been due to a the 'luck' of the timing, and what has been due to a successful transformation. The shift to work from home will not persist forever and it will also never go away.

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