Notes on Remote Work
she’s totally correct there that there is a totally different issue at play - that these people are left behind in a totally remote future (…) the reality is that a remote-first workforce is going to be exclusionary for different reasons - those that don’t have a stable internet connection, those who can’t afford their own computer, and so on. There’re also those who have no space at home to separate their work from their personal life, and those with children
I am imagining that we’re about to see, as vaccinations climb and people return to normal, a culture war between those that believe workers should be in the office and those who believe that there should be a “hybrid approach,” by which they most likely mean you get a few days a week at home.
Fast Company also quotes “a recent BCG study on remote work [that] stated, “employees satisfied with social connectivity are more likely to maintain or improve productivity on collaborative tasks,” a sentence written by a robot that suggests that is used to suggest that physical space is where these social connections happen, as opposed to the internet, where they also happen.
I will add that people build their social groups from work, and the social aspect of working makes work easier and your life better. This is an argument that I have yet to see used in favor of work - that this is how people build their friend groups, that these are the “people we see.” But I feel like this is a social structure that is inherently built to promote capitalism - that work provides us with the means to live fiscally and socially, when there are other means of meeting people
This also assumes that talking to people over Slack and Zoom doesn’t create similar social structures and/or lead to people hanging out after work.
If you move your company to a hybrid workforce, there needs to be a concerted effort to not alienate those who are in or out of the office, and create an environment where the physical office is seen as a place to do something specific rather than an area to lurk and socialize.
If it’s for social reasons…well, maybe socializing is a bad justification for going to work?
I really believe that remote is something that overwhelmingly benefits the worker - it removes the soft wage theft of commuting and worker judgment for leaving on time, it removes geographic restraints, it removes a degree of the physical and aesthetic requirements of the office, and it focuses in on actually doing stuff versus appearing to do stuff.
I also believe that it disempowers pathological management, which is why some companies are so resistant to it.
Notes taken from The Upcoming Remote Work Company Culture War