Tech companies and other companies are all "work from home" right now.
I don’t think that is sustainable despite what the people of the moment think.
Office buildings won’t be going away although the need for a max amount of office space might change. The location might change too.
The people of the moment are good to follow just to fuel ideas but they aren’t good for long term decision or policy making.
In the last decade, we have seen a move from suburban office campuses to urban city center vertical office campuses.
That might change big time as it’s easier operationally to do things in areas that have sprawl than on a city block. The ability for workers to get outside in a less crowded space also is appealing.
Right now, the big idea is work from anywhere.
Twitter, Facebook and plenty of other tech companies have abandoned the idea of a central office. They are unique in that they are virtual companies anyway. However, I do not think that will be sustainable either.
Pulling from the article and quoting Aaron Levie,
“You strip out a commute and you strip out having to get on an airplane for business meetings and you kind of remove a lot of these other things that crept into the work that you had to do.”
You can see the appeal.
Conferences and meetups are happening. I have been to some big conferences in the past few years and while a couple have had some value, most did not.
They have even less value on Zoom.
Chicago Booth ran its New Venture Challenge on Zoom this year. The mentoring and coaching was also on Zoom.
I will be interested to see how it comes out. I was on a couple of Zoom classes and the people administering the process did a great job.
I thought the interaction in some cases might have been deeper than would have happened in the classroom. In other cases, I thought it was a lighter touch.
There is something about the immediacy of being in the room.
There are things that happen spontaneously in offices because people are in physical proximity with each other.
Random stuff. Random conversations. Random comments that spark an idea.
Chicago Booth Professor Ron Burt says to network and to expand yourself you need to expose yourself to randomness and cooping yourself up in a home doesn’t accomplish that.
*Featured post photo by Product School on Unsplash