Returning to the office is a subtle strategy for companies

Le retour au bureau, une stratégie délicate pour les entreprises

Now the global debate has only just begun


© Freebick

Eight years ago, Patrick Pichet, Google’s chief financial officer, recalled being asked how many employees of technology companies were doing the work. His answer is simple: “as small as possible”. Although Google has been busy preparing applications for long-distance work, his opinion is not surprising.

“It was believed that coming together in one place would increase productivity, innovation and friendliness. This allowed leaders to keep an eye on their subordinates.”

From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, across London’s square miles, La Defense in Paris, the Boatstammer Flats in Berlin and the business districts of central Hong Kong and around the world welcome millions of annoying people every day. It was believed that coming together in one place would increase productivity, innovation and friendliness. This allowed the leaders to keep an eye on their subjects. Homework was only if not completely avoided.

New nature under discussion

In March 2020, it suddenly became impossible. The Covid 19 epidemic has forced governments around the planet to close tight. Overnight, most offices in the world became inaccessible. To survive, businesses around the world have started a tremendous job from home. Urban workers have traded cases for jogging pants and suburban housing for suburban areas. As part of a general shift in attitude at the time, Google gave each employee $ 1,000 to purchase home office furniture, gave them fitness videos and virtual cooking classes, and asked everyone to “take care of themselves and others.”

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“The experience of working from home is coming to an end. But the speed and extent of this removal are subject to heated debate. […]

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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