Google has announced that it would allow employees to work from home until September next year and was drawing up a flexible plan for working in the office for 3 days a week. Oracle has also moved its headquarters to Texas and provides flexible options for remote work. Working from home seems to have become a standard feature for companies. A company CEO predicted that remote work would flourish and that in the future world-class people would migrate to small cities. However, it has also triggered a lot of opposition.
The ZDNet reported on the controversy over the prediction of remote work. The reason was that Chris Herd, the founder and CEO of the remote work platform Firstbase, put forward an idea. According to the results of his conversations with 1,500 people, he believed that remote work would replace office work, saying that in the future “Time will be replaced by productivity and output. Promotion will depend on ability, but not who you drink beer with after work.”
He said that this would promote the return of interest and participation in the local community, which would lead to deeper and more meaningful interpersonal relationships and overcome social problems of loneliness and isolation. He urged these smaller cities to prepare for this trend, including better schools and faster network infrastructure.
He also mentioned that people who work from home have a greater risk of burnout, but he envisaged that most people would reassess their priorities. He said, “Employees will do what needs to be done instead of wasting their time busy dealing with other things in the office.”
He insisted that remote work would allow part-time and freelancers to flourish. After all, people want a quality life while meetings and quarterly social activities are enough for social needs. In addition, he also believed that long-distance work would have a side benefit, that is, the divorce rate may drop.
His argument was originally thought to arouse most people’s approval. After all, everyone wants to save commuting time and gets rid of office pressure. However, I didn’t expect Herd to be attacked by many opposition opinions. A certain netizen even said: “What should not be ignored is that, millions of people all over the world find shelter in the workplace and need it to keep them away from their partners and children! If you work remotely, the divorce rate will continue to rise.”
The author quoted a BBC article about the peak of divorce caused by the pandemic. The volume of divorce consultations by a certain British law firm during July to October increased by 122% over the same period last year. Partners described the pandemic as a perfect storm for couples. It was believed that blockades and social distancing allowed couples to spend more time together and caused relationship rifts.
Another critic said that the younger generation do not want to work from home, but Herd believed that what young people really don’t want is a cabinet-sized room, living in an expensive city far away from family and friends without disposable income.
Herd’s idea was the same as the CEO of GitLab, an open source software company. He believed that the key to a successful remote model is files. Herd even said that words would replace spoken language and that the most successful team members for remote work would be great writers.
Long-distance work seems to be a bright future for office workers. Even if there is no epidemic in Taiwan, more and more companies are beginning to implement work-from-home plans, especially foreign companies. Taiwanese companies are increasingly working from home to give employees more flexible space. As for whether long-distance work is so dreamy or not, as netizens say, the office is the sanctuary of life. It may take a while to understand.