This is not a well-done article in The Atlantic. It doesn’t put ‘working from home’ in the proper context, for the most part, and in fact it compares the pitfalls of “working from home” to a study looking at the upside of pilots working together in close quarters in a commercial airline cockpit, as if those pilots could “work from home” and send one another emails each time a problem comes up.
Overall, this piece tries makes the case for people working shoulder-to-shoulder, all day, in order to channel one’s inner team player and collaborative, problem-solving self. No where does this piece take into account individual working style and diversity of the individual; personal time savings from not commuting and primping for work; cultural shifts in generations (and their views of being office-bound and having their work based on hours); and generally, how modern technology doesn’t require building “terminals” in one’s home, as like in the old IBM work-from-home days. Premise fail all over the place here, really.
Twenty years ago I worked for a prominent Public Accounting firm and I spent 60-70% of my days at client offices doing audits, corporate tax work, and financial statement preparation while being forced into their box the whole time: working together in a conference room all day, going out to lunch together, and being expected to collaborate 24/7. That didn’t turn out well. I found the company culture to be suffocating.
The worst thing I endured is going to crappy ‘business-lunch-type’ restaurants and sitting at lunch with senior managers and firm partners, with all of them reminiscing on “the old college days” and their rah-rah for college football. Sheer boredom. I was written up on one 4-week client engagement when the client office was located one mile from my house, and so I took advantage of that and went home every day for lunch to eat frugally (save $$ from not eating out) and let my two dogs out.
Google and Apple work culture can go to heck. Google has all of its lovely on-site benefits, but the company traps its employees on its campus long enough to not have any home life.6:50 am on October 7, 2017 Email Karen De Coster