The divide between office and remote workers

Some people live at their office. It’s a part of the their lifestyle, similar to how your high school friends were a part of yours. They chat with coworkers, go to lunch together, run an errand and check in with Paul at reception. They might not love their office, but they could if it was nice.

There is a second group of people who are trying to avoid all that. They paused their life in the morning to head out to work. Now they want to finish their work so they can get out of there, and their real life can resume. This group will complain about the efficiency of commuting, about why chitchat around the office is distracting. This group wouldn’t love any office, regardless of the perks.

I think this is the core conflict around office or remote work.

Group Office probably doesn’t know that Group Avoid exists. Because it’s a different world view, they do the same things, but for very different reasons.

Group Avoid is spending a ton of effort trying to work around Group Office. But they’re no more insightful. They might see Group Office as socialising instead of working.

No group is better or worse. They just different world views.

Traditionally everyone found themselves in Group Office, because while you might’ve had friends outside work, work took up most of your life and very few had project based jobs. So you eventually ended up bonding, or finding a new job.

But today with the internet, you might have a much stronger social cohesion and lifestyle adaption around some other social group. And all jobs are just temporary anyway, right?..

Over the next few years I believe we will see a grand migration from the work “campuses” to the swarms of freelancers as less people identify with Group Office.

This behaviour will look borderline crazy to the people living in Group Office. And the Office vs Remote work discussion will rage on and on. Ever larger corporations purchasing research from McKinsey about how offices are wonderful. Ever more self help books about how water cooler talk kills productivity.

Both groups completely missing the point of the other one.