It is an old expression and when I was young I never understood it. It is simple, I grew up in the Netherlands. For us it was take the road that leads to the E35, which takes you to Rome. Those in Belgium and Germany had a similar direction. Of course that is not the explanation of the expression, but I was 7 at the time, there was time to learn. And for the most I learned how to learn, so I ended up with two benefits. One, the road to the best Pizza and two a manifest on how to learn. So when I saw the BBC article ‘Office time is not for video calls, says tech boss’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-63217973) I was taken aback a little. You see, there are many roads on how to manage a workforce and some marketing firms learned through Covid, that a home founded workforce is efficient, terribly efficient. It also reduces the bottleneck of networks. It might not be enough, but in some cases it is enough to keep the workforce. Also the corporations with a high turnover saw a turnover reduction, not a big one, but large enough. I myself prefers to work in an office. I prefer my home and work to remain separate. That is easily explained. I am for the mot a workaholic. Work comes first and it has done so for decades. To go home is on one side to take the pressure off, on the other side to see if there I anything else that can relax me. So when I see “But being in the office should be an opportunity to do things that cannot be done at home, argues Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s chief executive. Sitting at a desk with headphones on is not one of them, he says.” But sitting in your office with a headset (or plugs) listening to music as you work is? I am not opposing his view, because there is merit in his view, but for a lot of companies so is the homework or hybrid setting. I am not one of those, but plenty are. He is a friend of “He champions Amazon’s idea, introduced by Jeff Bezos, where each attendee reads a six-page memo at the start of a meeting as a briefing note, rather than sitting through PowerPoint presentations.” OK, fair enough but not unlike Google, they too left $500 million a month on the floor, so there is improvement available all over the field. I do like the approach as I have an active dislike of meeting PowerPoints. There are plenty of times when this works, but the size of the group where it does not is steadily rising.
There is a growing need to adjust the workforce. I see a weird traverse of approaches on an international level to find workers and I see the flood on LinkedIn on how great they are instead of properly informing who they are and what they do. A social approach on steroids and they fail to see the point, but it is equally possible that I fail to see their point. I get that, but it is the workaholic in me that take that point of view. And when you filter out the fortune cookie marketing in LinkedIn, how much value do you get? I see offices where video calls are not merely the workforce, it is also the office meetings. Instead of 8 people vacating to a big office, they sit in their offices, at their desks listening to meetings and that is the weird part. It seems that in these meetings people are more intent on listening, the responses are seemingly more clever, but I could be wrong. And this was part of the settings whilst I was contemplating a few new versions of older games, I contemplated what could be possible to take that into a game. Yet I was cautious. You see that as the narrated stage of a game called System Shock. A great game that is (as far as I know) still upgraded to todays gameplay. The game (through videos, messages and voice) give us the backstories on several floors between all kinds of people giving us a setting of what was going on when things were going wrong. I miss that game, it was so close to perfect and its successor (System Shock 2) was equally overwhelmingly as addictive. This too gave me pause to consider. You see when you think back on the original planet of the apes (with Charlton Heston), the idea of a survival game in that setting is interesting, but a game that follows the movie, without copying it is equally appealing. Having a new IP is intriguing, although a week before Gotham Knights not the most illuminating one. And these issues all strike back to the office. All these thoughts take a backseat to office work. In the office it is about work and at home (or anywhere else) the other thoughts come to the foreground, they always do and a hybrid setting is caging off those thoughts, or allowing them to be everywhere and that is how blunders are made. I get that and I was young once (nudge nudge wink wink). We all have things that occupy the brain and it happens. Consider working next to a bakery with fresh cheese rolls being baked every other hour. It doesn’t happen too often, but it happens and now you are working at home metres away from the warm stove making muffins, rolls and all other goods. How long until the homework is driven by rolls, hotdogs and icy cold beer? What we separated for decades (some merely years) does not stop the brain. We still have a load of lessons to learn and until we can shut off work or shut off the home in the brain, we will get issues, we all will. So I have issues with the BBC article, but nothing wrong is stated or presumed. We are all individuals and I believe that I where Stewart Butterfield failed. He had his point of view, which I consider valid, but there are many roads that lead to Rome and there are solutions there too we all need to realise that part of the equation.