Remote work “fooled you” 😆

Remote work “fooled you” 😆

What can’t be said is: Work remotely when you are told to and RTO when you are told to. Panic about C*v!d when you are told to and then pretend it doesn’t even exist anymore when you are told to.

In 2005, Paul Graham cofounded Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley startup that invested early in AirbnbStripe, and other successful ventures.

On Saturday, Graham mused on why some company leaders have soured on remote work after embracing it.

“I’ve talked to multiple founders recently who have changed their minds about remote work and are trying to get people back to the office,” he tweeted. “I doubt things will go all the way back to the way they were before Covid, but it looks like they will go most of the way back.”

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

I don’t agree with the sentiment behind this but sadly I agree with his ratio. I too think some companies will stay remote, especially if they were already working that way before the pandemic. However, most folks are goin’ back.

In April, Lyft’s CEO issued a return-to-office mandate one day after laying off more than a thousand employees, despite the company boasting a year earlier about letting staff choose where to work. A similar thing happened at the insurance company Farmers Group recently, with some employees getting angry because they made life changes—like moving to a new city—after being told they’d be remote workers.

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

Corpo America doesn’t care. They don’t care if you believed a lie and moved away or if you don’t have child care. They. Don’t. Care.

Graham suggested on Saturday that the effectiveness of remote work fades over time. That could help explain why some company leaders have grown slowly less enamored with it.

“Why were all these smart people fooled?” he wrote. “Partly I think because remote work does work initially, if you start with a system already healthy from in-person work…and partly because it seemed to solve recruiting, which is always a bottleneck.”

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

Ahh, I see. So apparently, remote work has a shelf life. If you started out strong in person and then went remote due to C*v!d, well that was OK for three years, but now you need to git yer butt back in that cube again. Why? Because you are told to. This has nothing to do with the cute buzzwords like collaboration, togetherness, team building, creativity, and so on. Eff all to do with that. This is about control, compliance, obedience, surveillance, and power.

Keith Rabois, a general partner at venture capital firm Founders Fund, told The Logan Bartlett Show last month that younger workers “learn by osmosis,” which requires in-person interaction—and supervisors discover hidden talent by watching them. Neither he nor his firm, he added, would invest in a startup centered around remote work.

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

No, managers surveil you and look for reasons to chew you out. They want to monitor you and catch you doing something wrong, not reward you for doing something right. This is more of the same “won’t someone think of the children” crap we’ve heard around RTO for a while now. Why, if you open your window right now, you’ll hear Gen Zers crying out for in-person work and learning by osmosis. 😆

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who led Y Combinator after Graham’s tenure, recently described remote work as a mistake.

“I think definitely one of the tech industry’s worst mistakes in a long time was that everybody could go full remote forever, and startups didn’t need to be together in person and, you know, there was going to be no loss of creativity,” he said at a Stripe event in San Francisco. “I would say that the experiment on that is over.”

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

Corpo America is doing what it can to ensure the experiment is over. People need to quit LARPing and playing pretend that a petition or an angry Slack channel will stop the agenda. I’m sorry to tell you that it will not.

At Amazon, employees staged a walkout this month over the company’s return-to-office mandate, which requires employees be in the office at least three days a week. The company seemed unfazed by the protest and is sticking with the mandate.

-Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

Time to crank up the music video:


If you believed a lie that you’d be remote forever because your company said so to recruit you, I’m sorry to hear it. If you believed the hot air & hopium crowd who’ve told you everyone is gonna rebel against RTO and sit at home, I’m sorry to hear it. I just hope to hell you are waking up to reality and not continuing to listen to those goofballs now.

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