This article is from WeChat official account:LinkedIn (ID: LinkedIn-China) , author: 2 37 degrees, from FIG title: visual China

“Many companies just make some small and narrow cubicles and stuff people in.”

Robert Propst, the father of “The Grid Room”, designed the Office of Invention Action in the early 20th century. (The prototype of the Grid Room) 30 years later, it has started Regret for its abuse.

Until his death, Robert apologized to the world for the “box life” he designed.

The Past and Present of “The Grid Room”

Although the original intention of the grid room is to encourage employees to move freely, the constantly squeezed space and semi-closed working environment have gradually reduced the office to a tool for enterprises to reduce costs and strengthen management.

Generation after generation of workers, spending 2/3 of their lives in a small 1.2×1.2 area, repeating mechanically on the keyboard in a space full of ceilings and partition walls, asking themselves “I am Who am I and what am I doing”.

But once, the cubicle was also a product of the evolution of the office environment and a symbol of human progress.

The prototype of the office first appeared in medieval Europe. At that time, a large number of clergymen preached and preached every day. They needed a fixed place to sign in and clock in to handle daily affairs, so a fixed space with office functions was created.

By the end of the 17th century, the office culture expanded further. In order to remotely control the Eastern Empire on the other side of the ocean, the East India Company was established in London.

Since the United Kingdom and India can only rely on uninterrupted correspondence and information transmission, the East India Company has therefore established a huge bureaucratic management organization, which requires both manpower and physical space, and uses a fixed-site centralized office model Began to form.

Then the Industrial Revolution came. Technological innovation forces people to enter factories from the ground, and machines replace labor to further liberate their hands. Coupled with the refinement of social division of labor, some people have gradually begun to adapt to being an invisible screw on a production line in a confined space.

Type, copy, distribute materials, day after day.

Then there is the “mobile office” (lattice room) invented to improve the white-collar working environment mentioned above; now again We see a fully humanized office space.

After all, two-thirds of their lives are spent in it, and the big guys understand that this is a powerful bargaining chip to attract and retain talent.

Amazon is located in The Spheres, a new office area built at a cost of $4 billion in Seattle

Inside The Spheres, it’s really a jungle world

But a living person, the most intelligent creature in the world, can’t be locked in a building willingly, even if it’s too fancy.

Society is progressing, and the grid was also a product of progress. Its appearance has allowed us to switch from an obsolete system to another model that will be considered the most appropriate for a long time in the future.

But when society has developed to a new level, we will inevitably realize that we have been trapped in the old model for hundreds of years.

From SOHO to shared office space, to remote office, the popularity of these new working methods is to break this restriction.

the kind of office you choose depends on your life

Then the opposite of the grid-freer working methods-such as telecommuting, why hasn’t it become mainstream?

Because I feel that there are always grids in the gridIt was long and tormented, and the efficiency was extremely low, and there was no reason to sit there.

For example, for materials that can be written in 2 hours, it takes at least 1 day to write on the desk. After a while, a colleague called you to chatter, another time when the leader called, another time to stamp, another time to sign, my thoughts were repeatedly interrupted, and finally I had to work overtime to write because it was quiet at night.

Then why can’t I concentrate on writing, and then spend 1 to 2 half days a week to concentrate on chores? Not to mention the annoying morning and evening rush hours for commuting. Isn’t the 2-4 hours wasted every day for rest? So I just want to see how the beaters who left the cubicle are doing?

As a result, they were so excited.

Automattic, Gitlab, are the ancestors of remote office players, they have truly demonstrated the feasibility of remote office to the world.

For example, Automattic, which has a valuation of $3 billion, owns famous products such as WordPress and Tumblr. Since its establishment, the company has absorbed more than 1,000 employees, but it has been 15 years since all employees are scattered in various corners of the world to work remotely.

In June 2017, they closed the only office in San Francisco because “It has been rented for 6,7 years and no one has used it.”

For another example, Gitlab, a company founded in 2011, was valued at $1 billion in 2018. With 350 employees in 65 countries around the world, he started the era of telecommuting for all employees.

These companies have some things in common.

For example, from the boss to the employees, they strongly agree and support remote office; another example is the flat organizational structure of the company, and the information is highly open and transparent, which can ensure the timely transmission of information; the company has a unique team building method and employee benefits to ensure remote office Implementation.

For example, Automattic will choose a city in the world to hold a Grand Meetup every year to ensure that the company’s newcomers and senior citizens have at least one netizen a year (tuan)face base(jian);

If you feel inattentive when working at home and like to go to a coffee shop, the company is willing to pay for your coffee; if a team in a certain country or region wants to get together and work together, the company also provides a monthly subsidy of $250.

In short, there are many tears, which are those fairy free-style work modes that I yearn for.

But we have also seen that, if it were not for last year’s epidemic that has driven companies all over the world to a dead end, as of the end of 2019, the proportion of companies that actively innovate and join telecommuting is still extremely limited.


The Economist summed up three major reasons, which I think makes sense:

First, the cost of trial and error is high, and the bosses don’t know if it’s okay for everyone to leave the office. If something goes wrong, who will bear the consequences?

Second, even if your company wants to work remotely, your suppliers and customers don’t want to. Such aggressive changes may increase inconvenience to the other party. Isn’t this playing with fire? The cooperating boat will turn over if it is overturned.

Third, huge investment in fixed asset costs. Everyone has to switch to work at home, so don’t you have to buy a leak-proof computer? Must the intranet be installed? The remote database has to be expanded, right? Everything is money.

Not to mention that the decent office buildings that were spent heavily on the premises suddenly cooled down. One sentence summary: It’s not that I don’t want to, but our family doesn’t have that condition.

However, in 2020, whether you are ready or not, everyone is forced to experience telecommuting. It turns out that the experience is pretty good? ?

Not only the employees, but the bosses are also very satisfied!

You can pretend to be invisible if you haven’t tried it, but you can’t avoid it if you taste the sweetness. In May 2020, 9 technology companies including Facebook, Otis, Shopify, Square, Twitter, Upwork announced that they will permanently realize remote Office.

Will the boxes disappear?

Of course, staying away from the grid is not profitable and harmless.

For example, some people feel that working at home is inattentive, causing family conflicts, and talking on the phone. Some bosses think that the dispersion of personnel is not conducive to stimulating ideas; and now, most of the technology companies that are really capable of realizing remote work are technology companies. and many more.

I asked a programmer friend of mine who has been at home remotely since the beginning of 2020. Although he supports remote office, he also said that communication barriers exist objectively.

< /p>

However, I think these problems can be overcome slowly. Because for new things, the requirements cannot be so high from the beginning.

New things are always produced in response to human needs, and then they are perfected through trial and error. Like the Internet before the millennium, when you had to dial-up to access the Internet, someone could not make calls if they were online. Now it seems to be a bug, but in the end it has developed and is incredibly convenient.

People living in the era of the industrial revolution were unavoidably worried at the beginning that they would have no food or food when they left the land. Later, they discovered that the old model had ended and a reasonable new model could always be found.

Now, can we tolerate the wasted 4 hours of commuting to and from get off work, and can’t figure out how to improve communication skills? Can’t develop a communication software that can enhance communication online?

Make people get used to it, and that’s the reverse of history.

So, the reason why I believe that telecommuting will become popular in the future is because it is a product that meets human needs and is not made out of nothing.

With it, you will no longer have to hesitate between leaving your hometown and getting job opportunities in core cities. We can have both!

We will be calm because we have more control over time.

There is no need to work overtime to endocrine disorders in order to make up for the annual leave, just to travel once a year-when the time is flexible, it becomes the norm to leave, and you will not care so much about whether you can have a trip every year; Don’t worry about being unable to reject the improper request of your colleague anymore, because you won’t see it at all.

Boss no longer need to invest in high costs for renting or buying office buildings. They can invest the money they save in research and development; they can even more recruit “satisfactory” employees. After all, the region is not restricted, and the choice is Wide, and this model has spawned a more intense survival of the fittest mechanism.

In short, it can minimize unnecessary consumption and expenses, allowing everyone to concentrate on doing the most important things. And most importantly, There are already a group of pioneers walking in the front, showing his feasibility to the world.

As for “How does HR manage personnel to ensure that you are not fishing at home?” “Where is the idle office building on the street?”, please give the answer to all of this to time.

History has repeatedly proved that society can always develop a self-consistent internal cycle based on new trends. What we have to do is to prepare mentally and abilities to meet this era of change.

This article is from WeChat official account:LinkedIn (ID: LinkedIn-China) , of: 37 ° 2