The office is outmoded, but it will still survive
- Why do bosses like the office so much? On this matter, there are things they can say in public and things they cannot.
For now, they are asking nicely. Except for Elon Musk. Across the West, and even in India, the top management is pleading with employees to return to physical office, at least three days a week. The era of ‘remote work’, they say, is over. In asking employees to return, the bosses are even explaining the concept of the office to them, chiefly the good bits. Apple’s Tim Cook wanted employees to return to work at least three days a week to restore “in-person collaboration". Even US President Joe Biden pleaded with federal employees to return to their workplaces. Over the past few weeks, Indian tech companies used a respectful tone as they advised employees to return. Elon Musk has not been so nice about it. In June, he issued a memo that said remote work was no longer acceptable. “Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean minimum) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers." He also tweeted that those who “think coming into work is an antiquated concept… should pretend to work somewhere else."