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How HubSpot’s culture code and lack of policies delight

HubSpot has laid out for the public their roadmap for standing out and retaining quality team members, and let’s just say they’re not exactly running a traditional operation.

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HubSpot stands out

HubSpot has released the above presentation on creating their company culture, proving how “uncomfortably transparent” they are as they offer their road map in public. Using traditional titles is about the only traditional move the company has made, and even that was hotly debated. To keep happy and productive employees, teams, and delighted customers, they offer unlimited vacation time, there are no offices, and everyone plays musical chairs every three months to keep things shaken up.

Their policies are almost non-existent, rather urging team members to use their best judgment – when everyone’s culture matches, judgment calls will typically be reflective of the company’s mission. This is why company culture is so important: “culture happens, whether we plan it or not.”

Presentation transcript

1. THE CULTURE CODE Creating a company we love.

2. WHAT’S CULTURE? A set of shared beliefs,values and practices.

3. WHY WORK ON CULTURE?

4. Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing. Customers are more easily attracted with a great product. Amazing people are more easily attracted with a great culture.

5. THE INTEREST RATE ON CULTURE DEBT IS HIGH. Much higher than financial debtor technology debt. Often, crushingly high.

6. CULTURE HAPPENS. Whether we plan it or not, culture will happen. Why not create a culture we love?

7. Let’s make the company we always dreamed of. Let’s create a company that will be a great place to be from. REED HASTINGS & PATTY MCCORD NETFLIX.

8. Now, an observation…

9. PEOPLE HAVE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED HOW THEY LIVE AND WORK.

10. THEN / NOW. FOCUS Pension / Purpose, NEED Good Boss / Great Colleagues, HOURS 9-5 / Whenever, WORKPLACE Office / Wherever, TENURE Whole Career / Whatever

11. AND ALTHOUGH PEOPLE HAVE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED…

12. Many organizations operate as if they’re frozen in time.

13. They operate as if money is what matters most…

14. …as if the Internet hadn’t been invented…

15. … and as if amazing people are just happy to have a job.

16. We’re different.

17. We are HubSpot.

18. We’re creating a company we love.

19. This document is part manifesto,part employee handbook,and part diary of dreams.

20. When something is aspirational (not yet true) we try to call it out.

21. THE HUBSPOT CULTURE CODE. 1. We are as maniacal about our metrics as our mission. 2. We obsess over customers, not competitors. 3. We are radically and uncomfortably transparent. 4. We give ourselves the autonomy to be awesome. 5. We are unreasonably selective about our peers. 6. We invest in individual mastery and market value. 7. We defy conventional “wisdom” as it’s often unwise. 8. We speak the truth and face the facts. 9. We believe in work+life, not work vs. life. 10. We are a perpetual work in progress.

22. We are as maniacal about our metrics as our mission.

23. “Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.” TIM O’REILLY.Note: The O’Reilly Library at HubSpot is named after Tim.

24. OUR MISSION is to make the world INBOUND. We want to transform how organizations do marketing.

25. inbound is about empathy.I t’s about creating an experience people love.

26. WE BELIEVE OURS IS A NOBLE CAUSE.We help organizations grow.

27. We also reduce spam, junk mail and other unpleasantness.

28. We are passionate about our mission. It has earned us the love of thousands. We’re also maniacal about metrics and reaching our goals. It has earned us the resources to further our mission.

29. Balancing this dual personality of mission & metrics is challenging. But it’s also what makes us DIFFERENT.

30. And sometimes dysfunctional.

31. One way we balance these things is to have a guiding goal that serves the mission.

32. Our guiding goal is delighting customers.

33. We obsess over customers, not competitors.

34. Have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. ANDREW MASON. FORMER CEO OF GROUPON IN HIS DEPARTURE EMAIL

35. FOR EVERY DECISION WE SHOULD ASK OURSELVES: “Selves, what’s in it for the customers? Will this delight them?” In other words…

36. SFTC. Solve for the customer. Not just their happiness, but their success.

37. We sometimes often have SFTC to remind ourselves of this. Solve for the customer. Not just their happiness, but their success.

38. WAIT. Does “Solve For The Customer” mean just giving more away for free? Wouldn’t that delight customers? NO. To delight customers in the long-term, we have to survive in the short-term. Because…

39. Bankrupt companies don’t delight their customers.

40. All other goals should support our guiding goal.

41. We have a professional sales team. Does hitting our sales goals support our guiding goal?

42. YES. Having delighted customers requires having customers. (funny how that works) We’re on the path towards our Guiding Goal as long as we sell to customers that we expect to delight.

43. This is the key. We shouldn’t sell customers we’re not justifiably confident we can delight.

44. WE LOVE TO EDUCATE. We are enthusiastic teachers. We believe success comes through educating customers, not exploiting them.

45. We are radically and uncomfortably transparent.

46. THEN. (back in the 1900s) Power came from hoarding knowledge. Decisions were made behind closed doors. NOW…

47. Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.

48. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” -LOUIS BRANDEIS

49. WE SHARE (ALMOST)EVERYTHING. We make information available to everyone in the company.

50. We protect information only when: It is legally required. Example: Information covered under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) It is not completely ours to share. Example: Individual compensation data

51. WE HAVE THE MOST INTERESTING WIKI ON THE PLANET. *Examples of things we share and discuss:• Financials (cash balance, burn-rate, P&L, etc.) • Board meeting deck • Management meeting deck • “Strategic” topics • Lore & Mythology (the funniest page on the wiki) *Unverified claim

52. FROM

53. AND LIKE ANY MINDFUL COMPANY, WE HAVE:

54. We have open access to anyone in the company. No permission needed. Nobody has an office.

55. CULTURE HACK. A large part of the company goes through a random “seat shuffle” every 3 months. We’ve been doing this since the beginning. It reflects our “change is constant” credo. It also circumvents a lot of needless discussion.

56. The intent behind all this transparency is to support smarter behavior and better decisions. So…

57. We give ourselves the autonomy to be awesome.

58. THEN. Organizations tried to prevent mistakes with policies and procedures. NOW…

59. WE TRUST OURSELVES.

60. Just because someone made a mistake years ago doesn’t mean we need a policy. WE DON’T PENALIZE THE MANY FOR THE MISTAKES OF THE FEW. We only protect against really big stuff.

61. We don’t have pages of policies and procedures.

62. Instead we have a 3-word policy on just about everything: USE GOOD JUDGMENT.

63. Social media policy. Travel policy. Sick day policy. Buy a round of drinks at an event policy. Work from home during a blizzard policy. Our policy on all of these (and most other things): USE GOOD JUDGMENT.

64. WHAT’S GOOD JUDGMENT? Team > Self. Favor your team’s interest over your own. Company > Team. Favor the company’s interest over your team. Customer > Company. Favor the customer’s interest over the company.

65. We’re pretty good at the Company > Team first and second – but the third is tricky sometimes. Favor the company’s interest over your team. Remember, acting in our customers’ interest is in our Customer > Company long-term interest too. Favor the customer’s interest over the company.

66. Now, let’s talk about where and when we work. Generally…

67. Results matter more than the hours we work.

68. Results matter more than where we produce them.

69. Results matter more than how much vacation we take. (we have unlimited vacation time)

70. We believe in the freedom to work when,where and how we want. Remarkable results are what matter. This is what we believe.

71. But we also recognize that…

72. The biggest driver of performance in complex industries like software is serendipitous interaction. BEN WABER. VISITING SCIENTIST, MIT MEDIA LAB AUTHOR, “PEOPLE ANALYTICS”

73. So, we trust our leaders to use good judgment when guiding their teams.

74. And we try to create a work environment where we want to come in.

75. THEN. Influence based on hierarchy. Command & Control. NOW…

76. INFLUENCE IS INDEPENDENT OF HIERARCHY.

77. We want direction on where we are going… NOT detailed directions on how to get there. h/t Simon Sinek

78. We don’t want just “managers,” we want inspiring leaders. Passionate coaches. Tireless supporters. Managers exist to help individual stars make magic.

79. CEO, CTO, VP of This, Manager of That. Doesn’t matter what your title is. EVERYBODY DOES REAL WORK AND GETS THEIR HANDS DIRTY.

80. Oh, and speaking of job titles…

81. WE HAVE TRADITIONAL JOB TITLES AT HUBSPOT. It is a topic of intense debate. Options:1) No titles for anyone 2) Make up our own creative titles 3) Use traditional titles.

82. We ended up with the last option. Bummer. But, it does align with our desire to increase individual market value.

83. Back to having autonomy…

84. Awesome is as awesome does.

85. HAVING AUTONOMY DOESN’T MEAN CRAP IF YOU DON’T ACT. DON’T OVER-THINK IT. JFDI.(Just F*#king Do It)

86. With this kind of transparency and trust we can’t take chances when hiring. So…

87. We are unreasonably picky about our peers.

88. You become the average of the 5 people you hang out with. Drew Houston CEO, Dropbox Note: Drew’s a friend and on our advisory board.

89. What makes someone a great fit for HubSpot? What makes them awesome for us? What does it mean to be HUBSPOTTY?

90. There are 5 attributes that we value in people.

91. HUMBLE. Modest, despite being awesome. Self-aware and respectful.

92. Wait. Doesn’t being humble mean lacking confidence? No. The very best people are self-aware and self-critical – not arrogant. Examples: Bezos. Buffet. Berners-Lee.(and that’s just some of the Bs)

93. Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. -C.S. LEWIS.

94. When things go well, humble people tend to share the credit. When things go poorly, they tend to shoulder the responsibility.

95. EFFECTIVE. Gets sh*t done. Measurably moves the needle. Immeasurably adds value.

96. EFFECTIVE PEOPLE ARE: Predisposed to action. They just start doing. They have a sense of ownership. They’re resourceful and always looking for leverage.

97. Effective people find ways to have their cake and eat it too.

98. ADAPTABLE. Constantly changing. Life-long learner.

99. WAIT. What about good people that just want stability and predictability? They may do good work, but they likely won’t be happy here. Change is constant at HubSpot.

100. REMARK?ABLE. worthy of being remarked upon* Has a super-power that makes them stand out in some way. Remarkably smart. Remarkably creative. Remarkably resourceful. *h/t to Seth Godin

101. TRANSPARENT. Open and honest with others and with themselves.

102. HUMBLE EFFECTIVE ADAPTABLE REMARKABLE TRANSPARENT

103. We want people with heart. Those who will help HUMBLE us create an EFFECTIVE company we love. ADAPTABLE REMARKABLE TRANSPARENT

104. Yes, “heart” is a bit cheesy.We’re a bit cheesy sometimes.

105. WE DON’T JUST BELIEVE IN HEART,WE BET ON IT. We hire, reward, and release people based on the five attributes.

106. EXAMPLE 1: If you’re closed, arrogant and stuck in your ways, it doesn’t matter how effective you are. It’s not going to work out.

107. EXAMPLE 2: You can be remarkably smart, humble and open. But, if you’re not effectively moving us forward, it’s not going tow ork out.

108. Does this mean we only accept those that fit match the 5 attributes perfectly? No. Confucius has good advice here…

109. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” CONFUCIUS.

110. “We’re a team, not a family. We hire,develop and cut smartly so we have stars in every position.” +1 We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, so we didn’t.

111. Don’t just hire to delegate. It’s tempting to bring people in that you can push off work you don’t have time for. Hire to elevate. Bring people in that are better than you at something and you can learn from.

112. WITH GREAT PEOPLE COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. Success is when a group of people achieve their collective potential. So…

113. We invest in individual mastery and market value.

114. We want to be as proud of the people we build as we are of the company we build.

115. We believe in investing to increase the individual market value of every HubSpotter.

116. We’re doing a few things already…

117. HubTalks: Learning From Leaders Clay Christensen Eric Ries Sheila Marcelo Colin Angle “Innovator’s “The Lean CEO, care.com CEO, iRobotDilemma” Startup” These are small informal talks given at HubSpot.

118. Unlimited Free Books Program. Post a comment on the HubSpot wiki requesting a book. It shows up in your Kindle account. No muss, no fuss. No expense sheets.

119. Unlimited Free Meals Program. Take someone smart out for a meal. Learn something. Expense it. No approval needed. No limits. No rules. Use good judgment.

120. THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING. We believe in compensating fairly, but we want to invest generously in our learning and growth. We’re always looking for new ideas.

121. We compensate based on fair market value. Reality: It’s hard to know what market value is. We think of it as VORP (Value Over Replacement Player)

122. THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO PROGRESS AT HUBSPOT. 1. Gain mastery as an individual contributor and make magic. 2. Provide spectacular support to those who are doing #1. Reality: This is mostly true, but we need a quant-based approach to measuring how true it is.

123. We defy conventional “wisdom” because it’s often unwise.

124. We’d rather be failing frequently than never trying new things. #inbound12

125. Why do we care so much about being daring?

126. We start out being exceptional. As we grow, there is a dark, powerful force that pulls us towards the average. If we regress to the mean, we fail. It’s that simple.

127. Remarkable outcomes rarely result from modest risk.

128. Simplicity is a competitive advantage.

129. Things start simple…

130. THEN COMPLEXITY QUIETLY CREEPS IN. ITS TOLL LIES BELOW THE SURFACE.

131. WHY DOES COMPLEXITY CREEP IN? It is often the easy, seductive answer to short-term issues. Fighting for simplicity takes courage and commitment to the long game.

132. WHY DOES COMPLEXITY ALWAYS INCREASE? Because everyone adds complexity and nobody takes it away. Ironically, adding complexity is easy and maintaining simplicity is hard.

133. COMPLEXITY AND THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS. Example: “I need to hit my goals this month, so I’m going to push for this exception to our standard contract.” Result: You may make your goal now, but we all pay the price of the complexity forever. Focus on the long game. Team over self.

134. Like software, Organizations should be frequently refactored. Refactoring means to improve internal structure without changing external behavior.

135. REFACTOR. • Pull out unused features. • Remove unnecessary rules. • Stop generating useless reports. • Cancel unproductive meetings. • Prune extraneous process.

136. We speak the truth and face the facts.

137. NO SILENT DISAGREEMENT.If we disagree with a decision or direction, we have the responsibility to speak up. We trust our candor will not be used against us.

138. We have the right to clear, candid and constructive feedback. We can ask for this at anytime. We’re replacing the traditional annual review. Favoring more frequent feedback.

139. WE LOVE DATA. We like to think our decisions are not data driven but data powered. We like to think it, but it’s not true. We are obsessed with data.

140. DEBATES ARE WON WITH DATA. Job titles don’t win debates. We disfavor pulling rank.

141. BUT WE ALSO DISLIKE INDECISION

142. Data is collected. Debates are had. THEN SOMEONE JUST HAS TO DECIDE. An imperfect decision is better than no decision. A controversial decision is better than no decision.

143. WE BELIEVE IN WORK+LIFE, NOT WORK VS.LIFE.

144. Work-life “balance” is misguided.

145. We don’t think it’s possible to be unhappy at work and then happy in life. We believe in enjoying life. We also believe in enjoying work. We believe in work+life fit.

146. WE ARE A PERPETUAL WORK IN PROGRESS.

147. We believe it takes more than talent to succeed. GREATNESS REQUIRES INTENSE COMMITMENT.

148. WE WORK IMMENSELY HARD. It’s not for everyone, but it’s part of who we are. We are on a mission to transform marketing. That’s not easy to do.

149. WE ARE NEVER DONE. Never done iterating. Never done learning. Never done rethinking.

150. THE HUBSPOT CULTURE CODE. 1. We are as maniacal about our metrics as our mission. 2. We obsess over customers, not competitors. 3. We are radically and uncomfortably transparent. 4. We give ourselves the autonomy to be awesome. 5. We are unreasonably selective about our peers. 6. We invest in individual mastery and market value. 7. We defy conventional “wisdom” as it’s often unwise. 8. We speak the truth and face the facts. 9. We believe in work+life, not work vs. life. 10. We are a perpetual work in progress.

151. WE WERE INSPIRED BY • The Netflix Culture Deck (McCord & Hastings) • “Drive” (Daniel Pink) • The Valve Employee Handbook • “Rework” (Fried and Hansson) • Google’s People Ops Team …and countless others on the web.

152. PROPS TO OUR EXTERNAL BETA USERS. They helped out despite having better things to do. • Patty McCord, Netflix Culture Deck • Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz • Joel Gascoigne, Buffer • Leo Widrich, Buffer • Hiten Shah, KISSmetrics • Jason Fried, 37signals • Garry Tan, Y Combinator • Dan Martell, Clarity • Ziad Sultan, Marginize

153. THANK YOU. Congrats for making it this far. We would love feedback and discussion: CultureCode.com

HubSpot

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. JoeLoomer

    March 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Sometimes lengthy posts lose me just due to taking so long – but this one was soooo worth it.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

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Business News

Reopening the nation: Best done by sector or calendar?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Analysis suggests reopening economies in phases in each country. How will we find harmony between economic, epidemiological, and political leaders?

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After months indoors Americans are eager to reopen the economy. The United States has experimented with a series of stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and quarantines (the difference between these strategies being geographical and frankly, not always clear). However, the movement to stay home started with closed borders and reduced travel, and gradually became more restrictive as America fell in step behind other countries just in time to become the world’s hotspot for coronavirus infections.

After fraught disagreement between economists, scientists, and politicians, only a few things are certain to date: the economy has collapsed, 30 million people have lost jobs, more than 1.6 million people have been infected, and nearly 100,000 people have died as of this writing.*

Conversations have shifted from saving lives to saving both lives and livelihoods. Economists are making the case that a contracted economy magnifies health risks, and therefore potential mortality unrelated to or complementary to COVID-19 deaths. As such, it is time to consider various strategies for reopening the economy as a public health strategy not independent of hygienic and other measures.

Seven mostly friendly-looking suited-up white dudes from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland have analyzed a series of reopening strategies for the world to consider at this confusing, scary, and still uncertain juncture of how to proceed with defibrillating closed economies worldwide.

They concluded that a phased reopening by sector would balance the need to stimulate economic activity while minimizing epidemiological risk. They suggest that the order of sectors to reopen in each country should be chosen based on their inability to conduct core business from home, importance to the national economy, value added per worker, and business viability. You can read their full argument and the other strategies they evaluated here.

“This strategy has the virtue of being adaptive — as data is gathered following each sector-wide reopening, adjustments can be made concerning the timing of subsequent phases, and protective measures adopted in previously released sectors can be copied and improved as more is learned about the epidemic,” the team said.

The United States has already begun a regional reopening approach where Trump conceded that the states would determine their own reopening plans in phases. This strategy has already caused tension between states and municipalities (for example as between the large state of Texas and its highly populated capitol Austin).

Though the HBR argument is compelling, again, we find ourselves at a frustrating clash of experts in their fields. No matter how the economy is reopened, an increase in infections is likely if not inevitable as soon as more people return to a high-contact lifestyle – a point that scientists and epidemiologists have emphasized heavily. It also gives no mention of the role of testing and tracking the spread of the disease, and the path to population-level immunity whether by herd or vaccine.

Furthermore, this economic approach appears not to consider complementary supply chains and the interconnectedness of local, national, and global economies. Limiting travel was a key factor in slowing the spread and allowing control to become more localized, but much of the economy relies on the movement of people and things across communities.

Unfortunately, these decisions are ultimately made at the policy level. The United States government has proven itself incapable of a united approach to stemming the severity of this disease. Vaccines are in development, but it seems likely that when one is selected and approved for mass distribution, the decision will also be a political one. All of these considerations are ones Americans should bring to the ballot box in November. Or rather – to the mailbox with an absentee ballot, if we don’t manage to completely destroy our democracy between now and then.

*Such statistics, though widely cited, may be underreported or misrepresentative of the whole picture, as we learned about artificially deflated test rates in Texas last week.

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Business News

Survey indicates that small businesses are optimistic despite COVID-19

(BUSINESS NEWS) Facebook survey captures tumult of spring 2020 on small and medium business, with a dash of optimism going into the summer.

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This story contains information that probably will not evoke shock and awe by now, but is nonetheless upsetting. Stop now and check to see if you need a news cycle break before ingesting more garbage depressive news about the economy – but if you can wade through it, I promise it ends on a high note!

Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is running amuck in the political world like one of those signs at restaurants that say “unattended children will be given ice cream and a puppy,” Facebook continues to effectively build an online community of more than 2.6 billion people worldwide – including more than half of the population in the United States. Given their audience and ease of access to business owners, they decided to use their powers for good for once to survey small and medium businesses.

The survey returned responses from 38,078 business owners and managers, 39,104 employees, and 8,694 personal enterprises in the United States (total of 85,876 respondents). Respondents’ industries spanned manufacturing, retail, services, logistics, hospitality, construction, and agriculture. Thirty-three percent of businesses were urban, forty-two percent were urban, and twenty-five percent were rural.

Here’s where it gets depressing: thirty-one percent of businesses reported closing in the last three months, with 71 percent of those closing since March 1. For personal businesses, 52 percent are closed. Of those businesses still operating, 60 percent reported a reduced workload, and 60 percent also report struggling with finances. Employee wages, bills, and rent were the top areas of financial concern.

So how is this important segment of the economy surviving the crisis? Forty-one percent of business owners and managers said they could pull from personal savings, but 45 percent said zero-interest loans were the most helpful option to subsidize lost business.

Unsurprisingly, 79% of businesses say they have made some change to operations to accommodate their customers and keep things moving, like using digital tools and delivery services.

The survey found some interesting geographical differences, for example, that businesses in the Southeast have made slightly more physical adjustments to business like offering curbside pickup and home delivery. They also found differences in strategy by leadership gender: “Businesses led by women are more likely to be using digital tools, particularly with online advertising (43%) and digital payment tools (40%), compared to just 37% and 34%, respectively, of businesses led by men.” And the differences don’t stop at the strategic level. More women owner-managers (33%) reported that managing life in a pandemic at home was affecting their ability to focus on work than men (25%).

Amongst all the chaos, people are optimistic about the future. In fact, 57% of owner-managers are optimistic or extremely optimistic about the future of business. For employees, the results were surprisingly similar. Even though only 45% of SMB owner-managers and 32% of personal businesses reported that they would rehire the same workers when their businesses reopened, 59% of both the employed and unemployed were at least somewhat optimistic about their future employment.

And now for a quote from President Barack Obama’s 2008 New Hampshire Primary speech amidst our last recession, without a smidge of tacky irony or liberal preaching: “We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: ‘Yes we can.’”

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Business News

Who will get to work from home once COVID-19 stay-home orders are over?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Many large tech firms review and update their work from home policies. This could be presented as THE biggest work perk of 2021.

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work from home

The large tech firms that we all know and use frequently are making big announcements on their timing and policies for their employees to work from home as updates on COVID-19 come in.

Square and Twitter have said many employees will work from home indefinitely – even after states begin to open back up. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all extended dates on returning to offices. You can read more details here on The Verge.

Let’s break down some pros and cons – especially if this means that working from home will become the hottest recruiting tool in the future. Like ping pong tables and Friday at 4pm beer carts once were.

Some high-level things that contribute to why people love (or tolerate) their W2 jobs:

  • They like the PEOPLE they work with
  • They have a feeling of purpose, and genuinely enjoy the work
  • There are miscellaneous perks (gym membership reimbursement, free cafeterias, personal development workshops, tuition reimbursement, travel opportunities)
  • Their employer helps to pay for healthcare benefits, and makes 401K contributions
  • Their team rotates, and they get to work from home once in a while*

*This is nice to allow some flexibility. Employees can choose to treat their morning how they would like (maybe wake up a little later, or enjoy their coffee at a coffee shop). It allows them to not rush out the door to sit in traffic, or on the bus or train. They can take the day off of wearing real pants, and work in pajamas. Heck, they can even save time on Saturday or Sunday by doing the laundry on their work from home (WFH) day. It could also be a great opportunity to fit in doctor appointments, or have real quality focus time – missing less of the work day.

This is NOT an implication that people work less that day, in fact working from home, you usually work more because there are not things that force you to break up the day like the commute, meetings, or lunch with your colleagues.

Some high-level things that might contribute to the desire to be an entrepreneur:

  • Your work is a main piece of your identity – usually being a product or service that YOU created, and it leverages a perfect marriage of your talents, skills, and passions
  • You likely get to be your own boss, and make your own creative decisions
  • You constantly have the opportunity to learn, and this can be great for those who love the constant change and challenges
  • It’s just never really worked out for you to work for someone else, or for a corporation
  • Something drives you to build something of your own
  • Working from home* in all its glory

*A common misconception of the entrepreneurship or freelance lifestyle is that you work from home or a coffee shop, and it’s oh so very sexy and freeing, and you get to do whatever you want whenever you want. While arguably, yes, you do have more control over your schedule, and there are perks to your own business; likely you are working 24/7, and wearing every single hat from the Producer to Customer Services to Finance to the Accounting department. This requires you to be really open to learning or knowing what you don’t know, and possibly hiring experts.

So, moving forward, will the “you can work remotely! From wherever you’d like” become the hottest recruiting trend of 2021? Here’s why we predict that may not be the best way to move forward.

  1. People are social creatures. Working from home sporadically vs 100% of the time are two completely different things. You could possibly lose the momentum with your teams if they no longer know and trust one another. Plus, no doubt there will be turn-over, and when there are numerous parts and teams, it can be helpful for them to have in person experiences together.
  2. Does this make sense for the commercial real estate industry, and the leases that have been signed? It’s unlikely that many large corporations just perfectly timed their leases that align with COVID-19. Many will likely want to bring people back just for that fact.
  3. All of this takes an enormous amount of money, additional tech support, and infrastructure, (not to mention mailing costs for all office equipment, etc.) and it’s not possible that only the most profitable firms will prevail and be able to do this.
  4. How would large cities (read: high cost of living) like the Bay Area be able to retain talent, and/or why would you pay to live there if you can live anywhere. This could drastically shift urban planning and development.

We just don’t see it moving all the way to the extreme of all knowledge workers working from home indefinitely. If you want to see how people are feeling about working from home, you have to check out this Buzzfeed article, “Zoom Fatigue is Real, And You Probably Have It If You Relate to These 16 Tweets.”

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