Corporate Strategy

113: Office v Remote v Hybrid, The Future is Unclear

March 11, 2024 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 4 Episode 8
113: Office v Remote v Hybrid, The Future is Unclear
Corporate Strategy
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Corporate Strategy
113: Office v Remote v Hybrid, The Future is Unclear
Mar 11, 2024 Season 4 Episode 8
The Corporate Strategy Group

Ever wondered how ditching your morning espresso could turbocharge your routine? Bruce and Clark, your guides to the maze of corporate strategy and personal well-being, are on hand to spill the beans on that—and more. We'll traverse the terrains of health, caffeine, and their influences on our work lives, sharing our very own trials and triumphs. From stomach woes to the elation of a caffeinated Clark, we dive into the world of self-experimentation and share a secret article from Business Insider with our Discord community members.

Strap on your debate helmets as we grapple with the trendiest battle in today’s workplace: remote vs. in-person work. How does true productivity bloom, and can face-to-face collaboration really be replaced? We explore the hybrid model's promise as a beacon of balance in the work environment, and question the enduring equation of office presence and professional triumph. Prepare for an exhilarating ride through the corporate real estate landscape, and discover why the future might just be in the flexibility of where we work.

As our episode winds down, we don't just predict the future of work; we imagine it with you. The crystal ball is clear—happiness and job satisfaction are the new productivity fuel. We consider the lure of living near loved ones and the draw of affordable cities while pondering company policies that could keep top talents thriving. And while we may have ventured into 'Rambo nonsense' territory, rest assured, it's all in the spirit of reimagining the world of work. So, join us. It's more than a conversation; it's a journey to the heart of corporate evolution.

What It's Like To Be...
What's it like to be a Cattle Rancher? FBI Special Agent? Professional Santa? Find out!

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how ditching your morning espresso could turbocharge your routine? Bruce and Clark, your guides to the maze of corporate strategy and personal well-being, are on hand to spill the beans on that—and more. We'll traverse the terrains of health, caffeine, and their influences on our work lives, sharing our very own trials and triumphs. From stomach woes to the elation of a caffeinated Clark, we dive into the world of self-experimentation and share a secret article from Business Insider with our Discord community members.

Strap on your debate helmets as we grapple with the trendiest battle in today’s workplace: remote vs. in-person work. How does true productivity bloom, and can face-to-face collaboration really be replaced? We explore the hybrid model's promise as a beacon of balance in the work environment, and question the enduring equation of office presence and professional triumph. Prepare for an exhilarating ride through the corporate real estate landscape, and discover why the future might just be in the flexibility of where we work.

As our episode winds down, we don't just predict the future of work; we imagine it with you. The crystal ball is clear—happiness and job satisfaction are the new productivity fuel. We consider the lure of living near loved ones and the draw of affordable cities while pondering company policies that could keep top talents thriving. And while we may have ventured into 'Rambo nonsense' territory, rest assured, it's all in the spirit of reimagining the world of work. So, join us. It's more than a conversation; it's a journey to the heart of corporate evolution.

What It's Like To Be...
What's it like to be a Cattle Rancher? FBI Special Agent? Professional Santa? Find out!

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Speaker 2:

Okay Is that how we all feel. I'm mustering up the energy. Okay, keep on building it. Well, at least nothing, you know, like the expectation At last week's episode was so good. Nothing we do this week is going to be, you know, the bar is so high. All we can do is run under it, you know.

Speaker 1:

Well, I think every single episode we do, we set that bar higher, unless you listen to the last five minutes of any of these, and then you'd be like what is going on? Because it is, it's I don't even know what the right word is. It's ridiculous Madness, it's absolute madness the last five minutes. So if you've, you guys stick around that long, you'll get to see what the early days were like, where this was all just different, show on episode breakdown.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, hey, clark, hit me. Welcome back to corporate strategy, the podcast. That could have been an email on Bruce and I'm Clark. How you doing, clark, what's the vibe?

Speaker 1:

I'm ready. I'm ready, I'm fired up. Is it because I've had way too much caffeine today? Yes, yes, it is. I can feel it coursing through my veins. I feel my ears itching with excitement about this podcast.

Speaker 2:

I miss it so much, you know us caffeinated folks would understand.

Speaker 1:

If you're a caffeinated corporate individual like I am, you get it. You know what's going on.

Speaker 2:

Meanwhile me over here. You know, like the cool thing about being off caffeine, the cool thing is because I don't if there's anything cool about it do you wake up easier in the morning?

Speaker 2:

That's, you know, I wake up and I'm kind of up, I don't need any assist, I'll go to a glass of water and I'm good to go. It was nice, which has helped me, like, with getting an exercise earlier. You know how we mentioned you know, yeah, I don't have to wait for the energy to kick in, I'm just like, okay, I can just go in row. This is the high point of the day. That's also the low.

Speaker 1:

I was going to ask you, because that's the high point of the day. How are you? I mean, it sounds like you're exercising, which immediately means you're probably going better.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so the medication I'm on is helping a ton. They still don't know what it is. That's the craziest part. It's undiagnosable. We have to wait and see. I mean, technically they could shove a camera down my throat. That would be the way to diagnose it. But you know, it's easier to do a month of diet and prevention and see if that fixes it than to go nuclear, and I'm cool with that. Let's take the strategic approach. Then we go nuclear.

Speaker 1:

I kind of like just ripping the bandaid off.

Speaker 2:

Maybe I'm just a more extreme person. Listen, you say that, but do you know how much it costs to get a net to sized on UnitedHealthcare?

Speaker 1:

Oh, I don't want to know 400 bucks.

Speaker 2:

So every time I go under and have a camera shove down my throat, that's $400 plus, however much the procedure is. Yeah, I did try. No, I'd rather wait a month. I'd rather just wait a month and do the diet, which is helping. I hear that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then you've got to eat anyway, so it's not like it's additional stuff, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Just to help you try something new.

Speaker 1:

It is natural, that's good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's one of those things where it's like they've ruled out all the big nasties it could be and now it's just figuring out if it's something viral, something surgical or something just like my guess, if we wanted to guess my logical guess of what this is. I took some steroids for an infection I had back in December and I think they absolutely just wrecked my stomach lining and I have no stomach lining right now. So I'm just trying to regrow it, naturally. But if it doesn't regrow, then we have to do something about it, and that's where I'm at. That's where I'm at right now. Same thing.

Speaker 1:

Okay, yeah, yeah, I know everyone now talks about gut health. Is your gut the same thing as your stomach?

Speaker 2:

It's a system, so it's a combination of your stomach, your large intestine, your small intestine, your gallbladder, like there's a lot of little pieces in there that make up the biome. Right now it is my stomach. That is the issue. I've never had stomach issues before. I've only had intestinal distress, to make a reference to the level from Earthworm Gym 1. But now I've got stomach issues, which is fun.

Speaker 1:

And it's fine. Oh man, look at through it. A wife, a wife, right? Yeah, I always got to throw something new at you Just when you think you're getting stable, you're feeling healthy. Everyone's got to come up. But I love what you said and I actually think this is a good lesson to the people. Try different things with your health, with your sleep. Figure out what works for you. Don't just do what everyone else is doing. This goes way back when I thought, oh, I'll be a personal trainer, way back before I started my tech career and then I realized everyone's unique and different and what works for you doesn't work for everyone else. So it's kind of hard, with the uniqueness of the human body, to be able to properly train people or even understand how you work compared to someone else. So try different things, experiment on what works for you and find those high energy points and lean into them, because that's how you're going to optimize flow.

Speaker 2:

I love that. I think that actually ties well into the news of the day. So I found this fun little article from Business Insider. I'll post it in the Discord which, if you're not in our Discord, go to the show notes and get there right now. It's. Bike lanes are good for business. You heard that right, Clark. Bike lanes Like bikes yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I didn't know this, but apparently companies businesses hate bike lanes and they have stood by the statement that bike lanes kill small business because they take away potential parking spaces in downtown and urban areas. Right, you're converting the parallel parking space into a bike lane. That's less, less space for businesses to get visitors from, and I didn't know this. So about three quarters into the article I read the whole thing. A fascinating read. Back in the 1960s there was this movement as the automobile became very popular and malls, specifically air conditioned malls, came into the scene. There was this fear of pedestrianization which they basically said hey, the automobile is going to kill our business, we aren't going to be able to function as a downtown storefront with automobiles driving by all day. People used to walk everywhere, so we're going to pedestrianize I hate this word. We're going to pedestrianize.

Speaker 1:

And we're going to go for it.

Speaker 2:

Cars can't go down certain shopping district streets of downtown areas, and this proved to be a terrible idea, because cars are how people get places and this is a completely unfounded fear. As we all know today, cars are a great way to go and spend money at places and go further than you could before and go to shops you couldn't get to because you couldn't walk there. Who would have thought? Who would have thought? The same logic is happening here. They've done the studies, they've done the reports. Go read the article. It's great. I don't want to spoil the whole thing, but, just like the automobile, bike lanes are not hurting your local businesses in downtown urban areas. In fact they're helping, which you know. Just cool. Don't get stuck in the mud on things.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Well one. It's a fun article. It's a fun article.

Speaker 2:

However, for me did you?

Speaker 1:

No, I didn't. I mean, usually it's been doom and gloom, so I'm super excited to hear the happiness that's going on in your voice and how you're getting excited about this. It's good, yeah, it's awesome. It's a happy thing for the world. That's what I'm here for. I'm going to bring you down, leave you as high without taking you down.

Speaker 2:

What's wrong with you? I'm uncaffeinated. I'm bringing positivity. What more do you want from me? Like what do you want?

Speaker 1:

Clark. Well, I mean, one is just like a counter argument. You've been to New York, you've been to Times Square, right?

Speaker 2:

I try not to, but yeah, yeah, you've been Multiple times.

Speaker 1:

They somehow figure out bike lanes within the traffic of everything else.

Speaker 2:

Right, you notice that.

Speaker 1:

Like I rode bikes through Times Square many, many years ago and they have, like they have a bike lane, but they also have like a bus lane, and then you also have side parking. So they've been able to figure it out. Yeah, Is it safe? No, it's terrifying.

Speaker 1:

If you've been to Times Square and you go ride a bike. You feel like you could die in any moment ever. So I don't know how people live that life, but they've somehow figured out how to do both, which I think is interesting. I also just have a beef to pick with bikers. Yeah, like the racing bikers. Uh-oh, they're just too entitled. Oh, what do you mean? Like you're driving your car and they're just in the middle of the lane and then you like try to nicely pass them, but they just like keep on inching over where you just can't, and it's like, why are we doing this? Like, why can't you just hang out? Granted, if you had a bike lane, it would probably fix all this. So if they had a dedicated bike lane, then I could just drive normally. But I think the lack of having a bike lane is trying to make them prove themselves so they feel entitled to more space than they actually have, safely, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, given the choice, I'll always take a bike lane, right. So here's the thing. Like this morning, perfect example I went to get a little breakfast with the wife. As we were turning into our local donut shop the sidewalk we didn't have a bike lane. Actually, I think we do, huh, weird. Anyway, the sidewalk adjacent to us on the right, as we turned right into the store, there was a bicyclist who was going much slower than my car. But because I knew that if I turned in here, there's a chance he might not be paying attention, he might slam into me, right, I had to stop traffic, wait for the slower bike to pass so that I could then turn right into the establishment.

Speaker 2:

And that's always going to be the issue. So when bike lanes are potentially stopping traffic from exiting the road, it needs to be considered okay, well, what does the exit look like? How do we ensure that they're not in people's blind spots? People don't cut them off and they slam into them. That's always the challenge, but it's listen, people want to act like okay, well, motorcycles, bikes, they're dangerous because they're smaller. There's a lot less surface to protect the pedestrian in the vehicle than a car or a truck or whatever. But it's just so good for you, it's good for the environment, it's healthy, it's good for the environment.

Speaker 1:

It's good for the environment.

Speaker 2:

It's a positive thing. I think we as humans have failed the bicyclist and the motorcyclist. We've not built the right kind of civil engineering to allow for good pedestrian bicyclist movement. That's a huge problem. I don't disagree. I don't know what we can do about it.

Speaker 1:

Maybe they're just jaded and that's why they got to act the way they do. You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

They haven't gotten what they actually deserve. People don't understand the impact that they're making. It's just the get up that gets me. You got a jersey on, I'll get you started.

Speaker 2:

It's like what are you doing?

Speaker 1:

here. You're not in a race, You're just by yourself hanging out riding your bike. So I don't get that.

Speaker 2:

But anyway, my defense for them ends right there. We failed them and that's it. I'm not going to defend anything else beyond that. The behavior is often there's an entitlement to bicyclists that I don't think comes with any other type of hobby. That is just profound, yeah it's really interesting.

Speaker 1:

But to your point, I think it's our fault. They're entitled like that, yes, because we are not respecting them the way they should be respected. I think this might be a uniquely American problem too, because I feel like overseas it's so much better. But anyways, I digress. Good news, that was awesome. I hope we didn't bring it down too much, it just was something that came my mind when you started talking about it.

Speaker 2:

We're all entitled to our own opinion and I'm inclined to kind of agree with you. So fair enough. We have a topic today. Comes from one of our favorite topic submitters, so excited to get back to a Squid Boy original Squid Boy posted in our Pod Topics channel on the Discord. Again, you want to get in there. I've already told you how it's in the show notes.

Speaker 2:

Coming back from a trip, you guys should do a pod topic on remote, hybrid and in-person work methods and how it relates to different productivity stats. I see articles that vary wildly with each of those stats and I want to address that last part first. No one knows. No one actually knows, like you can run studies all day. There are people who are more productive in offices, there are people who are more productive at home and then there are people who are just ambi productive and they can do it anyway. But I don't think any single stat or study is going to prove one or the other, because I know for a fact I'm way more productive in my office staring at my screen at home, but it's because I'm not getting distracted by other people. Other people are always the issue. What about you, clark?

Speaker 1:

I am somewhat on the fence. I knew it and it's good. I think it's good we disagree. Let's get each other's opinions Because I'm curious, in some industries, in person is almost a must.

Speaker 1:

Right In, let's say, even technology companies, in person is sometimes a must if you're working on hardware or the intersection of software and hardware. That's where your labs are, that's where the tools are. You know what I mean. You're not going to have those things available at home. So in some cases, like you have to be in the office to do the main things of your job you know what I mean you might be able to do some aspects of it remotely, but some you actually do have to be in person. So I think those are kind of like you kind of take those out. If you were to do the comparison right, it's if you're talking purely digital businesses or things that don't require being in person.

Speaker 1:

I still am on the fence and I'll tell you my reasoning and I'm curious on your thoughts. I agree that I am more, and we talked about this, you know, at the beginning of the podcast. I can work on my schedule at home. When I have my energy peaks and my energy lows, I can go do something else that is productive, but not from a work aspect, like if I'm feeling tired or my brain is tired, I can go exercise my body, you know, to tame my mind. Ultimately, I can just go get a quick workout in, or I can go for a walk or whatever it is, or I can fold laundry, you know. I can basically use that time productively. That still helps me from a personal aspect, and just not having to do an hour of commute every day gives me all that time back to spend with family, with friends, doing things for my health myself, and there's so many benefits to being hybrid.

Speaker 1:

However, I think it is important to get that sense of community in person. I still believe you can build the strongest relationships when you're in person a lot faster than you can remotely. I'm not saying it can't be done. I just think there's something about being in person and you guys collaborating together to do something, to build something great, to do something of value that is really difficult to replicate remotely at that energy level. I think there's something just human about connecting. That needs to be done, and by no means am I saying I'm pro five days in the office, three days in the office. I'm pro going to the office when it makes sense and try to have some sort of coordination with teams so that you do something productive together.

Speaker 2:

But it doesn't be tied to a schedule, right. I think that's key and I would agree 100% with you there. There are times where meeting with people is always going to bring about a better result period end of statement. And I also like that. You said it depends on the type of work to. You know. Like to Squid Boy's point, there are all these different articles. We don't know where they're pulling their data from, right, you know, if you're, if you're interviewing people at a factory, how easily could you put together, you know, bicycle gears at home? Probably not very easily without all the factory equipment to back you up. But this is the marketing team also apply there. Or should they be remote and only show up when they have to do like a big, creative shared team meeting? I love the idea of as needed.

Speaker 2:

I think the big thing that isn't really talked about by big media or people who write these articles is the fact that a lot of businesses have invested a lot of money in real estate, right, that they expect seats and butts for, and have spent millions, if not billions to build these ginormous establishments to reflect the ego and aid of the company.

Speaker 2:

And if there are people there, then you know clearly the company's not successful. So there's this. There's this weird hubris of the leadership to think I need all of my slaves inside my pyramid, otherwise, what is the point of it? Are they really working? Can we trust them? And the answer is no. That's not the way right, but it you know that's. That is the hidden underside of all of this is there's a logical way to do this, and I think it's hybrid as needed, and utilize local resources. You know, rent an office, rent a meeting room, rent a workspace when you need it, versus paying for a floor of a building or an entire building year over year, end on end, when you don't need that kind of setup.

Speaker 1:

Right, I think also. You said seats and butts, and I hope that's not the case. Butts and seats? No, the seats are in their butts. I mean you're not wrong. Sometimes I'm on my seats so much I actually can't separate the two. I don't know what the difference is.

Speaker 2:

The seat to melt with the butt flesh and the butt flesh becomes the seat.

Speaker 1:

Oh, this is disgusting. I hate that so much. I agree with what you're saying.

Speaker 1:

If you think about and I think actually a corporate correspondent, alex Restrepo, might have said this on one of the, on one of the old episodes the obligation to build these giant buildings, to force people to work five days in the office, is just a. It's a very outdated way of thinking about business, right, because it used to be before the interwebs and being able to actually do work productively. It's like you had to do it in office. You don't really have a choice. That's how you were able to communicate with each other Because of the nature of the work.

Speaker 1:

To your point about the industry is like, yeah, you almost have to be working together because that's a limit. So it's just an outdated way of thinking and I think so many companies are still built like that because it's important to have a physical presence and you know they think they want to bring people together in certain areas. But the matter of fact is, if you restrict your employees to only be local to that area so they can come into an office, you're also restricting your talent pool. You know so many incredible people around the world that it's like why, why would I not want to have that awesome software engineer from North Dakota and city I've never heard of and all they do is eat corn up there. You know it's like, yeah, if they're amazing software engineer at the tire room doesn't matter where.

Speaker 1:

I am right, and so I think that's the biggest thing that companies and I think luckily COVID kind of pushed companies into this thinking is oh wow, we can actually do work and not have to be fully in the office. So let's just be flexible about it. But to your point, I think companies unfortunately especially those who have spent billions of dollars, you know, on infrastructure and on places of work they are forcing employees to go back to the office and that really sucks because it's not flexible. It's a mandate for everybody, because companies believe if we make any exceptions to the rule, then we have to make exceptions for everybody. So they're drawing a hard line in the sand to say everybody's in the office this many days a week, doesn't matter what kind of role you play.

Speaker 2:

You know I let's, let's build the perfect scenario. Let's assume corporate work will remove the factories and the equation you know, the mom and pop shops, restaurants, anything where physical presence is required, is out. Let's just say corporate you, you work at a desk in front of a laptop or computer. What, what have you? Nine to five, that's your job, being in front of a terminal, working doing something. How do we perfect the system? So, for me, number one would be understand the difference between teamwork and administrative work. Administrative work is anything that can be done on your own or needs personal focus, time and I would argue, based on how much is required of you, that could all be done remotely. Would you agree?

Speaker 1:

Okay, I'd agree, unless you rely on others to do that work. But let's take a couple of examples. Maybe Software engineering I'm working on coding up a new feature or project or whatever, and it's largely just me. You know what I mean. It's this independent thing, something I'm working on Absolutely Like. There's no really point in us getting connected. But then when I go to get feedback from my peers through pull, request reviews and doing a demonstration of it, walking people through it, getting other perspectives, I think there's value then to potentially be in person.

Speaker 2:

Completely agree. I think that falls under teamwork, right, I would agree.

Speaker 1:

That's the difference, yeah exactly Work to teamwork because at the end of the day, you're working with the team.

Speaker 2:

Right. Your productivity is going to increase in both of those scenarios if you treat one as remote and one as in-person. Because the ability to bounce ideas off people in a physical, local environment, you can't argue against it. It's just better than virtual. Right. You have the full body language, the full expression, the full everything. Nothing is held back. Well, maybe in a bad culture it is. But on the opposite end, when you're doing admin, whether it's email coding, you're writing a blog for God knows what it the private personal time means. You're not going to get interrupted. You're not getting those random little stops and starts in the day that stop you from doing the work that you need to get done, not your team, you. That's the best time to do it is when you're alone, quiet, focused space.

Speaker 1:

I 100 percent agree. Yeah, I think if you had that balance of we're going to structure our work around, let's say it's Mondays and Tuesdays, that's your heads down time, get ahead of things, and then Wednesdays, we actually aren't going to do much email, you're going to be focused on coming in and doing all the things that require your teamwork, that could be an efficient way to do things, if you guys are getting together of saying, obviously you want to be agile about it, you don't want to force all teams to abide by a schedule, but I think that's an interesting way to do it, to be like okay, yeah, it seems like most of our team is going to have something to do as a team on these days. Let's come out on these days, let's make that work. I like that. I've got a challenging one for you. Yeah, yeah, hit it. A big argument to in-person work is for the younger and newer employees to learn, to get mental, to make connections. How do you overcome that?

Speaker 2:

So counter answer Clark.

Speaker 2:

I work at a startup that's fully remote and we've hired quite a few people who've never worked in professional jobs before and we have managed to, I would say, mentor them not just to success but to complete functional success in a complete remote environment via Slack, teams, online meetings, and we do have in-person gatherings a couple of times a year, but for the most part, the jobs they're doing have been learned completely remote, completely without any human sit-down, mentor, train time.

Speaker 2:

And what I'll say is, when it comes to that kind of thing specifically, you kind of have to create in a fully remote environment, a faux in-person environment where you say, hey, I'm going to schedule four hours of your day, we're going to be on teams for four hours, we're just going to run the call, there's going to be quiet time, there's going to be talking time, we work, we get it done, we figure it out, we share screen. It's the best simulation you can get right, but that's how you do it. It is definitely possible to get done. Could it be done faster in a physical environment, maybe, but my experience shows that it's the exact same and these people had no prior job experience, came on as interns and now they're fully functional, awesome employees to work with, so that's great.

Speaker 1:

On Alt-Clarke you tell me. It sounds to me like your example and the way you guys have worked, have managed it, which is awesome and to your point. With newer employees, the advantage of being in the office is you can just go poke your head in someone's office and be like, hey, I need some help with this. When you're remote, it's kind of a bigger barrier to entry. It's like OK, can't just catch someone by the fridge Like I got to reach out, but in a lot of ways that's good. It teaches you to be outgoing and to reach out to people, communicate properly. In a lot of ways, I think there's a lot of benefits there. I like that.

Speaker 2:

I think the other thing too is I like what you said about the sort of self-sufficient. You have to be hungry, you have to go find your answers, find your people. But also, the new generation is far more digital than we were, clark. They're already ready for this. Yeah, I mean a lot of them went to college during COVID, so they're already doing WebEx or Zoom, whatever Discord probably, discord chats amongst each other and have gotten pretty good at the whole virtual relationship thing. So they have that skill set out of the box and that didn't have to be learned, they've got it already. So they're able to work in these environments far easier than folks who've only ever known the four-wall construct.

Speaker 1:

That's fair. I like that. How do you I'm going to mock and say this because it feels so dirty coming out of my mouth. But how do I know they're working, bruce? That's where I was hoping. How do I know they're doing anything? How do I know they're productive?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, how do we know? How do we know and I feel like this is probably the heart of Squid Boy's topic it's never stated directly, but this is what everyone wants to know at the end of the day how do we know they're actually working Output? Are they doing the job you hired them to do to a level of satisfaction that you are OK with? That's the question you've got to answer for yourself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

What they are and they're working.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what are your expectations for the role. In a remote world, you can't just observe. To understand what you're supposed to be doing, your company needs to be intentional about the expectations for the role and clearly outline what does success look like? That's what, ultimately, is going to set everyone up for success in doing what they're supposed to be doing.

Speaker 2:

I would argue, me going to meetings all day is far less me working than me sitting at a desk doing my actual work all day. Especially, if I'm providing no value to these meetings or if my only value is to do things that other people refuse to, then am I helping or hurting? The problem this is a bigger question to ask in general is how do you know people are doing a good job? I think we've talked about this before, but just evaluation for good work doesn't really exist outside of sales.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's not as black and white Never. It's hard to measure. Sales are pretty easy to measure. It's like are you closing sales or not? It's pretty easy. It's either you got clothes, signed papers and you got dollars flowing in, or you don't. It's pretty easy.

Speaker 1:

I think that's why companies suck at this of setting the right expectations. It's because a lot of fields and a lot of roles are gray, but I think that's just a lack of companies spending the time to outline those things in basically setting the right expectations for their teams. I think that's their own fault because they're not spending the time to actually figure that out and then measuring it, learning from it, iterating on it. I think that's the biggest thing that companies are missing is those things aren't outlined. I think back even Bruce, when we worked together, I didn't really know what success looked like. I just had to look around me and then like, okay, what does successful people look like they're doing? That's what I had to model after, right, but my job description wasn't my job, so it's just a really interesting dichotomy there.

Speaker 1:

But yeah to Squid Boy's topic, just going right back to his answer, I think it's just for most industries. It's a fact that people can be more productive when they are able to have a hybrid, flexible work schedule, because you take the commute out of it. You take a lot of just like for focus work anyways. You take the water cooler conversations, people stopping by your desk, your office, whatever, like you can be more productive on your individual tasks than you can. But teamwork, I think, is always at least right now more productive in person and so a lot of that stuff is going to be more productive in person. But it can't mean that and it definitely doesn't mean that you are limited to just doing those things successfully in person, like you, bruce brought up that great example Mentorship and training new employees and all that is going really well where you're at and that's awesome. You guys just had a culture built around making that work and that's great. So I think the company and the culture can really define how successful can remote or hybrid work be.

Speaker 2:

Yep, totally. And to the last question asked what's better 10 lines of code that solve for one feature that never break, or 100 lines of code that deliver 10 features? 50-50, it might not work. How do you measure good?

Speaker 1:

You want to answer that right now?

Speaker 2:

No, that's a topic for a different day. But I think companies can't answer that question either, and that's why remote, hybrid and in person is still being so debated. They don't know what good is, so they lean into. We've invested money. We have to keep these buildings open. I need to be seen. I want my employees to see me, which is an actual thing. Leadership loves to be seen or we're not going to pay for real estate. All we got to do is send everyone a laptop. Let them go. We can run this company remote, no problem.

Speaker 2:

I'm not saying all of these work or don't work, but it's the logic that gets you to the constant conversation, and I think, at the end of the day, what will actually end up truly solving this debate is when people start saying maybe the economy becomes better. Let's hope. Let's just say a little prayer for the economy to all the gods we know. So maybe there's tons of jobs and nothing but options and you can choose a remote, a hybrid or an in-person job. I like that. When that happens, when we get to that state, that's when we'll have the answer, because the people will choose.

Speaker 1:

Yeah absolutely, and the optionality or the ability to choose to your point. That's a power all of us have. So if you don't like your situation or you don't ultimately agree with what your company is doing with their back to work strategy or whatever, hopefully you got other options out there when the economy does better. But sometimes you unfortunately do have to roll with those punches until the opportunity comes. So if you see that writing on the wall, start looking, plan exit.

Speaker 2:

That's right. Find the job that fits good for you, and I think one thing that we've learned, too, is people want to be where they want to be. I don't want to work out of California because I don't like California no offense to people in California, but it's just way too expensive for me and I like where I live because my family's all here and my friends are here and it's a good place to be. Finding something remote is my only option for the kind of jobs I'm looking for. It's good to have those options, and I think people need even more cognizant of that as well. If your employees are happy where they are, then they're going to be happy working for you Exactly and the happier they are.

Speaker 1:

They're going to be more productive Bingo it all is a perfect circle.

Speaker 2:

Truly is. I think that's it. You got anything else Clark?

Speaker 1:

No, no, I think that's it and I know the challenge is going to be especially. I don't know, Squid Boy, exactly where you would come from this, but if you, you changing your whole company's choice of their work policies is probably unlikely. But to our point about optionality, you know if you can find another role that does fit your schedule, like that's the best option likely for you. But I don't think it hurts. Like if you love your company for all of the things and you just disagree with one aspect of it, maybe there is options.

Speaker 1:

You know we actually had a situation I'm thinking not my team, but one of my peers, members on his team where we actually approved a hybrid role or not a hybrid role, a fully remote role, which we typically don't do.

Speaker 1:

But this person was like, hey, I don't want to come to the office, Like I want to move out, and we're like, well, this person's great, we don't want to lose them. So we made an exception because of their working situation, Some of our, let's say, HR rules around it, like, for example, they were a people manager. We had to, unfortunately, kind of move them back into an individual contributor role to make that full exception. But they were open to that because they liked the stuff that they did and they the role and expectations were clear of what the difference would be between what they're doing now what they're going to do in the future and they were okay with that decision. So I say all that just because I want everyone to remember have the conversation, Don't feel like you can't discuss it. If you like where you are, if you like your compensation, if your pack is relatively strong, you don't need to just pull, plan, exit, evaluate your options.

Speaker 1:

Have the conversation with your leader and see what options you have.

Speaker 2:

Yep, I love that and I think it's funny, because remote and hybrid in person have kind of just become the new. Well, we're changing tech stacks. We're no longer writing all of our code in Java, we're moving to. What are they using these days, clark? What are the cool kids writing in?

Speaker 1:

It all depends. I mean, if you're writing mobile apps, you still got React Native, but now you got Flutter, so you got Dart. That's coming up.

Speaker 2:

People are making up words They'll love.

Speaker 1:

Python People. Angular 29 is out. Just kidding, I just remember when Angular actually started it. I was like oh yeah, angular 2, this is amazing. And now it's like Angular whatever, which is wild.

Speaker 2:

So Thank you. I appreciate half of those made-up words that you just created. So they're using Flutter now we're not using Java anymore. Do you have to choose? Do you want to learn any tech stack? Do you want to take your skills and go elsewhere? Like, I think that's exactly what we're getting, is it's just another work preference, and I just hope that people have the choice to choose what they work, especially moving into the future, which seems so uncertain. I agree.

Speaker 1:

I think we killed it. We lifted it up, we tossed in the air and we kicked it.

Speaker 2:

As long as we're not just sprinting under the bar we raised so high last week, I'll live. And hey, if you didn't listen to last week's episode, you're missing out. That was honestly one of the top episodes you ever put out. Guest Danny Yonkers came on, talked about his book and then I pooped my pants. Lessons learned for leadership. Absolutely great episode. Go listen if you haven't it was a banger.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely Go listen. I mean we talked about in the episode I've been managing for quite a while and, wow, I learned a lot just from that short conversation. So the book, the audio book you guys got to get invested and if you think you might need some helping a manager deciding whether to become a manager, listen to that episode. You'll kind of learn all that you need to know in a very simple way about hey, is this the right thing for me and how can I do it successfully?

Speaker 2:

I wouldn't agree more. And hey, if you didn't get it the first couple of times, if you want to hang out with us, hang out with our fam, like Squid Boy and capitalist correspondent Alex Shrepo, you got to get in our Discord and again for the third time. The way you do that is in the show notes.

Speaker 1:

If the show notes are not there.

Speaker 2:

I don't know.

Speaker 1:

What are?

Speaker 2:

you doing. You know what I know. I know that we get more downloads on this show than we have people on the Discord, so I've got to say it like 18 times. That's what I know. So if you're not in there, get in there. It's a safe place, it's a good place. We love you. Come on, join us. Do you want to find out about the rest of the things we do?

Speaker 1:

I feel like you're rolling up in a creepy white van and you're saying these things to me out your window Back off, stranger, maybe there Come on in. The water's great. I can never unhear that.

Speaker 2:

Well, now no one's going to join. Thanks, clark. Well, if you want to learn about how creepy Clark and I are, you can go to our website at corporatestrategybiz. It'sbiz the Biz stands for business. We got a contact to us page with links to everything we do, as well as previous episodes and just anything you never want to know about us.

Speaker 1:

I love it. Yeah, we also have a website. Go to corporatestrategybiz. We already said this. Got bizbiz, remember. But there is a newsletter. Oh, that's what you forgot you got the newsletter and to your email. That's it. That's all you got to do. And then the second the episode goes live, you're going to get notified, so you can be the first to listen.

Speaker 2:

I think I'm having a stroke. Thank you, clark. And if you go to our website, that's corporatestrategybiz, that'sbiz.

Speaker 1:

You can get a chance to listen to our episodes.

Speaker 2:

You might have ads on them. There might not be, but if you never want to hear ads again, there's an easy way to do that. That's supporting us right now. We are a host-supported show. That means all of these, all of the episodes that you hear and find, are all paid for by Clark and myself.

Speaker 1:

Most, of them, no, not me, all of you, literally I have and contribute a penny.

Speaker 2:

So not a single cent. So if you go to corporatestrategybiz, that'sbiz you will find by me a coffee button. Or if you go in the show notes on the podcast app you're choosing it's there too.

Speaker 1:

If you want to join our community, you can go to corporatestrategybiz, that'sbiz, and you can click the Discord button. It'll take you right there. Bye.

Speaker 2:

Hey, and if you want, if you can't support the show, that's fine. I'll continue to pay for it, as I always do. But if you want to help out in another way, you can send your friends to corporatestrategybiz that's our website, that'sbiz and there they can get the show, they can check it out, listen to it, share it with their friends because more listeners is always a good thing and, most importantly, leave us a nice review on your podcast platform of choice, please.

Speaker 1:

I mean we said at the beginning, if you're still here at this point, you're going to get some Rambo nonsense. It's going to be a good time, but it's not really going to give you any value Dying.

Speaker 2:

Dying. Is there anything else, Clark?

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

Well, thanks for listening to another episode of corporate strategy. Remember, if you want to find out more about what we do, you can go to corporatestrategybiz That'sbiz, get all that information right there. 10 extra output. I'm Bruce.

Speaker 1:

And I'm Clark. What did they say? And that's all she wrote. I'll leave everyone. I just want people to think about that. Don't answer it for them. I want to decouple this in a few trips.

Speaker 2:

What a cliffhanger. Hey, the rest of you all are on mute, probably for the better, and we'll touch pace with you next week.

Corporate Strategy, Biking Lanes
Productivity and Remote Work Debate
(Cont.) Productivity and Remote Work Debate
Debate on Remote vs. In-Person Work
The Future of Work
Corporate Strategy Rambo Nonsense