Twitter and Square both announced recently that henceforth, their employees may work from home… forever.
Meanwhile, Facebook is effectively full-time WFH until 2021 (except, tentatively anyway, July 6 for those who need to be in the office); Google is on full WFH status until, somewhat weirdly, NYE 2021; and Microsoft is currently WFH until October 2020.
As of this writing, these are the highest profile — if not officially the first — companies to make such a definitive and indefinite ruling on the matter, and it syncs neatly with what I’ve anticipated not only since the outbreak of the pandemic that is COVID-19, but for years now, in anticipation of a remote work future fully realized and enabled by autonomous vehicles.
I simply hadn’t considered the catalyst of a global pathogen to hasten the transition.
In a strange and almost bittersweet harmony, then, the silver lining of this generation’s pandemic-catalyzing WFH reality is a dissonant taste of things to come: a future where on-location work is optional if not practically required; WFH is wholly permissive; and, combined with the deployment of autonomous vehicles, suburbs reach housing parity with cities for the first time in history.
While World War I closed countries’ borders and introduced the world to passports, and 9/11 transformed flying forever, life did eventually return to normal, just not the same normal. So it will be post-COVID.
Everybody is asking the same question: when will things get back to normal? The short answer is, “never.” At least, not the same normal that you knew, say, in January 2020.
That world that we grew up in — the world that you and I remember, cherish, and now miss — is finished.
Accept it now as surely as if a (small) meteor had struck the Atlantic Ocean, triggering a tsunami that decimated life on the coasts of the American, European, and African continents, while…