Why Are Physical Workplaces Still Important In The Era Of Remote Work?

Forbes 1 month ago
Overhead view of design team having project meeting in office

In tech and especially in engineering, there’s a clear trend of people being more and more remote. Or at least it seems like it given the absurdly crazy San Francisco housing prices these days. Thing is, though this trend is clearly talked a lot about around here, the national average here in the US is still only around 3-4% of people working remotely. Much of the rest of the hundreds of millions of people left over are still in traditional, grungy, offices. The trend is there, but we’re not going to see a wild swing in our lifetimes.

Coworking spaces are becoming more of a thing too. Where people might have been literally working-from-home for their day job, today when enough people are in one city, they’ll get a small coworking space in something like a WeWork. We’ve definitely noticed this trend here at Envoy where we had a few distributed remote folks in New York and Kansas City and lo-and-behold it was only a matter of time until the coworking-stipend questions started being asked. People just want to be near each other.

And on that, yeah, people just want to be near each other. It’s easier to randomly overhear stuff, learn about a concert that’s going on, learn about a project that’s happening at the company, find someone who’s struggling with something and help them, etc. Serendipity is just way easier.

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