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How to Win the Hybrid Workforce Revolution

By Adrian Wooldridge

27 Jun 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

A matter of increased flexibility or dwindling productivity? This analysis contemplates whether the preference for remote work can withstand potential recession.

The most important work-related debate of our time is stuck on repeat. Many senior executives continue to believe that working from home is tantamount to pretending to work, with Elon Musk saying out loud what his more restrained colleagues say in private, while many remote-work enthusiasts continue to believe that they have an absolute right to work where they want to, the organization be damned. The result: a never-ending cycle of get-back-to-work memos, not-on-your-nelly responses and accumulating problems.

It’s time to recognize that a new world is here to stay: We are at an early stage of a revolution in the distribution of work, driven by the miniaturization of smart machines and the ubiquity of the internet, that is as fundamental as the one that occurred with the industrial revolution in the 19th century and the office revolution of the early 20th century. (Perhaps Musk will be remembered as the Ned Ludd of the flexibility revolution rather than the Henry Ford of the electric car.)

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