Why is working from home such a vice?


This is from a piece Jerry Seinfeld published in the NYT. To those who have access, I have linked it above.

I would like to remind Jerry Seinfeld that for those of us whose job is to make stuff, we absolutely CAN remote in the fruits of our labor, if said fruits can be transmitted physically or digitally to the people who need to consume them.

Those people don't have any particular reason to care about our "attitude," our "personality," or our "energy." What they care about is the stuff we make, how quickly they can get it, how much it costs, and what quality it is.

Part of why I was drawn to social media and online entrepreneurship is the fact that I can post my work at home, and someone on the other side of the world can view the post the second I post it. In that case that person will care about my attitude, personality, and energy, but those things will come through in the post.

It strikes me as an incredible injustice to insist that stuff makers, who can theoretically live anywhere that the internet and/or the postal service reaches, must live somewhere that they cannot afford to live in order to be successful making the stuff they make.

This is something I've been hoping would become crystal clear to Americans in the horrors of the pandemic, which contains so many other injustices, and it's bizarre and disturbing to see such clear evidence that it hasn't.

I flatly reject the premise that having "face to face" contact is essential as applied to many kinds of work, especially in light of the fact that requiring in-person work incurs significant costs on the workers, up to and including whether they can do the job in the first place.

Imaging telling someone whose entire job is producing a quality product on time that they must make huge sacrifices in terms of time, money, and physical and mental well-being just so they can sit in a chair across from you while you talk about the product you want them to produce.

I'm getting angrier the more I think about this. People spend thousands of dollars on clothes, makeup, renting/buying a place near work, etc., hours in commute, they eat poorly and are forcibly sedentary, just because someone senior to them thinks there's something special about in-person communication and can't be bothered to read, let alone write, a damn email or instant message.

Comments 0