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Remember when we used to work in offices?

Running Devstars for the last 17 years we’ve had times when we’ve had big fancy offices and small efficient offices but two things have been constant.

  • Most clients don’t visit.
  • The best designers, programmers and PM’s don’t live in a commutable distance.

Clients don’t visit because they don’t have time. They like the idea that you are a proper company with a roof over your head but really they would prefer you to visit them.

As for the team, commuting has never been a problem. We have small offices in London, Minsk, Toronto, Warsaw and Buenos Aires where staff can go when they want to. This being the case before, during and after Covid-19.

For years we’ve thrived using Skype chat, Google hangouts & Gotomeeting and now have new players like Zoom to support our meetings with remote team members and clients. With online tools such as Slack, Trello, Screen sharing apps and Google Suite we collaborate and engage in new and better ways.

Our new normal won’t be that much different from the old normal. I’m looking forward to my commute (a 30-minute bike ride along the Thames to Chiswick) and seeing the team in person albeit with desks socially distanced.

That said it’s going to be a big upheaval for staff and employees in the office environment. When other sectors have to go back to their place of work most people who work at a desk can do this from home. The big switch to remote working on mass is a two-edged sword for both businesses and employees.

Businesses have less control but they also have fewer costs.

Employees have greater freedom. Less commute, but have higher costs (equipment, power, space) and most importantly contact with their friends and peers.

In June 2020, we’re in an enforced state but when rules are made by the businesses instead of the government it will most likely cause some friction.

Hopefully, businesses will provide staff with a safe environment where they want to go to work but allow them to work from home if they prefer. In any case, you can be sure there will be fewer desks, fewer cab rides between meetings and business travel will be greatly reduced.

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