每日英語跟讀 Ep.K183: Do Chance Meetings at the Office Boost Innovation? There’s No Evidence of It
When Yahoo banned working from home in 2013, the reason was one often cited in corporate America: Being in the office is essential for spontaneous collaboration and innovation.
“It is critical that we are all present in our offices,” wrote Jacqueline Reses, then a Yahoo executive, in a staff memo. “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings.”
Today, Reses, now CEO of Post House Capital, an investment firm, has a different view. “Would I write that memo differently now?” she said. “Oh yeah.” She still believes that collaboration can benefit from being together in person, but over the last year, people found new, better ways to work.
如今擔任Post House Capital投資公司執行長的雷瑟斯卻有不同看法。她說，「我現在會用不同方式寫備忘錄嗎？是的」。她仍相信面對面交流有助合作，但在過去一年，人們找到更好的工作新方式。
As the pandemic winds down in the United States, however, many bosses are sounding a note similar to Reses’ in 2013.
“Innovation isn’t always a planned activity,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, about post-pandemic work. “It’s bumping into each other over the course of the day and advancing an idea you just had.”
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said working from home “doesn’t work for spontaneous idea generation, it doesn’t work for culture.”
Yet people who study the issue say there is no evidence that working in person is essential for creativity and collaboration. It may even hurt innovation, they say, because the demand for doing office work at a prescribed time and place is a big reason the American workplace has been inhospitable for many people.
“That’s led to a lot of the outcomes we see in the modern office environment — long hours, burnout, the lack of representation — because that office culture is set up for the advantage of the few, not the many,” said Dan Spaulding, chief people officer at Zillow, the real estate marketplace.
“The idea you can only be collaborative face-to-face is a bias,” he said. “And I’d ask, how much creativity and innovation have been driven out of the office because you weren’t in the insider group, you weren’t listened to, you didn’t go to the same places as the people in positions of power were gathering?”
He and others suggested reimagining the office entirely — as somewhere people go to every so often, to meet or socialize, while daily work is done remotely. At Zillow, nearly all employees will be remote or come in only once in a while. Several times a year, teams will go to small offices set up for gathering.
他跟其他人建議，將辦公室完全重塑為人們不時見面或社交的地方，而日常工作則靠遠距完成。在Zillow，幾乎所有員工都遠距辦公，或只是偶爾進公司。團隊每年會有幾次到專門設立的小辦公室聚會。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5623453