IBM ditching remote work and Apple’s monolithic new office building are two notable examples of Silicon Valley giants making bad bets on the future of the workplace.
As tech companies scramble to entice millennials into their workplaces with the lure of foosball tables and bean bag adorned break-out rooms, cold reality will soon hit recruitment.
As millennials begin to settle down and start families, these office perks – explicitly and deliberately designed to increase employee time-on-campus – will no longer be attractive.
Instead of a ‘cool’ office, millennials will soon want the flexibility to work from home – or, for that matter, from anywhere – to spend time with their growing families. The companies that are today adopting flexible working practices and integrating them into organisational processes will be the long term winners.
These businesses will be in a better position to attract the best talent. They will also find a much deeper talent pool by widening the scope of recruitment beyond the commutable distance of an office.
Tying people to a large office complex in one of the world’s most expensive areas is unlikely to be a draw for much longer.
With 1990s thinking, IBM and Apple just made bad bets.