If there’s one good thing that came out of the pandemic, it was an opportunity for many Americans to experience the life I’ve been living since 2011: The joy of working from home.
As a full-time remote worker, I spend my time in a relaxed, familiar environment. I have flexible working hours, and micromanagement is almost non-existent. I also get to wear whatever I want, as long as it’s presentable enough for Teams calls. If you have a good work ethic, ambition and at least one room where you can work undisturbed, you’ll be much more productive and happier than in a controlled, corporate environment.
And while I get to keep these perks, for most Americans, work from home is sadly coming to an end. Apparently, a lot of managers, especially in bigger companies, are reluctant to adapt to working with a remote workforce. This stems either from the inability to understand the ins and outs of modern technology, low social skills or the lack of trust that work is being performed according to specs.
Instead of this being detrimental to managers’ careers, this inadequacy is addressed by forcing the rest of the workforce to go back to offices, even if that means lowering their output and job satisfaction.
Truth be told, not all jobs can be performed remotely — especially those where physical labor is necessary — but we aren’t talking about these jobs today.
Managers at tech giants are the ones pushing workers to return to the office, offering little in the way of incentives — mostly free food, backpacks and the like.
This approach just shows how big the disconnect between upper echelons and ordinary workers is, and how little management understands the needs of employees.
However, “the return to office” initiative is backfiring magnificently.
Not only are employees unwilling to return to crowded offices and toxic environments, but they are actually leaving in droves — first, the most skilled ones, then the rest. Their destination? Companies at the forefront of Web 3.0 development.
Just like traditional finance is slowly crumbling under the pressure of its up-and-coming, blockchain-powered counterpart, so is the new tech overpowering old behemoths, striking vital blows to their infrastructure.
Brain drain is a powerful thing, and when nearly three-quarters of tech employees decide to jump ship in search of better opportunities among crypto startups, it’s clear that something needs to change in the old corporate structure.
However, if history has taught us anything, it’s that the bigger the company, the stronger the resistance to change — especially when it discomforts the decision makers.
And while FAANG mastodons trade skilled and ambitious workers for those who simply don’t have a choice but to stay, companies like Coinbase
are offering packages that are almost too good to be true: from $362,000 a year for a senior protocol engineer, to $672,550 a year for an infrastructure engineer.
And it’s not just big names. Startups like Nansen are luring talent by providing tokens as a form of equity in the company, unlimited paid time off, dynamic career progression and other perks that are simply unattainable (for non-C-level employees) within the traditional corporate framework.
But it’s not just the perks that attract new employees. It’s the opportunity to leave behind stale and outdated corporate culture. Amy Barker, director of people at the blockchain-analytics platform Nansen, talked about this topic for FastCompany: “People come to us, and they want to work how they want, in the way they want, when they want. It’s not just about remote working, it’s about having options. They are almost working as if they are founders and CEOs themselves — they want that kind of respect, and so they should, because everyone is that valuable on the team.”
This approach and corporate culture are unheard of among the tech giants, and chances are it will be too late when they realize they’re bleeding vital talent due to a refusal to adjust.
Meanwhile, blockchain and Web3.0 continue what they’ve been doing for over a decade: Upgrading the world of business and finance.
Out with the old, in with the new.