By Jack Kelly
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Google will allow its employees to continue working from home until at least June 2021. Google adds to the growing list of top companies, such as Twitter, Square and Facebook, that have previously announced that they’d continue the remote-work setup for the foreseeable future.
The announcement from Google is breathtaking, as it affects about 200,000 workers. In light of the company’s high status and reputation, its policy offers the green light for other companies that may have been sitting on the fence deciding whether or not to extend the work-from-home policies to now follow Google’s lead.
This could substantially alter the job-search landscape. It may no longer matter where a person resides. Google can seek out the best candidates—regardless of whether they live in close proximity to one of its offices or reside in another state across the country.
Job seekers won’t have to feel stuck by only applying to jobs within a reasonable round-trip commute. They could conceivably send their résumés to jobs based in a wide array of cities—far from where they currently live.
They’d also be free to relocate. Many people are forced to live close to where they work, but with the rapidly evolving remote-work trend, a person could move to a place that they love. It could be a huge cost savings to leave expensive cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, to lower-cost locations with less taxes, more reasonably priced homes and a better climate. This trend could remarkably change and improve the quality of peoples’ lives.
However, there is a darker side to this. Commercial real estate will be crushed. Once everyone becomes acclimated to working from home, why would companies shell out tons of money for expensive real estate? As riots, looting, violence, shootings, vandalization of property, armed troops, homelessness and drug usage take over many large cities, why would people still want to live there— especially since it’s expensive to rent apartments, and all the cool stuff like bars, restaurants, clubs, sporting events and concerts are closed down.
For younger people starting out their careers, the work from home trend is not their friend. When you’re out of college, you want to meet new people, date and enjoy the city life. There’s a large social element to being at the office. You make new friends, find mentors, go out for lunch with coworkers and get a drink or two after work. When you’re holed-up in a small cramped apartment all day and all night, it’s not too much fun and not so great for your mental outlook. It’s probably worse if you’re not earning enough for an apartment and forced to live back at home.
Companies can use the remote work to their advantage. As a job seeker, you’d compete against other candidates that live within commuting distance from the company. Now, large corporations such as Google can seek out the best talent from all over the country. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg already said that if his employees relocate away from San Francisco they’ll be paid the wages associated with their new location. This means that a company can overlook applicants who live in expensive cities and require higher salaries and tap into smart people who reside in lower cost places which will save the companies an enormous amount of money.
Speaking of moving for a job, Joe Rogan—the host of one of the best and most widely watched and listened to podcasts—is leaving California. Rogan lives and does his podcast in Los Angeles. Rogan points to the ridiculous amount of traffic, overcrowding, homelessness problem and the myriad of issues plaguing the city and state. But, there’s another little issue. Rogan signed a $100 million contract with Spotify and he’ll save a massive fortune by getting the hell out of LA and moving to Texas where he will pay significantly less in taxes.
One of Rogan’s concerns is the resurgence of Covid-19 and the accompanying clampdown in LA. Some people such as Rachel Maddow cite health experts who have called for the U.S. to try another shutdown. She may or not be right. It’s a big ask. What would another shutdown do to our already destroyed economy and job market? How will this impact our mental and emotional health and well being? Is it fair for Maddow to call for another lockdown since she’s a highly compensated television star with a safe job and doesn’t stand to lose anything if this happens? Here’s her video about a shutdown do-over, you decide.
Since we’re talking about mental health, what’s the deal with multi billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk challenging actor Johnny Depp to a “cage fight”?! In a divorce legal battle, it seems that Depp’s attorneys alleged that Musk had an affair with his ex-wife Amber Heard while she was married to Depp. Texts allegedly sent from Depp, in which he threatened to slice off Musk’s penis, were also read to the court.
“If Johnny wants a cage fight, just let me know,” and “I definitely was not having an affair with Amber while she was married to Johnny, this is totally false,” Musk said. He also denied ever having group sex with Heard and the actor and model Cara Delevingne.
We are living in weird, crazy times.