Years ago, I was visiting a prospective client and was invited to meet the team at a farewell drink at the office.
The CIO told me about their remote policy: people can pick where they work, but given that the company culture is so great, most people come in every day…
A product owner told me about the communal lunches and how there were plans to install a gym at the office.
“People often just come to hang out together.”
Yet every developer I met that night told a different story.
“It’s been months since I’ve been here. I’m only here to say goodbye to my former colleague.”
“I live 15 minutes from here, but I hardly go to the office.”
“It’s great, we don’t keep attendance. You can just be productive.”
Managers boasted about the way they saw the “culture”.
Developers did the same.
Both groups were pitching me the positive aspects of their company culture, yet the way they saw it was diametrically opposed.
This divide is palpable in many companies and will only grow with the “return to the office” nonsense.
It’s not coders vs talkers.
It’s not introverts vs extroverts.
It’s not overhead vs real work.
It’s office workers vs digital natives.
To the former the office is a place and Slack is a tool.
For the latter, Slack is a place and an office is a tool.