The daily grind

Google announced it expects workers to be back on site early in April. After allowing staff to work from home for many months, a number of big tech companies are expecting employees to come back to the office. Well, at least three days a week.

In an interview earlier this year, Clive Wilkinson, the designer of the “Googleplex” in Silicon Valley expressed regret about the way the workspace he built blends work and not-work. Google’s campus has all sorts of facilities on-site – exercise classes, free meals, laundry service. It should be every worker’s dream but Wilkinson says it “keeps employees tethered to the office, benefiting the employer most of all.” In addition, Wilkinson notes that Googleplex employees have no reason to explore local cafes or engage with other businesses either. 

Many studies showed that people worked longer hours during the pandemic, unable to clock off, as they spent all day in their homes. It is to our detriment, when the normal ebb and flow of work, time with friends, church and rest become a monotonous blur.  Martin Luther might have told him about the Three Estates and those who watch Rev Fisk might know these distinctions by other names, but Wilkinson seems to have seen this in his Googleplex.

In other tech news…Several US attorneys-general have launched an investigation into how TikTok affects teenagers. The video sharing platform has announced it is now allowing longer videos.

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