‘My company has gone fully remote and I’m despairing’: who wins in the new world of working from home?
As we move away from the traditional 9 to 5, the boundaries between office and home are increasingly blurred. Meet the bosses trying to get it right
I am 20 minutes into my scheduled 30-minute call with Shivani Maitra when I start to freeze. Maitra, a partner at global consultancy firm Deloitte, is leading the firm’s post-Covid-19 research into the future of work, and is giving me a seamless analysis of what business is about to look like: more autonomy, more remote work, happier workers, more accessible leadership – all facilitated by technology. But I can’t get Skype for Business to function. It’s a hot day and the connection comes and goes, leaving me contorted and sweating over my laptop.
Maitra is not necessarily wrong, but as my kids (aged three and five) thunder into the room, I can’t help but think we have some way to go. Los Angeles-based tech company PORTL Inc has promised that, in five years’ time, we will all be able to beam life-sized, talking holograms of our colleagues into our homes; right now, I think an impenetrable forcefield around my desk would be more useful. “Technology is going to be key to how we work in the future,” Maitra concedes. “But it’s going to be an enabler – it’s not going to be an answer.”