The steady march towards work-is-life, life-in-work concerns me, even as I take part in the problem...
"Job stability" -> "Office drone" -> Office Space
"New wave" -> open office plans, company culture -> Google, IDEO, Silicon Valley
"The hustle" -> gig economy, independent contractors -> Uber, Instacart
"The hustle 2.0" -> company culture but you don't work always work for a company (or that company lacks the former) -> WeWork
When I met McKelvey a few weeks later at WeWork’s Manhattan headquarters, he made it clear that the long-term plan was not just to make IBM a bit more like Google but something much more grandiose. The company’s CultureOS was about being “supportive to openness and conversation” and the “obligation we create to each other to be good humans to each other — to share a smile and some warmth.” We’ve learned the hard way from social media, he said, that “alignment along ideological lines is a shallow way of creating a human environment.” This, McKelvey said, is what he tells his team: “You’re not building work space. You’re here building a new infrastructure to rebuild social fabric and rebuild up the potential for human connection.” It was, he conceded, a “big leap.” But the company existed to give it a shot. “Who am I going to need in a disaster? The person I took a yoga class with versus the person I’m in the same Facebook group with?” The enterprise product could scale up that social infrastructure to unite millions and millions of people. On a hard-hat tour of WeWork’s new West Coast headquarters, in San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower, Adam Neumann told me: “Assuming we keep up our personal growth as a company, as individuals and as a company, there is no limit. Businesses, neighborhoods, cities — there are new cities being built around the world, and we want the call from those cities.”
Company/work culture as culture culture. Frightening.