My piece for the Thai Enquirer on how coronavirus could shape the trajectory of work and learning in the future:
In 2013, a book titled The Year Without Pants was published. The author did not have a Roman aversion to the wearing of pants (it was a barbaric practice, they had insisted). He was, instead, writing about life working for Automattic.
What is Automattic, one may ask? A company employing just over a thousand people, it runs services such as WordPress, the blogging platform now powering millions of websites. And its employees can work without pants, not because of an exceedingly relaxed dress code, but because Automattic is a “distributed company”, where everyone works remotely. Indeed, few go regularly to their San Francisco headquarters; their employees live all over the world.
The company has long been hailed as a model for the future of work. If a company that is so responsible for making the web work can do it, why can’t others? Technology has long made remote work possible. Yet most companies saw no need, or little incentive at least, to make the shift.
Until, of course, the coronavirus came along.