Five Days in the Office? For These Startups, the Future of Work Is Old School

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For a tech guy, Mike de Vere, chief executive of fintech software startup Zest AI, has a contrarian return-to-work plan for his 100 employees: he wants them in the office full time.

Mr. de Vere said having employees together in the Burbank, Calif., headquarters improves communication, builds trust and allows for them to absorb knowledge from more experienced colleagues.

“We believe that we will be our best selves the more that we are together,” he said.

As more tech companies leverage the promise of flexible work arrangements as a competitive advantage, some are going the opposite route, betting that a strong office culture is what will help them recruit and retain the best talent.

Proponents of fully in-office work cite a range of benefits, from the collaboration that can result from happenstance interactions to easier communication. Plus, they add, plenty of people enjoy working in offices, especially after months spent, for some, in makeshift arrangements. Given the tech industry’s status as a bellwether for workplace trends, professionals in many industries are watching to see where it lands.

So maybe there will be a bifurcation. More established and less hungry tech firms like Google and Facebook will let people WFH 3 days a week. Intense startups on the other hand will have people go back to office 5 days a week.

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They’re going to have to pay more to attract talent.

Obvious by reasoning still need to read articles :roll_eyes: As if is an unobvious insight?

Intensive R&D requires work in office.
Established companies with tons of admin and non-R&D tasks no need to.

Not their money, who care. Sucker Angel money + paper money… not an issue.

i think it depends. If you can’t pay to match local cost of living and need/want talent you have to be flexible on location. i.e. my industry (energy/electricity). Salaries are capped, technical needs are high. Many BA grid focused companies will let grizzled industry veterans who have the technical knowledge they need work from wherever they want.

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A lot of startups have to monitor cash burn. This stance will only end up increasing it. Some can afford it but others will be more hesitant.

Most startups pay less cash than Google and Facebook. People go to startups to a) do interesting work, and b) get a chance at winning the IPO lottery.