With the recent announcements that Yahoo and now Best Buy are not allowing employees to telecommute, it seems some people simply refuse to keep up with technology of work. It looks like top executives are resisting, and not in the noble motion picture kind of way where humans have to fight off evil robots. Humans, and dare I say older humans, are waging war on keeping up with technology. Young people like me are not the ones in power to make these kinds of decisions, and they definitely are not resisting new advancements. It creates new and better jobs for us, in fact.
Not everything changes
There is a big distinction I must make first with fighting technology itself, and resisting the speed at which it is changing. Companies embrace new technological advancements everyday – technological devices are all Best Buy sells. What these companies and their executives seem intent on doing is keeping the work environment as close to the Industrial Age as possible.
Cell phones, computers, cloud computing, tablets, and new mobile devices allow you to be everywhere and work from anywhere. Everyone’s jobs have gotten much more productive and more pleasant because of the technology that is available to us. But what has not changed at all is the 9 to 5. I don’t mean our jobs haven’t gotten any better, I mean the actual 9 to 5 work hours have not changed. In a world that operates all day and no city really sleeps anymore, people are still expected to commit to the same eight hour work day with very little flexibility. The world does not stop at 5, yet that’s when we stop getting paid.
A war on two fronts
We go into the office in dress clothes or business casual attire. Of course more formal attire is a sign of status, yet everyone knows we wear jeans or sweats on any other given day. Even still, the average office will be lined with dress slacks. Now take a peer into the window of startups run by…ahem…twenty-somethings and they are in casual tennis shoes and t-shirts. This is where the age distinction is relevant. I would never assume that everyone thinks the same way, no matter someone’s age. I am saying there is a generational divide and a war is being fought on two sides. There is a conservative culture trying to get people to conform back to traditional work environments and a more liberal way of addressing – or undressing the workplace.
People are outraged with the Yahoo decision, but do we take the outrage far enough? What is it that we are resisting? Is it the technology, the conformity, the change simply because it is change? Some people think it is ridiculous that Yahoo and Best Buy believe their employees work best from an office or a cubicle.
Is it not just as ridiculous to think that a tie and dress shoes are going to make a worker more efficient?