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Enjoy collaboration…or else!

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read

I can’t look at the news anywhere online without seeing threats being made by CEOs to their remote workers. It’s a thinly-veiled, insecure attempt to turn the clock back and save what’s left after their poor real estate decisions.

I think it’s an opportunity for indie creators.

From The Street reporting on JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon’s threat to his employees:

“Dimon doubled down on his hard-line stance in July, saying, ‘I completely understand why someone doesn't want to commute an hour and a half every day. Totally get it... Doesn't mean they have to have a job here either.’”

And Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy’s threat to remote workers:

“It’s probably not going to work out for you.”

And my hometown’s own Crain’s Chicago Business:

“Employers across the country are making the unofficial end of summer the official end of full-time remote work.”

Sure. The office is welcoming, collaborative, and mentoring — but you must be incarcerated within the walls of some arbitrary location (no matter how much less productive you are there) or else!

Here’s the truth.

In a healthy business, if the work can be remotely, the business will enthusiastically choose to be open to remote work. This ensures they can have their pick of the best talent across the country, or around the world, at the best possible prices.

An unhealthy business, looking to rid itself of pesky employees as cheaply as possible, will demand in-person work. JPMorgan is great example of an unhealthy business, as is Amazon (along with most tech companies who raise tons of cash, but struggle for real profits and positive employee experience).

As the skilled workforce continues to evaporate with the retirement of the boomers and the decline in work-age population, it’s the remote-minded businesses that will succeed long-term.

This is good for independent creators. This is time to make a name for yourself as a trusted expert.

Unhealthy businesses are about to jettison millions of employees who will need to make a name for themselves in the market too – starting from zero. Creators will have the upper hand.

Unhealthy businesses usually assume workers will be available to hire after government bail outs make their businesses healthy-ish.

But they won’t be this time. The demographics aren’t there.

More importantly, after knowledge workers get a taste of the indie lifestyle and (typically) higher pay, why would they ever want to go back to the scolding taskmaster and the beige cubicle?

We’re about to experience a once-in-a-century shock to the system of work. Regional banks will fold. Skyscrapers will empty.

Creators are in the best possible position to weather this storm.