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Speaker and Author of "Everyone's in Sales"
  • Posted on: 08/21/2020

    REI is going remote and selling its corporate headquarters

  • Posted on: 08/21/2020

    REI is going remote and selling its corporate headquarters

    There is so much behind this. Retail is in trouble, and REI needed to find ways to save money and cut. They built a HUGE building at the wrong time. COVID gave them an excuse to sell it and couch it as "the power of remote work." Well, you can look at work in two ways. One: As long as my employees get their job done, then I don't care where they are. That means they look at work as a checklist, and very one dimensional. Technology does not replace what human interaction provides. BUT -- how are they feeling? Two: People need people, and culture creation is not a virtual experience. People are social creatures. The watercooler effect is powerful. Also, not everyone WANTS to be in their house 24x7. UGH. People need a BREAK. I see this as a cost move -- short-term gain -- and later, it will have an impact. Managing people remotely is VERY hard, and not everyone is good at it. People are very clear that at best, a hybrid system is possible, but no one wants to be at home forever. It's not healthy OR productive. Customer service, product dev -- anything that requires collaboration takes a HUGE hit. BOTTOM LINE: this will yield some short term gains on the cash line, but the long term will have negative implications on the people line. That's the BIGGER cost and the bigger danger to long term survival.
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