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Not everything will go back to the way it used to be (and some shouldn’t)

As someone who has worked from home for over a decade now, there are some things that I’ve grown very accustomed to that I hope will become more mainstream.

Here are just a handful:

  1. Companies focusing more on output and productivity instead of hours
  2. Companies realizing that comfortable employees perform better
  3. The end of meetings that have to fit the scheduled time
  4. Employees realizing they owe their jobs as much as their jobs owe them – very little
  5. Flexibility and autonomy are key

The “Great Pause,” as some have started calling it, is a big wake up call.

The Great Pause Was an Economic Revolution [Foreign Policy] – “Someone once said that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. It is a plausible formulation, even in its comical effect. And yet, the current crisis proved the opposite. Capitalism was remarkably easy to stop—or at least to interrupt. All that was needed was a genuine environmental crisis, a crisis where the external conditions for a capitalist economy were suddenly removed.”

But not everything has to do with work – because while Covid-19 may have paused the economy, but it didn’t pause a lot of other things.

New Habits Learned in 2020 (So Far) [Emily Guy Birken] – “It has been heartening to see a sweeping change in sentiment across the United States (and the world) in regards to Black Lives Matter. I have seen such a change in myself, as well. While I have always supported the movement, it was on the back burner in my head. I felt that voting and occasional donations were enough to show my support. Not only do I want to keep hold of the level of passion I feel now, I want to make sure that this passion remains strong throughout our society. We are seeing major changes that can be good first steps toward reckoning with our country’s history of systemic and overt racism.”

FIRE in this time [Vicki Robin] – “Against the backdrop of the fire and rage in Minneapolis following the police murder of George Floyd, reminiscent of police beating of Rodney King in LA in 1991, nearly 30 years ago, with many black deaths in between, what could possibly be the relationship of financial independence and the FIRE community to the unraveling in our society?

Are we quiescent on the edges, tending to our own business of careful managing of our money to reach financial independence? Are we concerned but powerless given our debts and gratitude for secure jobs we want to keep? Do we wonder what the connection might be between our brilliant strategy of buying our freedom through building capital and the unfair system that affords us the opportunity? Is the unrest close at hand for you or far away – and does that make a difference in how we respond?” (thanks to Michelle at Frugality and Freedom for sharing this with me!)

5 reasons why we shouldn’t rush to ‘get back to normal’ [The Twenty Percent] – “Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to get my hair done again and have drinks with friends. But, there are other aspects of ‘normality’ I think would be best left behind. This is particularly true for financial matters, as the current system does not work for enough people.”

A video to round out your day from Tim Harford at TEDGlobal 2011 about the God Complex – feels like a few of our leaders have this complex in spades (this was not a pointed political statement, watch the video to see what I mean):

See you tomorrow!