Debate over remote working has erupted since the announce­ment that Yahoo! will be sus­pending it, with reac­tions ranging from Richard Branson’s asser­tion that it shows out­dated thinking, to rebut­tals arguing it is the right call for Yahoo!’s spe­cific sit­u­a­tion (and if employees don’t like it, they should quit).

Com­pa­nies, and the employees that com­prise them, often fall in love with pre­dictability of day-​​to-​​day oper­ating pro­ce­dures, stan­dards, norms, values, and chan­nels for com­mu­ni­cating that may remain stable for extended periods. But how people interact with each other and sys­tems changes over time as employees and the lead­er­ship team are replaced. That process will invari­ably take the company’s cul­ture in a dif­ferent direction.

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