So I know everybody is taking about moving away from cities because WFH will presumably become the norm. But my holding company, WPP, is still talking about moving all of us to it’s new WPP campus (I know this already exists in other cities) by 2022, and they’re showing no signs of changing their minds. So how realistic is it that we’ll be WFH forever after this? Change is hard for big companies, and I think by next year, assuming the virus is under control, we’ll mostly be back at our desks.

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I’m WPP too - there’s literally no way WFH will be the new norm. I think what’s more likely is a mix of remote work, but you’ll still need to live near a designated office. The whole campus thing is to save money on leases and likely encourage more inter-agency business. Hoteling will also save them money, so that’s a given. Also, if WPP let’s someone live in Tampa, but they mostly work on New York business and have to travel to New York all the time, who pays for the travel? The client? How does that serve the business? Think like a holding company...

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So many people are taking about moving away for cheaper cost of living while working remotely. I worry for the people that’ve actually done it, cause I think by this time next year companies won’t be so cool with it.

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We prob won’t we going back to normal until there’s a vaccine and for that to happen everything has to go well, and when that happens everyone has to get vaccinated before that can happen. So if all the ifs go well, you’re looking at summer 2021 more likely fall 2021, if all the ifs go well. After a year and something of WFH lots of things will be different. People will be all over. I don’t think going back to normal will be like oh ok, we’re going back tomorrow. We are also buying a house in a smaller city and we’ll see what happens next year.

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Also, google just announced WFH until summer 2021. I do think companies have to announce these long term deadlines so people can better plan their lives. People thinking we’re going back in September is ridiculous.

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WFH is definitely not becoming the norm. You’re right, the large majority of us will all be back at our desks in major cities by this time next year

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People are talking about it, but I think that’s just as unrealistic as saying we’ll go back to 100% in-office when it’s all over. It’ll be a mix - so I bet to attract talent when we do start living our lives again, hot offices will have to be even more impressive to make people willing to go in.

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The WPP shift is like moving an oil freighter. Given terms on leases of property it’s been in the works for a decade. It’s not like renewing leases on major nyc properties can be very fluid. WPP co-location shift will still happen. I think how wfh flexibility changes we’re still figuring out, but it will change. Proof of concept exists and some of the old concerns no longer hold up.

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I’ve been in the WPP space in Chicago - there’s zero social distancing there. Literally sitting in tables. it’s hotel style so they could social distance by limiting capacity. They have some work to do for people to be back in the office at any capacity any time soon.

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Can’t speak for WPP, but it will be a combination of being in the office, travel for clients, and WFH. So, you may end up going into the office but not having a permanent spot (hoteling).

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Agree it’s horrendous

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WFH will NOT be the norm. It will revert back to “sneaking a day off” as soon as we all get vaccinated.

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It will be more prevalent though. My agency will be doing a ~50/50 mix. This reduces commute, making my guys hourly wage go up instantly. It also allows for moving further out the city, again making their wage effectively larger due to reduced col. That makes my same dollar more valuable than a competing agency that's fully in office in the talent fight. Next up we have my overhead. We now need give or take half the space, and it can be less accessible, so it's cheaper a couple ways. That means I can be more competitive. So yeah. Will it be the norm? Not for most, all the time, but it'll have an impact. The legacies may not, they can barely handle their people already, but the more nimble spots will continue to leap ahead.

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A friend of mine just bought a house in another province for his family cause our city is so expensive, and he’s counting on his job to remain remote. With his current agency I’m sure he got sign off, but I wondered about when he changes jobs. He seems to think remote will be standard and bought a house on that... I think in a few years when he needs a new gig and nobody wants to hire someone in a diff time zone they can’t meet in person he’ll have some regrets. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Yeah, all the leverage is going to be with the companies rather than the individuals for at least a few years too given the state of the economy and the high rates of unemployment

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Remote work will only be increasing - tech companies and our clients are heading that way for myriad reasons and that will create downwind pressure on ad agencies. Not to mention, holding companies love the idea of reducing real estate costs.

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Well, whoever sold that campus internally is gonna look real dumb if they don't use it, so that's the deciding factor here. The good news is these people don't last too long, and the next one is gonna want to do something big and edgy out the gate so they'll probably reverse the clearly stupid stance. In the meantime everyone will be impacted in an adverse, but really unmeasurable way that leads to no one addressing anything.

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Curious to hear more about this WPP campus. Can you share more info? Like which agencies and what city? I’m currently at WT LA and I haven’t heard this yet.

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Count the skyscrapers in your city, multiply it for every American city, multiply it by office rent paid, land price and tax and see if WFH will be the norm. I doubt. Ton of tax money and real estate businesses have been built on office spaces, they will not go away. Reconfigure? Maybe. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Excessive flying for client meetings though, that will change. Cause that was stupid to beging with.

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They will do things the old way until they can’t afford to.

Where is this new WPP campus you mentioned??

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