Remote is a New Medium

Remote work (and the technology that exists around it like Zoom and Slack) are a new medium. Those companies who recognize this are finding ways to more drastically adapt their work approach, and those who don’t are left doing the equivalent of radio broadcasts on television.

Is it any wonder people are unhappy? Instead of adapting to this new world of remote work, we’ve taken the worst of the office and amplified it. When I see this pattern I can’t help but turn to media studies and Marshall McLuhan. In his classic book Understanding Media, McLuhan explained that a “new medium is never an addition to an old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace. It never ceases to oppress the older media until it finds new shapes and positions for them.”