The FORT Podcast: Chris Herd & Jonathan Wasserstrum – A Conversation on Remote Work – Pros & Cons

Chris Herd is the Founder & CEO at Firstbase, which helps companies build infrastructure with a remote-first mindset. He takes the side of remote work being most beneficial in the future of work.

Jonathan Wasserstrum is the Co-Founder and CEO of SquareFoot, which helps companies find commercial real estate and office space. Jonathan takes the side of in-person work being most beneficial in the future of work.

On this episode, Chris Powers moderates a debate between Chris Herd and Jonathan about which method of running business will lead to greater levels of success. Enjoy!

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(02:51) – Jonathan and Chris’ Background and What They’re Doing Today

(05:00) – What does remote work mean to each of you and how do you think about the concept?

(10:09) – Jonathan – Do you define SquareFoot as a remote-first or office-first company?

(12:07) – How are leaders deciding whether they’ll be an office or remote company?

(16:36 ) –  Trust Between Employers and Employees

(18:56) – What’s the Cadence of Coming Together as a Team and Being Able to Work Remotely

(25:40) – How does size or prestige of a company impact the ability of employees to influence the decision on remote vs. in person?

(31:20) – Is there any danger to your long-term career-worth by choosing to leave a company that mandates in-office work?

(35:47 ) – Relationship/Friendship Building In-Office vs. Remote

No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings

(46:27) – What are the signals or data points to see what matters in either taking a company remote or discovering how much time is ‘needed’ in-office over the next 5 years?

(51:03) –  Where are a lot of these remote radicals going to live and work?

(55:27) – Data on Where People Want to Start Technology Companies Pre and Post Covid

(1:01:19) –  How do you think about the next generation of workers coming out of school and only understanding a remote-work life. Do they miss out on mentorship or human interaction?

(1:10:08) – How do promotions get delegated on in-person workers and remote?

(1:11:43) – Trust and Tracking within Remote Companies

(1:16:25) – Wrap Up & Closing Statements


Episode Summary

Chris Herd and Jonathan Wasserstrum, known for their deep-rooted insights into the real estate sector and remote work trends, grace the conversation with their expertise. Herd, a passionate advocate for remote work, and Wasserstrum, a seasoned real estate expert, delve into the intricate dynamics shaping the future of work and its impact on real estate.

The discussion opens with a comprehensive exploration of the substantial shift towards remote work, a trend accelerated by the global pandemic. An estimated 25 to 30 million individuals in the U.S. alone are transitioning to remote work, marking a significant departure from the traditional office-based work model. This monumental shift is projected to encompass approximately 80 million individuals worldwide by 2030, underscoring a transformative change in global work patterns. This evolution carries profound implications for the real estate sector, particularly in the realm of office space requirements, as the demand for traditional office environments is poised for a significant decline.

The conversation progresses, shedding light on the changing landscape of office spaces. As the workforce increasingly embraces remote work, the necessity for expansive office locales diminishes, giving rise to a surge in demand for co-working spaces and smaller, more flexible office environments. This evolution in office space requirements underscores the pivotal role of adaptability and innovation in real estate strategies, ensuring alignment with the rapidly evolving workforce trends.

Herd and Wasserstrum, with their unparalleled expertise, further unravel the financial dimensions intertwined with these shifting real estate demands. The dialogue offers a meticulous analysis of the cost implications for businesses, navigating the balance between maintaining expansive office spaces and the potential financial alleviation offered by smaller, more efficient work environments. This financial exploration provides businesses with crucial insights, aiding in the strategic recalibration of their real estate portfolios to ensure optimal financial efficiency and adaptability to the evolving market dynamics.

As the discussion unfolds, the long-term ramifications of these remote work trends on the real estate sector come to the forefront. The conversation delves into the sustainability of these evolving trends, offering a comprehensive exploration of whether the shift towards remote work and the resultant transformation in real estate dynamics represents a fleeting change or a permanent evolution in the global work and real estate landscape.

In the global context, the dialogue broadens to encompass the worldwide implications for real estate. The discussion examines the diverse regional adaptations to the burgeoning remote work trends, providing a panoramic view of the global real estate market adaptations. This exploration delves into the intricate factors shaping regional real estate markets, including location-specific dynamics, infrastructural developments, and local remote work proliferation, offering a comprehensive global perspective on the real estate evolution.

Herd and Wasserstrum further illuminate the path towards innovative real estate strategies for businesses in this new era of widespread remote work. The dialogue underscores the importance of staying ahead of the curve, ensuring businesses are equipped with the strategic insights and approaches necessary to optimize their real estate investments in alignment with the emerging market trends.

The conversation culminates with an exploration of the technological advancements revolutionizing the real estate sector. Herd and Wasserstrum highlight the transformative impact of cutting-edge technological tools and platforms in enhancing real estate management and investment decisions, ensuring businesses are adeptly navigating the evolving real estate landscape, fortified by technological innovation.

The FORT is produced by Straight Up Podcasts

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