From the Awl, one of the best articles on the future of work I’ve read in a while:
As the nineties saw the rise of virtual offices based around email and webpages, workers transitioned to a scenario where their email addresses became more than the replacement for a physical mailbox. A corporate job became official when you received your email address: Your first message introduced yourself to coworkers with a company-wide blast; your last was a goodbye note to those same people. Then your email history, and you, were erased. In between, perhaps, thousands of messages: projects in various phases of completion, proof of work, meeting notes. Those, more than your presence in a cubicle, were the evidence of your employment and subsequent value to a company.
Our way of laying off now reflects our modes of communication. The story of a Florida restaurant canning its entire staff via text message brought out the Carrie Bradshaw Post-it references, but no one was surprised at the delivery method. Zirtual, a virtual assistant company, announced it was folding in an overnight mass email with no warning. George Zimmer, of Men’s Warehouse guarantees and the company’s founder, chairman, spokesperson, essentially found out he was fired via email. Rafa Benítez, the coach of Real Madrid (a soccer team of some sort?), found out he’d been replaced when the owner of the team announced it in a press conference. A Twitter employee received the news after a Yahoo notification on his phone sent him to a tweet from Jack Dorsey, the company’s CEO, announcing eight percent of its workforce was cut.
Thanks to my friend @vialde for the tip.