Accelerated by a global pandemic, we may be seeing the largest shift in how certain kinds of work are done since the large-scale offshoring of manufacturing in the late 1970s. The changing location of work accompanies changing norms and expectations about work itself.
Many organizations seem content, even pleased, to blur the line between work and home life, potentially reducing expenses and increasing employees’ hours on the job—though the effects on actual productivity are far from clear. From employees’ perspective, bringing work home has the potential for both real benefits and new pressures.
We’re interested in ventures that have a human-centered perspective on this next phase of work, creating tools, systems, spaces, and incentives that consider and demonstrate what is best for people and the organization—taking into account healthy amounts of screen time and in-person time, new pathways for professional development, and even living situations for remote employees.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.