Wendell Berry has written about the salutary effects of living and working in the same place, but I’m not sure this is what he had in mind….

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new sort of living/work arrangement.

It’s past midnight, but many staffers at Enplug, an advertising-technology company, are milling about the office in their T-shirts and boxers, writing code and talking strategy. Others are already in bed, sound asleep.

Enplug’s office is a six-bedroom, three-bathroom Ranch-style home in the ritzy Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. Twelve of the company’s 37 employees, including the chief executive, live and work there.

The idea is to live and breathe work—24 hours a day, seven days a week—without the commute and few outside distractions.

To live and breathe work. 24 hours a day. Seven days a week. Few distractions. Sound attractive?

More:

At the Enplug house, work literally gets done around the clock. Engineers often pull all-night coding sessions and roll out of bed around midday, while account managers wake up hours earlier to attend client meetings that are typically held offsite in cafes or clients’ offices.

“We work 24/7. We code. We go to bed. We wake up. We code,” says Alex Ross, 23, the firm’s chief technology officer and one of Ms. Liu’s roommates.

Two of the employees/roommates are married, and though privacy is something of an issue, the economic advantages are worth the sacrifice.

 

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Mark T. Mitchell
Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. He is the author Michael Polanyi: The Art of Knowing and The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place, and Community in a Global Age (Potomac Books, 2012). He is co-editor of another book titled, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry. Currently he is writing a book on private property. In 2008-9, while on sabbatical at Princeton University, he and Jeremy Beer hatched a plan to start a website dedicated to political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism. A group of like-minded people quickly formed around these ideas, and in March 2009, FPR was launched. Although he was raised in Montana and still occasionally longs for the west, he lives in Virginia with his wife, three sons and one daughter where they are in the process of turning a few acres into a small farm. See books written by Mark Mitchell.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Slaves used to live and work in the same place too.

    I used to work for a 24/7 operation, but I worked in the office. Once I got the laptop and virtual network access, I might be at home but I was never truly off the clock. I got calls at all hours of the night and was expected to log in and do something. My wife used to work as an administrative assistant and worked from home all the time. Since the work kept coming in from the people she supported, she was often online checking the work load — and often working — hours before and after normal business hours. A good deal for the company, but not such a good deal for her.

    My grandmother lived on a farm and I spent a lot of time there growing up, so I have some experience of that life and work. There is something natural about farm life, and working on a farm is truly working at home. There is even something natural , or at least acceptable, about going to someplace else to work, doing your work, clocking out, and going home. I can’t even imagine working for Enplug, stuck in a box all the time with the entire staff, and never having my own place to go to and have a normal life, never really having a home.

  2. How is this different in principle from that of a communal lodge or lord’s house?

    Here in Colorado the Mexican immigrants pack their houses tighter with multiple families.

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