18 February 2020

Liam Hogan: “The ‘clerical companionship’ of workplaces was that communal trust in other people that had to exist when white-collar production was necessarily a team job. Consider a report: researchers or specialists worked the ‘machines’, analysts provided consideration, authors distilled the prose, editors cut and reordered, typists corrected, either typesetters created the printed product or designers produced a camera-ready copy, and a printer ran the whole lot through yet another machine for delivery. One person now does all of these jobs, most likely in the walled garden of production that is the Microsoft Office Suite. When we now vertically integrate our production completely and withdraw into the factories of ourselves, is it any wonder companionship at work is lacking?”