Politics is a highly divisive topic, with an infinite amount of issues that people can hold different opinions on, so it’s no wonder that, in order to prevent any conflict, Coinbase have announced that they’re now an ‘apolitical’ company and that they’re leaving politics out of the workplace.
This new policy isn’t just between co-workers in the office, but the CEO has decided that Coinbase will no longer get involved in any political debates or activism. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, claims the company should focus on their product rather than get distracted by politics, or allow it to create internal divisions, claiming similar has happened to Google and Facebook. Although Coinbase’s CEO acknowledged that those who get involved in politics are often well-intentioned, he did not believe his business should have to take any political stance unless it was directly related to cryptocurrency.
The situation only gets more unusual, however, because Armstrong has also offered generous pay-outs to every member of staff who decides to leave because of this decision. The CEO, knowing this change would be controversial after he received backlash for not commenting on the Black Lives Matter movement, offered those who wanted to leave 6 months’ salary and 6 months of health insurance cover. With more than half of the company earning over $135k and with top earners bringing home almost $300k, Armstrong must really feel passionate about this new policy!
With so many businesses directly involved in political matters, it will be interesting to see whether Coinbase made a good decision by instead becoming ‘apolitical’. Ben & Jerrys, for example, are a great model for brand activism, ensuring their ice cream is made with cruelty-free and fair-trade produce, all their employees are well paid, and they comment directly on political matters. During the BLM protests, for example, they compiled a list of “concrete steps to take to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms”. Other companies followed by announcing their support for the movement and funding relevant organisations. Maybe we will see Coinbase regret their permanent neutrality as growing numbers of people now pledge their brand loyalty to businesses they agree with, using their power as customers to influence politics indirectly.
TT Story of the week
Qatalog, a British software company who have developed a platform to improve working from home, have raised £15m in their latest venture round.
Have you heard?
Backlash as ballerinas are told to become software engineers…
Well… that’s how some people this week have interpreted the controversial poster published by the UK government.
Although the government published multiple posters using a variety of people who could retrain and work in the tech industry, the one showing Fatima the ballerina really caught the public’s attention. For months now, creative industries have really struggled to stay afloat as people are urged to stay away from venues and galleries. The poster of the ballerina being encouraged to take up IT is seen by many as tactless. People argued that the poster implied that a job in the arts is of low value compared to one in IT, despite the creative industries being a large part of UK culture, as well as contributing £10bn a year to the economy. With thousands across the UK still hoping to return to their career on the stage or in the studio, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is left defending the tone-deaf poster, despite himself encouraging struggling artists to leave their sector and “adapt” to “fresh and new opportunities”.
Meet you at the studio
With millions of people now enjoying the benefits of remote working, the tech-firm Dropbox has announced that their offices will be converted to ‘meeting studios’. The new Dropbox studios have been branded as on-demand co-working spaces for those who want to return to the office, but overall the company are encouraging their workers to enjoy their new freedom. Committed to the permanent switch to home-working, Dropbox have even created a Virtual First policy allowing people to stay working remotely even once their company-wide office ban is lifted. As part of this new move Dropbox will even be looking into making working hours more flexible to suit employees working from different time zones, not only giving their employees more freedom, but also allowing the company to hire people from around the globe.
Word of the week
a quick, witty, or pointed remark or retort.
The recruiter was the only one laughing at his zinger as he tried to seal the deal.