A third of Basecamp’s workers resign after a ban on talking politics.

About a third of Basecamp’s employees have said they are resigning after the company, which makes productivity software, announced new policies banning workplace conversations about politics.

Jason Fried, Basecamp’s chief executive, detailed the policies in a blog post on Monday, calling “societal and political discussions” on company messaging tools “a major distraction.” He wrote that the company would also ban committees, cut benefits such as a fitness allowance (with employees receiving the equivalent cash value) and stop “lingering and dwelling on past decisions.”

Basecamp had 57 employees, including Mr. Fried, when the announcement was made, according to a staff list on its website. Since then, at least 20 of them have posted publicly that they intend to resign or have already resigned, according to a tally by The New York Times. Basecamp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Fried and David Hansson, two of Basecamp’s founders, have published several books about workplace culture, and news of their latest management philosophy was met with a mix of applause and criticism on social media.

details of a dispute within the company that contributed to the decision to ban political talk, Mr. Hansson wrote in another blog post that Basecamp had offered severance of up to six months of salary to employees who disagreed with the founders’ choice.

“We’ve committed to a deeply controversial stance,” Mr. Hansson, Basecamp’s chief technology officer, wrote. “Some employees are relieved, others are infuriated, and that pretty well describes much of the public debate around this too.”

Coinbase, a start-up that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, announced a similar ban last year, with a similar offer to give severance to employees who disagreed. The company said 60 of its employees had resigned, about 5 percent of its work force.

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The Googleplex of the Future Has Privacy Robots, Meeting Tents and Your Very Own Balloon Wall

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google’s first office was a cluttered Silicon Valley garage crammed with desks resting on sawhorses.

In 2003, five years after its founding, the company moved into a sprawling campus called the Googleplex. The airy, open offices and whimsical common spaces set a standard for what an innovative workplace was supposed to look like. Over the years, the amenities piled up. The food was free, and so were buses to and from work: Getting to the office, and staying there all day, was easy.

Now, the company that once redefined how an employer treats its workers is trying to redefine the office itself. Google is creating a post-pandemic workplace that will accommodate employees who got used to working from home over the past year and don’t want to be in the office all the time anymore.

The company will encourage — but not mandate — that employees be vaccinated when they start returning to the office, probably in September. At first, the interior of Google’s buildings may not appear all that different. But over the next year or so, Google will try out new office designs in millions of square feet of space, or about 10 percent of its global work spaces.

Reuters conference in December that the company was committed to making hybrid work possible, because there was an opportunity for “tremendous improvement” in productivity and the ability to pull in more people to the work force.

“No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model,” Mr. Pichai wrote in an email a few weeks later announcing the flexible workweek. “It will be interesting to try.”

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Biden’s Big Speech, by the Numbers

The S.E.C.’s new enforcement chief resigns unexpectedly. Days into her new job, Alex Oh, a former partner at Paul, Weiss, stepped down after a federal court ruling involving one of her former clients, Exxon Mobil. In a case involving claims of human rights abuses in Indonesia, the presiding judge rebuked Exxon’s legal team for derogatory comments about opposing counsel.

Endeavor will finally go public. The entertainment giant co-founded by Ari Emanuel, which owns the WME talent agency and the UFC mixed martial arts league, raised $511 million in its I.P.O. at a $10 billion valuation, the top of its expected price range. Its successful offering comes two years after it called off an I.P.O. amid a lukewarm reception from investors.

Verizon considers selling its old-guard internet media business. The telecom giant is exploring the sale of assets like AOL and Yahoo, according to The Wall Street Journal. Potential buyers include Apollo Global Management, and the WSJ reports that a deal could be valued at up to $5 billion. Verizon spent $9 billion buying the once-dominant web giants.

For many cryptocurrency supporters and investors, U.S. regulatory approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund represents the holy grail. It would allow the crypto-curious to get exposure to Bitcoin without having to buy the tokens themselves, signifying that digital assets are really, truly mainstream. But it’s not meant to be — yet. Yesterday, the S.E.C. delayed a decision on a Bitcoin E.T.F. proposal from the investment manager VanEck, saying it needs more time but offering no other explanation.

Delay is not denial, and it may be a good sign, Todd Cipperman, the founder of the compliance services firm CCS, told DealBook. When considering the concept of a crypto E.T.F. in 2018, the S.E.C. raised questions about investor protection issues and put a “wet blanket on the whole idea,” he said. Now crypto is much bigger, and Gary Gensler, who taught courses about blockchain technology at M.I.T., is chair of the S.E.C. His expertise doesn’t guarantee success for crypto E.T.F.s, but it will be easier for an expert in the field to approve them, Cipperman suggested.

The deadline can be extended again. The S.E.C. gave itself until mid-June, with the option to take more time, but it must decide before year’s end. The regulator has rejected every proposal to date, starting with the first Bitcoin E.T.F. pitch in 2013, presented by the Winklevoss twins, which was eventually rejected in 2017 (and again in 2018). There are several E.T.F. proposals on the table now, including one from the traditional finance giant Fidelity.

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How to Design a Hybrid Workplace

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As companies reopen their offices, they are deciding how the virtual work arrangements they’ve relied on during the pandemic will factor into their long-term plans — or not.

Google’s “flexible workweek” calls for employees to spend at least three days a week in the office and the rest at home. Microsoft’s “hybrid workplace” means most employees can spend up to half their time working remotely. Ford Motor’s “flexible hybrid work model” leaves it up to workers and their managers to decide how much time they need to spend in the office.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase don’t have names for their postpandemic policies, because they expect most employees to return to the office for most of the time. Goldman’s C.E.O., David Solomon, called working from home an “aberration,” and JPMorgan’s chief, Jamie Dimon, said it had “serious weaknesses.”

But many companies have hatched a postpandemic plan in which employees return to the office for some of the time while mixing in more work from home than before. The appeal of this compromise is clear: Employers hope to give employees the flexibility and focus that come from working at home without sacrificing the in-person connections of the office.

How, exactly, to strike this balance can be less obvious.

Should companies require employees to be in the office on certain days? For a set number of days each week? How should those in the office accommodate colleagues working remotely?

To help answer pressing questions like these, DealBook assembled advice from experts about where to start, how to avoid common pitfalls, and the most important things to consider when not everyone is working in the same place.

a comparison of two accounting companies, researchers found that a flatter hierarchy helped facilitate virtual work, because remote workers didn’t feel too far from the center of the organization. Our own research also found a strong correlation between employee autonomy and productivity outside the office.

  • What is the culture of the company? Companies with an individualistic culture seem to make a smoother transition to virtual work; by contrast, companies that stress “us” over “me” have been slower to adopt online collaboration.

  • What is each team’s schedule? If schedules are similar and work is interdependent, it’s good to encourage everyone to work roughly at the same time. If employees live in different time zones, it’s better to set a few common windows for real-time communications like videoconferences, and let most other work unfold through email or document sharing.

These factors make it easier for managers to address the most common challenges faced by hybrid teams. Take communication barriers: What if half the team is in the office and the other half is dialing in from home? If their locations are dispersed (so the Zoom callers can’t make it into the office) and the organization is flat and decentralized, the company could use a buddy system to make each person in the room responsible for keeping one particular Zoom caller fully in the conversation. If the caller misses something, the in-room buddy can fill in that person via text chat; if the caller is being talked over, the in-room buddy can step in to ensure that the person is heard.

Another common dilemma is deciding exactly who will be in the office on which days. This is further complicated by a significant gap between executive and employee perspectives, with most executives feeling that company culture depends on people spending at least three days a week in the office and most employees saying they want to spend at least three days a week working remotely.

monthly surveys about remote work that my research team has conducted since May, we’ve found that 30 percent of U.S. employees never want to return to working in the office, while 25 percent never want to spend another day working from home. Given such different views, it seems natural to let the workers choose. One manager told me: “I treat my team like adults. They get to decide when and where they work as long as they get their jobs done.”

But this approach raises two concerns. One is that it’s likely to result in “mixed mode,” the widely disliked situation when some people are at home and others are at the office, all appearing in one Zoom box in the conference room.

The second, less obvious concern is the risk to diversity. It turns out that who wants to work from home after the pandemic is not random. In our research we found that among college graduates with young children, women want to work from home full time almost 50 percent more often than men do.

This is problematic given evidence that working from home while your colleagues are in the office can hurt your chance of promotion. In a study I ran in China at a large multinational company, we randomly assigned volunteers to work remotely or remain in the office. Remote employees had a 50 percent lower rate of promotion after 21 months than their colleagues in the office.

categories of team interactions, which companies can consider when deciding how to structure work — regardless of where it happens.

Content interactions: communication about tasks, such as sharing feedback while sitting side by side. When work went virtual, more of these interactions took place asynchronously, through digital work tools such as Slack. One manager said communication had improved because individuals had more time to think.

Bounce interactions: new idea generation, as with an impromptu whiteboard brainstorming session. In the virtual version, individuals often generated ideas on their own, and then they and others emailed them back and forth. That made it harder to align with others; some teams adjusted by moving brainstorming sessions to videoconferences.

dealbook@nytimes.com.

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Email, a Modern Expression of Passive Aggression

One of my responsibilities is managing a team in another state. That department is used to a lot of freedom. I’ve implemented structure, and it’s going smoothly. Recently, I’ve come upon a challenge of managing a long-term employee who is also a mother of two small kids.

Prepandemic, this employee would drop her work to stay home if her child was sick. Her role is client facing and appointment-based so rescheduling a full day of appointments on a moment’s notice is disruptive, but when it happens occasionally it’s not a big deal. Now, however, with Covid-19 scares and potential exposures, she has been missing a lot of work and even demanding — on multiple occasions — 14 days off for her kids’ school quarantines. We talked it through and I thought we had come to an agreement about how to proceed, but it came up again and she plainly stated she’s not interested in making a backup plan for these not-so-isolated instances.

She’s loyal and good at her job, albeit doing the minimum. I want to be supportive and provide the appropriate accommodations for parenthood. But how much is too much? At what point is she taking advantage of her status as a senior employee?

— Anonymous, New York

With the pandemic, we’re all having to be more flexible about schedules and fulfilling responsibilities. I commend you for supporting this woman as both an employee and a mother. All employers should do that. When you and your employee mutually agree on a way forward and she doesn’t hold up her part of the bargain, you have a problem that must be managed. She doesn’t have to be interested in making a backup plan for meeting her responsibilities, but she needs to do it anyway. It isn’t up to her.

Refusing to have a backup plan for when the work of raising her family must take precedence is … irresponsible and strange. That is definitely too much. She is, indeed, taking advantage of her seniority. Give her a timeline and your expectations for developing contingencies when necessary. You should also outline consequences if she doesn’t comply and be prepared to follow through on those consequences. There is a mutually beneficial way to accommodate parenthood while supporting your staff members in performing their jobs well. I am confident that you will find it.

I’m in grad school and I work pretty closely with a colleague in another graduate program at a nearby university. Every time I email him directly, he copies my (very wonderful but extremely overworked) adviser on his response. This really irks me because I intentionally leave her off less important email chains, because I know how out of control her work inbox is and I don’t want to clutter it with more irrelevant messages. I also think this makes me look bad — as if I messed up and forgot to include her on all of these email chains, when in fact I intentionally left her off them.

Should I confront my colleague (a fellow grad student) about this behavior and ask him to stop? Or should I let it go and accept that this is just the way he emails?

— Lauren, California

People play all kinds of ridiculous games with email. Think of it as modern expressions of passive aggression. Your colleague is cc’ing your boss so she knows what he is up to. He is trying to make his work visible to a person with power. Or, he doesn’t respect your authority or competence and is looping in the person whose authority he does respect. It’s transparent and annoying, but just let it go. You certainly can ask him to stop but, in doing so, you might create unnecessary drama. This would irk me, too, for the record, but it’s a nuisance you can process in your group chat or with friends over drinks once you’re all vaccinated.

As for your leaving your boss off emails and your concerns about looking bad, it’s a thoughtful gesture, but it is not your job to manage her inbox. She is a grown woman who can handle her professional communication. If she doesn’t want to be copied on this pedant’s emails, she is perfectly capable of letting him know. If it will make you feel better, you can embrace the petty and copy his boss when you email him. He’ll get the message fairly quickly.

Roxane Gay is the author, most recently, of “Hunger” and a contributing opinion writer. Write to her at workfriend@nytimes.com.

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After Pandemic, Shrinking Need for Office Space Could Crush Landlords

Roughly 17.3 percent of all office space in Manhattan is available for lease, the highest proportion in at least three decades. Asking rents on the island have dropped to just over $74 a square foot, from nearly $82 at the beginning of 2020, according to a recent report by the real estate services company Newmark. Elsewhere, asking rents have largely stayed flat from a year ago, including in Boston and Houston, but have climbed slightly in Chicago.

The Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo, whose United States headquarters are in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, recently relocated to another office building nearby, an open layout with tables designed for its work force of 130 people who will come into the office only a few days a week. Many of its office workers will keep working remotely after the pandemic, while some employees, like those in the marketing department, will hold meetings occasionally in SoHo.

“As a leader, it has been challenging because meeting people face-to-face is so important,” said Daisuke Tsukagoshi, the chief executive of Uniqlo USA. “However, since we are a Japanese company with global reach, the need for remote collaboration among many centers has always been part of our culture.”

The stock prices of the big landlords, which are often structured as real estate investment trusts that pass almost all of their profit to investors, trade well below their previous highs, even as the wider stock market and some companies in other industries like airlines and hotels that were hit hard by the pandemic have hit new highs. Shares of Boston Properties, one of the largest office landlords, are down 29 percent from the prepandemic high. SL Green, a major New York landlord, is 26 percent lower.

Fitch Ratings estimated that office landlords’ profits would fall 15 percent if companies allowed workers to be at home just one and a half days a week on average. Three days at home could slash income by 30 percent.

Senior executives at property companies claim not to be worried. They argue that working from home will quickly fade once most of the country is vaccinated. Their reasons to think this? They say many corporate executives have told them that it is hard to effectively get workers to collaborate or train young professionals when they are not together.

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Sorry, Sometimes You Do Have to Be Uncomfortable

That said, you can do only so much and, frankly, you have done enough. You may well be surrounded by people who are unwilling or uninterested in living in the real world where diversity exists. If that’s the case, it could be that you need to move to an organization whose values are more aligned with yours.

I work for a nonprofit, where I’ve been employed for most of the past 30-plus years. I’m a bit of a workaholic. A few weeks ago, my manager asked everyone at a meeting to say what our stress level is, on a one to 10 scale. I said the truth: 10. One week later, the manager’s theme for her morning email was time management: Basically, anyone who says she is busy or has too much work actually has poor time management skills. I considered this to be a public shaming of me and one colleague who also self-reported a high level of stress. The email is not the only thing I don’t like about the manager, but it feels like the proverbial straw, the latest in a stream of disrespectful actions. Do all bosses do this? If I decide to stick it out until I’m eligible for Social Security, what’s the best approach?

— Anonymous, Madison, Wis.

Your manager is passive aggressive and has some toxic ideas about work culture. I don’t know that she was shaming you as much as she was judging you, which isn’t much better. But who cares what she thinks? You’re stressed out. Most people are. Your manager is just being petty. Ignore her silly provocations. You’ve been at your organization for more than 30 years. You can see the light at the end of the employment tunnel. You can and will get through this. If you have the energy for it, you can certainly look for new employment. Or you can just stick it out. You didn’t share how much longer you have to work to qualify for Social Security benefits, but I am guessing it’s fewer than 10 years. It’s time to figure out who you are beyond your work. You can be great at your job without being a workaholic. Keep doing your best, but find other things outside of work to put some of that intensity into. As I’ve written before in this column, the job will never love you. Do not invest the whole of your identity in what you do for a living because when the job refuses to love you back, when it lets you down, you’re left with nothing and you deserve much better.

I’m in the process of hiring a new writer. She impressed us all in the interview process. We made her an offer and she verbally accepted. Then she sent us some questions about details of the offer. We sent some benefit details and vague info on our growth numbers, given the nondisclosure agreement she signed.

The day her acceptance was due back, she phoned human resources — not me, the hiring manager — to say she had another offer at a startlingly high salary. She said she’d take our offer for an additional $10,000. I really doubt the level of the second offer. But others wanted to push forward and gave her a $5,000 bump. When I phoned with the counteroffer, I mentioned her competing offer and she brushed it off — ‘Oh, that, I wouldn’t take that. I’d like to work for you.’

I feel like we’ve been played. I can’t shake the feeling that she lied to us and went around me. What do I do with this feeling?

— Anonymous

Your new employee is not taking money out of your bank account. Why are you so pressed about her negotiating tactics or how much she is being paid? You don’t know for certain that she is lying about the competing offer but, if she is, she is not the first nor will she be the last person to manifest an imaginary job offer to negotiate higher compensation. It sounds as if she was savvy, did her homework and shot her shot. Let go of the feeling that she lied and circumvented your authority. She has hustle. She will, hopefully, bring that hustle to the job every day and be a great employee. If not, you will handle the matter accordingly. I understand why you are irked about the way she went about this, but that’s your bruised ego talking. Nurse the bruise and move on. You’re still the boss.

Roxane Gay is the author, most recently, of “Hunger” and a contributing opinion writer. Write to her at workfriend@nytimes.com.

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Returning to the Office Sparks Anxiety and Dread for Some

Last fall, after some of the restrictions had eased in Germany, Trivago, a travel company based in Düsseldorf, let employees work remotely three weeks of the month and then spend one week in the office. The office weeks were designed for collaboration and were treated like celebrations, with balloons hanging from the ceilings and employees plied with coffee and muffins, said Anja Honnefelder, the chief people officer and general counsel of the company.

But the experiment failed, she said. “We saw that many of the people only came back for two or three days during the week because it felt unnatural, all of the social interactions,” said Ms. Honnefelder, who described her staff as young and made up largely of software engineers and data scientists. “They felt like they couldn’t get their work done and that it was disorienting.”

So, in January, Trivago announced that employees would come back to the office two days a week, but it has not been able to implement the plan because Germany has imposed new restrictions because of a rise in coronavirus cases.

“What we think will happen is that employees will use the two days to socialize, have extended lunches and work with their teams because they know, for the rest of the week, they will have time to focus and manage their own work and not be distracted,” Ms. Honnefelder said.

The ability to focus on work without distractions from other employees is the main reason Mr. Jaakola, the Minneapolis software engineer, does not want to return to the office. He admits he finds dealing with other people kind of “draining,” and hopes his company won’t force him to return to the office, even for a few days a week.

“My sense is that my company will try to go back to how things were before and I think they’ll quickly realize there are a lot of remote possibilities out there for us,” he said. “If they try to force us to come in without a legitimate reason, I can get another job if I don’t want to come in.”

Gillian Friedman and Lauren Hirsch contributed reporting.

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