I was planning to post something today about our trip to Lesotho – which it turns out is the most amazing country, more on that next time – but as Autodesk Neuchatel employees have now received definitive communication regarding our future employment, it seems more appropriate to talk about that.
It has now been confirmed that the Neuchatel office is definitely going to close its doors. According to Swiss law, employees had a 2-week consultation period to find alternatives to closing the office and – in this case, more importantly – to negotiate a more favourable social plan for those impacted. Few people realistically expected the closure to be avoided, though, and – sure enough – that’s the news we received yesterday.
Many of you have sent expressions of concern and support over the last fortnight. It turns out that I’m one of the lucky ones: I’ve been offered the chance to work from home. This won’t impact my job in a significant way: for much of my career at Autodesk I’ve worked remotely, one way or another, even if I’ve had a local office to visit from time to time. I’ll be continuing to work with the Autodesk Research team in Toronto, primarily on Dasher 360 but also on AR and VR.
As I’m currently on an extended trip with my family, I’m clearly not around to hear firsthand how my friends in the Neuchatel office have been impacted. It seems the vast majority of my Neuchatel colleagues have been asked either to move to another office or to leave the company, though, so while I feel relieved for myself and my family, I feel hugely sad for those who received less welcome news, yesterday.
It’s been a wonderful ride… Autodesk Neuchatel is the most diverse and interesting office I’ve worked in, filled with hugely talented people who have become like a family to me. The office will remain open until the end of June 2018, so hopefully I’ll be able to spend time with many of them during the first half of next year.