Remote Work Isn’t the Future After All

Joe Giddens/PA Wire via ZUMA

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Well knock me over with a feather:

Four months ago, employees at many U.S. companies went home and did something incredible: They got their work done, seemingly without missing a beat. Executives were amazed at how well their workers performed remotely, even while juggling child care and the distractions of home….Some companies even vowed to give up their physical office spaces entirely.

Now, as the work-from-home experiment stretches on, some cracks are starting to emerge. Projects take longer. Training is tougher. Hiring and integrating new employees, more complicated. Some employers say their workers appear less connected and bosses fear that younger professionals aren’t developing at the same rate as they would in offices, sitting next to colleagues and absorbing how they do their jobs.

Months into a pandemic that rapidly reshaped how companies operate, an increasing number of executives now say that remote work, while necessary for safety much of this year, is not their preferred long-term solution once the coronavirus crisis passes.

No kidding. Anyone with a room temperature IQ could see this coming, but we’re so enthralled with Silicon Valley boosterism that for a while it became conventional wisdom that Zoom was our future. I guess the prospect of making workers pay for their own office space (aka their homes) was so tantalizing that it wiped out common sense for a while. Welcome back to reality, American businesses.

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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