I’m regularly surprised at how quickly I got used to (nearly) full-time remote work following 3/20. What are your thoughts/understandings as to whether it will continue indefinitely, and why or why not? I understand this does not apply to folk in retail, healthcare, in service jobs, manufacturing, construction, education, or settings where they have to directly interact with customers or clients.
How many employees (in the US? Elsewhere?) are what I consider “office workers”, who basically used to report to an office building where they sat at a desk or in a cubicle or office, and did paper/phone/computer work. I assume most of them quickly went to 100% remote work. How many of them have had to return to the office what percentage of the time?
I read the other day that Chicago area commuter rail ridership was at 40% of pre-COVID. The article said that if commuters don’t return, the system should be re-envisioned as something other than a commuter service.
Our office holds hearings. The prior system was that the standard hearing was held in person, in our offices. Video or telephone hearings were only allowed in unusual situations. Different classes of employees were allowed different amounts of remote work. Some were allowed to work at home 100%. I was allowed 2 days per week.
Now, the STANDARD is for phone hearings, with fewer than 10% being scheduled in person. I can work at home any day that I do not have in in person hearing. My impression is that most people involved prefer having the hearings via phone.
I wonder if at some point TPTB will decide that we have to stop what seems to be working just fine, and head back into the office. Nearly 3 years in, I have seen no significant drop off in quality or quantity - no reason we CAN’T continue with most employees at home most of the time. If we DON’T, I wonder when TPTB will take the step of jettisoning unused office space, consolidating offices, etc.