U.S. Workers Likely to Return to the Office Post-Pandemic, WSJ

New York, NY, December 18, 2020-“Why the Office Isn’t Going Away” considers that while remote work is prevalent in the pandemic, Americans will be returning to the workplace once the pandemic has passed.

“It is true that surveys consistently find that employees working from home report better work-life balance, which shouldn’t be surprising given that conflicts about needing to be in both places at the same time go away when work and home are the same place. They also consistently report wanting to have more opportunities to work from home after the pandemic, also not surprising because they wanted that before. But that is not the same as never going into an office again.

“Yes, the work seems to be getting done remotely, but business is also down for most companies, so there has been less of it that needs to be done. Employees pulled together around remote work in a crisis atmosphere and got things done, but we can’t expect that they will keep doing that forever, especially when the pandemic fades. Employers are also investing hugely now in monitoring technology to check up on what those home workers are doing. That does not suggest that they are OK with how remote work has been going. 

“Even though they may be expensive, offices do matter. The physical interactions they provide do contribute to getting work done, especially projects and tasks that require collaboration. Architecture matters by structuring our interactions, in good ways if done well. The rituals of office life-coffee breaks and the informal connections we make there-matter, as does our general office social life, which helps keep us engaged. Organizational culture matters, and that is conveyed by these interactions. It is hard to keep that going via occasional video chats. CEOs know this; their single biggest concern about remote work arrangements now is how to keep their culture functioning.”