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The news
Working from home is better. Also, worse. Some companies believe remote working has made their workers more productive. Others bemoan lost collaboration opportunities. If those in the former camp are right, were the gains just temporary while workers feared losing their jobs? Are those in the latter camp overestimating whether water-cooler conversations actually happened—and added value? The answers to these questions may shape the future of white-collar work. [Economist]
How to lure people back to the office. Tech companies are reconfiguring their open-plan spaces to offer employees the collaboration and focus they have been missing at home. Get ready for moveable, soundproofed pods, cafe-style seating with outlets at every seat, high-backed couches, and green plants that allow workers to partially isolate. And for departments or groups that want to work together: clusters of desks. [WSJ]
There will be challenges in managing a workforce that is working partly remotely and partly in person.
Our insights
Why it matters. More than 60% of workers in the US economy cannot work remotely. For the rest, some remote work is here to stay—but not for everyone or for every workday. How much of this workplace disruption is likely to last? We commissioned a survey of 800 business executives around the world to find out.
The preliminary results are in. Across all sectors, 15% of the executives we surveyed said at least one-tenth of their employees could work remotely two or more days a week—more than twice as many who said so prepandemic. The numbers were even higher in the technology and financial sectors. See what else executives told us about what they’re expecting for the workplace of tomorrow.
— Edited by Mark Staples
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