Article Spotlight: The Great Return
Tim Smart reports in U.S News & World Reports how companies are “calling workers back to the office at COVID-19.” Although citing the end of COVID-19 may differ between companies and epidemiologists, one thing is sure – some cannot wait to return, and others never want to.
Corporate Leads the Way
Smart asserts, “Citigroup, BNY Mellon, Google, and Twitter are just some of the big names that have told employees to plan for working in their offices this month, with many offering hybrid options such as a couple of days in the office and a couple of days remote work. “It’s been almost two years since we closed our offices and travel, and I’m excited to announce that we’re ready to fully open up business travel and all our offices around the world!” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told employees on Wednesday. Agrawal added that the company would be flexible with schedules. “So too, the decisions about where you work, whether you feel safe traveling for business, and what events you attend should be yours,” he said.”
Urban Area See the Greatest Impacts
Large businesses in urban areas may benefit from a return to the office the most. Adds Smart, “The moves could have broad ramifications for the economy, especially for urban areas such as New York, Boston and San Francisco…” Activity in central business districts will pick up – dining, takeout, services and retail sales to workers there, janitorial and guard services, et cetera,” says Erica Groshen, senior economics adviser at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “By how much, we don’t know.”
A generational difference and a tight labor market create many opportunities to be flexible. From the article, “With workers in the driver’s seat, a February survey by the Pew Research Center found that 59% of workers who say their jobs can mainly be done from home are working from home all or most of the time. Of those, 83% said they were working from home even before the omicron variant of the coronavirus began to spread across the country. But Pew and others have found that the ability and desire to work from home, even part of the time, skews demographically toward those with college degrees and higher incomes…Ron Hetrick, senior labor economist at Emsi Burning Glass, says there is a sharp divide among workers by age on who want to return to the office and who wants to stay remote. “The younger generation love the hybrid idea, but they also love the face to face,” Hetrick says. “The older generation, they were the yuppies of the ’80s, they worked 70 hours a week” and now prefer not to be in the office all time…You can be picky when you have a lot of opportunities,” he says.
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