Summary of You’re Not Going Back to Normal Office Life for a Long, Long Time

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Reporter Maxwell Strachan lays out the challenges facing businesses and their employees as the United States grapples with the novel coronavirus and a crippled economy. What will have to happen for workers to return to an office environment and work productively again face-to-face? What changes can you expect to be long-term – or even permanent? There will be a new normal, but not the normal you knew.

About the Author

Maxwell Strachan, a senior editor at Vice, was a senior reporter at HuffPost, covering media, culture and politics.

 

Summary

Most employees currently working from home (WFH) will be doing so longer than they expect or prefer.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees who work remotely that they should expect to stay home through May 2020. He suggested the company could return workers to their offices even later than that – perhaps not until the summer of 2020.

However, such a course of action is unlikely and may be unwise. Health experts and economists believe Zuckerberg spoke prematurely. They are much less sanguine about the prospect of anything resembling normal office life returning any time soon. They emphasize that working from home should be a priority for quite a while. Employees will return to a new office dynamic, one of barely occupied spaces, quarantined elevators, mandatory masks and few face-to-face meetings.

Governmental and institutional guidelines encourage companies to promote telework for employees whose physical presence is not essential.

Guidelines from President Donald Trump’s administration recommend that employers “encourage telework.” Think...


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