Several of the world's leading technology companies—including Shopify, the largest in Canada—have announced that they don't ever plan to return to full-time office work. Other companies plan to stagger the return of employees as the pandemic wanes. Some may have to refit their entire floor plans in order to maintain social distancing if they want their staff back in the office. None of that is easy, or cheap.
We might not know what the future of work looks like once a vaccine for COVID-19 is found, but it's safe to say that office work will never be the same. And what we've learned in the past few months, under the pressure of an emergency in a desperate situation, is not a fair proxy for what remote work in a normal world would look like. So what do we know about 'working from home' and productivity outside of a pandemic? What data will companies use to inform their decisions about how many employees return how often? And what should employees be doing to prepare for a future that might involve a four-day work week, or a drastically different schedule?
GUEST: Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University