Companies large and small have made the decision to adopt remote working policies permanently, but some analysts say this transition could have a big impact on the economy of big cities.
According to a Gallup poll, over half of U.S. workers were working from home full-time and of those remote workers, only a quarter said they would voluntarily come back to the workspace. Knowing this, it is no surprise that major corporations like Facebook and Twitter are adopting remote working in the long-term.
Although remote working policies have been found to boost productivity, it has also been linked to increased isolation and stress due to lack of socialization and boundaries.
Nicholas Bloom, an economist at Stanford University who has studied remote work, adds that remote working gives educated, higher earning workers more of an advantage. Employees in the retail, healthcare, transport or other customer service-oriented positions are not so lucky.
Additionally, Bloom and other experts believe the pivot away from dense offices will lead to a drop in big city centers. More specifically, the adoption of remote working could lead technology companies to leave expensive areas like the Bay Area and move into affordable suburbs. However, some believe that this exodus could be a good thing for cities outside of metropolitan areas.
“This may be a way to spread the benefits of the new economy more widely on a geographical basis,” said Edward Alden, CFR senior fellow.