telecommuting remote work 1

Remote Work

and the City, 1




at least survey (2) know/knew/known
allow carry on telecommute
fix come off bottom line
impact version committed
lore flexibility permanent
gap for sure unemployment
hoard effectively drug store
fellow recognize collaboration
transit downsize blow/blew/blown (2)
reduce major (2) concentration
exist receipt (2) reconstruct
retail employee on steroids
ripple sweet spot ripple effect
urban complex real estate
rural critical (2) remote (2)
deli maintain commercial (2)
rely in theory commerce
feature make sure entertainment
a given challenge metropolitan
tragic profound hit/hit/hit (2)
ability struggle go/went/gone
cease frustrate understand/understood/understood
exist transition what’s going on
rate employer lose/lost/lost
wide recession in other words
rough stand to component
benefit massive think/thought/thought
cost space (2) opportunity
gain attractive leave/left/left
income analytic bring/brought/brought
plenty scale (3) groundswell
reach circulate quality of life
genie on board the genie’s out of the bottle
hire bright (2) chances are






If you work in an office chances are you’ve been working from home and possibly will continue to for an unknown number of months. The idea has always been that one day you would return to the office.

But what if you didn’t?

Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics: “Telecommuting goes back 40 years.”

Reporter in 1980: “This equipment here will allow him to carry on normal business activities without ever going to an office away from home.

“Jack Millis was a rocket scientist. And he was just coming off a rocket project. And somebody challenged him: ‘Hey if you can put a man on the moon, why don’t you fix the problem of traffic?’ And he said, ‘Okay I will.’

And at the time it was, ‘Oh this is going to change the world; we’re all going to work remotely . . . that didn’t really happen. Only about four percent (4%) of the US workforce works at home half time or more.”

And that’s about to change: the list of companies committed to some version of permanent work from home is growing. And many employees want that flexibility.

Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics: “In the US, eighty-eight percent (88%) say they want to continue working from home at least part of the time.

And the sweet spot is two to three days a week. It’s a sweet spot for employers too, because at that point they can start to reconstruct their office space to be used for collaboration and communication, recognizing that home can be the place for concentration.”

A recent survey found that sixty-eight percent (68%) of large companies’ CEOs plan to downsize their office space. And that will likely be a massive blow to major cities.

Adie Tomer, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program: “Cities do not exist without commerce. They are effectively like marketplaces on steroids. And they’re a really critical component of the modern economy.”

And the ripple effects of workers staying home impact more than just commercial real estate.

Adie Tomer, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program: “Same difference for all of those urban retailers that service workers during a daily basis.

So that’s everything from your deli, to your local drugstore, to even bright entertainment complexes that serve workers both during the day and certainly after it.

Major impacts on transportation: emptier highways and roadways — which in theory is great news for the people who continue to travel.

But is a major impact for the state and local governments that rely on gas tax receipts that actually help make sure to maintain the quality of those roads.

And even more profound impacts on our public transportation systems of which metropolitan New York City has seen just really, really tragic numbers at scale.

But transit agencies all over the county, even in small metropolitan areas have been hit really hard by this feature.”

Small business owners like Eddie Travers who has a restaurant in New York City could struggle to keep the doors open.

Eddie Traevers, Owner, Fraunces Tavern: “You know the tourists are gone the business people are gone, and a lot of the locals are gone.

You know a lot of business people are leaving New York and working from home and having the ability to work at home. I guess it frustrates me because people don’t understand what’s got what’s going on here.”

The question is not whether cities will cease to exist or even lose their lore, but it’s what working from home could do to urban disparity.

Adie Tomer, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program: “Unemployment rates, which are already lower among the college educated, that gap is actually widening.

So in other words, lower educated workers from a formal sense are experiencing unemployment at a higher rate than they typically would including from past recessions.

So we can immediately connect that to the travels if you will of many of these high skill, high educated workers that are still employed; but they’re staying at home.”

But what might be a rough transition for the largest metropolitan areas, the rest of the country could stand to benefit.

Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics: “People are already moving out of cities in part because of covid but in part because they think that in the future they’re going to work from home.

And they want to live in a place that’s cheaper we’re probably going into a recession. So companies are going to be looking at the opportunity for reducing costs.

Adie Tomer, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program: “We have been talking at the Brookings Metro Program for years now; but the idea of superstar cities hoarding if you will so much of the economic gains for the nation.

And where that leaves the other markets that in many ways have been on the outside looking in.

Now would be attractive for them to to bring in new workers, to bring in those higher incomes and to circulate in their economies?

But it’s not a given on what scale workers will do this. What we know for sure is that there is plentiful supply of other metropolitan areas that can offer a different kind of basically quality of life and certainly cost of living.

Kate Lister, President, Global Workplace Analytics: “I think it’s reached now a groundswell; the genie’s out of the bottle.

I think that as these big companies say, ‘this is what we’re going to do: we’re going to have people working from home,’ if you’re not on board, you’re not going to be able to hire the people you need. You’re not going to get the best and the brightest from around the world. And that’s going to affect your bottom line.”

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1/2 (One-half). The work-life of many people changed in 2020. True or false? What happened then? How did people’s work-lives change?

1/3 (One-third). Is telecommuting, remote work or working from home a new concept? Was it pioneered by an office manager or business administrator?

1/4 (One-fourth). Did telecommuting catch on? Was it widespread? Did many employees work from home until recently?

1/5 (One-fifth). How do businesses and white-collar workers feel about remote work? What do they think about it?

1/8 (One-eighth). Office space, size and function will remain the same. Is this right or wrong? Will everything be normal again? Will things return to business as usual?

1/10 (One-tenth). Everyone will benefit and be happy with a flexible work schedule and environment. Is this correct or incorrect?

1/100 (One-one-hundredth). “Superstar cities (have been) hoarding so much of the economic gains for the nation. What does this mean?

2/3 (Two-thirds). “I think it’s reached now a groundswell; the genie’s out of the bottle.” What was the scholar referring to?


2/5 (Two-fifths). I have been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Yes or no? If yes, how has it affected you? Has this affected your friends or colleagues?

3/4 (Three-fourths). I prefer working from home. I love working from home. Is this entirely true, mostly true, in the middle, yes-and-no, partially true, largely false or totally false?

3/5 (Three-fifths). Some or many people love company and office environments. What do you think?

3/100 (Three-one-hundredths). Have businesses in your area suffered?

4/5 (Four-fifths). What might happen in the future?

5/6 (Five-sixths). What is your ideal economic and work situation?

9/10 (Nine-tenths). Should people, companies and governments do anything?


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