For over a year, most white-collar workers have been doing our jobs primarily remotely as a response to the pandemic. We’ve been doing so mostly with off-the-shelf tools that have existed for a while — phones and email augmented by chat apps (Slack and Microsoft Teams) and videoconferencing (famously Zoom, but there are many others) and the fact that general modern office software has a lot of collaborative tools.
One school of thought is that since these tools existed before the pandemic but people mostly worked in offices, that shows the tools are not that good. Another school of thought is that the pandemic forced individuals and institutions to get over a learning curve with regard to the tools, and their use won’t be sticky.
I don’t particularly think I can solve that debate — it’s clearly some of both. Many currently remote office workers will go back to the office. But I think many others will not. Will the ratio be 80:20 or 20:80, or something in between? I’m not really sure I…
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