Manhattan Faces a Reckoning if Working From Home Becomes the Norm


In another life your editor worked on this issue with members of a transpartisan group. We considered the benefits for workers, companies, and the environment if many more people worked from home. We concluded that productivity likely would increase. Traffic on roads would likely decrease. Pollution would also decrease with reduced traffic, and families would have more options in the areas of child rearing and the care of other loved ones. Generally it seemed a good idea. The major stumbling block was that corporate America feared letting workers off the leash. But we concluded that if the work got done, the work got done. That, after all is why companies pay people. Not to fill seats. In the age of the Internet why not work from home? If one can.

Of course this would constitute a major societal shift and places like Manhattan and many urban cores would become less attractive.


But now, as the pandemic eases its grip, companies are considering not just how to safely bring back employees, but whether all of them need to come back at all. They were forced by the crisis to figure out how to function productively with workers operating from home — and realized unexpectedly that it was not all bad.

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