Is Remote Work Hurting Our Economy?

No matter how you slice and dice it, commuting to work is beneficial for our economy. Due to the pandemic, remote work became the norm and employees have greatly leaned into this new dynamic. People are slowly reintegrating into the workplace, but some people are lagging behind. Leaving this freshly adapted lifestyle that appeals to certain individuals more is difficult to part from but comes with its own costs.

The economy benefits from people using the train to get to work, grabbing a bagel for lunch, or even grabbing a newspaper from the corner store. When we stay at home, a lot of those purchases aren’t made and our economy isn’t being stimulated as much. While online purchases may have increased, local businesses have taken the bigger hits which can be seen after countless have gone under. It’s imperative to our local economy that we contribute and create interactions as it benefits the group instead of the individual.

Office culture has also taken a hit as resistance to returning to the workplace has become increasingly common. Many employees have stated that they are willing to take a pay cut in return for the ability to continue their remote work. People have acclimated to the conditions and seemingly enjoy the benefits of working from home, but this takes away from the office culture and social interactions that could be occurring in a shared space. Many businesses worked hard to incorporate remote work within their culture, but this step is less indefinite as a cohesive workplace is generally the most productive and successful.

The Delta variant has certainly put a hold on the idea of a full return to work, although lesser capacities are more than possible. With the CDC changing their mask guidelines recently, it is further proof that we have to wait and see the progression of the virus before we can get people back out in the subways, coffee shops, and wherever your commuting journey takes you.

-Azaan Moledina

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