By Bryce Covert, The New York Times, July 20, 2021
With more than half of American adults fully vaccinated against Covid, employers and employees alike have turned their eyes back to the office. They’re locked in a conflict over when they’ll return and, when they do, what the return will look like. But we shouldn’t just be talking about the parameters of how we get work done in a postpandemic world. We should be pushing to do less of it.
In truth, the debate over the return to the office is fraught. Employers are used to being able to dictate when and where employees work, but we have now discovered that a lot of work can be done at odd hours between remote school lessons and from home offices or even the comfort of one’s bed.
So now there’s a tense push and pull over when and how much people should start commuting and how much power over the question employees can exert. Everyone is focused on how we will make work work after such a severe shock to the system for how things used to get done. But the ultimate answer won’t be found in hybrid remote and in-person offices or even in letting employees shift their hours around. The way to make work work is to cut it back.