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Remote work isn’t the problem. Work is.

Remote work isn’t the problem. Work is.

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Employees want to work from home. Their bosses, however, can’t wait to get back to the office. Knowledge workers think being remote makes their jobs better, while managers worry the arrangement could cause the quality of work to suffer. But in scapegoating remote work, companies may be disguising the real scourge of creativity right now: too much work.

Executives were nearly three times more likely than non-executives to say they want to return to the office full time, according to Slack’s Future Forum Pulse survey. The report found that while nearly 80 percent of knowledge workers want flexibility in where they work — citing benefits ranging from work-life balance to lower anxiety at work and a better sense of belonging — their employers think that the arrangement will lead to a variety of ills, diminishing the company’s collaboration, creativity, and culture. These concerns track with another recent report from Northeastern University that found that more than half of C-suite executives were concerned about their workforce’s ability to be creative and innovative in a primarily remote work environment.

As the worst effects of the omicron variant start to wane, companies will again start to make noise about bringing people who’ve been working from home on their computers for the last two years back to the office. Thanks to an incredibly tight labor market, however, these employees have more leverage than they typically do to get what they want. How this plays out will shape how work is done for years to come.



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