Return to the office?

Some employers are demanding remote workers return to the office but a majority want to stay at home. Lessons from remote and in-person work this hour.

Listen 49:30

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently told employees they’re expected back in the office for at least 40 hours a week and said those who didn’t comply would “depart” the company. He’s not alone in his disdain for remote work—but his inflexible position on a full return to office puts him in the minority of business leaders, who have loosened up to the idea of a hybrid workplace over the last two years.

With steady productivity, happier workers and strong profits at some companies, reverting to the old ways of the in-office grind has become hard to justify. But concerns about a possible recession and questions about the fairness of who gets to work from home—and who doesn’t—have bosses around the country trying to balance business needs with worker demands. This hour, we’ll discuss the future of work. What do we miss by never visiting the office, and how many work from home days is too many? And will employees lose some of the power they gained in the pandemic?


Callum Borchers, Wall Street Journal “On the Clock” columnist @callumborchers

Anita Woolley,  associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business @awoolley95

We Recommend

The Wall Street Journal, Think Working From Home Won’t Hurt Your Career? Don’t Be So Sure “Sure, you can hit your performance targets from the kitchen table and wear out the “raise hand” button on Zoom. But a colleague who chats up the boss when the meeting is over and goes for a drink after hours may get ahead.”

NPR, The idea of working in the office, all day, every day? No thanks, say workers “Working from home isn’t possible in many jobs. But for those who have the option, it’s now evident that it is feasible, even beneficial.”

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