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submitted 9 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I have posted this on Reddit (askeconomics) a while back but got no good replies. Copying it here because I don't want to send traffic to Reddit.

What do you think?

I see a big push to take employees back to the office. I personally don't mind either working remote or in the office, but I think big companies tend to think rationally in terms of cost/benefit and I haven't seen a convincing explanation yet of why they are so keen to have everyone back.

If remote work was just as productive as in-person, a remote-only company could use it to be more efficient than their work-in-office competitors, so I assume there's no conclusive evidence that this is the case. But I haven't seen conclusive evidence of the contrary either, and I think employers would have good reason to trumpet any findings at least internally to their employees ("we've seen KPI so-and-so drop with everyone working from home" or "project X was severely delayed by lack of in-person coordination" wouldn't make everyone happy to return in presence, but at least it would make a good argument for a manager to explain to their team)

Instead, all I keep hearing is inspirational wish-wash like "we value the power of working together". Which is fine, but why are we valuing it more than the cost of office space?

On the side of employees, I often see arguments like "these companies made a big investment in offices and now they don't want to look stupid by leaving them empty". But all these large companies have spent billions to acquire smaller companies/products and dropped them without a second thought. I can't believe the same companies would now be so sentimentally attached to office buildings if it made any economic sense to close them.

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[-] [email protected] 1 points 9 months ago

They're wasting money on big buildings and rent.

Also, they want control of your activity while your on the clock. It bothers them if you're more productive, get the same amount of work done but can relax more at home. Which is the way it should be. If I can do the same work in 4 hours than I can in 8, I should get paid the same, and be able to relax, instead of being made to stay at work for 8hrs and be given even more things to do to just stay busy.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 9 months ago

I am surprised they don't just cut costs by not having a physical location then? Or is this just while waiting out lease agreements.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 9 months ago

Some smaller companies are doing this. It makes them more agile financially and actually helps their growth to not have a building to pay for. I don’t understand the larger companies.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 9 months ago

They spent millions building a facility or are locked into 5/10 year leases. I've also heard it's because cities are dying, no one in offices to eat 'down the street' at the food shops, people don't stop at the bar on the way home, no impulse shopping trip because you're already out.

this post was submitted on 15 Aug 2023
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