Your office, forever changed


Data: Kastle Systems; Chart: Axios Visuals

This graphic sends an unmistakable message — on many bosses don't want to hear:

  • Never again will most office workers spend five-day, 40-hour weeks in physical buildings, jammed with humans. 

COVID will fade. But its legacy of habituating tens of millions of us to work from anywhere isn't going anywhere.

Welcome to the working world's Virtual Reality Era:

  • This new habit of convenience and comfort will be impossible to break for any company that relies on technologists and other hard-to-find workers. 
  • A slew of big companies — Nationwide Insurance, Pinterest, Coinbase, Dropbox — have already permanently switched to remote-first, shuttering most or all of their offices.

 Meta execs (including Mark Zuckerberg himself) are scattering far from HQ in Silicon Valley — to Israel, the U.K., Hawaii — to push the limits of remote leadership, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Some CEOs are in denial, believing things will revert to normal. The data says Fat chance, boss. Here's why:

  1. People bolted: 17% of office workers say they're working remotely because they moved away, a Pew study found. Just look at the soaring population and housing prices in America's new boomtowns and tech hubsMurfreesboro, Tenn. — a suburb of Nashville — has grown 20% during the pandemic, The New York Times notes.
  2. They demand flexibility: 75% of executives want to come back to the office three or more days a week — compared with just 37% of rank-and-file employees, according to a new Slack Future Forum report. 
  3. They'll quit: 11 million jobs are open in America. If a company forces people to come in, they'll go look for a job at one of the hundreds of startups and Fortune 500 companies offering remote work.
  • Half of the workers would rather quit than be told to return full-time, a new survey from the HR consultancy Robert Half found.

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