Is this the end of remote work?


In the past, companies would assign desk roles to their employees and expect them to come into the office on a regular basis. If you felt like working from home for a day or two, your options were limited. Enabling remote work has been one of the biggest changes to company culture in recent years. It’s b
ecome part of modern business expectations, enabling people to work wherever they want, whenever they want. However, a recent article from Bloomberg raises some concerns about how long this trend will last. The article points out that remote work is on the decline and more companies are moving back towards desk roles with fixed locations. Is this the end of remote work? Is it just going through a temporary phase? Or is there something deeper going on here?

What’s causing the change?

The remote work trend is a relatively new one. Although it’s certainly become more common over the past decade, it’s not as if it’s been standard practice for decades. We don’t have a long track record to examine, which means that we have to consider what might cause a shift in direction. There are a few factors that might help to explain this change. When remote work first became popular, it was often because startups wanted to have the flexibility to hire talent where they found it. It was a tool used by smaller companies, often in the technology sector, to compete with larger organizations. Now that remote work has become more common, larger companies are getting in on the action. It’s possible that larger companies are finding new challenges with remote work, challenges that smaller organizations may not have encountered.

Remote work has its problems

The main problem with making constant remote work the norm is that it can create a culture of dependence. Remote workers rely on their organizations to provide them with a home, so to speak. Remote workers aren’t supposed to just sit at home on their own. They’re supposed to be contributing to a team, meeting with each other in person, and generally operating as part of an organization. But if remote work becomes the rule rather than the exception, then the remote workers could be left feeling like outsiders. In extreme cases, teams experiencing this type of isolation may start to disintegrate. This can create problems for the organization and make it less likely that they’ll achieve their goals.

Desk roles are making a comeback

While there are a number of reasons that might cause organizations to move towards remote work, there are also reasons that might cause them to move towards desk roles. This change is perhaps less mysterious. When remote work first became popular, it felt like an exciting new frontier. Remote workers and remote managers often have to make an extra effort to stay connected with each other, but it’s certainly possible. Now that remote work has been normalized, it’s easy for organizations to forget that it’s not the natural state of work. Desk roles are the norm and are often seen as more reliable than remote work.

The remote worker “problem”

One of the other reasons that organizations might want to go back to desk roles is that it’s easier to control the quality of work from fixed locations than from dispersed locations. Remote workers may find it more difficult to focus and stay on track. Remote workers can experience their fair share of problems, and some of these could be bleeding over into the workplace and causing problems. If employees are working from home, there are fewer ways to enforce rules and keep things in check. Some remote workers, who have been hired to work independently, might be struggling and falling behind. In these cases, it could be better to bring them into the office and help them to succeed.

When remote work first came onto the scene, it was often seen as a perk and a way to stand out from the competition. Now that it’s become more common, it’s possible that some organizations are realizing that it has its own disadvantages. Remote work can alienate workers who feel like they don’t have a place in the organization. It can also make it harder to keep an eye on workers and enforce rules. Ultimately, there are reasons why organizations may want to go back to desk roles, but there are also reasons why they may want to stick with remote work. These two options don’t need to be mutually exclusive, but organizations need to be mindful of their reasons for choosing one over the other.

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