We may have left office jobs in the prepandemic world.
In offices around the country, mail has piled up. Plants have died. Coffee cups sit unwashed, with a ring of old espresso cemented to the bottom. In some buildings, the lights have been left on since March — and who knows when someone will be back to turn them off.
According to Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, we’re in the middle of “a structural, seismic shift” in the workplace. The majority of employees booted out of the office earlier this year don’t want to come back, says Liz Fosslien, head of content at human resources company Humu. So have we seen the end of the “out of office” email, water cooler talk and cubicle-sharing? When people finally return to the office, what will it look like? And where will it be?
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