Recently Tunku Varadarajan of the Wall Street Journal interviewed Edward Glaeser on whether the increases in working remotely due to the pandemic are likely to persist.
Glaeser notes that compared with the period before the pandemic, office attendance is still down 19% nationwide. In some large cities, it’s down considerably more, including being down more than 50% in San Francisco and 32% in New York and Boston.
Glaeser believes that a decline in working on site can be a particular problem for young workers:
“Cities—and face-to-face contact at work—have ‘this essential learning component that is valuable and crucial for workers who are young,’ [Glaeser] says. The acquisition of experience and improvement in productivity, ‘month by month, year by year,’ ensures that individual earnings are higher in cities than elsewhere.”
According to Glaeser, people who work remotely face a 50% reduction in the probably of being promoted.
Glaeser is not a fan of remote teaching:
“Delivering a lecture to 100 students on Zoom, he says, is ‘just a bad movie, a really bad movie. None of the magic that comes from live lecturing and live interaction with students is there when you’re doing it via Zoom.'”
There is much more in the article, which is well worth reading. It can be found here (a subscription may be required).