Here to stay

I’m not one to hate blog generally, but I do want to issue a corrective to this piece in the Times about how working from home may be unhealthy. The author rightly notes that being more sedentary is correlated with poor health, as is being isolated. But neither of those conditions is specific to remote work: getting to an office often requires long commutes spent sitting around, leaching time and energy that could be used more productively. And working in an office is hardly a guarantee of socialization, as many a cubicle worker will attest. My biggest bone with this piece, though, is the assertion that remote work has increased levels of stress and anxiety—without mention of the literal pandemic that has coincided with the huge increase in remote work. There are in fact lots of reasons for anxiety levels to have increased, and forcing people to commute back to an office solves none of them. As I’ve often reminded myself, remote work in a pandemic (and we are still in a pandemic) is not the same as remote work outside of it. But just as importantly: no matter how many op-eds call for a return to office, remote work just isn’t going back in the box.