The hidden but very real cost of working from home

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In a time of social distancing and remote work, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon raised a surprising topic during his latest earnings call with Wall Street analysts: togetherness. “Our firm has always had a team-oriented apprenticeship culture, and we benefit from being and working together,” he explained. While many CEOs seem in no hurry to refill their office buildings, and several have told employees they need never return to the office, Solomon made it clear that he wants his colleagues back in the office as soon as is safely possible. He himself has never stopped going to the office through the pandemic.

Solomon’s desire to bring his employees back together physically even as the coronavirus continues to rage around the globe, particularly in the U.S., isn’t rooted in any simple calculation of efficiency. Facebook, Fujitsu, Nationwide, Otis, Siemens, Twitter, and other major companies have announced that large portions of their workforces may or must work remotely from now on. It saves money and may increase productivity, managers say. Many employees prefer it. A recent survey by Korn Ferry found that 64% of workers feel that they’re more productive at home.

But a group of hyper-successful contrarians—Apple, Amazon, Goldman, Google, and others—have pointedly not offered the indefinite-WFH option. They want employees back physically together. Considerable evidence supports their stance. It also shows that when employers offer indefinite WFH, they’re messing with something more powerful than they may realize.

Source : https://fortune.com/2020/08/10/remote-work-from-home-cost-zoom-innovation-google-goldman-sachs/

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