There has been a lot written about how the pandemic affects businesses very differently. One subject that maybe hasn’t received as much attention as it should: how businesses cope with the long-term impact of remote work on productivity and employees’ mental health.
Google’s decision to delay a return to work for its employees until June of next year puts that subject in the spotlight. Assuming that date sticks—and of course, there is no particular reason why it will—it would mean 15 months of remote work. And yet, there already is evidence that after just four months, remote work is hurting productivity at some companies, as this Wall Street Journal story detailed last week. Indeed, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said a couple of months ago that productivity was down in some parts of the company.