People Who Feel More Productive When Working At Home Are Not The Best Judges Of Their Own Productivity

Managers and employees are clashing about working from home.

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Over the past 18 months, millions of workers were thrust into a natural experiment. They were suddenly required to work from home. And now that the pandemic is subsiding, employers are trying terminate that natural experiment. In many fields, employees are resisting, and are demanding flexible work schedules. With the so-called "Great Resignation," some employees are actually leaving their jobs to avoid in-person work requirements.

A common thread in this debate is whether employees are more, or less productive working at home. I've read articles written on both sides of the issue. I don't quite know what to conclude.

What I do know, is that employees demanding to work from home are not the best judges of their capabilities. Most people over-evaluate their abilities. It is human nature. In my experiences, students consistently think they have a handle on material until they flub a tough question or bomb an exam. Then they are quickly brought back to reality. That over-confidence does not vanish at graduation. Workers, at all levels, often view themselves as far more productive and effective than they are. Outside of Lake Wobegon, not everyone can be above average.

Unsurprisingly, workers claim to be more effective by working at home. Objectively, there is less time wasted on the commute. At least superficially, workers had more time every day to work. But were workers actually more productive? Who knows. It's hard to measure pre-pandemic and post-pandemic norms.

It is also tough to generalize about productivity across all sorts of professions. Some jobs are done better in a workplace. Other jobs are done better at home. And some jobs require a mix. We really don't know what the correct balance is.

Fortunately, markets can help work this problem out. Some employers will offer flexible policies. Others will not. And workers can choose.

NEXT: Unnecessary Detail?

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  1. It’s too broad to say “people “. It really depends on your personality type. Some people are energized by being in a group, others are exhausted.

    1. It’s not even that — it’s the question of where one is on the spectrum between being a hard worker and being “retired in place.”

      For example, there are those who check their voice & emails while on vacation, responding or forwarding those that are urgent. And then there are those who don’t always do that when they are physically present.

      It’s a *lot* easier to loaf while working from home — I tried to have a conversation with a Verizon employee who purportedly was working from home but had to call him back later because he was driving somewhere at the time.

      OTOH, if you are the type of person who will work late in order to get the project done, where you work really doesn’t matter….

      1. I was thinking more in terms of Myers-Briggs. I, for example am am INTP, which means I pretty much only thrive when I am completely alone and left to do my thing at my pace. Some other types would probably drift off somewhere. My wife and I have worked from home for 9 years now. I love the commute, the hours sometimes not so much.

        I think it also depends on what you actually do.

  2. Travel is insanely stupid, dangerous, costly. Buildings are stupid. If there is a drop in productivity from working at home, it is miniscule compared to the cost and risk of those two attributes of work.

    That is why the internet should be better secured with the summary executions of all hackers.

    1. “Buildings are stupid.”

      Peak Behar?

      1. I will agree with his intent, the need of some companies to boast through the size of their headquarters buildings and how many people they can stuff into them does border on stupid.

        Apple pretty much proved it when they started demanding employees come back and fill up Apple One which has to be the most audacious corporate headquarters ever.

        1. There should be a labor law presumption. If the worker has to put hands on a person or on an object as part of a job, on site work may be required. In the absence of the requirement of physical contact, the presumption should be that it will done offsite. that includes all trials, hearings, depositions, legal meetings. All education except vocational education should be done off site, as should all accounting, creative arts, business administration, most engineering not in the field, most social sciences outside of field work.

          Transporting a dangerous crime kingpin back and forth to court for a 15 minute hearing is insane.

          1. I note a Muted User reply. Please, say, hi, to Queenie, Donnie and to Bernie. While regression to fourth grade rhetoric is a guilty pleasure, I got nothing of substance out of it. You are all Muted, Hon.

          2. If you follow a secretary around with a stop watch, you will find, she doing office work around 1 of 8 hours. That is a good one, keep her. Most time at the office is spent non-productively. One has to also measure the drop in toxic interaction when working at home, damaging office politics.

            1. “she doing office work around 1 of 8 hours. ”
              David,
              You obviously never knew how to keep a secretary busy.

              1. Basically, secretaries have to greet visitors. that is the only reason for their physical presence.

                1. That’s a receptionist.

          3. Some roles greatly benefit from the spontaneous creativity of unplanned human interaction.

            I get the sense that law is not one of those roles, and that lawyers have no idea wtf I’m talking about.

            1. A law associate found the back of an airline ticket was printed in the wrong font. That voided the $50000 limit of payment to crash victims, and markedly raised the payouts. That is pretty creative.

  3. My company is having that same argument with most workers and even many managers claiming that productivity went up when working from home despite objective measures of aggregate productivity being down for almost all departments.

    Personally, I was very unproductive at home compared to at work. When the company finally allowed us back in the building without restriction, my personal experience was that I got more done the first day back than I got done in the average week stuck at home.

    1. I used to work at an oil refinery. They are not operated well by workers working from home. If all the HR people stayed away, that would be good.
      Good that there are no examples of industries moving to where labor is cheaper. Office types in countries with a large English speaking population like the Philippines, India, or Jamaica could never take away jobs. Working remotely only works when those workers are only a little remote, so no worries there.

      1. Isn’t an oil refinery mostly gauges, valves, and temperatures?

        Those are the things that can be computer-controlled, and aren’t a lot of the processes now also controlled by computers for greater economy and less pollution?

        For example, it came out in the Lawrence (MA) gas explosions that the gas company controlled the pressure in the lines from somewhere like *Ohio*. (What happened was a maintenance crew disconnecting an old low-pressure line that still had an active computer sensor in it, the sensor called for gas and the computer increased the gas pressure in the *other* low pressure lines, which caused big problems.)

        And for some reason, the human being (in Ohio) who saw the pressure rising in the *other* low pressure lines either didn’t (or couldn’t) say “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” and stop it. But I digress.

        As I see it, if you can be in OHIO, then you can be at home in Massachusetts clicking your mouse there. Now as to the vulnerability that we’ve created with such a system, that’s another issue, but in a networked system, physical location is often irrelevant.

        1. IoT (allowing this to be run remotely) isn’t a good idea for dangerous facilities. I’d much rather have onsite workers in refineries, oil rigs, nuclear power plants than Homer Simpson AT HOME.

        2. Obviously you don’t remember the pipeline hack from a few months ago. Or the water discharge hack at a treatment facility about a month ago. The vulnerabilities were due to so many remotely controlled valves and sensors.

          Nothing is better remotely that can safely be done in person. Cheaper or easier, in some cases. But never better.

    2. I have heard a lot of line and middle managers claim that software developers (my original/primary profession) were broadly more productive during work-from-home periods, even according to objective measures. That is plausible to me for reasons that are somewhat specific to that field of endeavor; I do not know how well they generalize to other jobs.

      I found two modes for myself. When I had a clear queue of things to do, helping to create a proposal, I was able to be very productive. Once things reverted to a more typical (and vague) backlog, I found it hard to stay focused while working from home. For that reason, I am glad to be able to get back in the office.

      1. It will be interesting to see how the four day workweek pans out…

        1. About 50% of my office works either 4/10 or 9/80, and it generally works out fine. I mean, it sucks when you are in on a Friday and the person you want to talk to isn’t, but it’s less of an issue than hours variance. People that show up at 5am and people that show up at 11am don’t have that much overlap in schedules, either.

    3. “*I* was more productive because it was easier for me to ignore the needs of everyone else…”

    4. Did you have to deliver a product every day? An example would be to deliver a program for an app at a certain date.

  4. Productivity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Companies that are able to create a culture that makes remote work more effective will have an advantage at attracting those who want to work from home.

    And of course, as the Washingtonian lady pointed out, not everybody wants to work from home.

    1. This is a great point. You see so many companies claiming that they need to bring everyone back to the office as part of their “unique” culture. But yet somehow, everyone’s supposedly-unique culture has this identical characteristic.

      What will actual be unique, as TIP suggests, will be a company that manages to build a culture that really embraces remote and hybrid work and make its employees feel supported in that context.

    2. “Companies that are able to create a culture that makes remote work more effective” will also be more able to offshore their workforce.

      1. Sure. And it makes sense to do so if offshore workers have a comparative advantage over local workers working remotely.

  5. “A common thread in this debate is whether employees are more, or less productive working at home.” – Josh Blackman

    You can be certain of one thing. The driving force behind employees’ demand to work at home is NOT because they believe it improves their productivity.

  6. I’ve long believed that there is a strong social component of work. That people need direct personal formal and informal interaction with coworkers to exchange information, understand the dynamics, and verify their own experience. Essentially the modern version of the office water cooler. This is especially true of knowledge and creative workers. With everyone in a separate locations it is difficult to generate the necessary interaction.

    1. Depends on the type of work and the type of person. When I was in the office, most chit chat was about personal lives, not work. It detracted from productivity.

      Some HR departments have the notion that if you have a lot of friends at work, you are less likely to leave the company – which shows up in those dumb surveys they send out.

      Some fields have a strong bias towards extroverts, in which case I think going back to the office is a requirement. But not all fields are like this. Some have the opposite bias- towards introverts.

      1. “most chit chat was about personal lives, ”
        But that improves morale, and gives a sense of togetherness with your coworkers.

        “Some have the opposite bias- towards introverts.”
        These are the people who most need to go back to work, in many cases.

        1. Introverts most need to go back to workplaces that are set up for extroverts? Why? All things being equal, if they are in a job that allows working from home, or in a small shop, farm etc, why would an introvert need to work in a place full of people? If you are going to try to draw a line between introversion and mental health issues, then you are wrong, it is generally people who require human contact that suffer when deprived of it.

          1. Even introverts need social contact. Less than extroverts, but they do need it. And due to their inbuilt biases, they’re less likely to get it working from home.

          2. Introverts are the ones who will not make the necessary effort to overcome the isolation of working from home.

            3 years from now they will want to know why they haven’t gotten promoted or progressed beyond their assigned tasks.

  7. I am shocked people would still be working at home, this seems unnecessary.

    1. I’ve said for months that people would push against returning to the office until at least Labor Day, regardless of vaccination rates. For a lot of people, this was their last chance to have the sort of summer vacation that we remember from childhood.

      Sure enough, even though vaccination progress has stalled for two months and cases are increasing, most people I talk to are planning to return after Labor Day.

    2. Many found out that the daily commute is unnecessary.

  8. Commuting and leased buildings are said to contribute global warming. I guess the net productivity gains outweigh the corporate damage to the planet?

  9. Working from home is more difficult than many people believe. The office environment provides some basic structure that the kitchen table can not provide. Adding the structure needed will likely involve greater lose of privacy. This could be in the form of monitoring you computer’s output or a periodic check that you are at the computer working. I wonder if those working from home would be willing to trade the privacy for the opportunity?

    1. What I suspect we will see is a lot more satellite offices and flex-time.

      Not working from home but working from a “storefront” office a few miles from your home and not the big office in the city, and having the 45 minutes off at 2:30 so you can take your kid from school to soccer practice.

      But isn’t the monitoring of the computer’s output and the check to see if the person is actually at the computer ALREADY HERE?

      1. A lot more satellite offices-> Real estate is too expensive.

        But isn’t the monitoring of the computer’s output and the check to see if the person is actually at the computer ALREADY HERE ->

        Right, but its not that simple. What if I decide to sell my house and work out of my RV and drive around the country. I potentially expose my company to 50+ different labor laws and employment taxes.

        1. You can sell your house and live out of an RV but I think you can only have residency in one state. So no matter where you are traveling you are likely treated as being at your residence, whatever state that is located.

        2. Your company is not in trouble, but you very well may owe taxes in multiple states

      2. The satellite office is an interesting idea. I could see an enterprising person buying a office building in a suburban or outlying area and leasing cubicles individually to companies for employees that chose not to commute into the big city. The employee loses the commute and the employer has them in a defined space from 9 to 5. The owner provides the cubicle, internet, and basic office structure, like a printing station, mailboxes, and break area.

  10. From the company side, they’re looking at infrastructure costs too (rent, supplies, cleaning, maintenance, utilities, etc.), as well as productivity.

    It’s all about the bottom line and each company will (should?) find it’s own mix.

    1. Employer liability for work place injuries, etc has yet to be factored in. Who is responsible when someone trips over an area rug while on the clock? Gets an RSI because their dining table and chair is a poor substitute for a desk, etc…?

      1. What determines the liability, the location or the time? Salesman gets hurt in a mugging away from the office in Europe, at night. Does he get workmen’s comp?

        1. It depends what the person was doing when injured. If she is off site and doing something unrelated to her job. Good luck.

      2. Employer liability for work place injuries, etc has yet to be factored in. Who is responsible when someone trips over an area rug while on the clock? Gets an RSI because their dining table and chair is a poor substitute for a desk, etc…?

        You know that home based work was not invented in 2020, right? OSHA tried to grab control of home based work in 2000, and had to quickly retreat after a firestorm of protest.

  11. White collar work from home has to be “metrics” driven. As long as you can measure productivity objectively, you can set minimum, medium, and high output standards for whatever management believes is important. This was done in several sectors years and years ago… call centers and sales being two prime examples.

    The downside for the employees is, as companies embrace WFH and their metrics gets better and better, it is going lead to treating employees more like an asset and less like a person (think Amazon warehouse worker or call center employee).

    1. ‘Metrics’ can too often be gamed…I see it in hospital systems – a promise that you will wait less than 15 minutes before being seen in an emergency department, for example….

      Well, yeah – a nurse will sign you in and take a set of vitals within 15 minutes. And then depending on how busy things are, you wait a few to many hours before you are actually evaluated and treated.

      But dang! The metrics are golden.

      1. They can be gamed, true. Often they’re better than nothing however.

        Understanding the gaming mechanisms, and adjusting for them can be done.

        1. Strathern’s take on Goodhart’s law disagrees with you: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” See also (Donald T.) Campbell’s law on a related topic.

          1. It becomes a bad measure. It can still be better than nothing. And it can still be fixed, frequently.

            1. A measure that can be “fixed, frequently” will be redefined retrospectively to maximize executive bonuses.

      2. Sure, people with cheat any system. If your employees are cheating your system, you either have an issue with the system or with the employee. Obviously in your example, the emphasis was on the wrong thing (wait time), marketing wanted to over promise, and/or they were under staffed.

        Management’s job is, or at least should be, to locate those flaws and adjust the recording, importance, or scope. Metrics, in virtually any job that can be done remotely, can be rock solid if there is a dedication to gather and use them.

    2. Some fields don’t lend themselves very well to such metrics – although such metrics can be useful at justifying purging the lowest performing members of a team (i.e., usually the “mis-hires”).

      In my personal experience, software development of the core of enterprise systems is one that does not.

      Each developer is working on different things, has different specialties, and brings something different to the table.

      Some cases metrics can fairly reliably identify very poor performers (for example, “breaking the build” 10% of the time you commit code pretty much is a killer anywhere). However, the less menial the task and the higher level of insight and skill required, the less useful hard metrics are at differentiating people’s contributions.

      For example, I’ve yet to identify a metric that would identify the value of

      While walking down the hall, Alex overheard a conversation about a pending design and Alex, due to their comprehensive knowledge of the system and deep understanding of underlying memory ordering models, stopped and pointed out the flaw in the design and continued on down the hall two minutes later to refill their cup of coffee. Alex’s insight, knowledge, and initiative to intervene likely saved at least hundreds of person hours and incalculable reputational harm as the flaw probably would have made it to the field and ultimately required deploying a critical patch to over one hundred production customers.

      yet Alex would likely be the developer I would give the best performance reviews to and assign the most critical (performance and/or reliability) development work to. As Alex’s manager, I might be completely unaware that this particular interaction occurred and it’s unlikely Alex would mention it to me as it was just a moment of their time and Alex (usually) isn’t a “self promoter”. Also, everyone on the team except those suffering from serious cognitive biases would know that Alex was a very strong contributor to organizational productivity.

      In the most interesting jobs I’ve had, such difficult to quantify (and expensive and disruptive to try to quantify) behaviors have been the most valuable to the organization. These were much more valuable than things like “lines of code written” or “function points implemented” or “bugs fixed” for which hard metrics are (fairly) easily obtained – and are relatively useless metrics in a high performing team.

      If you want more of something, measure it and reward it — but be really sure that you’re actually measuring that which you desire, not some proxy that you actually don’t care about maximizing. If not, you can create a irrecoverable morale nightmare and environment of gamesmanship rather than productivity and teamwork.

      1. The short version of this is “you get what you measure.”

        for better or for worse.

        There’s an old Dilbert cartoon about “coding yourself a minivan” when you incent people to find mistakes but not to avoid them.

      2. Metrics work in tandem with less easily measurable goals.

        Some easier metrics are things like “sales” or “projects completed”.

    3. Raccroc,
      Metric driven work is asking for gaming. Try specifying work product by deliverables instead.

  12. IMHO, managers are not well suited to determining productivity, either…They define productivity as accomplishing metrics, which may have little congruity with actual productivity.

    But for people who wish to work from home and are willing to quit their current jobs for it? More power to them. The market will decide who is right or not.

    1. You called that one right. My productivity has increased working from home. It has been noticed and commented on. Personally I don’t believe that it is anything that I am doing. What is happening was that in the office I’m too accessible. We would get Production calling for Engineering assistance for every little thing. If you are in the office you can’t say no, because the one time you do, it will be something legitimate. Now they have to decide if it is worth calling me in for something and usually don’t. That frees me up to do my actual job.

      1. So… how is Production doing?

  13. By and large, no, people are not more productive at home.

    There may be isolated examples to the contrary. But in general, people are more productive at work. For a variety of reasons.

    First, speaking from current experience…there are significant delays (compared to pre-pandemic) in many activities from contractors, sales, purchasing, and other departments. Not to mention ball-dropping.

    Second, from a pro-productivity standpoint, nothing beats in person communication for person-person information transferral. E-mail and Zoom are OK…but in person offers context, nuance, and speed that the above two just can’t match. This has been understood for quite a long time. It’s why in person conferences and conventions exist, of all types, despite the cost and time in travel.

    Third, while there may be isolated exceptions, in general people “work” from work better. There are less non-work distractions, less opportunity for “diversions,” a better sense of getting work done promptly in the time you’re at work.

    1. By and large, people are more productive at home.

      There may be isolated examples to the contrary. But in general, people are more productive at home. For a variety of reasons.

      First, employees save all the commuting time. And the related transition time; employees don’t have to get settled in when they get to the office. They can just go to their home offices and get right to work. And at the end of the day, they don’t start getting ready to leave half an hour before the end of their workdays.

      Then employees save all the unproductive schmoozing time. People don’t have co-workers wandering by their desks exchanging casual pleasantries all day. Let alone the more in depth personal conversations. When employees have to have face to face work-related discussions, they can do so (e.g., via Zoom/Teams/etc.), but it’s more of an effort so they’re less likely to do so without a good reason.

      If something needs to get finished, home workers have an easier time staying at their desks at the end of the day to get it finished, rather than having to waste time scrambling to make arrangements wrt family stuff, etc. If something comes up in the evening, they can handle it right away instead of saying, “I’m at home now; I’ll wait until I get to the office tomorrow.”

        1. It wasn’t parody. I was entirely serious (while attempting to illustrate how useless it is to make a series of assertions as proof of a hypothesis.)

          (The link you provide, of course, is just more assertions. And is dated, too.)

  14. The converse is also true: Not all managers are good judges of productivity. Managers at small to medium size companies are better at it, because survival and growth depend on it. However, managers, at large companies virtually have no clue what happens 4 levels below them.

    1. Also I am not so sure about the “workers can choose” part either. Managers, especially C-level ones at large companies tend to succumb to groupthink. They get the same consulting presentations from firms, they hang around in the same circles, go to the same conferences, interact with the same regulators and politicians. The bigger the company, the more risk averse the culture.

  15. My wife worked from home for, pretty much, a year due to her employer’s response to the pandemic. If her performance evaluations are to be believed, working from home didn’t hurt her performance.

    Then they decided they needed everyone back in the office ASAP. The reason isn’t hard to divine — they’re a state institution, and if they admit don’t need all that office space, power consumption, etc., their budgets for such things might get cut.

    I thought she should try to negotiate with them. She CAN work from home, so if THEY want her in the office, she should push for THEM pay for her parking (yes, she has to pay that same institution for the privilege of parking her car there to go to work there), raise her pay to account for the hour or so she spends commuting every day, etc.

    But, of course, large institutions, especially state-operated ones, don’t negotiate with the peons.

    1. She should set up her office space, and then tell everyone “today is my work from home day”

      every

      day

  16. I myself hate working from home.

    But I have seen that the lack of time-place boundaries has an effect – people unconsciously screw up their work-life balance, and are thus more productive in total, if less so per unit hour.

    Also not as happy, but when has that been a metric we care about?

    1. I have had a similar experience, Sarcastr0 wrt work-life balance. I have WFH more or less for the last decade. I don’t ever want to go back to having to go to an office 4-5 days weekly. My WFH observations.

      – WFH is a longer workday. The line between ‘business hours’ and ‘personal time’ does get blurred. Not erased….but blurred.
      – WFH gives unbelievable flexibility. You can fit a lot of home tasks in a typical workday. Example: doing a load of laundry (not including folding); meal prep; vacuum a living room, etc.
      – WFH staff tend to be promoted slower. I put that down to ‘you need to be seen by the people that matter’.
      – From a ‘fire an employee’ perspective, it is easier emotionally to whack WFH employees. I think there is personal disconnection and that makes it ‘easier’. A voice on the phone is more impersonal than a face in a video and much less impersonal than someone sitting right in front of you. If you’ve terminated employees, then you know exactly what I mean.
      – WFH saves quite a bit of moolah not having to commute, continually dry cleaning suits, replacing work clothes. That savings right there on an annual basis is a reason I would hate leaving WFH. That commute/clothes savings helps me max out 401K, Roth; I bank that money, not piss it away.

      The productivity aspect puzzles me. What IS productivity? That definition varies by job, so any blanket statement about ‘WFH = less productivity’ is immediately suspect to me. Where the job gets done is geography and irrelevant to me. That the job gets done, on time and under budget is what does matter to me.

      1. C_XY,
        My experience is very much like yours. My principal office is at home and has been for a decade. Admittedly before COVID, I traveled a lot. But otherwise my home office is very convenient. No commute. Privacy. Easy communication via the internet. And I work at my own pace. Of course there are deliverable and those get done on schedule.
        While I would not mind going into an office once a week or one week per month, I find WFH perfectly suitable.
        As for JB question, it is not well posed productivity for a copy editor is different from a researcher is different from that of a graphic artist or a mathematician.

        1. Don Nico, the financial (and psychological) aspects of no commute/ultralow work clothing budget are greatly underappreciated. Investing that savings made a material difference in wealth creation for me. I am rapidly closing in on FIRE. That is what it has meant to me, personally.

          More than anything, the desire to be fully autonomous motivated me to WFH and invest the savings.

        2. You know what Don Nico, I bet a discussion on WFH would be great for the Thursday posts. 🙂

  17. Some years ago, there was an article published entitled “Incompetent? You may be the last to know.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/18/health/among-the-inept-researchers-discover-ignorance-is-bliss.html
    Apparently, it became enough of a thing that it’s now called something like the Dunning-Kruger effect, after the researchers.
    The press brought it up several times while covering Trump, which, IMHO, was somewhat on point. Nevertheless, I’m sure members of the press all rate themselves as very highly competent, but are often wrong in their own self-assessment.

  18. Also, this blog post (and the commenters) gloss over (actually ignore) one of the key reasons employers want employees back in the office: Labor and tax laws. If a remote employee, who is supposed to be based in NYC, is instead working from AZ in an RV, what laws govern the work? What if the employee ends up working 183 days a year from Bermuda (which is easy enough to do remotely)?

    An employer may unwittingly subject themselves to AZ labor laws (and vice versa), employment taxes, and so on. Or worse. Many companies are pushing back against the notion of paying “NYC” or San Fransisco salaries, while employees work from cheaper places like South or Midwest. Employers might willingly let employees work remotely (engage in a little regulatory labor law arbitrage), and employees might even willingly take a pay cut if necessary, but politicians who need the tax $ like De Blasio will (and are) fighting hard. How embarrassing if a tech company were to see its employees move out of SF, or Seattle, or NYC, because those cities are expensive and poorly run.

    It’s kinda sad actually that not one of the lawyers on this blog pointed out the legal complexities of remote work in a post-pandemic world.

    At the end of the day, the decision to go back to the office may have nothing to do with productivity, and everything to do with the legal and HR Dept saying (too much legal risk).

    1. Lots of Ohio cities tax workers who work but live elsewhere. The General Assembly passed a stop gag last year that let the city collect even from those now working remotely. But it just reversed that, now remote employees may escape those taxes [though I am not sure of details].

      Subtext is that Ohio is GOP controlled but large cities are Democrat.

      1. The Colorado law that they recently passed requiring salary information to be disclosed is a prime example. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/some-employers-are-excluding-colorado-applicants-for-remote-work.aspx

        You will now see in a lot of job postings, employers exclude Colorado residents, or state that you can’t work in Colorado, etc.

        Thing is, people are going to lie, or set up VPNs, or whatever. It’s not that hard if you are working remotely.

      2. Also, regardless of how they tax workers, bureaucracies always go after employers because there are fewer of them. Its much easier to squeeze one large employer vs 1000 employees. Employers ultimately will feed the regulatory and tax squeeze from many directions at once.

    2. Wow, it’s almost like Congress and the state legislatures haven’t updated the laws to address the modern workplace.

      1. So sure, lets all agree to make Florida or Texas labor laws and taxes uniform across the rest of the country.

  19. If management goes back, then those employees who likewise go back will be the future managers, the ones still at home left out from promotions.

    1. Precisely. That is part of the trade-off you make as a WFH employee.

  20. Is this kind of like how despite being constantly dunked on by his betters, Josh Blackman still lacks a humble demeanor?

    1. IP, leave Josh alone. Please, do not think you are his better unless your achievements have exceeded his. Your $600 an hour is only a partial expression of your social value. Josh is markedly underpaid.

      People should ask, whom they would prefer to have a beer with. I respect Josh for his productivity, which is way beyond mine and perhaps even that of Eugene. Of course, the more a lawyer is productive, the more the devastating damage to our nation, but he is objectively productive and has obvious native intelligence. Everyone would have been better off if he and Eugene were not turned into dumbasses by 1L. Imagine the tremendous benefit if they had gone into a different lawful occupation, with that energy and native intelligence.

  21. Incompetent, worthless Boomers are not the best judges of the productivity of younger people.

    1. Boomer here, member of history’s Most Annoying Generation. You need to get a second job with the time you are not commuting to fund my ever higher Social Security payment.

      1. I have to pay for all of the worthless third world immigrants too. Going to be tough!

    2. More stupidity from someone who does not set deliverables, dates and resource bounds.

  22. I am surprise that all these woke corporations that are so concerned about global warming, etc., do not appear to see working from home as a way to reduce carbon emissions caused by commuting, heating and lighting large office buildings, etc. I am also surprised that little or no attention has been paid to the question of whether requiring employees to work on site will have disparate impacts on different racial groups (for example, black persons are more likely to live farther away from city centers and are more likely to rely on public transportation, so they will probably be more adversely affected than white persons by having to work in an office).

  23. My thoughts, because everyones got an opinion:

    My office does hybrid, but hasn’t standardized when people come in. I think that was a mistake. Right now it is sort of the worst of both worlds where I can’t really talk to the people I want to talk to at work, but I also have to live in an expensive city.

    Once it is standardized, I think it will work better. I am a software developer and I consider myself an introvert, but I still like being around people, and it is so much easier to settle a problem in person rather than online. It is a common problem in software development I feel where people spent way to much time trying to figure out things themselves instead of just asking someone (bad developers have the opposite problem) and wfh tends to exacerbate that.

    1. Aladdin…You enjoying Boston? How is the night-life downtown? Are people generally ‘out and about’ in Boston?

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