News Dispatch

‘The past is gone. It’s time to make the future’: More Hub readers respond to the work-from-home phenomenon

A team takes their meeting outdoors to enjoy the benefits of working outside – increased productivity, creativity and happiness at the debut of the first-ever outdoor coworking space by L.L.Bean and Industrious in New York, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Amy Sussman/AP Images for L.L.Bean.

Here at The Hub we are convinced that delays in getting back to the office and now the rise of so-called “quiet quitting” risk having significant consequences for individual Canadians, the economy, and our broader society that need to be better understood and debated.

We recently ran an editorial that made the case for getting back to the office, but we don’t want to have the last word on the subject. We put out the call for Hub readers to respond with their own experiences and are delighted to share the latest sample of comments and feedback. We will continue to share your feedback as it comes in.

If you would like to tell us about your own empty office experience or contribute to this discussion, please email us at [email protected] or contact us anonymously via our online submission form.

The past is gone. It’s time to make the future

As you know, there was a third Industrial Revolution and now we are in the process of a fourth revolution. Of course, we can no longer call it industrial.

The government is going to screw this up by letting anybody work at home without any legitimate productivity metrics, which is just going to cost us a ton more money and be extremely unproductive.  

What you are seeing now occurred during the third Industrial Revolution: a dramatic reduction and changing of jobs, as well as the creation of a mass of new jobs. This was always going to happen. COVID just blew the top off.

I do not believe that the private sector is going to pull back to what it was, five days a week and nine-to-five, if the job can be done remotely. That means you have to have performance metrics.  You have to measure what matters. This is a huge economic benefit, not just to the individual but to the corporation too, as building and office space will be redesigned and costs significantly reduced.

My daughter is a senior marketing manager at a major bank and my son-in-law and daughter are both senior lawyers with major downtown law firms. They don’t go to the office more than once a week.  

I think you should take this topic and bring on someone who is an expert futurist. Several of the major consulting firms have written very good reports showing the incredible number of jobs that will be lost and the incredible number of jobs that have to be filled. But, like the guy that used to push the buttons for you in the elevator—shows you how old I am—the past is gone. What’s interesting is how we’re going to make the future. 

Quality of life up, productivity the same

Working at home has been a good experience. I have avoided the time and expense of daily commuting, thus “banking” the time and money it takes. I don’t really like the city or miss it very much it turns out. I do miss direct contact with a couple of coworkers, but with the others in the office, I can’t say I miss them in person. They are nice enough, but I realize we don’t have much that connects outside the job. I definitely feel more relaxed working from home. My quality of life is better. Productivity is about the same.

Why should government workers get all the benefits?

Somewhere, Sean Speer made the interesting comment that we are about to get two tiers of workers: Those in the employ of government (growing at an enormous clip), and the rest of us.

If we allow government workers to stay home, the salary scale for those who do should be decreased by 15 percent. Effective the day they sign on. Either that or get back in the office! Government productivity (if there is such a thing!) is already in the dumps.

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