From today’s New York Times:
As long as work has existed, employers have tried to size up their employees’ commitment to their jobs. Are you on the fast track? The mommy track? The leadership track?
Now, if some corporate leaders have their way, there will be a new test for workplace devotion — and anyone who opts for remote work gets a failing grade. But can C.E.O.s really claw their way back to 2019?
This past week, Elon Musk issued an ultimatum to Tesla and SpaceX employees requiring them to return to the office for at least 40 hours per week — or lose their jobs. Mr. Musk, who is known for having camped out for weeks at Tesla factories, thinks remote work is an affront to productivity and personal commitment. Last month, he praised Chinese workers for “burning the 3 a.m. oil,” comparing them with American workers who, he said, are “trying to avoid going to work at all.”
Jamie Dimon said last month that working from home isn’t for people who want “to hustle.” The bank has been criticized for tracking employees’ ID badge swipes to monitor how often they were coming to the office, along with similar policing by rivals like Goldman Sachs.
Mr. Dimon believes JPMorgan’s work setup “will look just like it did before” by September or October. But he also admitted in a letter to shareholders that remote work “will become more permanent in American business.”
“Although the pandemic changed the way we work in many ways, for the most part it only accelerated ongoing trends,” Mr. Dimon wrote. As my colleague Lananh Nguyen reported, he didn’t sound particularly happy about it, ticking off the “serious weaknesses” of virtual work, including slowed decision-making and a lack of “spontaneous learning and creativity.”
The resistance to remote work has many facets, including the bottom line: Many organizations have made pricey investments in office real estate, which has led to the creation of vast economic systems that are ultimately reliant on having workers at their desks.
Read the complete story here.