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For Some, Remote Work Has Become a 'Nightmare'

Companies see the downside of a system that looked great at first
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2020 9:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Tired of working remotely? Your employer might feel the same. The Wall Street Journal reports that after an initial burst of work-at-home productivity amid the coronavirus pandemic, "cracks are starting to emerge." Projects drag on; it's harder to hire, train, and integrate new people; some workers seem less engaged, and younger ones develop more slowly. "There's sort of an emerging sense behind the scenes of executives saying, 'This is not going to be sustainable,'" says Laszlo Bock, human resources chief at the startup Humu. Remote work was great at first, he says, but "it was people being terrified of losing their jobs, and that fear-driven productivity is not sustainable." Take San Francisco startup Chef Robotics, which just came in a month late on a product deadline.

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Company CEO Rajat Bhageria says a problem that normally took an hour to unpack now drags on for a day: "That's just a logistical nightmare," he adds. Some businesses are mixing at-home and in-office work to varying success, and with most office leases set for eight years or more, executives are unlikely to abandon brick-and-mortar altogether. What's more, Global Trade notes that trust and social bonds are established better in person than they are online. But polls show that most workers don't want to return to the office full-time, which leaves company culture where? "It was easier to go remote fast than most people would have ever imagined," says Andy Eichfeld, head of HR at Discover Financial Services. "That doesn't mean it's great." (Read more remote working stories.)

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