Is the ever-evolving physical office nearing extinction?
A new academic study from Kevin Rockman of George Mason University and Michael Pratt of Boston College suggests that offices are dying out.
With many colleagues choosing to work away from the office (mainly from home but at other venues, too), those left behind are toiling away in an increasingly empty workplace.
In a spiral, this loss of co-workers makes coming to the office less attractive, driving yet more people to leave the office behind.
Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times writes that this pattern is corrosive and that long-term home workers often are lonely, lose purpose and become morose due to a lack of human contact with office-based colleagues. She says that for all their flaws, offices remain a far better work experience than remote working. The debate rages on.
Neither fish nor fowl
To me, the issue is not that coming to an office or working “remotely” is inherently better or worse than the other option, but that having both as options undermines both working experiences.