“It has been a tough struggle for us,” said Ms. Polivanaya, 30. “I don’t feel like I have a good space to concentrate. She was able to return to the relative calm of her office a few days a week starting in July, but feared the burgeoning virus would send her back to her hectic work-from-home life.
Certainly, some people have thrived in their new professional life from a distance. They saved time and money, and sometimes increased productivity. The degree to which employees have adopted permanent or hybrid remote working models has been “overwhelming” for business leaders, said Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School who has studied remote working for decades.
But for others, Professor Neeley said, it has removed necessary barriers between work and family life, increased feelings of isolation and led to burnout. “Some people just don’t like the screen – their looks and how close they are to others is a big part of what the job looks like,” she said.
Many workers are already back in the offices. Only 13% of Americans worked from home at any point in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated, up from a pandemic peak of 35% in May 2020. And some workers said the Delta variant did not change the pattern. feedback from their employers. -office plans.
But a growing number of top companies, like Hollywood studios, Wall Street banks and Silicon Valley tech giants, have delayed their return. For the pro-back-to-office crowd, the jerks have been excruciating, Professor Neeley said.
“We are in this state of perpetual waiting, and it has now continued with more uncertainty,” she said.