We Can Push Back on Remote Work's Downsides

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Working remotely, at least when we choose to, has always been a dream of most information workers. With the COVID-19 outbreak, one more finger of the monkey's paw has curled down. We certainly got what we wanted, with millions of Americans laboring from home as we wait for the coronavirus pandemic to come to heel. For many workers, it's going so well that they're thinking of making the move permanent.


That's why it's key to watch how bosses in Silicon Valley react to the changes. On the surface, it seems great: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey are encouraging employees to explore remote work, especially given the intense cost of living and long-haul commutes in the San Francisco Bay Area. But Zuckerberg has added a caveat to his support, saying that anyone who moves to a cheaper location and stays with Facebook should expect commensurate pay cuts.

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This should be a huge source of frustration nationwide, if the Bay Area is any example. One survey found that three-quarters of San Francisco residents who want to leave the region cite its overall expense and crowding. Those who work from home or away from a company's headquarters may also face inadvertent career penalties, missing out on promotions or opportunities by dint of their location. That's a larger conversation about worker rights, but until then, if you're worried about making or keeping friends at on-site jobs, some recent research may help you find what you need.