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Is Goldman right and what you should prepare for? Full disclosure, I operate a company that does work remotely for healthcare. So my perspective is subjective. I’ll still share my observations. Many CEOs have weighed in on this subject in recent years both pre and post pandemic. Clearly there are more tools arriving to support remote work. There is also a worker demand to do more work from home. And I’ve seen high profile CEOs that have completely flipped their perspective on remote work because of the pandemic.

My take is that the pandemic will force some level of remote work through the end of this year, 2021, at least. What this has done is accelerated managers’ experience, staff working from home, tool feature expansion and all these have improved the processes and skills of remote work. But in the end working face to face is and will continue to be valuable. 

So my take is there will be a middle ground. One where remote work is immensely effective, desirable and cost effective. But it will be joined with a percent of in person work in the office. Something will arise like a rotation of people either within or across weeks so that they both obtain the face to face and relationship building as well as the convenience and distraction free environment of home. I know that home is a bit distracting now but this will settle into an ideal environment for all sized companies because meetings will be forced to be more effective and brief.

Companies will be able to reduce their real estate footprint and will be able to tap a larger pool of talented workers. Even if the world does not move directly to this I think there are huge advantages to any business that decides to operate this way. It’s already happening.

Reference: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-24/goldman-ceo-warns-remote-work-is-aberration-not-the-new-normal

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Don Wicklegren is Xilium's founder. He is a technologist by profession who started his career pre-internet in remote medical technology and learning. He has worked in both small and large corporations with world-wide remote staff and became a part of the team who developed the first commercial internet. As an entrepreneur, he started his first technology company in 2001. In Xilium, he focuses on innovating solutions for the US healthcare system.
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