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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Why remote work might not revolutionize where we work


From Apple and its 2.8 million-square-foot “spaceship” office to Salesforce and Slack, Silicon Valley companies are giving their employees the chance to live farther away from the office (and save money on housing) with new remote or hybrid options. Some, like Marc Andreessen, think these moves are signs of “an era where we can divorce physical location from economic opportunity,” but this NPR article explores why he, like others before him, may be wrong. Economists like Enrico Moretti, author of “The New Geography of Jobs,” believe in agglomeration, or the clustering of like-minded workers and companies, the way tech companies have clustered in Silicon Valley. Agglomeration has two driving forces that appear to require that workers have opportunities to interact in the same space, face to face, in order to build partnerships and brainstorm and develop new ideas. The question that remains is if and how remote work can achieve the same productivity with more workers collaborating virtually. With only 6% to 7% of new office jobs being fully remote positions, up from 2% before the pandemic, Moretti predicts officeless companies won’t suddenly spike anytime soon.

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