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Coronavirus Has Lifted The Work-From-Home Stigma

2 Sep, 2020

The fast-moving coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of Americans to work from home, with no immediate end in sight. Dates for when employees will return to office buildings move later and later or remain uncertain for many companies.

On Tuesday, Twitter told its employees that many of them will be allowed to work from home in perpetuity, even after the pandemic ends. The move signaled a growing shift in attitudes in certain industries toward remote working — a change that could have lasting implications.

Gallup data from the end of April showed that 63 percent of U.S. employees said they had worked from home in the past seven days because of coronavirus concerns, a number that had doubled from 31 percent three weeks before.

Even as dozens of states have begun to partly reopen months after the initial shutdowns, experts said that past stigma around working from home has largely been lifted and that they expected much more remote work to be incorporated into office life for the foreseeable future.

“The views around work from home have completely changed,” said Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom, co-director of the productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship program at the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research. “There is no stigma around working from home now.”

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