@Erik the Newbie posted:
Regarding remote work, my son-in-law previous commuted between NYC and Philadelphia constantly, by train. After moving to philadelphia, he was commuting to and from on the local train. After covid, he moved to part-time remote (he works at a hospital), and I moved to full time remote, and will be full time remote for the foreseeable future (cybersecurity architect). My wife at NASA has been on fulltime remote as well doing engineering things. Our car put 5200 miles on it over 16 months.... compared to 12k or so in 12.
In the fedgov space, we are seeing a big reduction in on-prem labor due to cost savings. I don't think it is ever going away, but it may shift some, especially in anything remotely computer-related. I took the Metro into DC for a considerable time, which is no longer necessary. Those funds as a result aren't flowing into the Metro's coffers, which constrains their ability to provide service (there are a lot of studies and statements from DC Metro about this effect). If remote work continues, I forsee DC Metro being seriously constrained to the point of large scale service reduction...
In the end it is going to depend on how this all works out. I have been working from home since March of last year, but it looks like starting in September we will be in the office. Tech companies have been basically saying "work where you want, you can work remotely" for example, but I also am hearing they are having second thoughts about it, they are running into a lot of the same issues that were there when stuff was outsourced to India and such. Other industries like the financial industry basically want workers back in the office starting in the fall. I don't know how it is all going to work out. I know people that moved from high priced areas like NYC that moved to rural areas with cheap housing might find out that they are going to lose a good part of their salary. The other thing that could work against remote working is the very fact that there is a lot of money in office buildings and the like at present, and the people who own them/manage them can be pretty persuasive in terms of how things play out. There is a large infrastructure around working from offices, a large economy that supports it, and will that play a role in all this? Everything from office suppliers to the people who supply vending machines to yep, car repair places for people who commute, local restaurants and take out places to office buildings, what happens?
Will the remote working continue to work, zoom and webex are okay for getting things done, that was proven out, but will it work when the teams involved have never met and don't know one another? can new people working remotely pick up the culture and be able to work? No one really knows, during the pandemic there wasn't that much shift in jobs.
I agree totally that there will be changes, but I would wager it wont' be the "work anywhere from home, we will all be virtual corporations", I think a lot of towns banking on influxes of people working remotely are going to be disappointed, for a number of reasons. My guess is hybrid offices will be the thing, where you work some days in the office, others at home, whether it is 3 and 2, or you work a certain numbers of days a week at the office, a certain at home, but it remains to be seen.