The work-from-home instructions at many organizations may be indicative of two things, one of which is widely discussed (and no need to belabor the remote enablement aspect of software eating the world and its environs). The other, more nuanced perhaps and subject to interpretation, reflecting the speed, decisiveness, and permanence of such corporate moves, is the ease with which this has all happened.
I’m kidding, by the way, as I often do around here, but it feels almost like a slight. “Stay home,” they say, “no, really, it’s ok. Forever.” This isn’t based on fact or data, obviously, not even hearsay or experience, it is entirely made up for purposes of speculation. The health concerns are obviously serious, the anxiety relief is critical all around, the crowd control will save so much grief that is avoidable.
A consequence, however, or perhaps a trend that has been underway, may be an accelerating impersonalization of the workforce. A time may come, perhaps, when we will miss the long commute, and when business labor practices will become centralized again as a point of differentiation.
The big cities, the main hubs, will maybe concentrate again if that should come to be, or possibly some new ones will emerge before the feeling passes.