Remote working: Updated mask guidance leaves questions

New CDC guidance means companies are preparing to welcome employees back to work. But where does remote work go from here?

While some businesses have pivoted away from larger spaces, or closed up shop altogether amid the pandemic, an expert says the culture around remote work has changed.

Forced out of the office by health orders, Evan Hock said he saw an opportunity in helping remote workers.

"By many estimates, it's as high as 60 million people are working remotely, and more than half of those are expected to remain remote even after the pandemic," Hock said.

Hock co-founded "MakeMyMove." The online marketplace connects remote workers with communities willing to pay them. The offers, right now, range from tens of thousands of dollars to loan assistance and more.

"A lot of these remote workers, who are freed to move wherever they want, are choosing places that are more affordable, maybe allow them to connect with their community more effectively," Hock said.

Hock has been chatting with the Greater Racine area to establish an offer.

Economic experts like Marquette Professor David Wangrow question whether remote work can remain as prevalent moving forward.

 

"If you're not among your other workers physically, you're not having those informal interactions when you can gain insights to other peoples' perspectives on issues," Wangrow said.

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The professor said businesses have to think about a remote option long-term now that it is culturally accepted, but returning to the office has its benefits.

"Companies don't just create value because of their human capital -- knowledge, skills and ability of their employees. They also create value from the social capital -- people working together," said Wangrow.

Wangrow also said whether remote work can continue successfully depends on the job. It is obviously a lot easier for a position, like software development than a job that requires hands-on activity.

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