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Megan McArdle

What You're Missing When You Work From Home

A thousand tiny cues each day transform individual workers into a functional company.
On the internet no one knows.

On the internet no one knows.

Photographer: Timothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

It’s been more than 10 years since I last worked in an office on any regular basis, and remote work has worked for me and my employers. And yet, when I read that Apple and IBM were moving away from telecommuting and toward more traditional office-time requirements, my first thought was: “What took them so long?”

Don’t get me wrong; remote work has real benefits. I shave two hours of commuting off of every workday, time that I can instead spend getting work done.  Early in my telecommuting career, in fact, I had the following conversation with a manager who wanted me to spend more time at the office.