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Alex Webb

We Really Weren’t Ready to Work From Home

There's much more to working remotely than videoconferencing.

It’s just not that easy.

It’s just not that easy.

Photographer:  Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Call it teething problems, disorganization or plain Luddism: the first few weeks of working from home were, for many, far from smooth.

Set aside for a second the impact of hunkering down with children, paramours and housemates. The coronavirus lockdowns revealed a deep division even between white-collar workers: between those employed by companies that have invested in what it takes for employees to switch truly seamlessly between the office and working from home, and those employed by companies that haven’t. Many people discovered it was a myth they could do their job just as easily from the dining room table. What might be de rigueur in Silicon Valley is far from normal elsewhere.