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Opinion
Paul J. Davies

I Can’t Be the Only One Who Doesn’t Want to WFH

People around the world are resisting coming back to the office. Don’t they miss colleagues, chatter, snacks?

Kind of quiet over here ...

Kind of quiet over here ...

Source: Bloomberg

It’s time to come clean. Maybe it’s an age thing, a lack of imagination, a desperate void where my soul should be. I don’t know, but I just can’t see why anyone wants to spend their every working day quietly at home. During lockdown, I never bought an office chair or flat-pack desk — the front room is cluttered enough, thank you. There’s nothing wrong with my kitchen, but I don’t want to spend all day there. Give me people, chatter, movement and, sure, free snacks!

Mystifyingly, the opposite is true for many others. Globally, about one-quarter of mainly white-collar, higher-income workers would quit if told to return to the office five days a week, according to an international team of economists who’ve been gathering data since early in the pandemic. Seems kind of extreme to me: I don’t know many people who could take that much financial or career risk.