The New Office Normal

What is the best workplace model for employers to follow as COVID-19 (hopefully) continues to wind down? In an Inside Sources op-ed currently being syndicated, I argue that there isn’t a single best model. Employers and regulators both need to be ready to continuously adapt:

Moreover, people’s needs for flexibility will outlast COVID. Someone with small children or who is caring for elderly family members might be unable to work traditional office hours. But they can do gig work on a flexible schedule if they want to.

But it’s not all upside. We found out the hard way that remote education works poorly. Many jobs can only be done on-site, from manufacturing to haircutting. For much of the economy, the traditional commuting model isn’t changing anytime soon.

What should policymakers do? Be as flexible as possible. Let workers experiment. Let employers make mistakes and learn from them, at their own expense. Loosen burdensome zoning and occupational licensing rules. Avoid policies like California’s gig worker law, which put thousands of independent contractors out of work before the major parts of the measure were repealed via ballot initiative.

Read the whole thing here.

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