The new “working-from-home economy,” which is likely to continue long past the coronavirus pandemic that spawned it, poses new challenges – from a ticking time bomb for inequality to an erosion of city centers – according to Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom.
Results from several nationwide surveys Bloom has been conducting during the COVID-related economic shutdown provide a snapshot of the emerging new reality.
Bloom, who is the William D. Eberle Professor of Economics in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), focuses on labor economics, management practices and uncertainty. Since the coronavirus crisis broke out, his 2014 study on working from home and ongoing research with other colleagues on business firms have been in high demand as policymakers and others scramble to better understand the shifting dynamics of the workforce and its economic implications.
Here, Bloom discusses the societal impacts of working from home and what his latest research reveals. And in a related SIEPR Policy Brief, he expands on his findings and offers policymakers and business leaders suggestions for making remote-work a permanent part of the labor landscape.