I’m a tricky one to ask about the future of offices. That’s because my adult work life has consisted of being an EMT, a university theater instructor and a journalist for more than three decades.
I never worked in a dreary cubicle farm. My offices were ambulances running hot to trauma scenes or hospitals where my skills could save lives; the magic of the theater, and — for most of my career as a reporter, editor and columnist — the newsroom.
Few places can compare with a newsroom working an important story. Deadline is always pulsing. Camaraderie is close. Even in quiet time, you talk journalism with respected colleagues. Years ago, when printing was done on-site, you could watch and hear the presses thunder.
For me, the “office” was thrilling. And I didn’t want to bring it home, although in today’s news cycle, we never close.
What happens to office work as the delta variant delays a large-scale return to face-to-face work is a question of enormous consequence to companies, developers, employees and such important sidelights as restaurants, shops and transit.