Is everyone working remotely?

I just did a quick search of job openings at local companies. I am not seeing many openings for “remote” workers. As I recall when the pandemic started back in 2020 people were working from home and moving further away from their jobs.

There were those months when there wasn’t really a rush hour.

Fast forward to 2022 and “Workers in America’s midsize and small cities have returned to the office in far greater numbers than those in the biggest U.S. cities.” according to the New York Times. According to the same article is a higher percentage of remote job openings in San Fransisco than there are in Columbus Ohio and other mid-sized towns.

There was some migration going on it in 2020 and 2021. There are also many people who were working remotely in 2020 and maybe even part of 2021 who are back in the office full time or at least part of the time.

It seems like there is less traffic during rush hour than there was before the pandemic but there is a lot more traffic than there was during the summer of 2020. I think in 2022 even people who are vaccinated have a higher chance of catching Covid-19 than we had in 2020.

Back twenty years ago when I had a W2 type job and worked in an office we believed that remote work and independent contractors would become the norm. That doesn’t seem to be happening. The “gig” economy has grown but many “gig” workers have more than one job.

A few weeks ago I attended an in-person meeting. It was my first with that organization since 2019. The person who presided over the meeting decided that in-person meetings are best. He enjoyed it immensely and seemed to drag it out for as long as he could. It kind of got me thinking as to why some companies insist that people come back to the office.

Of course, there are some jobs that can not be done remotely. I don’t have to go to work in an office but my clients expect me to show them houses and to meet with them in person when they want to sell a house. There is a small percentage of home buyers who will buy a house based on the pictures.

Over the years I have worked with several homeowners that I have never met in person. As long as I can get keys to the house the seller need not be present.

When buying a house I think it is important to plan at least five years into the future. Ten would be better. Renting is a better way to take advantage of short term trends.

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