Gee & Ursula: Remote work may be hurting employees

Apr 25, 2023, 4:46 PM

Remote work...

Work has been redefined in a post-pandemic world, but has it been for the better? (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Working remotely has a lot of advantages: no commute, stay in pajamas, kitchen nearby. But, a new study says that not going to the office has a major downside: no or little feedback.

Although many people like that, there isn’t much growth associated with it.

The study from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the University of Iowa, and Harvard University shows being around bosses and coworkers are critical to success, with rare exception.

“It’s what grandparents have been saying for a long time,” Natalia Emanuel, a New York Fed economist, told the New York Times. “Face-to-face meetings are very different from FaceTime.”

The study also found remote vs. in-office work has an impact on promotions. “Sitting near coworkers decreases early promotions, but increases longer-run promotions as workers build more human capital.”

Gee Scott of the Gee & Ursula Show used his own radio career as an example of why it was better for him to come into work.

“I was able to do this job better, because I had people there that were there every single day, and I could lean on them for their expertise,” Gee said. “Where if I were working from home when I first started, how was I going to get those little hidden gems to be able to make me better at my profession?”

“I think you’re exactly right,” Ursula said. “It’s not just because I have felt this way throughout the height of the pandemic. I think that you do lose out with the exception of those jobs where you really don’t need a whole lot of interaction.”

Ursula said she’s shocked by the number of people who are still working remotely.

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Gee explained that he sees many pros and cons to working remotely.

“I think the number one pro to it is really the work-life balance. Doing more for family being able to pick up children, all different pros that come with it,” he said. “But for all the pros, I’m going to tell you what I see as one of the biggest negatives. What part of your job can be replaced by AI? And that’s not a diss. I’m just telling you it is a reality, like construction people who work construction, or drivers for Amazon that are out delivering.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Gee & Ursula: Remote work may be hurting employees