“You are on mute.” Pajamas. Special guest appearances by barking dogs and crying babies.
Working from home took on a whole new meaning last March when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down life as we knew it. Offices pivoted to remote work and commutes were shortened from 12 miles to the city to as few as 12 steps to a home office, dining room table or other makeshift space.
Now, more than a year later, some offices are planning to bring workers back or have already reopened, amid concerns about a worst-case scenario creating a surge and new variants spreading the virus as well as anxiety about what a return would look like. Employers who are ready to call back office staff are navigating issues with employees, who as parents with young children attending school remotely or on a hybrid schedule, are not ready.
Some believe remote work is here to stay and that Manhattan can never go back to the way it was before the pandemic.
The effect the pandemic had on commuting resulted in the suspension of DeCamp bus service. New Jersey Transit, acknowledging what has and will be a significant change to commuter patterns, introduced its Flexpass ticket option, a customizable ticket option for those who aren’t commuting as regularly as before the pandemic.
Clever Commute’s Josh Crandall, recently began commuting back into the city after spending a year working from home.
Crandall, who runs Clever Commute, a service offering real-time transit conditions, has a full time job in tech at a financial services firm. Crandall shares that commuters he observed were masked and “there was no eating or drinking.” Interestingly, Crandall, in a post about his experience, says “the level of cleanliness does not appear any better or worse than pre-Covid.”