Future of Work

The coronavirus has abruptly changed the way we work — and some of those changes may be forever
Adela Kang for The Washington Post

Stay-at-home orders across the United States have forced radical change on the workplace — far beyond the mass shift to remote work. It’s deepened the financial crunch for primary care physicians, injected chaos into the lives of working parents and pushed industries from restaurants to real estate to reinvent themselves.

(Adela Kang for The Washington Post)

Hot new job title in a pandemic: ‘Head of remote work’

Another sign that working from home is here to stay: Companies are hiring executives to lead the virtual work experience. As the pandemic has rapidly accelerated a move to remote work — and widespread work-from-home arrangements are predicted to become permanent over the long-haul — some tech companies are carving out new jobs for executives to act as advocates for virtual workers and think more broadly about a lasting remote future. — By Jena McGregor

James W. McNabb, who has a practice in Mooresville, N.C., is seeing many patients via video these days and has switched to wearing surgical scrubs as a precaution against the coronavirus. (Logan Cyrus for The Washington Post)

Diagnosis for small family doctors: Less money, greater hardship

Doctors who have been scrambling to stay afloat are changing the way they interact with patients and the way they run their businesses. They are shifting large portions of their patients to virtual telehealth visits. And medical associations say some doctors are retiring early or joining larger groups. The pandemic also may be accelerating long-overdue changes in the way doctors are paid. — By Christopher Rowland

(Adela Kang for The Washington Post)

Not so fast, urban exodus. New York faces a reset.

With some employers offering work from home on a permanent basis, and others offering more space and privacy to the workers who do come in, office rents are projected to fall. And those lower prices could make big cities like New York and San Francisco affordable and livable again. — By Steven Pearlstein

(Adela Kang for The Washington Post)

Some firms are offering paid leave. Working moms are afraid to use it.

The long-term career consequences are unclear, women say. Even if they were encouraged by management to take time off, they worried they would be compared to the fathers — and employees without children. — By Caroline Kitchener

(Yifan Wu for The Washington Post)

The business lunch will be back — because Zoom can’t replace it

The business lunch will one day make a return, business professors, networking experts and professionals agree. But when the ritual resumes, they predict, it might be less frequent simply because workers will spend less time in their offices. — By Emily Heil

Staff pack food at Zuul in Manhattan on Sept. 15. (Jeenah Moon for The Washington Post)

Pandemic meal delivery spurs rise of ghost kitchens, virtual eateries

Ghost kitchens, dark kitchens, virtual restaurants, cloud kitchens: The path forward for restaurateurs trying to escape the collapse of their business models is illuminated by a digital glow. The stratospheric rise in online ordering has prompted restaurateurs to chase those delivery dollars in novel ways. — By Laura Reiley

(Adela Kang for The Washington Post)

What the future holds for tech’s billion-dollar headquarters

Expensive tech campuses were designed to attract talent, but what happens when the best benefit is working from home? The corporate headquarters that serve as both branding and workspace, could change too, with ripple effects on their surrounding communities. — By Heather Kelly

Yifan Wu for The Washington Post

Returning to the office means at least wearing nicer leggings.

A stubbornly optimistic fashion industry believes professionals will emerge from their work-at-home cocoons longing for a happy medium: somewhere between dour, constricting suits and cartoon-printed PJs. — By Robin Givhan

The deserted cafeteria of the Twitter building in San Francisco in May. (Winni Wintermeyer for The Washington Post)

Twitter employees can now work from home forever

Twitter’s plans for work from home indefinitely have prompted a wave of copycats. But its transformation has been two years in the making — and the rest of America can learn some lessons. — By Elizabeth Dwoskin

(Yifan Wu for The Washington Post)

Admit it. You miss your work spouse.

Much of the joy and synchronicity of the work-spouse relationship comes from having a similar mission while dealing with shared challenges (that chatty co-worker in the next cubicle, an unreasonable boss or an over-air-conditioned office). The proximity of an office means it doesn’t take much planning to meet up for coffee, lunch or happy hour. — By Lisa Bonos

About this story

Editing by Suzanne Goldenberg. Photo editing by Annaliese Nurnberg. Art direction by Audrey Valbuena and Beth Broadwater. Design by Audrey Valbuena.

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