Remote work can be unexpectedly liberating

All of this may sound dismal, but this change in employee psychology and loyalty may come with an unexpected liberation, encouraging workers to look beyond the workplace to build friendships and identity.

In our previous office lives, some of us had access to free food, coffee rooms or other on-site perks. We might have enjoyed them, but they also helped keep us in the office for long hours. Likewise, the presence of co-workers and bosses made us more compliant, less likely to take a proper lunch hour or make the effort to attend a child’s school event.

With our offices gone, our days have now opened up. Why not make that doctor’s appointment for 4 p.m.? Why not pick the kids up at day care rather than find a babysitter? Why not try something entirely new, like going for a walk in the middle of the day, or participating in social activism or a protest during typical work hours, as millions of Americans have done this summer? I know I split my day differently now, sometimes having lunch with my husband and kids at noon, or starting work much earlier or later depending on what I need to get done that day.