The upshot of this piece is the potential bifurcation of knowledge organizations. One group staffed by those who live close in to urban centers where commutes are relatively short and can be done by foot powered transportation and public transit. These organizations have established “downtown” urban identities and convening cultures based on face to face interaction among staff, clients and vendors. They’re deeply invested in gleaming steel and glass office towers by virtue of ownership or long term leases.
Staff who commuted from the outer suburbs and distant reaches of metro areas who worked at home during pandemic public health measures are not going to be inclined to give up the equivalent of another workday as commuting time. That could lead to a sorting of personnel, with only those who fit into the organization’s let’s meet downtown culture remaining and the rest departing.
For suburban office parks, it’s a different story. A Houston transportation planner quoted in the article notes they serve merely as workplaces and lack the cultural vibe of the downtown office-based organization. For staff and consultants of these organizations, daily work activity of “sitting 8 hours a day drafting something or tapping a keyboard and interacting minimally with people,” can easily be performed in a home office.