The insufferable smugness of working from home

By | 17th May 2021

As the pandemic enters its endgame, at least in the Global North, there are many demands to continue home-working, by those who can. This can be coupled with many signals of virtue, such as reducing commutes, limiting opportunities for infections to circulate or promoting work-life balance. Nice for those who can do it – but utterly dependent on the modern-day manufacturers and pedlars. Somebody has to make stuff and deliver it. The risks do not disappear: they are simply redistributed…

One of the discoveries of the pandemic has been the hollowness of the claims made by evangelists for the virtual world. In the end, it is parasitic on the material one, impoverishing both those who participate in the moment of crisis but having greater impact on their successors. Intergenerational equity has been a concern throughout the management of the pandemic but its ramifications may be wider than simplistic narratives about disruption of social life and leisure activities imply. Something very fundamental is being eroded and will not easily be rebuilt…

A Social Science Space blog

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