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EDITOR'S VIEW
From Site Selection magazine, September 2021
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Where to Work: This Time It’s Personal

by MARK AREND
EDITOR'S VIEW

We went back and forth internally about whether to make the 2021 Global Groundwork Index feature or the one about Remote Work the cover story. The former got the nod, but the latter was no less deserving. Both, by the way, are authored by Managing Editor Adam Bruns, who can reveal all sides of whichever topic he’s covering.

The Global Groundwork Index article should be read by anyone in your organization considering international location options. The coming “Strategic Infrastructure SuperCycle” may sound like an over-hyped Weather Channel non-weather program, but it’s not. CG/LA Infrastructure’s Chairman and CEO Norman Anderson shares some inside-baseball insights about that notion and other entrants on the global infrastructure arena that you won’t find unless you read his recently published book, “Vision: Our Strategic Infrastructure Roadmap Forward,” which you really should.

As for Remote Work, most of us thought we were on course to resume pre-pandemic routines by the end of the year, whether we wanted to or not — which is the heart of that feature in this issue. Then came the so-called Delta variant of COVID-19, which sent infection levels back up, making companies once again recalibrate their return-to-the-office policies. 

I took an unscientific survey of friends, colleagues and siblings about this and was left wondering what companies will do in 2022 with the space they’re paying for and not using. Mind you, these are office workers, not those required to be on-site for production work. I’m confident those work sites are properly resilient and equipped to keep their operations producing. 

Typical of most responders to my query were answers like:

  • Heck no, I’m not going back — my personal things are gone from the office, and I’m getting everything done from home.
  • I might go back two days a week, but there had better be important face-to-face meetings those days.
  • If they make me go back to commuting five days a week, it’s time to look for another job, because plenty of companies would hire me and let me work remotely.
  • My team works efficiently and productively from home, and we are in constant contact, so why go back?

I rather like this from-home way of interviewing people for articles I write. For years, phone interviews from the office were the norm, other than the in-person ones. Now, they’re mostly Zoom meetings, which is like being in person without my cat demanding attention from the interviewee. Those can still be the norm when I go back to the office regularly. If I go back.

Please share with us how your team is coping with this new workspace — and human resources — challenge for future coverage of this changing landscape.

Mark Arend
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend has been editor in chief of Site Selection magazine since 2001. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

 



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