I disagree with Musk here

Working from home or office doesn’t change a person’s behavior.

If you are lazy at home, you will be lazy in the office.

Yeah, I’m sure there are people taking advantage of remote work. They’re the same people who were trying to get away with crap to begin with.

I think Musk is closer to the mark.

I know from my own experience that it is much tougher to concentrate when you have all this temptation for distraction. Spouse, kids, pets, kitchen, YouTube.

In an office there is typically a culture of accountability. If you aren’t being productive, someone will notice much quicker than if you are by yourself at home.

For the truly worthless bums, sure there’s probably not much of a change. But circumstances can influence even the good workers.

Our office saw virtually zero difference between home and office production.
And most studies have shown the same.

Another issue with this topic is that white collar jobs are largely LARPing altogether. The culture of welfare for college graduates seems to blind everyone to the idea that hundreds of overpaid office workers stepping all over each other for promotions does not somehow contribute to the bottom line.

I am sure it is difficult to suss out inefficiency between in person & telework when there’s not much efficiency to begin with.

My girlfriend is FAR more productive from home than work it’s not even close. She has an hour commute so she starts working at 8am if at home. She’ll work past 6 most days. She’ll take her dogs for a 30 minute walk and come back recharged.

Prior to the pandemic, there was always the thought that you would be screwing around if you worked from home. I had a job that allowed me to work from home from time to time (bad weather, sick kid, etc). Maybe I was screwing around at 10 in the morning. …but if I woke up at 2 in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, I’d VPN into the office and get more done between 2 and 5 in the morning than most people do in 8 hours. I don’t know anybody who spent 8 straight hours working in the office. But they wanted to see you for those 8 hours. What they didn’t see at home was those 8 hours were spread out over a 24 hour period. And they usually ended up getting a lot MORE work out of me.

I worked for Electronic Data Systems in Dallas back in the 80’s. That company was full of “go getters”, and if you drove past HQ at night, you’d see lights on in several offices. The old headquarters were on what used to be a country club, and they kept the pools, tennis courts and indoor gyms as well as 9 holes of the old golf course. And if you were banging your head against the wall with a problem, they actually encouraged you to screw around - go play 9 holes of golf or swim or run or work out. When you got back, your mind may be clear enough to see the problem in a different way. Of course, you didn’t hit the links at noon and go home at 5…but if you got back to your desk after 2 or 3 hours, it was much easier to keep working on (and in most cases solving) the problem well after 5. The employees there were dedicated as hell, but Ross Perot took good care of us.

It’s possible that brobbs is partially right though. I’m guessing, aside from intrinsic motivation and such, some people do have more distractions at home. But some also find the office has more distractions (annoying coworkers, afternoon birthday celebrations, etc.) Maybe it’s a wash.