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Data: Reproduced from Prudential/Morning Consult "Pulse of the American Worker Survey"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a large-scale experiment in working from home. It has gone well enough that many companies are expanding their remote work expectations for the foreseeable future, and remote employees want to continue to work that way.

Yes, but: The downsides of remote work — less casual interaction with colleagues, an over-reliance on Zoom, lack of in-person collaboration and longer hours — could over time diminish the short-term gains.

  • "The longer we remain fully remote, the more difficult it is going to be to mitigate a rate of decay in culture," said Rob Falzon, vice chair of Prudential and architect of Prudential’s Future of Work initiative. "That should be keeping leaders up at night."

By the numbers: A majority of U.S. remote workers (59%) report feeling as productive as they do in the office, according to a Morning Consult survey of full-time workers on behalf of Prudential.

  • 69% say working from home allows them to make more time for self-care, and 54% want to work remotely in the future.

The other side: About half also report feeling less connected to their company (55%), more stressed in ways that negatively impact their work (46%), and working more hours from home (47%).

  • Isolation, distractions and lack of boundaries between work and home life are taking a toll on workers.

How it works: "Our ability to work well remotely is fundamentally based on the fact that we already established strong relationships with our peers," said Falzon. "So when you get on the phone or a video conference with them, there's a history there that allows you to be very effective in your communication, to read body language, even virtually, and be productive."

  • Yes, but: Over time, that goodwill with colleagues can break down without social, offline interactions to reinforce the personal relationships. And new people hired during this period of all-remote work don't have the benefit of building those connections.

What's next: 66% of employees are wary of returning to their offices before they've been reconfigured for more personal space, and 50% want their employees to limit the number of in-person meetings once the pandemic is over, per the survey.

  • Similarly, a recent Kung Group survey of 500 venture-backed founders indicated that 71% of CEOs will let their employees continue to work from home after their offices reopen, and 66% of CEOs are considering letting go of or downsizing their offices.

Still, the need for a space to collaborate and socialize with colleagues will remain even if more people work remotely, said Jocelyn Kung, CEO of the Kung Group, an organizational development group that works with Silicon Valley companies.

  • "There is certainly efficiency with remote work, but there's also a loss," said Kung, referring to the lost conversations in hallways or between meetings.
  • "Office spaces will be less about going to work to work, but going to work to collaborate, socialize and be creative," she said. "We won't see a series of desks — we'll see collaboration spaces that are well-lit, well-ventilated and safe."

Go deeper: How the new workplace could leave parents behind

Go deeper

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigns

Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Kevin Mayer resigned Wednesday as CEO of TikTok, the popular video app that's in the spotlight amid U.S.-China tensions, and which has been ordered by President Trump to sell its U.S. operations to a domestic buyer.

Why it matters: Mayer took the job just three months ago after 27 years on-and-off at Disney, where he most recently headed online streaming, including the debut of Disney+, and was long considered a potential successor to former CEO Bob Iger.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."