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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

We can officially declare the 9-to-5, five-days-a-week, in-office way of working dead. But offices themselves aren't dead. And neither are cities.

The big picture: Since the onset of pandemic-induced telework, companies have oscillated between can't-wait-to-go-back and work-from-home-forever. Now, it's becoming increasingly clear that the future of work will land somewhere in the middle — a remote/in-person hybrid.

Surveys conducted in the six months since most people started working from home show that less than 10% of Americans actually want to work remotely all the time, according to a new Barclays analysis.

  • The much more common desire is for flexibility: the option to come to the office a few days a week for meetings and face-to-face time with colleagues.
  • The U.S. workers who have already returned to the workplace are spending half a day less per week there, per Barclays.

And despite the hype around remote work, the share of job postings that are fully remote is just 4%, the report says. It was 2% before the pandemic began.

Still, the longer-term impact of the coronavirus could reduce the need for office space by 10%–20%, Barclays notes. That's a massive shift that will change the way cities and towns across the country look."

The reduction in office spaces will hurt cities' finances," says urbanist Richard Florida. "The decline of the central business district will be painful."

  • "But it's important to disentangle the pandemic's effects on real estate and its effect on cities," he says. Young people will still want to live in urban centers, and, eventually, what used to be office space will be rented by stores or restaurants or art galleries.
  • And fancy Fortune 500 corporate headquarters — 90% of which are located in metro areas with populations of 1.3 million or more — won't disappear either, says Florida. Companies will keep building these campuses and filling them with perks like free food, green space and gyms to attract talent.

Worth noting: As hybrid work looks to be gaining popularity, companies with experience managing all-remote teams say that model can come with problems.

  • "I’ve worked in hybrid settings that have been disasters," says Darren Murph, head of remote work at GitLab, the world's largest all-remote company. Often when firms try to combine the two approaches, they are less intentional about documenting what happens during in-person chats or planning social events that people can join from their remote locations.
  • "It works if you structure the organization as if everyone is remote."

Go deeper: Companies weigh the potential of permanent work-from-home

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 24, 2020 - Energy & Environment

States and companies are now hotbeds of climate action

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the four years since the U.S. federal government last paid serious attention to climate change, the problem has become a top priority across states and corporations.

Why it matters: Washington, D.C. isn't the only place, or even the most important place, where meaningful climate change action is likely to happen in the coming years.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

3 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.