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Communications of the ACM


Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

tech professionals working in various locations

Credit: Prathankarnpap; FunkyFrogStock; Ground Picture; Odue Images; Alessandro Biascioli

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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. What followed was one of the most tumultuous times in recent history, filled with uncertainties about almost every aspect of daily life—including the workplace. Specifically, major tech companies shifted their operations from an office-based model to work from home (WFH) within a matter of weeks. Twitter mandated work from home on March 3, Microsoft and Facebook made similar announcements on March 4 and 6, respectively, and much of the world followed soon after.

At the time, most people expected about a two-week outbreak. A few weeks turned into months, and at the time of this writing, 20 months after the initial WFH directive hit tech workers, we are still writing this article from our basements.


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