Remote Work Is Killing the Hidden Trillion-Dollar Office Economy

From airlines to Starbucks, a massive part of our economy hinges on white-collar workers returning to the office

Illustration: Mark Wang

It will save these companies leasing costs and their employees their commutes, but at what cost to the rest of the economy?


Office-dwelling road warriors — a primary profit center for the travel industry — are now homebound Zoomers, resulting in a bloodbath for airlines and hotels.



Regardless of the length of the recovery, it looks likely that airlines and hotels will have to shrink, die, or reinvent. And, in a profound forced makeover, the cities will have to reimagine themselves as well.

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I am Editor at Large at Medium with interests in ferreting out the whys for the turbulence all around us. Ex-Axios, ex-Quartz, ex-WSJ, ex-NYT, ex-FT.

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Written by

Steve LeVine

I am Editor at Large at Medium with interests in ferreting out the whys for the turbulence all around us. Ex-Axios, ex-Quartz, ex-WSJ, ex-NYT, ex-FT.

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