Nick Bloom

Nick Bloom is the Co-founder of WFH Research, a platform providing insights and best practices on working from home. He is also a Professor of Economics at Stanford University. Having studied remote work for over two decades, Nick has contributed to the policy and public discourse on the subject by meeting President Obama, speaking at the 2014 Working Families’ Summit, and delivering a TEDx talk. As the Co-director of the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, he focuses on management practices and uncertainty.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [0:00] Nick Bloom appears on What The Teck? to talk about remote work’s impact on the economy
  • [5:32] Nick recounts his conversations about remote work with CEOs and executives
  • [7:02] The diminishing value of office spaces amid the surge of remote work 
  • [13:38] What is the ideal hybrid work structure?
  • [18:39] How to develop accommodating work policies
  • [23:52] Work from home’s advantages for employees, businesses, and society
  • [34:53] Pitching remote work policies to C-suite executives
  • [39:11] Nick reacts to the viral video of a young woman protesting against the 9-5 workday

In this episode…

With work-from-home trends accelerating exponentially in a post-pandemic environment, CNN reports that the value of office space will decline by $800 billion in major cities by 2030. In response, CEOs of major companies have developed return-to-work mandates. However, remote work is more than just a trend, as businesses lose revenue as a result of these mandates. How do remote and hybrid work benefit key stakeholders?

As a seasoned researcher of work-from-home models, Nick Bloom asserts that the shift to hybrid work is the most radical office change since the emergence of the computer. Aside from reducing commuter strain, innovative work styles allow employees to develop flexible schedules to accommodate their preferences. For instance, younger professionals can use in-office days for mentorship opportunities, gaining the benefits of in-person learning while accommodating freedom. Hybrid work increases profitability by reducing recruitment and retention costs by 35%. Similarly, remote work eliminates the cost of office space and boosts productivity rates by 90%. 

In the latest episode of What The Teck? Rolando Rosas and Dave Kelly host Nick Bloom, the Co-founder of WFH Research, who shares how work-from-home policies impact key business stakeholders. Nick addresses the ideal hybrid work structure, the oppressive nature of the traditional 9-5 work schedule, and how to accommodate employees in your work policies.

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Episode Transcript:

Rolando Rosas 0:00

You were saying gyms are a great asset long week golf courses Tell me more.

Nick Bloom 0:03

So I have a study looking at golf playing host pandemic, what we see is an explosion and people doing leisure activities during the week on your home days, you have some free time. And if you like playing golf, you decide on Wednesday morning to go play around a golf. And what that means for golf courses is rather than having all the demand crushed into Saturday and Sunday, it’s now spread throughout the day throughout the week, and it’s really profitable for them and gyms is even more extreme. So gyms felt like a curse isn’t it ended 2023. And suddenly, they’re absolutely booming. Again, tons of work from home folks are mostly hybrid, you know, two days a week at home and they want to go to the gym and they go during the day, it’s really twisted. The economy offices are not there. By the way, a lot of companies, what they’re doing is saying, Look, I’m going to have one nice office in the city center as a place to meet with hybrid you need people in three days a week, say you want it to be nice, you want to attract people in but you probably don’t need all those satellite offices and every small city around the country, get rid of that stuff base as and when you need it and concentrate on one beautiful pleasant office that they’re going to be happy on their three hybrid days in the

Rolando Rosas 1:07

sun Welcome to What The Teck? your gateway to business strategies and tech secrets, shaping today’s workplace. You know what Dave, I saw something this morning on LinkedIn, it was talking about how occupancy rates aka people going into the office has remained flat for nearly a year. And I was surprised by that. Because given a lot of the tough talk in the last year about mandates and return to Office, you know, from companies like Amazon and Zoom, oh, great companies. I thought that that more people would be in the office given those mandates, but the data says Not really. It’s been flat. Hey, you

Dave Kelly 1:54

know, it seems like employees are standing their ground, you know, they’ve been able to show that they can be productive. They’ve maybe increased their own income by not having to commute into work every day. They’ve obviously reduced some stress levels able to spend a little more time with the families. So yeah, I guess I’m not I’m not super surprised to hear that, you know,

Rolando Rosas 2:14

I you know, people want to have a way of working that enhances their lives. And we have just the right guy to tell us more about numbers. I’ve got my notepad here. I know classes a session, we have another professor from Stanford, I didn’t make it into an Ivy League college. But boy, if I could go back, I would apply. My wife did apply to Stanford, she was smart enough she’s way, way, way smarter than me and she could actually get in, she decided to go elsewhere. But Creek School Stanford, we’re going to have Professor Nick Bloom here. And he’s going to break down some of these things. And you know, I saw something that was just as we were just getting ready. I’d love to ask him a tweet that was put out, it says remote work risk wiping 800 billion from the value of office buildings in major cities worldwide by 2030, as a post pandemic trend pushes up office vacancy rates, which is what we’re going to ask Professor Bloom about and drives down rents according to a new report. Can’t wait to jump into that with him. Yeah, I don’t know. Should we just bring him out live with me before we bring him on? Let’s let’s give you a proper introduction. If you’ve not heard of Professor Nick Bloom from Stanford today, as we bring on Professor Nick Bloom from Stanford, as I said, he’s been a pioneer in remote work studies. With over two decades of expertise. Nick is the co founder of And then advisor at both Gable and tandem is advised fortune 500 CEOs and led public policy discussions on remote work and has written numerous articles for the economist as well as the New York Times. So let’s welcome out of the green room classes in session Professor Nick Bloom, and

Nick Bloom 4:02

thank you very much for having me. I will try not to be too much of a professor but yes, there may be a midterm halfway through this, you know, as to make sure you guys are paying attention.

Rolando Rosas 4:13

I’ve got my notepad and paper that seems so old fashioned because I’m sure in class today everybody’s got a laptop. So I’m a little bit old school No, your,

Nick Bloom 4:21

your fight your great actually I in my classes, actually my undergrad class, I don’t allow laptops. The reason is, it sounds very odd, but the students prefer it because the thing that annoys them is the person in front of them is on Instagram. They should be on Instagram. And so if you get you know, everyone, for the next hour and a half, we’re going to turn off electronics. We’re going to have a you know, normally do case studies, we’re going to discuss the case get involved. It seems to work better. It’s strange, actually, I have to say I don’t do that for the graduate classes. But the undergrad it seems to work well. Interest. It’s

Dave Kelly 4:51

really cool. Yeah. And I think a lot of people need to unplug a little bit and someone has to force it. Our brains are always looking for a screen or a device. So being told to get off, unplug tune in, I think that’s an important an important thing to have, especially in a class. Hey, Nick, I want to ask you a question to start things off. So you’ve dedicated past 20 plus years of your career to work from home and hybrid work, remote work studies. So what does it feel like today, when you’re working with CEOs and business leaders, and they’re turning to you for your expertise and the results from from your studies? What’s this modern age of work feel like after all this time spent studying? It’s a

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