Computer commuters

One aspect of the hybrid home-office workplaces idea has profoundly strategic consequences: the ability to live in an affordable locale. Reams have been written about the tech boom in the Bay Area, putting everything from housing prices, commutes, business locations and homelessness into an unsustainable pressure cooker. The irony cuts deep: “Silicon Valley, the place that couldn’t scale itself.”

However, while the typical car-centric suburb may have been rejuvenated by the many knowledge workers now working from home, its ongoing status remains an open question. (Indeed, looking back on the absurdity of hours-long commutes to maintain the suburban lifestyle, young people may also wonder why a suburban workplace was ever appealing.)

One aspect of the hybrid home-office workplaces idea has profoundly strategic consequences: the ability to live in an affordable locale.

Part of the allure of the bright lights of the big city remains: the buzz, the energy, the networking potential, the hot startups, the hot restaurants, arts and nightlife. But if you’re blessed to be in a small town with coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries and libraries all within several blocks — the absolutely critical “Great Good Places” needed in Remotopia to foster non-screen-based, real-reality human connection — charming-yet-pragmatic features like these will likely be a springboard into the new hybrid model.