“It’s exactly the type of story that has executives itching to get people back to offices. Chance meetings like this are essential for innovation, the theory goes. ‘Remote work virtually eliminates spontaneous learning and creativity because you don’t run into people at the coffee machine,’ Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, recently told shareholders.

Creativity is hard to quantify. But research, including studies of companies working remotely during the pandemic, supports Mr. Dimon’s argument only up to a point. The data shows that in-office work is helpful at one part of the creative process: forming initial relationships, particularly with people outside your normal sphere.” By Claire Cain Miller

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