Mark, a vice president at a global bank, has a sweeping view of his bucolic backyard from his home office in suburban New Jersey in the United States. In between virtual meetings, he takes quick breaks to connect with his two elementary school-aged children and talk dinner logistics with his wife.

“Overall, working from home has been amazing for our family,” Mark, who asked not to use his last name due to job concerns, told Al Jazeera. “I feel like I’m even more productive because I don’t commute, and can step up in meaningful ways at home.”

That newly achieved work-life balance will all end this summer, however, when Mark expects to be summoned back to the office like many in the US financial industry. The

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