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I work remotely, but my co-workers are returning to the office—here’s what career experts told me to do

By | Ryan Ermey |

This is an excerpt from the CNBC Make It newsletter. Subscribe here.

I started at CNBC in September 2020, and like everyone else on my team, I was working remotely.  I interacted with my coworkers over Slack and Zoom, and it was months before I saw any of them from the shoulders down.

But a few things have changed over the last few months. For one, I shifted roles, meaning I had a new manager and new teammates. For another, NBCUniversal asked that their employees begin returning to the office — three days a week in the case of my team.

Here’s the thing. I live in Washington, D.C., some 230 miles from the rest of the Make It team in midtown Manhattan. CNBC knew that when they hired me, and I’m thrilled to report they have kept their promise to let me remain remote, even as my co-workers return to work in person.

But as our offices have become a lively place of business again, I have found myself feeling like a bit of an outsider. Chats about what’s going on in New York? Right over my head. Tasty pastries up for grabs in the kitchen? Not for me. And when my team meets together in a conference room, there’s my face on a giant TV screen (I think).  

I’m not alone. More than half (54%) of workers are still working fully remote, according to data from, and 54% of them have never met their co-workers in person.

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