Will, you raise some interesting questions but I suspect your unexamined assumptions mean that many of the downside issues you cite are already, in fact, norms. The idea that we “interact” with others during a commute by train or bus is erroneous. We don’t interact; we attempt to maintain personal space by avoiding eye contact. We know nothing of the lives of those who share the same train or bus. We are already isolated from them.
With regards to fading cities, surely remote work has no real impact, because for every default position with Chase many more open up elsewhere that were formerly beyond physical reach.
The real divide will continue to be between those with the security of white-collar jobs and those living perpetually on the edge via “gig economy” jobs. We have that problem today, and working from home will do nothing to exacerbate it.
So in the end, working from home is pretty much all upside: fewer hours wasted on commuting, more flexibility regarding organizing one’s day, more opportunities to exercise and eat healthy foods instead of defaulting to the local snack truck or canteen, more time to interact with one’s family, far lower CO² emissions, less road congestion, and of course a lower road accident rate leading to fewer fatalities and injuries, not to mention reduced auto insurance expenses.