Office workers are quitting rather than going back to work in person

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Since COVID, many office workers have found a new kind of freedom working remotely. People are working harder and longer, but at least they don’t have to commute or deal with coworkers in person. Some office workers are now being asked to return to in-person work. Many have gotten used to working from home and are quitting their jobs rather than go back to the office. Bloomberg has a new profile featuring employees who left jobs which were requiring them go back to the office. Dissatisfied workers are finding new jobs which are fully remote.

With the coronavirus pandemic receding for every vaccine that reaches an arm, the push by some employers to get people back into offices is clashing with workers who’ve embraced remote work as the new normal. A recent poll by Morning Consult showed that 39% of the 1000 respondents would consider quitting their jobs if their companies weren’t flexible about remote work. The poll also showed that of that 39%, 49% who were Gen Z or Millennials in that group would consider quitting. Trends are backing these figures up as many folks are taking to social media to discuss how they are quitting their jobs because they do not wish to return to office life where they have to deal office politics, specifically their bosses keeping them on a short leash. Many discovered that they got more done from home and had more time to do the things that they wanted to do. But we are seeing a generational divide in our ideals about what work and work culture look like. Below are a few more highlights via Bloomberg:

While companies from Google to Ford Motor Co. and Citigroup Inc. have promised greater flexibility, many chief executives have publicly extolled the importance of being in offices. Some have lamented the perils of remote work, saying it diminishes collaboration and company culture. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon said at a recent conference that it doesn’t work “for those who want to hustle.”

But legions of employees aren’t so sure. If anything, the past year has proved that lots of work can be done from anywhere, sans lengthy commutes on crowded trains or highways. Some people have moved. Others have lingering worries about the virus and vaccine-hesitant colleagues.

And for Twidt, there’s also the notion that some bosses, particularly those of a generation less familiar to remote work, are eager to regain tight control of their minions.

But as office returns accelerate, some employees may want different options. A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News.

“High-five to them,” said Sara Sutton, the CEO of FlexJobs, a job-service platform focused on flexible employment. “Remote work and hybrid are here to stay.”

The lack of commutes and cost savings are the top benefits of remote work, according to a FlexJobs survey of 2,100 people released in April. More than a third of the respondents said they save at least $5,000 per year by working remotely.

[From Bloomberg]

Remote and hybrid work are the future and we have been moving toward that model over the last decade. COVID just sped up that process. People have realized that they can get more done from home without the hassle of commuting or dealing with folks in the office. There is also a shift in work culture away from the hustle and grind mentality. People want a better work life balance. These corporations are going to continue to lose employees until they adjust to the new normal. Folks are tired of working long hours for low wages without much free time. I hope that workers continue to understand their worth and walk away. I haven’t worked in an office since 2019 and even then I had been working remotely for Facebook for two years. I would only go in for for the free food and to hang out with my coworkers. The thought of returning to a corporate job gives me a panic attack. So I am here for the job market being an employee’s market.

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Photos credit: Andrea Piacquadio and Israel Andrade on Unsplash and Christina Morillo and This is Engineering on Pexels

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140 Responses to “Office workers are quitting rather than going back to work in person”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    I have read countless articles stating the fact that the man who developed the idea of cubicles lamented it afterwards once he saw how it was utilized in an office setting.
    I had a job where I sat with men in cubes. The walls were four feet high and I could not even call my GYNO to schedule an appointment. I could barely move my chair in there as well. I could hear men belching, passing gas and some even clipped their nails. And when I complained, I was basically told tough (and could leave) and that was government. Higher ups have bigger space and offices where they could shut the door – so no sympathy there.
    I am here for this and I for one will take hybrid or perm at home. Don’t even get me started about the traffic and how much time I save everyday. I basically shut my laptop and can focus on my family (or myself).

    • Lizzie says:

      My office is in a brand new building and there are no cubes, our desks are lined up in rows. You want to talk about no privacy? They just put lucite dividers between the cubes last month in prep for coming back.
      It makes for a bright sunlit office but if you need to use the phone there are small offices for that. I didn’t really work in that office much before lockdown but I loathed it.

      • Cava24 says:

        I have a colleague (a guy) who would listen to everyone’s conversation from 15 feet away and sort of try to join in or would make comments later on “I heard you talking about (this movie, book, event) here are my thoughts about it”. He could not understand why people thought he was rude.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Lizzie sounds like we work in the same office. It’s hilarious honestly that they moved us into a open floor plan right before the quarantine.

      • lucy2 says:

        My office is one big room with all of our desks in it. No privacy at all. Thank goodness for the invention of the cell phone, as I just take a quick walk out back or to my car if I need to make a private call.

      • Dee says:

        Ours is loud with the industrial ceilings and open from the top of the doors to the hallway. Lucky me, I get to hear everyone coming off the elevator and talking on their cell phones when they think they have some privacy.

      • Lizzie says:

        Bettyrose, I feel like I’m in an airport terminal.

      • Anne Call says:

        When my son worked at Facebook and Uber that was the layout-long tables set up. They had glassed in meeting rooms for private meetings. He actually didn’t mind going in for work since he ate all his meals during the week at the fabulous dining halls at Facebook (Uber wasn’t quite so generous). He now only works remote because he prefers it and his wife is a doctor so he is the on call parent for their two kids when they get sick at daycare or need to go to an appt. My other son’s girlfriend worked for a major company in NYC and they didn’t even assign you a seat-it was grabbing whatever was available every morning. She was not a grunt worker either, pretty important job and title. Going to be an interesting next 6 months and see what companies do or if they lose a bunch of employees. They moved across country and she’s waiting to hear if she can continue working remote or have to quit.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        I quit my job last January 2020 and I haven’t looked back. Working for myself is freeing.

    • ME says:

      I absolutely HATE cubicles. I also hate working in an office. Everything about it is horrible. The thing is they don’t want anyone working from home. The owners of the offices/buildings want to make their money. The stores that sell business attire want to make their money. The restaurants people buy their lunch from want to make their money.

      • Kathryn says:

        It’s like being in a bus terminal. You’re on display all day, no privacy, I happened to work for a massive company so was essentially surrounded by complete strangers out outside of our team of 30, we don’t even have cubicles just rows of desks. They wanted us to come back into the office 3x a week (no exceptions and no flexibility to change the days) to just sit on Zoom. Why? And I can’t speak for other companies but the culture of mine is not collaborative (the biggest thing they were touting) — if you spoke or tried to speak to someone you didn’t work with on a daily basis they looked at you like you’re insane. Needless to say, I quit (two weeks before they wanted us back) and got a new job which is fully remote. Good riddance and more power to everyone. They need us and we have the power to shape the workforce and decide how and when we want to to work.

    • Kristen820 says:

      @Serphina – Oh, god. The nail clipping! Sat by a guy who did it at LEAST once a week! I “accidentally” knocked the clippers that he left on his desk between his desk and cube wall. Problem solved!

      • Seraphina says:

        I almost developed a nervous tic. It was awful. And my girlfriends would laugh and say: imagine, those could fly over on you or your cube. I WAS DONE!

      • Tasha says:

        Oh – I can top that. I had woman I worked with who rarely showered – smelled pretty bad. But, she would cut her TOE nails with her foot on her desk. Also, twice, she got her period (she wore long dresses – no undies) and cleaned herself up AT HER DESK.

      • Joanna says:

        @tasha, Omg! Ewww!

    • Lilibetp says:

      I used to work across a woman who had a blistering phone argument with her married boyfriend, then called her gyno to schedule an abortion and IUD while completely surrounded by coworkers in hearing distance (including her boss and mine). While she sat there loudly weeping, I handed her a box of Kleenex and she then went off on me. She ended up leaving the company after they told her she would never be promoted there because she was so unprofessional.

  2. Becks1 says:

    If your employees are just as productive as home, why not keep the teleworking? Maybe you require one day a week in the office or something, but if everyone can spend less time commuting, if the company can downsize its offices and save on space – why not let employees who want to keep teleworking, telework?

    I will say that my husband’s job has changed its thinking about teleworking which has been super nice – it used to be a very old fashioned law firm and was opposed to teleworking except in very unique situations, but now they’ve loosened up a lot and he’s not back in the office full time yet, and even when he does go back full time, I think the approach to telework will be different – it will allow for a lot more flexibility. That’s going to be nice bc he has very limited time off, and he has had to burn a lot of it for things like “schools are closed on this random day” and it’s the one day I can’t take off – but now he can just telework.

    My agency is talking about bringing people back, but its going to be a long process because we have a strong union. My job really doesn’t need to be in person, before I was at home 3 days a week – and when you already have people who are teleworking regularly on different days, then all of your meetings are virtual anyway, everything is done by skype or teams, etc. However we do have components that work with the public and I think they will go back sooner because there are things that are easier in person.

    I am hoping that we end up with 4 days a week teleworking.

    Anyway and then you have people like my brother and SIL, who moved 2 hours away from their offices bc they were told they could keep teleworking, and if their offices change their mind they’re going to be screwed.

    • Ronin says:

      You’d think increased productivity, meeting objectives, and better staff morale would be reason enough to continue flexible WFM, but you would be wrong. My boss pulled us back into the office full time last year at the height of the pandemic because she was “bored” and “afraid they might get rid of” her if she didn’t have staff to mind. There are a lot of people whose job is just to watch adult employees and make sure they’re working, and those people will absolutely shut down flexible work avenues if they feel their role as overpaid babysitter is threatened.

      • Esmom says:

        Hear, hear. My boss is one of them for sure. The entire staff is bristling at her insistence that everyone come back to the office full time, considering we shifted to all remote work last year and didn’t miss a beat. Mine is one of the only jobs that truly can be done fully remotely so I’ve never gone in every day but when I do, she finds every opportunity to spring a last minute project on me and then say “See, this is why it’s best to have everyone in the office!” And each time I shoot back “I could have just as easily done this from home.” It’s exhausting and kind of demoralizing. We are a non-profit and no one makes decent money, it seems like offering flexibility is a nice way to compensate a bit.

      • goofpuff says:

        Ick she is a bad manager or her position needs rework if she can’t manage remote to the point she has to force employees back to the office. A good one is usually too busy to micro manage employees in person like that.

      • Sarah says:

        100% this. I think those managers and executives who are pushing for a return to the office don’t have enough to do working from home. It’s only a matter of time before some of them are seen as redundant.

      • Emm says:

        This is exactly what my husband’s boss was. An overpaid babysitter that was constantly trying to justify his position by micromanaging the crap out of everyone and bringing morale to an all time low. My husband worked at this job for a decade under someone who knew that his employees knew what they were doing and their team numbers were always top in the country so he left them alone and let them do their jobs. Then last summer they cut people because of Covid and teams realigned and he got stuck with a guy that gave him so much busy and redundant work and wanted to have one on one meetings twice a week on top of the multiple team and district meetings to go over everything with a fine toothed comb, which cuts into work hours. This is after they stopped paying overtime and all this new work would easily take 60+ hrs. Anyway, he left last fall and hasn’t looked back but has since talked to his old colleagues and it’s a toxic work place at this point.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        In March 2020, I asked HR if we had a plan to WFH if things got bad and we went into lockdown. She replied, “We can’t all work from home. How can I supervise the receptionist if I’m working from home?”.

        It was one of the stupidest things I’d ever heard. Such a lack of perspective and priorities.

        We went into lockdown days later, and everyone had to work from home.

    • Seraphina says:

      I left a job where the mantra was: a new normal and will embrace teleworking (they vehemently opposed it before COVID) so everyone got comfy and now, almost a year later they are saying teleworking is not working for them so everyone has to come back. Positions filled with people who should retire but don’t and are stuck in archaic thinking. So glad I left.

      • Eleonor says:

        This! Archaic thinking.
        I am currently looking for a new job and yesterday I talked with one rh lady, and one of the first thing I asked was “can I work from home?” She said yes, because remote working will stay even after covid.
        My former colleagues were forced to go back at the office, and MAYBE they will have one or two days of remote work.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I’ve been WFH for several years now – contractually my department only had to be in the office twice per month – and I am convinced that’s one of the reasons why we’ve all been there for so long (the ‘newest’ employee has been there for almost 10 years.)

      We had a company-wide virtual meeting two weeks ago, and we were told that they’re looking at a hybrid model for the future for pretty much every department that it could apply to. You could practically hear the sighs of relief from the employees, hahaha. I think a lot of companies had this ‘gloom and doom’ impression of teleworking, which wasn’t actually based in reality. Now that they’ve seen that it’s not the end of the world as they knew it, they’re open to changing and that definitely is a good thing.

    • Gruey says:

      @Becks1 my husband is at a big firm too and it’s the same, though they haven’t finalized the policies yet it’s really looking like there will be major flexibility. My husband has said he’s literally had a lifetime worth of extra meals and bath times with his children if you count them up, vs what he had expected to get working late hours constantly. There’s really no coming back from that at firms.

      And the change is coming from the top tier firms which tend to set the tone for the industry

    • josephine says:

      I think it really depends on the job. I’ve always had the flexibility to work from home but being in the office has also produced some of my best work. The ability to immediately run an idea past a colleague has been invaluable, and lots of our best ideas have come from casual interactions (not meetings). It’s also really hard to get mentorship remotely, and mentorship is especially important for women and minorities. Those just starting in a job will lose a lot by not having the easy interactions that an office can afford.

      I think working from home makes sense much of the time and for many people, but it’s way too early to simply declare that it’s the best solution. It also creates a huge divide btw those whose jobs allow working from home and those who can’t do so. It feels like yet another caste system in this country could be too easily created.

      • Becks1 says:

        Thats why I said “if your employees are just as productive working from home” – it’s not a one-size fits all solution. But if it works for a specific company or position, why not keep doing it? Bringing people back to the office “just because” is just ridiculous.

      • Larisa says:

        I don’t know, my region is one of the most congested and expensive in the nation, I feel like workers who DO have to be at work in person would still benefit hugely from all the rest of us staying home. Commutes will shorten and become less stressful, maybe parking will become plentiful and/or cheaper, perhaps even real estate will become more within their reach closer to their office as fully remote people move further out. Seems like everyone is still winning, just in different ways.

      • josephine says:

        @Becks1: But productivity can be a hard thing to measure in a lot of instances, and it doesn’t necessarily take into account things like mentorship. I think what the WFH push really shows is that a lot of working environments are unhealhthy and downright abusive. I’m just not convinced that working from home is the neat solution, and in some cases, the isolation may mean fewer eyes on the abusers. I think a recockening is fully in order, and working from home will be a big part of the solution, but I’m leery of sweeping solutions that will work to the advantage of those already entrenched in power.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Josephine I feel like you’re arguing against a point that I’m not making. I’m saying if you CAN do your job just as well from home, and you WANT to continue teleworking, its ridiculous that a company would MAKE you come into the office just of an outdated way of thinking about what constitutes “work.”

        I’m not talking about those “entrenched in power” or anything else.

      • Chana says:

        I support flexibility, but I also can’t perform in a fully remote job. And I think that’s more common than a lot of people care to admit. None of this is really as simple as “if you can do your job from home then do it!”

        My friend says his employees have been seriously slacking off since remote work began. (I trust him, he’s never been a control freak.) And I’ve been noticing how much harder is it just to reach administrative people these days. Emails that would have normally been answered in a day or two need a week.

        “It also creates a huge divide btw those whose jobs allow working from home and those who can’t do so.” Agreed! The division between WFH employees and the gig workers who make that reality possible for them is really jarring. Saw a really gross twitter thread of people complaining about their instacart delivery guys. Ok then buy your own food!

        Productivity is hard to measure in a lot of cases, and I think WFH could backfire because it’s really been highlighting how many jobs are totally superfluous. Next step will probably be outsourced remote labor.

      • Eleonora says:

        I like to work from home sometimes. If everyone works from home as well as in the office, I don’t see the issue.

      • liz says:

        There are jobs that are harder to do from home and there are homes that are not really set up for WFH. Hubby’s job can legitimately be done from home, but it’s really hard for us. We live in an 850 sq ft apartment, with our teenager, who has been in school remotely all year. The apartment is open plan – the living room, dining room and kitchen all open into each other – no doors to close. There are two bedrooms, but they are both small.

        We built a loft in Kiddo’s room, so they can take classes in their room. Hubby has taken over half of our dining room table for his office. If I need to take a phone call, it has to be done sitting on my bed.

        We are managing work/school from home, knowing that there is an end in sight. Hubby will never go back to the office 5 days a week (his company has already acknowledged that the return to work will be hybrid) and he doesn’t want to. But eventually, we will get our home back.

  3. Snuffles says:

    My chronic back pain has disappeared since I started working from home full time. I can sleep longer. Gained 2 hours of commuting time. Lost 15 pounds because I no longer stress eat. I have more flexibility in scheduling appointments. Can easily get home maintenance work done without asking to be excused to greet the worker and let them inside to work.

    I don’t have to deal with obnoxious co-workers. Or make small talk with them. Or listen to them vent. I mean, I generally liked my coworkers at my last job but everyone was stressed and miserable and all we talked about was how stressed and miserable we were. One coworker died after collapsing twice at work. The first time in my arms and I had to stay calm and dial 911 while everyone else freaked out. And she wasn’t the only employee we had to call 911 on.

    Yeah, I don’t miss working at an full time office AT ALL.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Geez, @Snuffles, that’s terrifying. But as soon as I read that, I remembered that a good friend of mine told me in passing that her previous job had multiple people who just…died at their desks. And before my firm got rid of a few really toxic people, I made sure staff knew they could use my office whenever they needed to cry. Office culture can be really f*cked up.

      • Snuffles says:

        @lizzie

        Wow 😳 . No job is worth dying at your desk for.

      • goofpuff says:

        My previous office/cubicle mate (she was 66+ at the time) told me that her wish was to die at her desk (this was several years go). I was horrified because I had already had to call 911 on her TWICE already. Once for a stroke and another because woman was BLEEDING INTERNALLY. “hey goofpuff, why is my abdomen turning blue..” lifts up her shirt HOLY SH$T woman. She was pissed at me for doing that both times. Thankfully I got out of there.

    • Seraphina says:

      @Snuffles – YES! No more having to listen to their problems and act like I care. I have enough to deal with. And the office gossip has stopped too. I have no desire to go back.

      • Kathryn says:

        I was almost there last summer. I had a resting heart rate of 135 just sitting at my desk working and could FEEL it which is why I checked my heart rate — I truly felt like I was going to die from sheer stress. I worked for a micromanager who ran me and the whole team into the ground—no matter how much you had to do she would always add more and didn’t care if you had to work until midnight to get it done. I took the next day off to lie in bed in the dark, perfectly still to try to calm my body and that was the day I decided to look for a new job.

  4. Darla says:

    It’s been ten years since I worked a corporate job, and I honestly cannot imagine going back. It’s beyond my imagination. I really don’t think I could do it. I suppose to survive, but…I would be fully miserable.

    And I guess this is a good example of why. Dimon wants people back because he wants them controlled, owned. On a leash. They don’t want human beings to feel like full human beings with a really good work life balance. They don’t want you happy. They want you desperate. With low self esteem. In a position where you’ll do anything.

    • Kathryn says:

      Funny you mention Dimon that’s who I used to work for which almost sent me to the hospital from stress and overworking. So glad to be free and that is EXACTLY why they want everyone back. It is astonishing to me that these executives are suddenly touting “equality” as the reason people need to be back in the office as if they haven’t been separating themselves in their private offices and being driven to work in black cars since long before COVID. Utter hypocrisy.

  5. MsIam says:

    I’m dreading the “go back”, we are having a meeting today to discuss this. At some point though, having those big empty office buildings is going to put a hit on the economy.

    • goofpuff says:

      The big empty offices can be turned into something better. They were always an eyesore.

      I’ve seen some companies do away with a big office and have smaller common spaces for going into work when.you need to, something a lot of telework companies did before.

    • notasugarhere says:

      In Paris they’ve been revamping offices in historic buildings into apartments. They started doing it half-way through COVID, when big businesses were cancelling leases or not renewing. They know many people want to live an urban lifestyle, so why not turn the buildings into housing?

      • Snuffles says:

        Great idea!

      • Larisa says:

        This! I was just thinking a similar thought out loud above. Currently, many people who work in cities are priced out of city real estate and/or there is a downright housing shortage. Perhaps all those huge abandoned offices could help it?

      • liz says:

        It’s not hard to convert older office buildings into apartments. Because they were built before the advent of central air conditioning, they tend to have much smaller floor plates, openable windows and airshafts. You can split those floor into 3 or 4 reasonably sized apartments and still have a decent amount of light & air inside each apartment. They have been doing a lot of that in lower Manhattan, where there are a lot of older office buildings.

        You can’t do that with the newer, bigger buildings – the floor plates are just too big. These are the buildings that cover half, or sometimes an entire city block, without airshafts or windows that can be opened (they rely on central HVAC systems for interior ventilation). In NYC, the building code requires that all bedrooms have at least one window (and it can be into an airshaft). Carving those spaces up into apartments is difficult, because the bedrooms have to be along the windows. If you have a 50,000 sq ft floor plate, you can get four apartments that are each around 10,000 sq ft (leaving room for elevator shafts & landings, emergency stairs, mechanicals, etc). But each of those apartments will only get 2 or 3 bedrooms. Very few couples or small families want to live in spaces that large and if you have a large family, you want more bedrooms than that.

  6. cassandra says:

    I remember I was traveling in Morocco a few years ago and met a lot of Europeans traveling. They were shocked (and low key horrified) when I told them that I wasn’t getting paid time off.

    I met some Polish guys who told me that they were saving money by being on vacation because it was so cheap in Morocco.

    100% changed my perspective on American “work-life balance”

    • goofpuff says:

      Haha I used to joke that “American Work-Life Balance” really was just “No Balance”.

    • Lex says:

      I get standard 4 weeks paid ofd in Australia which is awesome (although way less than Europe) but I also get leave loading in my job which is magic. I’d never heard of it and couldn’t believe anyone offered it!

  7. goofpuff says:

    Three are a lot of people who still think all people do when working from home is slacking off. That tells me those people are bad candidates for working from home or never worked from home. Or they suck as a remote mangers and should be transferred to an on-site position. Don’t punish other workers for people who don’t want to work from home.

    Also, there are coworkers who want to go into work because they have no life outside of work and get their social interaction at work. But again expecting coworkers to come in to help with social anxiety is ridiculous.

    It’s usually fairly obvious if you are slacking off if you are not available during work hours or not completing your assignments or basically doing a bad job. Then as a manager you would need to deal with it like you would in person, talk to them, etc.

    • Adrian says:

      Wait till they see what people actually do in the office. Candy Crush, Agoda /Trivago, Facebook, Grindr, etc. And 30 min to 5, they are already fixing themselves in the bathroom. Wait not they but we. Yes, I am also guilty of doing those things. Just because you are in a professional setting doesn’t mean you are also doing work related stuff.

      • goofpuff says:

        Hahaha I think I slacked off more at work! So much socializing going on in between meetings. Nowadays I get SO much more done at home. Especially when I don’t need to spend 2 hours in traffic every day.

    • MF1 says:

      “Three are a lot of people who still think all people do when working from home is slacking off. That tells me those people are bad candidates for working from home or never worked from home. ”

      Yep. They assume everyone sucks at WFH because they’re bad at it. They can’t imagine other people might be competent in ways they are not.

  8. SusanRagain says:

    I have been WFH for several years. I do not miss going in at all.
    I’m close to 60 and I would absolutely change jobs before I’d go back to an office setting.

    I’ve also changed my personal biz to online, I have no need to meet and great in person my personal lawyer, mortgage refi banker, insurance agent or landscapers. I really do not miss the chit chat/bs at all.
    Online/zoom is faster, less office politics.

  9. deezee says:

    My office is in the midst of moving to a new building. Instead of trying to fit a lot of desks into a tight space, they are moving jobs (people) that have proven to successfully work from home, to work from home permanently with hotel desks available for the occasional need to be in the office. I’m lucky to be one of those people. After having a job in which I was gone when the sun rose and home as it set, this is a change I enjoy. And would not have happened if the pandemic hadn’t forced us to WFH.

    • Esmom says:

      That’s exactly how it should work. You’re lucky you have senior management who aren’t afraid of change.

      I heard an interesting story on the radio yesterday, though, about what employers should pay for when you work from home. The piece talked about how not just computer hardware but electricity should be covered by the employer, not something I had thought about. I have a couple friends whose employers gave them a couple hundred bucks to buy office stuff for their homes during the pandemic. My employer gave everyone an extra $30 a month to cover our cell phone bills during the pandemic but that’s it.

      • Claire says:

        @Esmom that’s precisely why I don’t mind going back. While working from home I don’t get a stipend and use my personal phone to make calls. So now all of my clients have my cell and just call to ask questions whenever the mood strikes. If my office provided any stipends for electricity, internet, phone etc I would stay home forever. But they don’t so I do not mind going back so they’re paying for what they should be, not me.

      • deezee says:

        This is one that that hasn’t been addressed yet. While I could claim some of my expenses on taxes this year (a better desk and chair) there hasn’t been talk yet about computers, cell phones, or proof of working from home. Once travel restrictions are lifted, what’s to stop me from working from the cottage or the south of France for three months?

  10. Sam the Pink says:

    I mean, I understand both sides. One thing not mentioned here is how office workers prop up basically an entire economy – especially restaurants. My old office was surrounded by little restaurants and food trucks and carts that basically lived off of the office workers who used them during the day. Without those workers, a lot of them will close – and that’s sad, because many of them are filled by immigrants, people of color, etc. I wish there was a way to get working from home without the inevitable harms that will come to people like them.

    • Esmom says:

      Very good point. It’s a complex issue for sure.

    • Darla says:

      Yes, that’s true. I brought it up here a couple of months ago and was slammed and told people who WFH also have to eat. lol I mean, I’ve been WFH for ten years and I do NOT eat lunch out. Ever.

    • notasugarhere says:

      As I wrote above, there are many people who like the idea of living in cities. Bigger, smarter cities are revamping empty office space into apartments. That keeps the buildings full and provides a readymade audience for the small restaurants.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Except large scale redevelopment takes TIME. You are living in a fantasy if you think there is going to be large scale redevelopment in any kind of timeframe that won’t result in inevitable harm to the surrounding economy.

        Also, you forget that residential space has one big difference – the occupants bear the cost of living in them (as opposed to commercial space, where the tenant is the business). I do not pay rent or costs to work in the office, my employer does. But I bear the cost of the building I live in. Restaurants around an apartment building do not reap the benefits if the residents are spending all their money to live there and don’t have a sufficient disposable income. That’s another reason why I tend to view the “oh, they’ll just make them apartments” as a bit of wishful thinking.

      • Larisa says:

        @Sam the Pink
        not sure why it matters who bears the cost of that particular building. If I work there and don’t bear it, I bear the cost of another building somewhere else. If that didn’t stop me from eating out before, why would it now? My budget is what my budget is. I don’t think anyone will move to the city if it erases their disposable budget. They will move if the mortgage is comparable or higher, but with other savings built in, like not having to own a car and pay insurance, maintenance, gas, and parking in the city.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Larisa, it doesn’t work the way you describe. Here’s why: most office workers don’t live within a walking distance of their offices. Meaning, they live in one area and work in another. They commute. Why does that matter? Because it changes the economy of the consumer base for the businesses around where the workers are. The workers may live in a more affordable area, and thus have bigger disposable incomes, and commute into an area with a higher cost of living to spend that income. See how that works? The businesses surrounding the office, while in a higher-COL area, essentially are propped up by a more affordable economy from the workers. Now, let’s say that office building converts to residential, which is what is being proposed, and the expectation becomes that the people who live in the building will patronize the businesses around it. The problem is that those people are subject to a higher cost of living, and thus, may have smaller disposable incomes (it is certainly possible that the building may get lucky and be able to totally fill itself with high earners, but that is by no means a given – and also, keep in mind that businesses that catered to a lower COL clientele may not hold the same appeal for those people). Thus, the businesses are still likely to see a drop off in their business, since they do not have the same customer base anymore. That’s the point, and why the argument “just convert it to residential!” is a fairytale solution – because economics is too complex.

        Also, to your point about moving – people move for a variety of reasons, and yes, plenty of people do more to more expensive housing that they struggle to afford – why? Because they have to. They follow the jobs, they follow the benefits, they feel like they have to, etc. I take it you haven’t spent much time working with populations of people who largely need to follow the whims of the economy and move based on those factors, but I have, and moving into more expensive housing is often not a choice.

    • Twin falls says:

      Dry cleaning businesses have to be suffering too.

      • Hannah says:

        Most dry cleaning businesses are terrible for the environment. Not feeling the need to prop up a polluting industry.

      • goofpuff says:

        I would think they would suffer anyway as we’re getting better fabrics or going back to cotton or natural less plastic fabrics. I hate dealing with dry cleaning nowadays. If it can’t go in a machine wash, I’m not buying it.

    • MF1 says:

      True, but in every office job I’ve ever worked, most people don’t eat out the majority of the time. In corporate jobs, the salaried employees barely eat lunch at all because they’re busy. and don’t have time for a break.

      • goofpuff says:

        It is really expensive to eat out around where I work. When you’re spending like 10-15 dollars a day, it adds up really fast. Most people I know bring their lunches.

    • lucy2 says:

      It definitely is going to cause a ripple effect through a lot of other businesses.

    • Becks1 says:

      It will cause a ripple effect throughout the economy, especially because it’s this huge wave of teleworking – as companies gradually moved to more telework, it might not be such a hard hit. It’s going to affect restaurants that are based around office buildings, dry cleaners like someone said above (my husband used to have to wear a suit every day and now hasn’t worn one in over a year), clothing stores that specialize in business clothes (brooks brothers, etc), heck even cars – I usually put around 15-20k a year on my car and this past year I think I put 8k on it (miles.) So I don’t need new tires at the rate I normally would, I’m getting fewer oil changes, etc.

      But, I don’t think that every company out there is going to go to 100% telework, so that should help mitigate some of the losses. I know our state government is starting to bring people back to the office and they announced over the past few months that they are relocating some large departments to downtown to help with job loss in the area. I think a few strategic moves like that could help slow the bleeding.

      • goofpuff says:

        Its a ripple effect though that was a long time coming. Even dress codes in many places have relaxed to where people don’t wear suits to work anymore. I know they don’t any longer at my workplace. We’re all business casual now. Nobody needs dry cleaning.

    • Chana says:

      “One thing not mentioned here is how office workers prop up basically an entire economy” thank you! And the alternative is underpaid delivery workers in the gig economy

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Those same people will still be eating lunch, but the restaurants near their homes will get the business instead of near their office.

    • Meg says:

      We still ordered out while working from home. Food trucks near our homes or apartments could still get customers at lunch time working from home

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Not that simple. Many cities in the US have zoning codes that actually keep food trucks and carts out of residential areas – it seems amazing, but its true. You can’t just park on my corner and start selling meals. I would hope that cities would revisit that, but sadly, most are not.

      • liz says:

        People working from home generally don’t use food vendors or trucks for lunch, even where they are allowed. We have them in our neighborhood – the hot dog guy on our corner has been feeding the students & teachers from the high school next door for 20 years. I saw him setting up this morning as I came back from my run.

        Hubby & I always used to get lunch from the falafel guys outside our offices. But in the work from home era, it’s cheaper & easier to just wander into the kitchen and reheat leftovers from last night’s dinner.

        The restaurants in our neighborhood have, for the most part, survived. I live in Manhattan, in a mostly residential neighborhood. The local places managed on take-out/delivery and sidewalk dining and they had a very loyal local following that was willing and able to keep them afloat. The restaurants in other neighborhoods, that were reliant on tourists and/or office workers for survival had a much harder time of it.

    • MsIam says:

      I agree with you Sam. Last week my husband took me downtown in my city for lunch for my birthday. We had to hunt to find a place that was open. Because so many people are working from home a lot of places aren’t bothering to open until the evenings or some only the weekends. Some places just went out of business completely. It was like a ghost town. Hopefully as things open up from COVID more people will come back out.

  11. Northstar says:

    I have worked remotely since 1998, with the exception of a period of one a half years in the mid-aughts when I tried an office job again – I HATED being back in the office and quit as soon as I could. Working from home is the only way for me.

  12. Kate says:

    I beg to differ. Here in Chicago, the traffic has returned as earths version of hell.

    • Esmom says:

      Chicagoan here, too, who is living south of the city temporarily while we renovate a new place. It’s insane. Normally it takes me 1.5 hours to get to my office (luckily I only have to go in once a week) but six of the last eight weeks it has taken between 2.5 and 3. I see the miles of cars jammed ahead of me and just want to cry.

      • Zantasia says:

        Do you think it’s because people aren’t comfortable using public transit yet are required to return to work?

      • Esmom says:

        Zantasia, I think that’s right. Transit ridership is way down. I know CTA is trying to incentivize people to take it again. Hopefully it will work. My co-worker just switched from driving to the train again because she could not deal with the traffic anymore. Hopefully more people will soon follow suit.

  13. EnormousCoat says:

    I am in the camp of quit rather than go back. I am fortunate to have that option. But as a knowledge worker who doesn’t interface with the public, I’ve had the remote option for over a decade. So going into a brick and mortar office everyday felt/feels like my employers exercising control over me just to do so. I do think there is a value in face-to-face, but workers in my category simply don’t need to go into an office on a daily basis imo. If employers have trust issues, then maybe they should develop new policies and procedures to boost morale and productivity, rather than making their problems ours.

  14. Aang says:

    I work as an adjunct teaching one class per semester for the specific purpose of getting out of the house. I’ll be happy to go back to the classroom at the end of August. My husband has an 8 minute commute and prefers being in the office. He also likes that most of his coworkers have chosen to work from home. He says it’s peaceful and he gets a ton done with few distractions.

    • Larisa says:

      With an 8-minute commute, most people wouldn’t care much one way or the other. The average commute in my area is 45 min though. Mine was 2 hours.

  15. Seán says:

    Going to offer a different perspective and say that I really miss the office. I’m a European civil servant so my office was already flexible and offered paid time off when needed. I was always able to leave work in the office when I returned home.

    Now that I work from home, I am working more than ever and it has taken its toll on my mental health. Even when I try to finish my job at 5:00pm, I often decide to spend hours extra working on stuff that could wait but I may as well get out of the way because there will be another onslaught of things to do the next day. There’s just a lack of balance and structure to my day. We used to be awarded a day and a half a month if we consistently worked up that time in a previous month. It is suspended while we work from home as managers couldn’t monitor the time accurately of their employees and it would be too easy to take advantage of. I really miss it though because it was great for the mental health days or planning long weekends. Also with everyone being at home, there’s more housework to do so I don’t even feel like I have free time or that life has “slowed down”.

    But most of all, I miss my friends from work and even sociaisling with my colleagues that I’m just acquainted with. It was nice going for drinks after a stressful day of work or attending retirements, company events. Yes, there’s some office politics but I would argue that it’s worse now as with people working remotely and people not having regular interaction. There’s a lot more bad blood, rumours and suspicion.

    I say this as a single person who was within an hour’s walking distance / short bus, bike or car journey from my office. I know there are people who have families or long commutes or most important social circles outside the office who found WFH a godsend! I just hope in the future that there’s a nice balance of people who can WFH and people who can attend the office; rather than a universal push to only go one way or another.

    • FHMom says:

      I understand this. Before leaving my job, I was a teacher. I would have absolutely hated teaching from,home. Before I married, my 2 bedroom shared apartment would never have worked as a classroom. After having kids, especially now that all 3 are home, my house would have been too noisy and there would be no appropriate place to work. My husband and I would have been fighting for our very small office space, which can only fit one desk and is not very presentable. Plus, as you said, I enjoyed my lunches and socialization with coworkers. It would have been awful. The only solution would have been for me to go back to my empty classroom and teach there if allowed.

    • kw says:

      I appreciate your other side of the coin opinion. You are spot on. For young (single) people….but not just…in person interaction is really important. My 19 yo who lives for seeing people found online uni terribly isolating. He hated it and was the lowest he’s even been. In contrast, I love working from home though, I too, miss seeing faces.

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here with the working hours. Before I could leave work at the office and have an evening. I worked until 11:30 pm last night. Thankfully we’re super busy so I have job security, but it’s definitely much much harder to have a work life balance.
      I do miss being able to chat with my coworkers, we all get along very well and have worked together for years, and my job is in design and construction, so there’s a lot of collaboration. We’ve made it work remotely, but it is easier together.
      That said, I love not having to get up super early, love wearing sweats all day, love not having to drive to work and only filling up my gas tank maybe once a month now. I love being home with my cats, and the flexibility of the schedule. My boss is not pushing anyone to come back, yet. I would love to do some sort of hybrid, but we’ll see.

    • Ladiabla says:

      I’m with you Sean, though I know it’s not popular. I’ve missed being at the office, socializing with my coworkers and friends, going to grab lunch, actually picking out an outfit for work. It really has taken a toll on my mental health to not see people. I’m single and live alone and it’s been quite lonely. I understand how those who have a family or a long commute don’t want to return to the office, but I really miss seeing people. I miss the unexpected fun things that can come up in a day. I’m sorry but meetings through zoom are just not the same. I think our company may do some kind of hybrid in the future, and I can accept that things aren’t/won’t be the same, but it still makes me sad to see the same four walls of my apartment every day. And I’m an introvert, but this is way, way too much. I need that human interaction. I think I heard Jon Favreau on pod save America say once it’s safe, he plans on having his ass in the office everyday and hugging people in the streets. When I heard that I was like, I’m with you Jon. And he loves his job! I’m not writing the great American novel over here. My job is not creative, which is another reason for missing the people around me. They are one of the major pros of the job.

      • Darla says:

        These perspectives from single people are really interesting, and not often taken into account so thank you for sharing. I’m single but wasn’t until for most of my life, so I haven’t really considered this perspective. I do remember when I was younger and single, and honestly even when I was younger and coupled, really loving the social aspect of the office. And the happy hours, the flirting, the girlfriends I made, the water cooler chats, there was a lot to like. A lot of social interaction which is already in shorter supply these days due to the internet. I don’t think it’s fair to say these people “have no life” so they need work as someone said above. I think that person should be careful. I was almost never not coupled up (of course people would mock me as unable to be alone the same nasty way they do about Jlo, I’m sure), but things changed for me after my hysterectomy, some depression, and then covid. It’s a long life. You won’t always have what you have now. Empathy and understanding where others are coming from goes a long way.

      • Cava24 says:

        I would go into the office every day to be hugged by Jon Favreau. #worthit #fanofthepod

      • Meg says:

        I seem to attract toxic female coworkers and only date through online dating as guys look right past me so being in office is a waste of energy for me

      • Ladiabla says:

        @Darla thank you for your understanding. I’m really going to have to make an effort to engage in my community (more than I ever have before), if WFH continues for the foreseeable future.

        @cava24 Lol I would too, though I’m really in love with Tommy Vietor. I can’t even explain it, I don’t normally find wasp-y dudes attractive, but he just does it for me 😆😉

  16. Lizzie says:

    Managers need to learn how to manage people remotely. About ten years ago my employer built an additional IT building because we were bursting at the seams. Few people wanted to drive the extra distance to the new office so they told everyone who lived west of the highway to work there. That broke up departments, managers learned how to manage employees in different locations which led to let’s all work from home and keep moteling cubes and conference rooms. The key was learning how to manage employees who are remote. CEOs need to learn the same lesson.

  17. Daphne says:

    I traveled every week for work to clients in unglamorous remote locations. The firm I work for is pretty old fashioned and very into “boots on the ground.” I have vowed to myself the day they insist I have to get back on a plane is the day I quit. My # of clients has increased from 2 to 5 and I’m working more hours than pre pandemic. No way that can be done adding airport travel. So… Labor Day Is probably the last day I’ll be employed!

  18. Imara219 says:

    I loved every aspect of remote working. The schedule the relaxed mode. I still worked hard but without the extra BS my mental was much better. I liked being able to work but also relax.

    • Heat says:

      Me too! Our return-to-work timeline hasn’t been announced, yet, but I’m sure it’s not long in coming. I have already obtained all of the paperwork to submit my Request for Telework agreement. I can’t submit it until an actual return date has been announced.
      I work harder and smarter at home than I ever did in the office, but my stress levels have come down significantly.

  19. Case says:

    I’ve worked from home for four years now and love it. Any job I’d interview for in the future I’d make clear I want a remote position. Remote work allows for so much more accessibility — for people with children, people with chronic pain and/or disabilities, people who are introverts/suffer from mental health issues, etc., on and on. Not all of us are meant to work in an office 8 hours a day, and I think that idea is finally catching on. I’m glad that employees finally feel more empowered to ask for what they need, because I think that’s the only way to force companies to be more flexible.

  20. FilmTurtle says:

    I absolutely love most aspects of working from home. It’s true I’m working longer hours because I’m not spending so much GD time sitting in traffic, but I’ll take the extra sleep in the morning, the quiet, the privacy, the lack of micro-management and last-second meetings that accomplish nothing, the amazing flexibility — I can actually run important errands during the week instead of trying to cram everything into Saturday. My office didn’t miss a beat. Only the boss and their minions (whose jobs are basically to agree with the boss) have been having an existential crisis for the past year. I’m actually feeling anxiety about being called back in, if/when it happens.

  21. CathyH says:

    I’m in my 50s and have been an office worker since I was 22. In that time I have had a cube with high walls, cubes with short walls, open offices with no walls and offices with walls and a door. I also began doing as much work from home as possible the entire time. When portable computers first came out, I would borrow one from my employer and work from home for a day. I got so much done! Since then I work from home as much as I can and loved COVID. It’s time companies wake up and at the least offer a hybrid office version. Any executive that won’t doesn’t understand how young people communicate today. “Talking” digitally is the same as in person to them. In the end, the employer that has a hybrid office will get the high performing workers!

  22. Mel says:

    I only went into the office four days a week before, when we open back up in Sept , I’m going in for two. Sometimes, I have to get out of the house.

  23. Layla Beans says:

    Jamie Dimon can pound it. That guy is a Grade A weasel on the best of days.

    I work from home as I am self employed (last 2 years) and I will never go back to an office. I am far more productive at home not listening to my cubemate unload her personal issues onto the team while watching the Office Politik Olympics first hand. Remote working is a godsend.

  24. Triscuit says:

    I remember when I used to work in an office. I left in 2018 but for most of my adult life I did work in various offices and I absolutely loathed it. I cannot express how much I hated working in offices, everything from the politics, lack of privacy, being constantly watched over your shoulder, micromanaged and the horror of being imprisoned for hours and hours behind those walls escaping only to buy an overpriced lunch and for two 15 minute breaks. Everyday now I feel grateful and am so happy to no longer work in an office. I have to be honest, it was pure torture and I totally understand anyone not wanting to work in those settings. The psychology of office work is pretty dysfunctional and does not encourage productivity.

    • Darla says:

      I totally understand this perspective too, and have had jobs like this. It’s such a mixed bag, job environments differ and so of course do people and their needs.

  25. Sue says:

    Just went back into the office full time. I wish we could do hybrid. I like socializing with my coworkers again but I definitely get more done at home and I’m not exhausted from my commute.

  26. mellie says:

    We’ve been at home since March and it’s been nice, though I’d go back to work every day
    if that would reverse the suffering our country has gone through this past 15 months. That being said, we are preparing to go back to a hybrid schedule of 2 days in the office, 3 days at home beginning after the 4th of July holiday and I think that is fine for what I do, I’m not complaining. I could honestly just go in one day a week probably every other week, maybe just for a team meeting, but after 18 years of 5 days a week, I’m not going to push the envelope. And I work for the gov, so if they have their $hit together than everyone else can get it together too!

  27. Millie says:

    I work in HR and working from home was a hot button issue for us for years before the pandemic started. We had employees begging to work from home for work-life balance issues and their managers would say no … sometimes not because the job couldn’t be done remotely but because it made the manager uncomfortable. Now that everyone has been working remotely for a year and our business hasn’t imploded, it will be interesting to see how managers deal with the argument that all jobs in our office (with a handful of exceptions) can be done remotely now that we have adopted new technologies, it will be interesting to see what excuses uncomfortable managers come up with to keep people where they can see them.

    Some managers don’t trust their employees even though they trusted them enough to hire them in the first place. Some managers are micromanagers who need to breathe down the necks of their employees to feel like they are in control as a way to manage their own anxiety issues. Others aren’t actually aware of what a manager is supposed to be doing (managing performance) as opposed to supervising the things that they can see (employee clock in and clock out time regardless of actual productivity) because they haven’t had good managers to model good managing skills either.

    In my industry, a lot of employees are promoted to managerial positions because their bosses want to reward them for being exceptional workers with little to no attention paid to whether or not they are good people managers. The house of cards is going to fall down in those cases and, sadly, the responsibility for that falls on Executives who’ve been looking to give raises and prestige to knowledge experts within their teams.

    I have a lot of sympathy for managers who want people to come back to the office because they’re often times dealing with stresses that aren’t necessarily their fault (workplace culture that values face time with employees, lack of technical knowledge and skills to work as people managers in a remote working environment). Reverting back to outdated workplace models isn’t a solution to those problems, however. Society has evolved tremendously since then and workplaces need to adapt with the times or they will be replaced by organizations that have adapted successfully by using hybrid models at the very least.

    • Meg says:

      Yes soothing the managers anxieties thats a great point

    • Snuffles says:

      “ In my industry, a lot of employees are promoted to managerial positions because their bosses want to reward them for being exceptional workers with little to no attention paid to whether or not they are good people managers”

      I had a boss like that once. Very knowledgeable in his field of expertise and put in the years with the organization, but he was a TERRIBLE manager. Just awful with people and very short tempered. He had a ridiculously high turnover in his department and tons of complaints lodged against him. He even got demoted once where he was no longer allowed to supervise anyone and was only supposed to focus on his area of expertise. Fortunately for him, his replacement was even WORSE and got fired before he was reinstated.

      Ugh. Glad I’m gone from there.

    • Kelly says:

      I work in higher education, and it’s more the norm to have people in supervisory roles who really aren’t cut out temperamentally to be in those roles. The majority of managers and supervisors where I work are outright awful or people who are great at the parts of their job that don’t involve supervising people. They have to supervise people as part of their job duties and the decent ones try their best. It’s more important that they have the advanced degree and related work experience than prior supervisory experience. I don’t think it’s too much to expect some formal supervisory training annually as part of their job. If my organization ever did some form 360 degree reviews, the results would be scathing towards management and express the frustration many of us have felt on the record.

      In some cases, especially with one colleague in particular, he’s not even good at the core part of his job and is a terrible supervisor. He’s an actual example of a mediocre white male given more responsibility than he’s capable of. He’s whining about having to hire student workers now in June, so we’re fully staffed for September, instead of waiting until the last minute and hoping we can get people who can do more than simply be a warm body.

      • Ania says:

        I feel you. My husband is a physician and says the same. I think that corporate world found out about soft skills and management skills long time ago but hospitals/universities are completely ignoring it. Experts in their fields are promoted to managers when they have no people skills and their employers don’t provide necessary training.

  28. Turtledove says:

    I am not sure yet what the outcome will eventually be for my office. We are currently fully remote, The last update we had was that we would not be expected to return until at least mid-September, and perhaps not everyone at once even then.

    I do not see my company ever going fully remote for everyone, but what I am really hoping for is a LOT of flexibility. If I could be full time remote, I 100% would, but as I just don’t see that as possible, I am hoping that we can maybe do 3 days at home. I would not quit over it, as I have been there for over 2 decades. But I can absolutely see others who are not quite that invested timewise quitting for a fully remote job.

    We have saved SO much $ by being remote. We went down to one car, as neither of us had a commute. We saved a ton on gas. But ultimately it is the TIME we saved that you can’t put a price on. My commute was at least an hour each way, sometimes much longer. Currently, I definitely put in more than 8 hours most days, but it doesn’t feel like it, because it is offset by the time I DON’T spend in the car, or getting dressed up / doing makeup/hair. And being able to throw a load of laundry in at 1pm on a Tuesday is awesome.

  29. Natters5 says:

    Twelve years ago I was working for a startup where the office manager recommended that we work remotely from home and come in twice a week. She said that would save us 20k a month. The moronic CEO and his equally idiotic VP simply refused even though the idea was brilliant. Well we had to close the startup because we ran out of money a few months before debuting our product. Had he listened to the office manager he would still be in business. Or at least had a chance to debut his product. They were so focused on overseeing a staff that they contribute to the failure of the startup. I left the corporate world in 2013 with no plan but even though I get less money now its worth it because I have freedom from just being a cog in a machine. My friend is having a hard time getting his workers back to the office. They told him they want to live far away from NYC and have a better quality of life but he can’t see it (he’s Gen X).Working remotely is here to stay and should be embraced.

    • goofpuff says:

      That’s surprising. I’m Gen X and we’re the generation all about computers and remote working and internet explosion. At least in my industry. Of course, I’m a younger Gen X though.

      • Audrey says:

        I’m an old Gen-X and totally believe in WFH – I have been for over 10 years. That CEO and VP are just idiots, regardless of generation.

      • Sadie says:

        GenX here and I fully support WFH. I am letting my staff of one work from home 3 days/week – the max our company will now begrudgingly allow – but as a supervisor I am expected to be in office 5 days a week. I am ready for a new stage in life – I do not want to go back to 5 days in office plus the travel my job requires. The pace of that life was too much!

  30. Lily P says:

    My friend has just done this! Housing is too expensive in the city centre where she works for her wage, there’s no parking around, and the commute on public transport takes over 90 minutes each way. Her perfomance hasn’t been impacted from stay-at-home working but her improved happiness sure has.

  31. 2lazy4username says:

    I will go back 2 days a week of my choice starting July 13th. I think t’s the perfect balance. I could never go back again 5 days a week. I say that from a privileged position, of course. And I fully acknowledge that.

  32. paranormalgirl says:

    Our foundation has gone to primarily work from home with really only three people at the office. And that’s been amazing for everyone. We’re streamlining our workspace to a smaller space with a flexible “office” dedicated to work from home workers who need to come in for whatever reason. So instead of 10 offices, a conference room, and reception, we will have 2 offices (one standard for the CEO and one more flexispace), small reception, and a conference room set up with teleconferencing equipment. Only the receptionist, administrative assistant, and the CEO are in the office regularly. All others come in once a week on a staggered schedule. Our transition to a more flexible space will be complete by July 1. We have been paying for cell service for our workers (and phones, of course) and they only need to have them on during business hours. We also outfitted everyone with laptops, hotspots with VPN, printers, and a stipend for expenses for work from home (it can be used for anything, including electric bills). If they need specialized office equipment, that is provided. Yes, it’s an initial outlay for the organization, but it makes for happier employees and more productive days. And now we’re saving by leasing a smaller space, so that money covers the outlay. Now the we seem to be past the worst, our IT guy is also primarily WFH, and will do “house calls” for the employees having tech issues. I’m not really involved in the day to day, but our CEO is on top of all of it and it seems to be working well.

  33. Lizzie says:

    Working from home for a year means you’ve made lifestyle changes that will be really hard to give up. They like to talk about work life balance, well here is their shot to uphold that sentiment.

  34. SomeoneCerulean says:

    I’m one of those people who can’t sustain my own work structure. I live in NYC and have been going into the office daily for about a month now. I, personally, am more productive with the structure an office provides. Even though I’m the only one in my department, I am able to focus much better.

  35. Sbee says:

    Corporate real estate investment. Control of employee. Those are the reasons the c suite folx complain about remote work.

  36. Lizzie says:

    Confession, I’m a nice enough person but I have realized I no longer want to pretend to be nice to countless people for 40 a week. Dealing with people in a teams chat or phone call is 1000 times easier, especially the very few I would rather not talk to.

  37. Leah says:

    I don’t blame them. Right now I am doing a hybrid schedule of 3’s/2’s, where I have to go in two days a week. I miss working from home FT because I could get more done without distractions and drama. The only semi drama was my two cats happily wrestling or chasing eachother. I’d choose them over brownosing, kowtowing, backstabbing, and gossipy co-workers any day. I don’t miss the misunderstandings or being constantly worried that you looked at someone sideways. I like the quiet.

    I figure the real reason why employers want people to return to cubicle hell is control, where they can keep an eye on the employees. There’s really no reason for anyone who works corporate and does their entire job on a computer to stay in the office IMO.

  38. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    What I worry about is American companies have no respect or loyalty to their employees. As soon as it is shown that a job can be performed remotely, the employer will outsource that job to a third world employee for a fraction of the pay.

  39. jbyrdku says:

    I love working from home. I’ve always wanted to work from home, and the pandemic really solidified that dream for me. I’d probably settle for a hybrid situation, but for the time being we’re being asked to maintain remote.

  40. Amando says:

    Part of me (the introvert) would love to work from home, but there is something to be said about getting up every morning, putting myself together, and getting out of the house 5 days a week. It gives me purpose, social interaction and exercise.

  41. ZeeEnnui says:

    I’ll be honest, I miss the office. That doesn’t mean I want to be there five days a week. I work in marketing, and there are so many impromptu brainstorming sessions or important conversations that don’t happen naturally from home. Right now I’m fully remote, and it sounds like we’ll be adopting a hybrid model 2-3 days in the office the rest from home (but that will be left up to the individual employee). I’m all for that. There are days where I feel like I need to be in the middle of things, and others where I need the quiet in my home to focus on big projects. Whatever your preferred work style, I really appreciate that employers are finally taking WFH seriously. Too many companies have a misconception that people aren’t working if they aren’t at home. We all know that’s not true, but older C-Suite executives aren’t comfortable if they don’t see butts in seats. I’m not sure how my final work situation will look like but one thing I did realize over the past year – I have to move. No more roommates. If my apartment is going to be my office then I can’t be sharing space with someone else.

  42. LynnInTX says:

    I started back in the office this week, and I despise it. We are a small company (right at 20 people), and last year, the boss/owner announced that she decided the office would be an exec office only, and everyone else would work remotely. I was thrilled – I LOVE working from home. Well, she changed her mind and informed me 2 months ago I was expected back in first week of June. She kept hounding me about it, every single week, reminding me. I don’t understand because literally every one else with my job description is out of state and able to work remotely. She is putting up job postings on LinkedIn touting that you don’t have to transfer, you can work remote! Unless you live within so many miles of the office apparently. My supervisor (the VP), tried in vain to reason with the boss that we managed the business remotely last year – even doubling the size of the company – all while working from home, so we should all be allowed to remain doing so if we chose. She refuses to listen.

    I decided I’d give it a shot. I’d forgotten how much I hate it all. How much it drains me. How much I hate faking social interaction I really could not care less about. Even with a relatively short commute, I hate it. I absolutely cannot stand our new office manager, who seems to want to gossip and talk more than work, and then turns around and got salty with me when she found out I had a key. And then today, my boss announced that she is signing a lease for a bigger office, so we can turn it into a “training center.” But until we can move in (3 months from now), we are going to have to make do, and she is bringing even more people in starting next week, into our tiny space. I’ve already gotten less done in a week than I usually do in a day. I’ve gone back to unconsciously grinding my teeth – even during the day(!). I had panic attacks in my sleep all week. I’m completely out of energy when I get home, and on the verge of tears.

    I’m spending this weekend polishing up my resume.

    It’s sad. I love my job 90% of the time. Other than this one thing everyone in charge is pretty fantastic. I love (most) of the people I work with. I love all the people on my team. They’ve been incredibly generous with my pay. I’ve been promoted every year. I was told last year by the VP that she could see me in her position once the boss retires. And yet, their inflexibility with this one thing means I’ll be looking for something else. I can’t deal with it anymore. Not after this last year. Not after I’ve seen what my life *could* be. I gave everything to them while working remotely – even working 14 hour days occasionally when our clients were under the gun with government audits – because I wanted our company to shine. I just don’t understand why it’s good enough for everyone else except those of us within ‘driving’ distance. I told my BFF that I refuse to work more than 8 hours a day anymore. If they are going to pull me back into the office, then I refuse to do anything after I walk out the door.

    • Keskat says:

      That truly sounds horrible! I don’t know why anyone would insist on bringing people back to the office when it’s now been proven that commuting to an office and being forced to sit there with the noise and restrictions and distractions isn’t productive for a lot of people! My husband has been working from home for the past year and he says he’s way more productive at home and his company actually didn’t renew their lease in expensive downtown because it wasn’t needed. They realized they got the same or better results from their employees being at home and managing their own time! Plus he’s free to be there for school pickups for our kids and his work/life balance has shot up exponentially. Only the most oblivious higher ups would insist on returning to work at this point.

      My own work isn’t a work from home situation but my company keeps talking about bringing all those WFH people back in and I forsee a lot of extremely unhappy people ahead.

  43. teehee says:

    I sincerely don’t understand why the companies are gonna act like nobody learned that physical presence is not a requirement for many tasks, and can actually prove to be the biggest hindrance to productivity. (hint: they think they are powerful cos they can threaten to not hire us. And it has absolutely nothing to do with being right)

  44. Princess Caroline says:

    I feel this. I work at a uni and knew going into last august that it would be my last year. 5 years was enough and was sick of my boss. Cut to our company being taken over and it only solidified my decision. Boss talked me into going back for summer camps but after that I’m out and so psyched about it. Moving in December so I can spend the next 7 months just focusing on myself and I finally get to color my hair something wild. Can’t wait!