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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I’m Frustrated That My Employees Don’t Want to Return to the Office’”

Home Forums General Chat “I’m Frustrated That My Employees Don’t Want to Return to the Office’”

  • This topic has 33 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by OU.
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 34 total)
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  • #1099426 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Wow, the LW in this advice column is really something else! Thought you all would appreciate:

    “I’m Frustrated That My Employees Don’t Want to Return to the Office’”

    https://www.thecut.com/2021/10/my-employees-dont-want-to-go-back-to-the-office.html

    #1099427 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    bump

    #1099432 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    Agree.. that LW… yikes. I liked the advice.

    Our 45K+ firm started an initiative earlier this year that basically says “talk to your manager and work out whatever makes sense for your position and for your clients.” As a manager, I’m asking people to come in only if we have a collaboration meeting and only if they’re comfortable doing so. So far, I’ve had no push back. I know there are other groups in my firm, people that actually do need to collaborate on a regular basis and get sent samples, etc. that need to meet in person more often. Other people have to do site visits, etc. I like that we’re not approaching it as one way fits all.

    I try to go in once a week just to get some facetime with upper management who are hard to pin down otherwise. It does help w/ relationship building, for me anyways.

    #1099434 Reply
    Fyodor
    Guest

    Seeing the headline, I expected the LW to be an asshole, and she is to some extent, but I also think that she’s just lonely and misses having her coworkers around.

    #1099436 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Yeah, yikes. I don’t disagree with that LW that there is value to face-to-face interaction at work, but LW assumes that what works for her should work for everyone.

    My sister has been back in the office on a hybrid basis for a month or two and says it’s been ok. She’s generally happy to see coworkers she likes regularly and some of the work is easier, but she also said she still spends a fair amount of time on Zoom.

    My company has someone similar to the LW, but who keeps insisting a full-time remote job is what’s best for everyone. She and her new-ish husband bought a house during the pandemic. She has a home office. I work three feet from my bed at a fold-out desk. I have been looking forward to a hybrid return to the office, which is still the plan to my knowledge (though unsure when it’ll be implemented at this point). I think flexibility to accommodate a variety of situations is nice.

    #1099438 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    I know that some people need this. I don’t need to get up 45 minutes earlier, pay 4x for coffee and lunch, deal with the subway, deal with the weather and all the nonsense so that I can do exactly what I do from home. There is no incentive for me to go back to the office.

    But to be fair, my current teams are staffed in California and Washington State. So even if I went into the office, I’d see a few people I know (maybe).

    #1099439 Reply
    Bittergaymark
    Guest

    Fyodor: I see her as a lonely asshole.

    The advice is very, very solid.

    #1099442 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    Re: Fyodor: But she has coworkers there! She and a few of them go in every week. If she’s truly lonely, work is not the place to seek companionship.

    She mentioned nothing about work not getting done. Or people not being productive. It was all about her and her needs through her narrow lens. I have a hard time feeling much empathy for this LW.

    #1099444 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I’m at my article limit and can’t read it, but no one I know wants to go back. 100% not any of the women with kids.

    I’m ambivalent. I will do it if anyone else does, like on certain days. The thing is, not many people are in the office. My boss was talking about me and her going in this week but then backed out… she’s like, I should have my booster before going on the T.

    I would enjoy occasionally interacting with people. The office is nice and they’re now giving free food. There was always free coffee, tea, and fruit water (like in a spa). But commuting seems like a waste of time now. And I don’t have many real pants.

    #1099445 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    I agree she’s likely lonely. She mentions she’s single, child- and pet-free, and lives with a roommate in Manhattan (so I’m assuming tight quarters). That doesn’t sound ideal and I don’t blame her for wanting to go back to the office. But her isolation is not her coworkers’ problem to fix.

    If she wants an in-person environment with a fun culture and doesn’t believe her company will ever return to a format that satisfies her, she should be looking for something new. Kinda like how I’m sure plenty of people who have been forced to go back either before they feel ready or on a schedule they don’t like are jumping ship for more flexible employers.

    #1099446 Reply
    Allornone
    Guest

    Askamanager (aka Alision Green)! If not for her, I would probably not have a job right now. Yay Alision!

    Oh and this article- bananas.

    I’m someone who very much could not handle the isolation of working from home (of course, then I got laid off and was just, um, home). Yeah, I was home. Alone. With a cat for my only conversation. That’s it (boyfriend is an essential worker of sorts). It nearly killed me. BUT I don’t have kids. I don’t have anyone else relying on me. I know my situation is not indicative of anyone else’s. The know the head of my HR here (new job!) is a widow taking care of two young children with limited child care options. I know my sister’s best friend is recently divorced with an immunocompromised 4-year-old. So yeah, they both work from home a lot while I type away in my office just being happy to be in the world (with safety precautions).

    And don’t get me wrong, there are reasons to be in the office for a lot of positions, but the OP didn’t seem to have any work-related reasons. She just wants to talk to more people. Trust me, I get it. But that’s not enough reason to pretend the pandemic is over and compromise worker safety. If one thing can come out of this whole mess of a pandemic, then hopefully it’s employers greater attention to the employee’s needs.

    #1099447 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    The pandemic is an excellent excuse to not go into the office.

    I’m surprised that her work is so encapsulated. One of the big reasons that I am super happy about being home is that my day starts early and goes late because I need to deal with UK/EU in the morning and Asia at night.

    And while I would love to say that this is unique – this is pretty much my schedule right now and has been for a while.

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