Everyone but Managers want Remote Work

When Covid-19 pandemic hit the American soil last spring, 2020, workplaces across the country rapidly mobilized to push everyone to full remote work. Until the Delta variant became such a threatening force (and even partially now), workplaces were gearing people up to return to work, while many polls showed that Americans were willing to forfeit both time off and some percentage of income to remain remote. However, managers who usually do not even have offices or commute to work full time, are demonizing remote work, such as CEO and co-founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings. He argued that not being able to get together in person was bad.

What is important to note in the battle of remote work, is that those who would be forced to return are not the ones who would actually be returning to the office regularly. For example, Google’s parent company, Alphabet rolled out a return-to-office plan for more than 130,000 employees, majority having to return to the office three days a week, while others are allowed to fully work from home, such as a senior executive at the company who is allowed to work remotely from New Zealand.

The true problem of remote work is that it shows the problems of corporate America. Remote work positively favors those who produces and negatively impacts those who have succeeded at playing office politics and finding someone to blame for failures. Remote work takes away the “seemingly productive” aspect of office culture that many managers utilize and show just how much the employees actually contribute to the well being of the company compared to that of the managers and the bosses.

Of course, certain jobs do require coming into the workplace, such as kitchen staff, or hospitality workers. Blue-collar workers will likely have to return to the workplace; however, for the other huge swath of white-collar workers that spend 8-10 days a day in front of the computer in an office, there is no difference between working at a desk at home versus working at a desk in the office; except that working in the office necessarily forces you to deal with office politics, irate bosses and managers, and of course, the exhausting commute.

Managers and bosses are having to defend returning to the office by arguing that the office culture and collaboration would suffer, the data simply isn’t supporting it. Furthermore, due to the politicization of Covid-19 vaccine; if a co-worker refuses to get vaccinated, would that be safe for others to return to the office?

94% of employees surveyed reported that remote work did not impact productivity of any nature. In fact, most remote workers are happier working in a home without distractions, annoyances, or drama from co-workers and managers. Workers don’t have do commute and can be graded based on their work product rather than other non-controllable factors of working from the office.

This is more of a problem for management than for workers. In today’s society, management is a position of power and not one that provides skills; in fact, management can sometimes “stamp” their credit onto the work product without having put any effort into it other than by “managing” employees, which is easier to do in an environment with single shared space where certain unspoken code of conduct and displays of authority can be enforced.

But in remote environments, verbal abuses that are done in the moment is easier to record. Any overly harmful statements or abuses can be captured, saved, and sent to HR or to a journalist. If manager’s job is presentation of final work product, when remote work is counted, it is clear who has done what, and the manager might not even be needed, which can prevent managers from stealing the works of their subordinates to climb up the corporate ladder.

Ultimately, most of the arguments provided by management in wanting to see their employees back in the work space is no different than in the movie “Office Space,” where the manager bothers an employee for a TPS report multiple times each day, subtly pressuring an employee to do meaningless work, while presenting himself as a productive, powerful member befitting the role in the company.

Remote work makes everything more transparent, and that’s the last thing most managers and bosses want in the corporate world. That’s why they want their employees back.

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Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.
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