- Two years after the outbreak of the epidemic, many employees are accustomed to working remotely
- Sometimes, contrary to management orders, they do not come to work, even though their superiors no longer approve of the home office.
- There are people who get away with it
- More such information can be found on the home page of Onet.pl
“I didn’t come to the office,” he admits, asking that his real name not be used for fear of reprisals. – I don’t like hopping. I prefer working at home because I work there more efficiently, there are fewer distractions and I am in my environment – he explains.
Two years into the pandemic, most American companies have given employees two options: go back to the office or say goodbye to the company
Many have chosen the first option, but others are in the spirit ”big resignation“She ended the collaboration. Ben is among the people who took the third route – they refused to return to the fixed position, hoping to get away with it.
This is a risky maneuver, but Ben is not alone, there are many opponents to return to the office. Take, for example, the results of an American study on working from home conducted by economists from three universities. In companies that expect employees to come into the office five days a week, only 49 percent comply with that demand—meaning more than half of employees resolutely refuse consistent work.
Even in places where people are actually required to be at work for part of the week, a large percentage, as high as 19%, still do not visit corporate walls as often as required. In other words, for every four employees who politely return to the office, there is one ben-shaped scab who opposes orders from above.
That’s confirmed by Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University, who co-led the study. – he is Many people refuse to go back to the officeThis creates problems for the middle management who has to enforce company policy.
Interestingly enough, companies seem to turn a blind eye to this ostentatious objection. What are the most common consequences of a rebel who refuses to return to corporate status? The survey about working from home shows that…nothing. Although 12 per cent. Of the respondents, they said the employer had fired someone for refusing to return to the office.
Ben works for the bank, and management’s lack of response to his absence is seen as informal approval of a breach of company policy. As the remote work dispute ignites, the ‘Great Resignation’ gives way to another movement – the ‘Great Resistance’. Office employees come to the conclusion that their bosses are deceitful and being in the office, as you can see, is not at all mandatory.
risking a mass exodus
So what is stopping employers from having dire consequences for people sabotaging established work? Certainly not lawsuits. With a few exceptions (eg in the event of a disability), companies have the right to require employees to return to their offices. Their volatility is caused rather by the realities of today’s labor market and the amount of resistance against returning to the office. –
With a limited number of hands to work with, companies do not want to lose their greatest talent. After all, they can’t slow down 50 percent. employees – Says Ann Marie Zalitl, employment attorney at Seyfarth Show.
Employers worry that simple penalties for people who break the rules may lead them to look for work elsewhere. So the national telework survey shows that, In reaction to the rebellion against returning to the office, pay cuts (17%), verbal reprimands (19%) and negative evaluations (14%) were relatively rare.
Take the case of Stanley, a tech writer whose story is a warning to companies trying to enforce tougher return-to-work rules. Last summer, the manager invited all company employees to work at least four days a week. Stanley, who asked not to reveal his real name, followed his boss’s instructions for the first few weeks. – But soon I found it useless and stayed at home. I’m less efficient in the office – He says. The others on his team felt the same, so they together quietly stopped coming from the company.
The manager did not miss Stanley’s absence, so he called the vandal for the rug. While he still refused to come to the company, a senior manager took charge. But this didn’t help either. The author of the text remained deaf to the threats. Fortunately, it only ended with them. –
I was not fired. There was no joint talk, lecture, or promises of improvement. They didn’t really do anything about it. They shouted Topali, demanding their arguments, but in the end they didn’t accomplish anything – says Stanley.
He resisted for a year, but eventually got tired of the constant messages and threats. He started going to job interviews for companies that don’t mind working from home. He found a job right away. Like many of his colleagues. The previous team of about 15 people shrunk to three. “I can’t imagine the amount of hard work on the shoulders of the people who stayed,” he comments.
Happy Hours, Free Lunch, Lizzo
Due to the risk of mass exodus, many companies are trying to solve the problem in a more gentle way. Some remind employees of the benefits of being together in the office – for example, the potential for direction, productive collaboration, and greater creativity. Others offer activities such as happy hours and free meals. Google even hired singer Lizzo to host a special party in honor of employees’ return to the office. – Some companies prefer to give the carrot rather than the stick – says Zaletel, a lawyer who specializes in labor law.
According to her, this has “some effectiveness”. But even free meals or drinks won’t convince people who avoid corporate walls because of long trips or childcare responsibilities. At a Google Lizzo party, the audience could hear shouts of “Propaganda! Propaganda!”
Sure, there are a lot of people who want to come into the office. But those who would rather stay at home, like Stanley and Ben, in the fight for their right to remote status, are willing to risk dismissal. Last year, when Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University and other researchers asked in a survey of Americans working at home what they would do if they were prevented from working remotely, 42 percent answered that they would quit immediately or find work somewhere where you can work online.
By putting the issue on a knife edge, companies risk a wave of resignations. On the other hand, turning a blind eye to ignoring regressive arrangements is not the best solution. “It makes management look weak,” Bloom notes. So what should the company do in the face of such inertia?
Initially, many managers believed that the workers, i.e. “young people of today” were to blame. But the best solution is to think about the general philosophy of the company. – 50 percent ago. The staff refuses to obey, something is wrong, Bloom thinks. According to him, companies require employees to sit in company offices too often, and CEOs have instituted an overly aggressive return-to-work policy that does not meet the needs of the company.
Bloom didn’t name any, but the companies that have enacted the most restrictive back-to-office policies are those led by executives who seem to hate the idea of remote work. For example, in Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk threatened those who do not work in stationery with termination of contract. – Anyone who wants to work from home should be in the office for at least 40 hours a week or leave Tesla in any other way. If you don’t come to the company, we’ll assume you quit – Warning in the official letter. When asked on Twitter what he thinks of people who see working at home as an outdated concept, he replied curtly: “They should pretend to work elsewhere.”
Insider reports that some large Wall Street banks have begun carefully screening entry readers to monitor employee attendance at the company. At JPMorgan, where CEO Jamie Dimon has declared remote work “not for those who want to prove it,” data from readers is used to create attendance lists. Managers use it to enforce attendance at offices and crack down on employees who don’t show up often. At Goldman Sachs, where CEO David Solomon described working at home as an “aberration we intend to correct as soon as possible,” employees were warned that they would be reprimanded if they did not follow the company’s guidelines. If they are not at their desks until 10 am, they will be flagged as absent.
So far, few employers have gone so far as to ban violators of the law. But If we get into a recession and run out of jobs, bosses will no longer have to worry about losing employees to competition. As more and more companies begin to enforce their orders within the office, a strict approach may gradually become the norm.
As we saw last year discussing the vaccine, few employers outside of hospitals dared ask for its use initially. But with these decrees reaching a certain critical level, their implementation began on a large scale. Employers are currently in a similar waiting pattern. –
No company wants to get out of the contract and be the first to threaten to terminate the contract. She fears competition will steal her greatest talent in this already shrinking market – Zaletel explains.
At the moment, American professionals who are reluctant to work in the office are at liberty. Many of them are determined to use the “great resistance” as long as they get away with it. When I ask Stanley, who has resisted returning to the company year-round, what advice he would give potential saboteurs, he appears to be more of a rebellion strategist than a technical writer for the company.
– The best thing I would recommend is to have a contingency plan, such as a savings account, that will help you survive until you get a new job. Sometimes taking a risk pays off because it shows you what your values are and what you are willing to do to protect them – Says.
Author: Aki Ito
Juliana Kaplan also contributed to the report
Translation: Dorota Salus
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