Vox: Why Return to Office is Not Working


Most of the people we spoke to use software like Teams, Slack, and Zoom to communicate even while they’re in the office, making the experience similar to home. If one person in a meeting is on a video call from home — say, because they’re immunocompromised, or they have child care duties, or it just happens to be the day they work from home that week — everyone is. There’s actually been an uptick in virtual meetings, despite the return to the office, according to Calendly. In April, 64 percent of meetings set up through the appointment scheduling software included videoconferencing or phone details, compared with 48 percent a year earlier.

One issue is that hybrid means different things from company to company and even team to team. Typically, it seems employers are asking workers to come in a set number of days per week, usually two or three. Some employers are specifying which days; some are doing it by teams; some are leaving it up to individual workers. Almost half of office visits are just once a week — and over a third of these visits are for less than six hours, according to data from workplace occupancy analytics company Basking.io as reported by Bloomberg. The middle of the week tends to be much busier than Mondays and Fridays, when there are empty cubicles as far as the eye can see.

There’s also a disconnect between why employees think they’re being called in. Employees cite their company’s sunk real estate investments, their bosses’ need for control, and their middle managers’ raison d’etre. Employers, meanwhile, think going into the office is good for creativity, innovation, and culture building. Nearly 80 percent of employees think they’ve been just as or more productive than they were before the pandemic, while less than half of leaders think so, according to Microsoft’s Work Trends Index.

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Vox headline: Why the return to the office isn’t working

Subheadline: “I don’t gain anything besides a commute.”

By Rani Molla@ranimolla Jun 10, 2022, 7:00am EDT


Companies are rolling back return-to-office, or RTO, plans at law firms, insurance agencies, and everywhere in between. Even finance companies like JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO has been especially vocal about asking people to return to their offices, have loosened up.

Tech companies have long been at the forefront when it comes to allowing hybrid or remote work, and now even more tech companies, including Airbnb, Cisco, and Twitter, are joining the club. Even Apple, which has been much stricter than its peers in coaxing employees back to the office, has paused its plan to increase days in the office to three a week, after employee pushback and the resignation of a prominent machine learning engineer.

It seems like, for now, office workers have the upper hand. Many don’t expect to be penalized by management for not working from the office when they’re supposed to, partly because they don’t think management believes in the rules themselves.

Lifehacker headline: The 7 Deadly Sins of Being a Co-Worker

Jean Paul Sartre said, “Hell is other people,” but double-black-diamond-EXTRA Hell is other people at work.

ByStephen Johnson
Monday 9:00AM


Everyone hates the people they work with*: 90% of Americans report having an annoying co-worker, and nearly 60% of us have considered leaving, or have actually left, their jobs because of an annoying co-worker.

There’s really nothing you can do about other people being substandard, other than learning how to cope with them, so the trick is to make sure you’re not the problem. If you’ve notice that people at your work are excluding you from meetings around the water cooler or replicator (if you’re stationed on a Starfleet vessel), you can start to be less terrible by assessing whether you’re committing one of these sins. There are 43,810 other reasons co-workers are annoying that I didn’t have room to list, though, so ask a manager or mentor for a candid assessment of your workplace failings—that takes real courage.

*Of course, I don’t hate my co-workers. They are all talented and fantastic people (except that one I can’t stand).

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