When the return-to-office plan is rejected


 At the beginning of the pandemic, many young professionals (like myself!) were able to get their first taste of remote work, while others had the exciting opportunity to make WFH a full-time thing. Fast forward almost two years, and that all may be about to change as companies finally begin to execute their office return plans. Though some employees are looking forward to getting back to the office, others aren’t as willing to join them.

So what happens when you mix employee resistance with employer insistence on returning to the office?  Well, you might get a medium-sized media company called G/O Media.

The NYC-based company, better known for its publications Gizmodo, Jezebel, and The Onion, reportedly ordered staff to return to the office this past Monday. More than 80 employees objected and signed a letter addressed to upper management that expressed concerns over the policy, the most pressing issue being the real likelihood of breakthrough Covid cases occurring even among the vaccinated.

G/O Media responded with a letter that “insisted that staffers were less productive outside the office and, as such, a return to a physical office space would be necessary to improve G/O’s performance.” And so began the standoff. As Monday rolled around, “a significant portion of the editorial team opted to not show face,” according to The Daily Beast.

It turns out if you want employees to embrace new corporate policies, then you may want to make sure that the majority are in agreement first. As many companies have return timelines that range from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2022, I can’t help but wonder if they’ll be met with similar resistance from employees who strongly believe that they can perform their jobs more efficiently from the comfort of their homes.

While office perks like unlimited beer on tap and bagel Fridays are great, they’re centered on the idea that the office is an absolute. The pandemic shattered that concept, leaving employers with the burden of justifying exactly why a return to office is necessary.

Have you been working remotely since the beginning of the pandemic? Are you looking forward to returning to the office, or are you dreading it? Hit reply and let us know.

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