Hiring managers like to LARP that everyone wants RTO

Hiring managers like to LARP that everyone wants RTO

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Based on what I’ve experienced firsthand in the job market – the main proponents of RTO are hiring mangers. Well, and paid corporate shills and a$$hole billionaires, but that’s basically a statement of the obvious. We hear all sorts of drivel. It’s the oldies! The Boomers and the Xers want it. It’s the youngies! The Gen Zers are begging for the office life.

Pfft. 💨

Not from what I see.

I’ve not spoken to a single job seeker who said, “I cannot wait to RTO” or “I only wish to consider opportunities that are fully back in the office.” Not a one.

“I have seen a lot of lures, and none of them are working. Free Coffee Day! Free Continental Breakfast Day! Free Pretzel Day! Then they upped their game to ‘Free Red Bull and come see some adoptable puppies!’ They literally had puppies in the office. They almost got me with that one. If it had been ‘Free Wine and Kittens,’ I would have burned rubber to get there.

I have to go in one day a week but I don’t want to do more than that. It is a really nice building, with plenty of meeting space, cafeteria with good food, coffee shop, gym, etc. As nice as that is, I still prefer yoga pants and my cat as my only co-worker. I get my own bathroom, full kitchen, and no commute. They really can’t beat that.” –https://slate.com/human-interest/2022/09/return-to-office-incentives-pandemic-remote-work-from-home.html

Indeed. The creature comforts and privacy you experience with WFH is wonderful.

I was interviewed recently for an article on Yahoo and the study this article cites is quite eye-opening:

“The McKinsey report found that ‘women employees who can choose to work in the arrangement they prefer — whether remote or on-site — are less burned out, happier in their jobs and much less likely to consider leaving their companies.’ It also found that having the option to work remotely is important to most women, as only 1 in 10 women wants to work mostly on-site.

‘Women should absolutely seek out remote/flexible work arrangements,’ said Sara Causey, certified human resources manager and owner of Causey Consulting, LLC. ‘So often, women are still disproportionately responsible for child care, elder care, household maintenance, etc. Plus, with inflation, the cost of care outside the home has skyrocketed.’

Causey said that if an employer agrees to a work-from-home and/or flexible work arrangement, it’s important to get this in writing.

‘What a hiring manager might verbally agree to in an interview setting can be changed later once the employee has actually started work,’ she said. ‘It provides a better hedge of protection to have WFH or flexible scheduling put in writing in an employment contract and/or formal offer letter.'”
https://www.yahoo.com/now/4-benefits-women-demand-workplaces-130100538.html  emphasis mine


First and foremost: listen to your people! Ask the employees themselves how to improve the environment and provide a non-hostile environment for them to voice their opinions. As the McKinsey report says – give the employees a true say in how/where they work.

Also: Only 1 in 10 women wants to work mostly on-site. Notice it does not say 100% on-site, it says mostly on-site. This is not a shock to me because, as I said, when I’m talking to job seekers, I do not hear a single soul begging for RTO. In fact, in my experience, folks who have been cattle-prodded back to the office full-time are the easiest to recruit if you have a 100% remote opportunity to offer.

So who do I talk to that actually is geeked up about RTO? Hiring managers. I think they like to pretend that everyone else feels the same way or, equally as likely, they simply don’t care. And it always comes with the same set of BS corporate buzzwords: collaboration, getting back to normal, hustle & bustle of the office, energy, being together, togetherness, camaraderie, fun/events/happy hours, etc.

Yeeeaahhhhh… people don’t want the forced fun 💩.


I mean, let’s be real. You cannot pay your bills with asinine corporate perks. The mortgage company doesn’t accept social media pics from company happy hour as payment. The car loan company doesn’t accept you calling them and saying, “I work at a place with collaboration and energy in the office” as payment. (I imagine if you tried they would assume you were insane.) If you get stuck with medical bills, they won’t accept camaraderie and high fives at the coffee pot as payment.

I remember during the Dot Com Boom when Silicon Valley and tech companies were like the be-all, end-all. And we heard about supposed office perks whether it was free bagels every morning, a slide in the office, a cafeteria on-site, a gym on-site, etc. That myth has been debunked. People don’t think that silly nonsense is cool anymore. The emperor doesn’t have on any clothes and folks know it.

As I said in the response I wrote on Medium: it seems like there are managers and company owners who will do literally anything other than listening to their own employees. If 99% of a company’s staff does not want a full RTO, that should be giant, clear, obvious sign to management.

Unfortunately, I truly believe they are waiting for the economy to get even worse and thereby unemployment to get even worse so they can pull the Lord Elon: c’mon back or else. And good luck finding another option. 😖

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