23 Feb IMO, a petition will not stop what’s coming
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay
“Dear Life Cereal, where do you get off?” -Peter Griffin in a comically oversized bow tie.
So . . . the hot air & hopium crowd and the wannabe social media influencers want to LARP that a petition or an angry Slack channel is somehow enough to stop what’s coming. 😒
“Since the Fed controls the boom and busts of economic cycles and long-term interest rates, there is an investment axiom, ‘don’t fight the Fed.’ Essentially, the idea is to position your investment strategy and portfolio allocation in alignment with Fed policies, meaning different market conditions require different investment strategies.” –https://www.usgoldbureau.com/news/what-does-dont-fight-the-fed-mean
When a boom cycle ends, it can be tough to accept reality. People want the band to play forever. Realtors who tried to convince us that home prices would only go up and we were not in a housing bubble are looking for work outside of the industry. Some of the people in HR trying to hype you up about the job market will find themselves in the same boat as we go further into this mess. You can try to fight The Fed and ignore the broader economy if you want to, but I sure wouldn’t recommend it. And on that note, apparently you are supposed to believe that a petition or an angry Slack channel will somehow be enough to stave off RTO forever. Sorry, I don’t buy it!
“Amazon employees have reportedly launched an internal campaign to reverse the CEO’s decision mandating a worldwide return to office push.
Corporate employees have formed a channel on the company’s Slack to argue for continued remote work. In it, a petition has been shared claiming that the new office policy ‘runs contrary’ to the company’s promises.
CNBC reported that more than 14,000 had joined this channel by 21 February, a growing fraction of the roughly 300,000 global employees affected by the shift in stance on remote work.
Andy Jassy, CEO at Amazon, announced on 17 February that all Amazon corporate staff would be expected to return to the office at least three days per week effective from 1 May.
Dismayed employees have pointed to a 2021 commitment made by Jassy to continue remote working, and an acknowledgement that ‘no one-size-fits-all approach for how every team works best’ when it comes to work patterns within the company.” –https://www.itpro.com/business/business-strategy/370118/amazon-staff-campaign-reverse-worlwide-return-to-office
Mmhmm. While others in the industry were shining you on, I’ve been on this blog and on my podcast giving you the uncomfortable truth as I see it.
Wow. “Default together” kinda sounds like “let’s all fail together because we’d rather fail than succeed just to prove a point to the peons.”
*slips on tinfoil hat*
IMO, part of this highlights the push away from the individual towards the collective. In other words: your individual rights, freedoms, hopes, and dreams don’t matter even half as much as the hive. ONE OF US . . . ONE OF US . . . ONE OF US . . .
“Snap was an early adherent of a remote-first policy as COVID began to spread in the U.S. But in his memo, Spiegel wrote that he worries the extended period of working from home has meant ‘we’ve forgotten what we’ve lost—and what we could gain—by spending more time together.’
Spiegel’s comments echo other remarks from corporate leaders trying to get workers commuting again. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told Fortune in February that the bank’s ‘cultural foundation’ required people to be back in the office, while JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has argued that remote work fostered dishonesty and procrastination.” -Fortune (emphasis mine)
I have warned you repeated to avoid naivete and normalcy bias. Just because a company publicly touted a WFH/WFA policy and said, “Oh yeah. We’ll never change those rules,” doesn’t make it true forever.
Last year, there were companies attempting to pull the Elon and demand a full RTO. Workers rebelled. I can’t say I would assume Q1 or Q2 of 2023 will yield the same results as the analogous time last year. And certainly no comparison to 2021.
Even though you’re told that inflation is abating (by 0.1 percent) and that maybe, just maybe, the Fed will back off and give us a soft landing, I sure wouldn’t bet the farm on that.
As I said back in January: I have warned you repeated to avoid naivete and normalcy bias. Just because a company publicly touted a WFH/WFA policy and said, “Oh yeah. We’ll never change those rules,” doesn’t make it true forever.
If a CEO or executive told everyone in the past that the company prized remote work THAT DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL FEEL THAT WAY FOREVER!
As the preppers like to say: if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it. If you are a W2 employee who does not own the company, you don’t make the rules. The executive team at these companies do not answer to the general public. They answer to the investors, the board of directors, and the shareholders, but not to you and me. If it boils down to honoring a petition or turning a profit, WTH do you think they’re gonna do?
“Explaining the change in stance, Jassy said that leaders can more effectively teach staff when they’re in the same room, and that in-person meetings are a better way for employees to become immersed in the company culture.
‘It’s not simple to bring many thousands of employees back to our offices around the world, so we’re going to give the teams that need to do that work some time to develop a plan,’ Jassy wrote in a message to Amazon employees.” -IT Pro, Ibid.
See how easy it is? They make a promise to keep the peons happy and then they walk it back whenever they want. You’ve got time to make a plan to do this, but the bottom line is: do it.
“‘We know that it won’t be perfect at first, but the office experience will steadily improve over the coming months and years) as our real estate and facilities teams smooth out the wrinkles, and ultimately keep evolving how we want our offices to be set up to capture the new ways we want to work.’
Reports have suggested that details on the return to office are still being finalised, including how it can apply uniformly across departments like human resources and software engineering.” -IT Pro, Ibid.
This tells me that they are future planning for RTO. OK, it won’t be perfect at first, we expect some issues, but, like, you’re goin’ back. Or you can leave.
“The change in remote work allowances follows Amazon’s laying off of 18,000 staff, citing an uncertain economic climate and a need to preserve the long-term health of the company.
It also comes as the company approaches the first anniversary of the formation of Amazon Labour Union (ALU), the first such organised group of Amazon warehouse workers.” -IT Pro, Ibid.
See what I mean? If given the choice between keeping people happy or making money, it’s gonna be the latter and not the former.
“Earlier in February, GitHub announced it would go fully remote in the same breath as announcing that 10% of its workforce would be fired.
In November, LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report noted that employers are posting fewer remote job positions, even as demand for remote jobs has increased.” -IT Pro, Ibid. emphasis mine
This is something else I’ve warned you about – some companies will still permit WFH but will expect you to take less money and/or will cut people as part of the plan. Likewise, I’ve also reported on the dwindling remote work postings.
It’s like the cliché: history may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme.
We’ve reached the point where workers looking for fully remote positions is higher than available fully remote positions. The competition for those roles is intense. Hiring managers seem to be increasingly stubborn about demanding RTO. I understand this will sound quite cynical indeed, but: who do you think will ultimately win the battle? Workers beleaguered by layoffs and a recession or Corporate America?
-“Bonus Episode: “Her search is starting to feel impossible…” published on December 12, 2022 https://www.buzzsprout.com/1125110/11848207
You have a couple of choices here: listen to the hot air & hopium crowd or get your mind right and strategize on how you’ll handle this mess. Do you have an RTO survival plan? Do you have a job loss survival plan? If the sum of those plans amounts to filing a petition or getting mad on a company Slack channel, I’m not sure you’re gonna make it.
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