04 Apr “An increasingly rare perk”
I mean . . . I hate to do it, but . . .
“Sara Causey, owner of Causey Consulting, LLC, said she doesn’t see remote work simply going away, but it will begin to dwindle — although she said predicting when it will happen is impossible.
‘Economic changes appear to happen slowly until the snowball rolling down the hill becomes an avalanche. As we go further into this economic downturn, I believe more employers will feel emboldened to simply demand RTO a la Elon Musk and workers will find themselves without enough job options to simply refuse,’ Causey said.” -my interview with Biz Journals, https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2023/03/remote-work-silicon-valley-pay-cuts-battle.html?page=3
To be clear: asserting that remote work is just simply not possible for most white collar offices is absurd. Pointing out that 100% WFH/WFA jobs are dwindling is a sad reality.
“During the height of the pandemic, virtual meetings could resemble an episode of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Employees who once trekked to the office five days a week were now scattered around the country–or the world. The term digital nomads entered the corporate lexicon, and many predicted an emerging class of roving professionals, who would travel, work, and live anywhere they could charge their laptops. Three years later, that scenario has not quite panned out.” -Inc.com, Ibid.
I have sympathy for folks who jumped on the bandwagon and set out a shingle as remote work ___ (fill-in-the-blank as you will) experts / thought leaders / champions / whatever. I wonder WTH they’re going to do and I hope they have a Plan B ’cause . . . I don’t think RTO is gonna vanish altogether.
“For the majority of businesses, the work-from-home era is over. Some 73 percent of U.S. businesses said they offered little or no remote work options to employees, according to a recent report released by the Department of Labor last week. That number has almost returned to the pre-pandemic norm, when 76 percent of companies required all employees to come into the office each day. The survey polled private-sector employers from August through September 2022 and found a 13 percent increase in the number of companies opting for in-person attendance from 2021. The data showed that more than 79 million Americans, or nearly half of the U.S. labor force, work fully in-person at their jobs.” -Inc.com, Ibid.
Another reason of many why I always say: if you wait to be officially told something, IMO, you are waiting too late. I’ve been warning of how Lord Elon’s RTO tactics would spread across Corpo America for quite some time:
A couple of general (albeit pessimistic) thoughts here:
One possibility is an increase in the “it’s time to come on back to the office” attitude. Employers just outright saying, “If you want to continue working here, you WILL show up Monday through Friday or you’re fired.” (This has already happened with Elon Musk, BTW.)
Another possibility is that some employers will continue to “allow” you to WFH, but you will have to submit to technological surveillance. The Digital Panopticon will move from the Cube Farm to your home office and that’ll be that.
–https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2022/06/03/well-yes-but-actually-you-are/ published June 3, 2022
Well… here we go…
I’ve warned more times than I can count on this blog that some employers want you to “come on back to the office” and they will most definitely take advantage of things like a recession, a market contraction, higher unemployment rates, crippling inflation, etc.
“Elon Musk reportedly declares remote work ‘no longer acceptable’ at Tesla.”
–https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2022/06/07/%d0%be-%d0%b1%d0%be%d0%b6%d0%b5/ published on June 7, 2022
I mean, like, you should already know what it is by now. 🤷🏻♀️
“Hybrid workplaces have also become less common in this job market, as 16 percent of businesses reported that their team works from home some of the time, compared with 30 percent the year before. Over that same period, the number of fully remote companies remained about the same: 11 percent of businesses elected for a remote-first environment in 2022, compared with 10 percent in 2021.” -Inc.com, Ibid.
Yuuuuup. Warned ya about that one, too.
➡️ The article itself says people who want to RTO hit an all-time low last month, then turns around and claims that hybrid work is best. Sorry, I don’t buy that. This is the same work style being dubbed a “hell of half measures.” I have predicted this before and will do so again: I think for offices not wanting to be as mercenary as Lord Elon, we will see a push towards hybrid work. Then when most people aren’t happy with it and it feels disjointed, those offices will say, “OK, fine. No more remote work. You are to be here, butt-in-seat, Monday through Friday or there’s the door.”
Here’s what I see playing out. I think a lot of these companies- some of them will just say, “Look: RTO or it’s your job.” They’re gonna go the Elon Musk route and just say, “Look, you either come back full time, eight to five, Monday through Friday, butt in seat in the cube farm, or there’s the door. Oh, and by the way, we’re in a recession. So choose wisely.” They’re either going to do that, or they’re going to do this hell of half measures hybrid bullcrap of, “Well, OK, come on back two or three days a week, we’ll give you some flexibility. We’ll let you choose some of those days or all of those days, but you know, we’re going to be butt-in-seat two or three times out of the week.” When everybody starts to complain about how that’s not working – it’s too chaotic, it’s too weird – sometimes Sally’s here. Sometimes she’s not. Sometimes I see Billy on Tuesdays. Sometimes I see him on Fridays. Things are just chaotic. They’ll say, “OK, great. Come on back permanently. There’s no more work from home. There’s no more remote.
–https://www.buzzsprout.com/1125110/11144066 published August 20, 2022
Hybrid work, IMO, will likely be used as a stepping stone to full-on RTO. Wait and see.
–https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2022/08/23/i-told-you-so-%f0%9f%8e%b6/ published on August 23, 2022
“Still, even as employers continue to struggle to find workers, this new survey from the Department of Labor shows that many businesses seem to be willing to hold out for job candidates who are open to making the daily commute into the office. Fewer than 1 percent of businesses expanded remote work options to attract potential applicants, and only 2 percent reported hiring at least one fully remote employee.” -Inc.com, Ibid.
📡 Newsflash: these CEOs know that we do not have a 3.6% unemployment rate and we do not have 2 legit open jobs for every 1 unemployed person.
“Sara Causey believes WFH will continue to be the fall guy for struggling businesses — and an excuse for making employees come back to the office. She said she has experienced ‘tremendous resistance from employers if you so much as hint that opening up a role for remote work would be a good choice,’ adding, ‘At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I think as layoffs continue and unemployment rises, employers will feel emboldened to demand RTO. Some companies will stay hybrid or WFH, but I believe a majority of roles will be pushed back to the office for in-person work.'” -my interview with WorkLife, https://www.worklife.news/leadership/was-remote-work-to-blame-for-silicon-valley-bank-collapse/
“‘Once folks start with us and onboard, they understand why in-office is important,’ she says. ‘Nobody’s threatened to quit over it.'” -Inc.com, Ibid.
When we look at how many people live paycheck-to-paycheck and how inflation surely doesn’t seem to be “transitory,” I’m not sure how a majority of people will dig their heels in and lead a full-scale rebellion against RTO for the long run.
–https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2022/07/04/the-great-resistance-may-cost-you/ published July 4, 2022
Nobody’s threatened to quit over it because where are they gonna go? The FOMO & YOLO of the 2021 markets is long gone, gang.
*insert my Hype Man here*
You gotta decide for yourself: listen to puff piece goofballs who give you fluffy lies or roll with people telling you the truth.