A 2019 Longing?

A 2019 Longing?

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

“Oh, don’t sorrow, no, don’t weep / For tonight, at last, I am coming home. / I am coming home.” – “A Sort of Homecoming,” U2

The dark half of the year is my favorite time. Daylight at 9:30pm? Uh, no thanks. That feels unnatural to me. IMO, the best thing about the Summer Solstice is that it ushers in the dark half of the year yet again and an end to the scorching weather is at least somewhere in sight.

Once the calendar rolls to autumn, I listen to “A Sort of Homecoming” by U2. There’s an understandable longing for something that feels like home, something that feels familiar.

Is that true for the job market? Are most people longing for 2019 and missing a former employer? Do tell.

“Most office workers who quit their jobs during the pandemic now regret the decision, with almost three quarters pining for their pre-Covid roles. A survey of 3,000 white collar workers who moved jobs during the pandemic found that 71pc wanted to return to their pre-pandemic employer. The finding suggests that the so-called Great Resignation is now leading to a Great Regret, according to recruiter Robert Walters, which conducted the research.” –https://finance.yahoo.com/news/workers-miss-pre-covid-jobs-131800809.html emphasis mine

71%? Wow.

“Many are now regretting this move as working life returns to normal and the cost-of-living crisis puts a strain on household budgets. A third of office workers said the cost-of-living crisis had changed how they feel about their current job. Just under a quarter said they were tired of hybrid working, suggesting that many people are longing for a return to the office. Robert Walters found workers are increasingly frustrated at slow responses from colleagues and lack of face time with managers when working remotely. Meanwhile, initial savings made from skipping the commute are now being wiped out by high energy bills.” -Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

A lot to unpack there.

+ I’m not surprised someone would burn out on hybrid work. I’ve noticed some of the remote work ___ (thought leaders / advocates / experts) are bleeding into hybrid work ___ (thought leaders / advocates / experts) trying to chase the work world dragon and remain on trend. 😒 Even though we’ve heard plenty of propaganda about hybrid, I’m more inclined to see it as the “hell of half measures.”

+ Burning out on said hybrid work does not automatically = “longing for a return to the office.” That hits my ear like total RTO hype. Honestly, this does, too: “Robert Walters found workers are increasingly frustrated at slow responses from colleagues and lack of face time with managers when working remotely.”

+ RTO so you don’t freeze. Welcome to dystopia. You’re not spending money on the commute, but, like, your energy bills are sky high, so c’mon back to the office so you don’t freeze to death in the home office. Or burn up in the coming summer months.

“Dissatisfaction in the workplace sparked a new trend dubbed ‘quiet quitting’ last year. The phrase captured the idea of putting in the minimum effort required at work. However, rounds of deep lay-offs in the tech sector and warnings of looming recessions appear to have ended this trend. A recent survey by LinkedIn found workers were ‘career committing’ by taking on new projects and networking more.” -Yahoo Finance, Ibid.

Remember this?


‘Cause Imma post it forever if that’s what it takes.

There’s nothing quite like an economic crisis to cool the jets of the unwashed masses, n’est-ce pas?

“‘Ultimately I think the next phase is loud staying,” said Sara Causey, owner of Causey Consulting, LLC. ‘I was alive and well during the Great Recession and whatever you needed to do to keep your job, you did it. If that involved staying late or working on projects you loathed, you did it. At that time, I was working for a company where people called and walked in on a daily basis looking for work but there was nothing to offer them. If we see unemployment tick up — which I believe we will — people will not only settle in at work but will become overt about wanting to stay.'” –https://finance.yahoo.com/news/quiet-quitting-trend-over-140008899.html

YUUUUUUUUUUUUP. <– said as Dave on Storage Wars.

If you visit the comments section in “Great Resignation becomes Great Regret as workers long for their pre-Covid jobs,” you’ll find people asserting that it’s a scare tactic, corporate propaganda, anti-WFH, etc.

And for the record, I don’t disagree. Where I’m trying to sound the alarm bell is that companies are not gonna roll up the sidewalk on RTO. If we had another pandemic, perhaps. But if not, they. want. you. back. I think too many people still listen to the hot air & hopium crowd, some of whom are in denial and some of whom have a vested interest in parting you from your money. If they sell you a pack of lies and you believe it, they face no consequences. If you want to LARP that masses of people who live paycheck-to-paycheck will sit it out at home in a WFH revolution or that all of Gen Z will demand WFH or hybrid and simply refuse to work in an office forever, you can do that. You’re likely to get steamrolled by the financial crisis that’s coming, but sure. LARP away!

“The work-from-home era for millions of employees may have ended. A new report from the United States Department of Labor found that 72.5% of establishments were working remotely ‘rarely or never’ in 2022, a 12.4% increase from 2021. This comes amid recent news that major companies such as Disney, Meta, and Starbucks are expecting employees to come into the office more frequently. Flexible work isn’t completely ending, however, as staffing firm ManpowerGroup reports that 13% of current job postings are for remote positions.” –https://www.linkedin.com/news/story/is-the-work-from-home-era-ending-5199633/


Is it true that masses of people are longing for 2019? I dunno. I find it interesting that allegedly 71% of people who quit during The Great Resignation regret it now and then we also see a Department of Labor report stating that 72.5% of companies that had been working remotely were doing so rarely or never. Those numbers feel pretty high, perhaps artificially so. Nevertheless, I return to the words of warning I provided a year ago:

Hmm. Perhaps not but there’s still chicanery that can happen behind the scenes. I’ve heard more than a few whispers of people with too high a DTI (debt to income) ratio still being approved for a loan even though one slight hiccup in life could ruin their ability to make the house payment. But yeah, sure, keep preaching this is not 2008 to everyone to give some false confidence. 🙄

Just as the pendulum will swing away from being an extreme sellers’ market with buyers willing to waive inspections, overbid, offer based on photos without even going to the house, etc., this will happen with the job market as well. It’s only a matter of time.

https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2022/04/04/when-the-pendulum-swings/  published on April 4, 2022

It might be more accurate to imagine that it’s the fat cats and CEOs who are pining for 2019 rather than white collar employees who’ve enjoyed remote work.

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