05 May Tossed out on the ice of Gotham
“I warned you about hybrid ➡️ RTO,” Redux.
“Many leaders today believe that hybrid work environments are the future. They are wrong…
At first glance, the hybrid model seems like a good idea: Give the employees choice and flexibility while leveraging your fancy office space. So what’s wrong with hybrid? Turns out, it’s the worst of both worlds…
In an in-person environment, people physically interact with each other in meeting spaces, conference rooms, hallways, etc. Tons of connections and collaborations occur. In a fully remote world, each node is forced to connect through remote collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Confluence, etc., but each node is still equal. The CEO doesn’t get an extra ‘knock knock’ on your Slack notification. Everyone has to spawn connections to understand what’s going on, get help, make decisions and operate. These remote connections are harder to build but eventually, tons of connections and collaborations also occur (arguably more than in physical offices).” –https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2023/04/21/why-hybrid-work-environments-are-failing-enterprises/?sh=69f019745423
Hybrid work, which had been a media darling for a while, is now thrown under the bus. Rightfully so, if you ask me. Who wants to commute M, W, F and then be home as a puppy treat on Tu and Th? If you can do the job from home successfully two days a week, why be forced to fight traffic and drive in three days a week? Makes no sense.
“However, in a hybrid work model, a split emerges. The in-person nodes create high-bandwidth connections with each other but rarely pull in the remote nodes. They don’t mean harm, but it’s extra effort to ping Bob on Teams and pull him into the hallway chat. So it just doesn’t happen. As a result, the in-person teams operate at a much faster rate. And the connections out to remote employees become super low-bandwidth—like dial-up speed. Remote employees are no longer privy to impromptu discussions and quick changes of information that happen in the office.” -Forbes, Ibid.
Ahh. Interesting. Divide and conquer. The people in the office don’t want to deal with incessant Zoom calls to accommodate the people at home. (And let’s be real: most of these idiotic meetings could have been an email anyway.) The people at home don’t want RTO and probably don’t actually want to be on Zoom all the time.
“In my experience, hybrid work models fail companies in three ways:
1. Remote employees quickly become irrelevant.
2. Remote employees lose information and power.
3. The company no longer focuses on remote culture.”
In other words: remote workers are iced out. I’m thinking of that scene in The Dark Knight Rises where Scarecrow offers a sentence of “death or exile.” The exile is being tossed out on a thin layer of ice over the river, so essentially, it’s still a death sentence.
“In a hybrid work model, the old-school office culture takes over. Everyone knows and is comfortable with random coffee chats, happy hours, birthday cakes and other ‘normal’ social activities. Human beings are social, and there’s no problem with that. The issue is that it’s harder, if not impossible, for remote employees to be part of these activities, leading to a feeling of isolation and disconnection from the company culture.” -Forbes, Ibid.
Ah, yes. All the forced extroverted hoo-ha that introverts loathe and have not missed.
An important part of this reality that’s not talked about enough (unless you read my posts on a daily basis) is the linchpin of groupthink. Are you gonna go along to get along or are you gonna be a problem, pal? C’mon back and do happy hours and birthday cakes and random stop-and-chats in the hallway because that’s what you’re told to do. If you resist and stay home, well, it’s the icy waters of Gotham that await you. You may as well quit and go elsewhere. Oh but, I mean, good luck on that because the unemployment rate is not really 3.5% and Corpo America knows it. *wink*
GROUP VALUES. Do not be an individual. Do not consider what is best for yourself and your family unit. Nay. Think of everyone else and conform. You know, I think I’ve heard this story before.
“An important goal of Soviet propaganda was to create a New Soviet man. Schools and Communist youth organizations such as the Young Pioneers and Komsomol served to remove children from the ‘petit-bourgeois’ family and indoctrinate the next generation into the ‘collective way of life’. The idea that the upbringing of children was the concern of their parents was explicitly rejected.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_in_the_Soviet_Union
You sacrifice for the Родина, the Motherland. Your well-being and that of your immediate family are nothing, ничего.
When put in these terms, Americans bristle, especially the neocons. Selling out to serve the state? No way! But selling out in service of Corpo America? Well, that’s fine, just fine. Admirable even! 😣
No wonder Khruschev said, “We will bury you.” Later in his life, when asked to clarify the comment, he said, “I once said, ‘We will bury you,’ and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_will_bury_you) The gaffe is that working class people are trapped in the system and many don’t even know it or acknowledge it. In fact, they hero-worship the ones exploiting them and ignore the fact that their cronies on Capitol Hill aid and abet them at every turn.
If you are told to RTO, do it. If you don’t, you will be slowly – or perhaps quickly – iced out and no longer relevant to the firm. You must be conditioned to do what’s best for others and for Corporate America in general. Forget about your spouse, the kids, the pets, etc. You must sacrifice yourself for the Родина.