Organic eavesdropping, LOL

Organic eavesdropping, LOL

Just when you thought the RTO push couldn’t be justified by anything weirder: eavesdropping. LOL.


Employers renew push for RTO

With office occupancy sliding back down to 37.4% in July, bosses are bearing down on the message that team productivity and careers take a hit from remote work. In particular, they’re saying that integrating and training younger employees suffers when people work outside the office. “Eavesdropping is a huge form of education,” one founder of an architectural firm told The Wall Street Journal. Strategic decision-making and even work-life balance can also suffer, employers said, as attention becomes divided at home or as people work outside normal hours.

Office occupancy reached 49.8% across 10 major metro regions in June, according to property manager Kastle Systems, following return-to-office mandates affecting more than 600,000 workers.

Eavesdropping as a form of education? Wut?

Bosses say that developing young workers and new hires is a priority, and that it’s tougher and slower to accomplish it when people aren’t gathered together in offices. Structured training sessions can often be conducted via Zoom, but the daily rhythms of mentoring and learning on the job require a less-structured exchange of questions and answers that happen organically.

“Eavesdropping is a huge form of education,” Hayes said. “Hearing what other people are saying, how they’re dealing with problems.”

Blackney Hayes asks employees to do their jobs from the office at least two days a week, but doesn’t mandate the face time because so many workers have said they prize flexibility.

“If leadership and all the energy radiate from the office, then people will understand that if they want to be part of the team they will need to show up,” Hayes said.

Yeah. OK. 😒

It seems to me that this is part of the corporate pantomime. Are you gonna be here and feel the radiation or are you gonna be a problem? I was fussed at several times in my corporate career for not doing the social stuff. No, I don’t wanna go to Billy’s pool party on Saturday night or Sally Sue’s nephew’s birthday party on Wednesday. No, I don’t want my lunch hour hijacked by a lunch-and-learn where I never learned anything. No, I don’t want to huddle around the water cooler and talk about how Jane is dating Bob now and Tommy is jealous. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I suppose the idea here, theoretically at least, is that you see Jane solving a problem on the fly and that wouldn’t happen in a remote setting. The thing is: in all of my career, I never once saw a movie-esque Eureka moment happen at the coffee pot just because we were all there in person. Never. A. Single. Time.

So y’all need to come on back to the office and deal with a long and expensive commute because there’s no substitute for the spontaneous ideas that supposedly happen serendipitously at the coffee pot. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Give. Me. A. Break.

It’s not 1985 anymore. I can’t believe anyone out there would actually buy into this crap. I worked in offices for most of my career and let me tell you: I never saw these sudden Eureka! moments of a major business breakthrough happening around the coffee pot. What I actually saw was people half-asleep drinking coffee and people participating in office gossip. #realtalk


Office attendance is slumping again and bosses have a warning: We are a worse company when you stay home.

In buildings across 10 major U.S. cities, office occupancy has fallen back below 50% for the past three weeks, according to Kastle Systems, which tracks security swipes into offices. The drop comes despite new return-to-office mandates that affect more than 600,000 workers and counting.

Hundreds of Wall Street Journal readers—many of them bosses and team leaders—responded to our story on the workers who say “it’s not my responsibility” to save the office economy. These bosses say employees who insist they are more productive while working from home are missing the larger picture: Team productivity is taking a hit.

-WSJ, Ibid.

Is this really a new complaint? I don’t think so. We’ve been hearing similar rumblings ever since the RTO push started. To me, one of the interesting things can be found here: “workers who say ‘it’s not my responsibility’ to save the office economy.” Because now, we’re getting back to the collectivist mentality that your individual needs do not matter; you swear fealty to the overlords and do what’s best for the hive mind. You are supposed to RTO for the collective good, dammit! Don’t say it’s not your responsibility because it’s everyone’s responsibility to continue enriching the hyper elites!

The opening lines to the old Soviet anthem:

“Союз нерушимый республик свободных / Сплотила навеки Великая Русь.”

Roughly in English this means: “An indestructible union of free republics, united forever, the Great Russia.”

Couldn’t help but think of it in reading this article. You’re a free agent, sure. But, ha ha, not really because you need to swear fealty to the company and its office. IT MAY BE THE ONLY WAY TO SAVE THE COMMON IN A WORLD OF REMOTE WORK!  Yet when we look at his own words, the Common for him is the damn office itself. So let’s draw it out.

The office needs to be saved. ➡️ The only way to save the office is to demand RTO. ➡️ Position it as doing what’s best for the collective because the collective is higher than the individual anyway.

If the office was so great, why does it need saving now? Why all the effort to sugarcoat in-person work? Why didn’t the carrots work and why did Corpo America have to resort to the sticks and have their cronies at The Fed crash the damn job market? If it was so wonderful, wouldn’t we naturally go back and be glad for it?

-“Pompous nonsense / another WFH hit piece”  published on May 7, 2023


I’ll ask that same question again: if the office was so great, why does it need saving? If people were doing all of this learning and productivity and Eureka moments at the water cooler and eavesdropping on how Jane solves problems, why do people not wanna go back en masse?

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