Car commercials & RTO

Car commercials & RTO

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Have you noticed the shiny, happy people commuting ads while you’re just trying to watch a football game? ‘Cause I have. And I don’t find it coincidental.


More and more companies in the United States are mandating team members to come back to in-office work which means many drivers are returning to a regular commute – whether they like it or not. With the launch of a 60-second spot titled “Welcome Back to the Commute” Hyundai wants to welcome these consumers back on the road with the all-new Kona and Kona EV.

No thanks. I’d prefer to never be welcomed back to a commute. But it seems to me that the advertisers are making a reasonable bet here. In the absence of another C*v!d outbreak and/or some other justification for lockdowns, most people are goin’ back to an office. I understand this is not a popular or well-liked sentiment. Unfortunately, that’s what I see rolling down the pike. I may have been on the leading edge of predicting it, but I’m certainly not the only one seeing it now.


In order to find out what companies’ plans are for RTO looking ahead to 2024, in August, surveyed 1,000 company decision makers.

Key findings:

  • 9 in 10 companies will have returned to office by 2024
  • Majority currently track or will track employees to ensure in-person attendance
  • 72% say RTO has improved revenue
  • 28% say their company will threaten to fire employees who don’t comply with mandates

Whether RTO actually has improved revenue or not, don’t miss the first key point: 9 out of 10 expect RTO by next year.


When asked about their current or future RTO plans, only 2% of respondents say their company never plans to require employees to work in-person. Fifty-one percent currently require some or all employees to work in-person, 39% plan to by the end of 2024, and 8% plan to by 2025 or later.

-ResumeBuilder, Ibid.  emphasis mine


We have to accept the possibility that WFH may again become the domain of people willing to freelance and take the risks that come along with it and having a “stable” full-time job will be the domain of working in an office all or most of the time. I’m not saying I agree with it or that it’s going to be a productivity enhancer. I’m merely calling Corpo America as I see it.

So what does the MSM have to say?

“90% of companies say they’ll return to the office by the end of 2024—but the 5-day commute is ‘dead,’ experts say”


Gotta keep that hopium comin’, eh?


The debate over whether or not to return to the office is far from settled — and yet, the push to get employees back to the office is getting more aggressive.

-CNBC, Ibid.

Yeeeeah. I’m reminded of that scene in X-Men: First Class when Emma Frost replies, “Though I wouldn’t call it a war exactly. That suggests both sides stand an equal chance of winning.” Rebellions against RTO haven’t held much water thus far and when you have cronies calling for 50% unemployment to bring employees to heel, I’m not super confident that Corpo America is gonna roll back its RTO initiatives. In the absence of another round of lockdowns, I think yer goin’ back.

The hopium the MSM is giving you now is that, supposedly, RTO won’t be a Mon-Fri proposition. You’ll still get a day or two as your WFH puppy treat. Color me skeptical.

➡️ 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.”  published August 20, 2022

Hybrid work, IMO, will likely be used as a stepping stone to full-on RTO. Wait and see.  published on August 23, 2022.


I feel like this is the proverbial frog-in-the-pot scenario. WFH when we tell you. C’mon back when we tell you. Resist full RTO? Well, that’s OK, we’ll sell you on hybrid. We’ll tell you hybrid is probably gonna be the norm. Herd everyone back Mon-Fri when you think you can get away with it. 


“I think the concept of spending five days a week in the office is dead,” says [Brian] Elliott. “That top-down, one-size-fits-all approach can lead to a lot of resentment among workers.”

With that kind of mandate, “organizations are risking a real break of trust with their employees,” says Susan Vroman, a lecturer in management at Bentley University.

-CNBC, Ibid.


Highway don’t care. 😆 Corpo America doesn’t give a rat’s behind about worrying that they are breaking trust or worrying that you’ll run out the door or worrying about a top down mandate. THEY. DON’T. CARE.

I’m not convinced that the idea of spending five days in an office is dead, especially when you look at the mayors of cities saying people need to cross-pollinate downtown and go back to the shops and the cafes and spend money. If you don’t, kids and little old ladies will suffer from the lack of tax revenue.


Offering a flexible, hybrid model is also a smart recruiting tactic, Elliott adds. “The job market might have softened to some degree, but there’s always competition for top talent,” he says. “People still want flexibility at work, and they’re ready to walk if they don’t get it.”

-CNBC, Ibid.


Ah yes. Staffing agencies’ favorite phrase: top talent. Are people really willing to walk? Maybe. I suspect as we go farther into this economic downturn, silent depression, whatever TF it is, and John & Jane Q. Public clue in, no. Right now, anyone who is willing to walk off a job and say, “Eff this” is either clueless about the economy and/or a total hothead. Oh, I know. I’m not supposed to tell you that. I’m supposed to tell you that every single job in the world is in high demand and every single job seeker is “top talent.” Sorry, that’s not how the real world works. Some of these folks who had a Johnny Paycheck moment after the wind came out of the Great Resignation’s sails discovered that the market wasn’t as ROBUST as the MSM tried to convince them. Imagine that!


Remember when The Great Resignation actually was churnin’ and burnin’ and there were companies hiring on the spot? Not anymore!

It takes an average of 62.9 days from the time that a consulting job is posted on LinkedIn to the moment when the hirer reports it as filled. Finance has the second-longest time to hire among 10 major job functions (61.7). Both fields are known for their meticulous hiring practices. In fact, leading consulting firms are famous for sending candidates through multiple interview stages, starting with efforts to see who’s a good cultural fit.

If you’re looking for a potentially fast-track position — and possess basic skills like how to manage Facebook ad campaigns and use Google analytics — marketing turns out to have the fastest hiring pathway (48.6 days).

Human resources (50.0 days) and legal (53.3 days) are two other fields with relatively short hiring pathways, according to LinkedIn data.


I’m sorry but a month-and-a-half is not a quick turnaround time, IMO. It’s difficult to wait that long if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and it doesn’t exactly send the candidate a message that your company is efficient.


If you have a “screw this” moment and walk off the job, could you make it 2 to 3 months with 0 paycheck? Most people in America can’t. Like it or not, support it or don’t, it’s to your benefit to stay aware of what Corpo America has up its sleeve. At the moment, they are planning on “welcoming you back to the commute” and getting your butt back in that cube farm.

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