• _number8_@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    the most insulting part of this is ‘people’ suddenly pretending like we love and always loved the office, when it’s been a fundamental symbol of stagnation and boredom and misery in culture ever since they became widespread. NO ONE would voluntary want to spend 5 days in a shitty building after a commute wearing clothes they don’t want to with bosses sniffing around their necks all day leaving maybe 4 hrs a day to yourself in your home. ‘top talent’ or not, everyone deserves to be able to work where they feel most comfortable.

    • Drusas@kbin.run
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      2 months ago

      People used to make sardonic jokes about cubicles. Then cubicles disappeared in favor of the open office and somehow the jokes stopped, just as things got worse.

      • jordanlund@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        Open Office was a cesspool of disease, even before covid it was problematic:

        https://www.passporthealthusa.com/employer-solutions/blog/2020-2-how-do-open-offices-affect-employee-health/

        Studies have found that that those who work in open offices are more likely to take short term sick leave or a sick day. Those employees might be using 62% more of their sick days due to the environment. Employees with this office layout are also more prone to headaches and respiratory problems due to weakened immune systems.

      • Thrashy@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        Through the course of my career I’ve somehow lost office space as I’ve ascended the corporate food chain. I had a private office/technician room in my first job out, then had an eight foot cubicle with high walls, then a six foot cubicle with low dividers, and then the pandemic hit. The operations guy at the last place was making noises about a benching arrangement after RTO, like people were going to put up with being elbow to elbow with Chris The Conference Call Yeller and Brenda The Lip Smacking Snacker while Team Loudly Debates Marvel Movie Trivia is yammering away the next row over.

        Hell, if it meant getting a space to myself with enough privacy to hear my own thoughts I might consider giving up my current WFH gig. But everybody’s obsessed with building awful office hellscapes and I don’t have the constitution to put up with that kind of environment.

    • BURN@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Gonna be honest, I prefer to be in an office over WFH, despite WFH technically having “advantages”.

      Home is an awful environment to work in. I get less done, worse quality and in general dislike it more. While that’s technically a personal problem, it’s not fair to say no one would voluntarily work in an office 5 days a week. I do, and know multiple other people who do as well.

      WFH when you’re just starting your career sucks. Both my internships and start of my FT jobs were WFH, and it made it near impossible to learn to work with a team, get information from senior developers, get IT help if there was hardware issues and a ton of other minor things that aren’t a problem for someone who had been working at the company prior to going 100% remote, but are huge sticking points for new hires.

      • YIj54yALOJxEsY20eU@lemm.ee
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        2 months ago

        100% with you on the new hires thing. Was remote in college and have been for all my jobs. Maybe its a case of the grass is always greener but I would much prefer to predominantly work from an office. Maybe not 5x a week nor a sizeable commute but I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of career growth, networking, and team cohesion. As an OSS contributor, homelab hobiest, and adhd experiencer, I find it difficult to sepererate my headspaces and get into work mode.

        • Pringles@lemm.ee
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          2 months ago

          You know, I work full time from home ever since covid and it is brilliant because I had a long commute to an office I didn’t really needed to be in because all my peers/colleagues are in other countries. But when I started out, I worked in a nice office which was a 10 minute bike ride from my home and it was brilliant. If I could do the same work within a 10 minute commute I do now, I would be in the office every day I think.

      • space@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        2 months ago

        I am the opposite, I thrive when I work from home. But it’s important for me to have a dedicated space for it, not in my bedroom, and free from distractions like wife, kids, pets, and neighbors with drills.

        My home setup is 10x better than at the office… I have a great desk with lots of space, big awesome monitors, awesome keyboard and mouse with kvms to make switching to my personal PC easier. My coffee is better than any work coffee machine I ever used. My internet is much faster and more reliable.

        I shit you not, at the last company I worked they proxied all web traffic through another country thousands of km away. As expected, it worked like shit and was failing constantly. And you couldn’t even access repos like maven central, because they used a proxy autoconfig file with hundreds of rules, which is not supported by any software except browsers.

        And there’s also the benefits of having a private office, away from noisy coworkers and prying eyes.

      • SuperSpruce@lemmy.zip
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        2 months ago

        It also really depends on what “home” is. My current home is a tiny room in a cheap apartment (to save money) with a tiny kitchen, a small living room, and a joke of a dining area. I feel inclined to go to the office despite a 45 minute commute because there isn’t anywhere good to spread out and focus on work at home. Plus in-person connections with colleagues is another benefit. I’m currently hybrid with WFH 1 day out of 5.

  • shortwavesurfer@monero.town
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    2 months ago

    This is absolutely to be expected. If I was able to work from home remotely and then was told I’d have to go back, I would look for another job with the specific requirement that I must be able to work from home.

  • DevCat@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    You give your top talent what they want. The problem is that they hired a consultant to find out what that was. The consultant, knowing on which side his bread was buttered, told the board what they wanted to hear, which is, after all, why they hired a consultant instead of just asking.

    • ryathal@sh.itjust.works
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      2 months ago

      It’s a balancing act though. A lot of top talent is going to leave either way, so over focusing on them hurts everyone else. Mandatory return to office was a lot more costly than most companies hoped for though. It was essentially a lay-off, but it left companies with pretty much only the bad employees compared to a more traditional approach.

      • admiralteal@kbin.social
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        2 months ago

        We can’t claim to know it left them with “bad” employees. I think there’s vanishingly little evidence that recruiters actually go after the “good” employees effectively – I’m pretty skeptical that a pro recruiter actually gets you better employees, they just make the process of getting employees way less stressful. We also have no reason to assume that a good or bad employee is correlated in any way with caring about not returning to office – it’s possible very bad employees are just as likely to quit as very good ones. How do you even tell good from bad, anyway?

        What this “return to office” stuff definitely DOES do is preferentially retain the most obedient/desperate employees. Which may be part of the goal, along with low-key downsizing.

        • HubertManne@kbin.social
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          2 months ago

          I feel like im always explaining to recruiters what it sounds like the role they sent to me is actually looking for.

        • ryathal@sh.itjust.works
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          2 months ago

          Every place I worked there were employees that I’m not sure how they had a job. Those people aren’t being contacted by recruiters, and they aren’t leaving voluntarily. Layoffs are a companies chance to remove some of these people.

      • ParanoiaComplex@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        Problem is that post-pandemic market is ripe for a layoff. Companies purposely over-hired during the pandemic and then in the past couple years the layoffs achieved 2 things: 1) Thin the staff to show shareholders a higher short term profit in an age where they cant get cheap loans and show they’re undertaking new risky ventures (interest rate is high from the fight against inflation), and 2) They can use the layoffs to undermine the leverage of employees to create a “hard pull” back to office policy. It makes laying off people much easier when they “volunteer”

        • ryathal@sh.itjust.works
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          2 months ago

          The problem with the hard pull is that the employees that had options left. Those are generally the better employees.

          • Ragnarok314159@sopuli.xyz
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            2 months ago

            What happened at my last job. The absolute moron head of HR told the engineers with 5-20 years experience how “we are all lucky to have jobs, and we would be flipping burgers at McDonalds if it were not for him”.

            Most of us left, he didn’t even give us counter offer and said how we will all be begging him for our jobs back. He was dismissed by the Japanese management a few months later and told to never return.

    • catloaf@lemm.ee
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      2 months ago

      Also, when it goes south, they can pin the blame on the consultant instead of themselves.

      • RozhkiNozhki@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        That’s exactly what the consultants are for and hiring them is an easy, low-cost (in the grand scheme of things) way of shifting responsibility aka “I don’t want to do any decision making that may and will be detrimental to the company so I will hire an “expert” to do it for me”.

  • Drusas@kbin.run
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    2 months ago

    My manager didn’t care for it when I pointed out that making us go into the office three times per week was equivalent to an approximately $5,000 pay cut. Not including wear and tear on the car.

    • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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      2 months ago

      Because of the cost of the commute? Or because you expect to get a higher salary when applying for a non-remote job?

      Edit: This is a genuine question, by the way, in case that’s why this is being downvoted.

      • skyspydude1@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        Because while you’re commuting, that’s effectively “company time” you’re not getting paid for. If you work 8 hours a day and your commute is half an hour each way, then you’re taking 9, not 8 hours a day out of your schedule for work. That’s an extra ~250 hours a year you’re taking out of your own time for work, whereas with an “instant commute” WFH, the moment you logoff becomes personal time again.

        • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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          2 months ago

          Ah, of course, thanks.

          I even used to be bothered by that quite a bit. Now I’ve been working from home for so long that it wouldn’t cross my mind, even if I thought about commuting…

          • skyspydude1@lemmy.world
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            2 months ago

            I’ve been hybrid even during COVID, because sometimes I have to go in and test, but recently there’s been a mandatory RTO push, and it’s absolutely absurd thinking about all the work I could be doing between getting ready to head out the door and getting to the office. It’s straight up 2+ hours of wasted productivity any day I could have been WFH but decide to go into the office.

            We even had people showing hard data their teams are less productive in-office, but I shit you not, management just said “They feel like it’ll be better”. Literally managing based on feelings > facts, which I’m sure our shareholders would love if they found out.

  • SonnyVabitch@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Forget the cost of travel, if my commute is one hour, that’s two per day, ten per week, that’s an EXTRA WEEK they demand that I donate of my time to the company each month.

    Ain’t happening.

    • madcaesar@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      And it’s not even a week off halfway useful time. It’s a week of fucking sitting in traffic breathing in exhaust and break fumes.

      • SonnyVabitch@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        If you drive. If you use public transport you can inhale other people’s BO instead.

        But yes, if you commute, nobody gains only you lose.

        • Ragnarok314159@sopuli.xyz
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          2 months ago

          And it’s not like public transportation (at least here in the USA) is worth a shit, it’s an option of last resort.

          It would take me three hours to get to my job using a bus due to the routes. To get home even longer because the buses stop running and I would have to ride my bike at sunset.

    • Treczoks@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      And on top of it, the commute is costing money, too. Either public transport tickets or fuel and wear an tear on car.

      I can so much understand my former coworker. He switched jobs because not only did they pay more, but now he has a five minute commute instead of a one hour one.

  • Melkath@kbin.social
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    2 months ago

    My company ordered back to office, and as I was told, I was the only one to say no.

    I generate too much value and have tolerated being underpayed enough that they can’t justify firing me.

    I’m also not some MIT AI machine learning savant. I come from a business analyst/ QA background, and I have made a SQL/Java/VBA system for virtually free that does the work of a team of 10 every day, but it’s just my underpaid ass running it.

    When I lose this job, honestly, I’m fucked and it will be a nightmare because I’ll probably need to go into an office, and I’m in no shape for that.

    But for today, I said no and I keep doing my job.

    • This is fine🔥🐶☕🔥@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      When I lose this job, honestly, I’m fucked and it will be a nightmare because I’ll probably need to go into an office, and I’m in no shape for that.

      Which is why you should be looking for another job that ticks all your checkboxes while you have this job.

        • Habahnow@sh.itjust.works
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          2 months ago

          Don’t think you should listen to the other guy at face value. The market for your skills is very bad right now. Ensure you don’t lose your job, but definitely feel comfortable looking around for something better. When the market feels better and you’re getting reached out to a lot, then be more assertive at work.

          • Melkath@kbin.social
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            2 months ago

            Absolutely.

            I dont share my anecdote for the first time.

            I have heard in equal parts that I have a rare privilege and also that privilege will not last forever.

            I challenge both takes a little, but mostly accept both as true.

    • space@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      2 months ago

      I also left after they ordered us back to the office.

      The company (mid sized, a few thousand employees) was stagnant for many years and losing employees faster than employing them because of the bad management. Then they fired all the people (around 50) from a specific location that we were working with, very senior and really great, that i learned a lot from. From a team of 15, we were left 3. Then one of the colleagues got promoted to management, the other left, and I was the only one working on that product.

      For context, the company had two very similar products, and wanted to migrate users of one to the other. Instead of providing a technical solution, I suppose they decided to simply make the support customers were paying for really awful, so customers wouldn’t renew.

      Other than the lack of manpower to maintain the product, infrastructure and also deal with all the customer escalations, it was fine as a workplace… My direct managers understood the situation and made a lot of effort to shield workers from the shitty upper management. I wasn’t stressed at all, and just doing my job.

      Then at the end of the pandemic, the company got bought by another. And things turned to shit… They fired a lot of people, especially management where they kept only the bootlickers of the new executives. I ended up working on 2 understaffed projects instead of 1 - both the product being replaced, and its replacement. And they made us come back to the office.

      So I left.

  • eee@lemm.ee
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    2 months ago

    Apparently smaller tech firms are loving office mandates, because it allows them to hire talent that they normally would not have access to at their budget.

    • WhatAmLemmy@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Yep. I’m willing to make 10% less to be fully remote. Given the alternative is fewer days of sleep each year, plus many more in time spent grooming and transiting, then the cost of transport and lunch, to ultimately get less done, both at home and at work (with the same deadlines) I might even take 15-20% less.

      Work/life balance is more important than money.

    • Tinks@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      My company is based in CA, and employs me remotely from the Midwest. They pay me above average for my area, but less than they would have to if I lived in the Bay area where they are based. I feel like this works out for both of us! They even go so far as looking at the zip code of every employee when considering raises, and thus far (3 years) I have received an annual raise which is higher than the cost of living increase for my area.

      In my situation at least, me working remotely benefits both myself and my company. I just can’t understand why so many larger companies are so adamant about return to office, especially ones in larger coastal cities.

    • irotsoma@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Food and gasoline prices have skyrocketed. Infrastructure is a mess in most of the country so it takes longer and longer to get anywhere at peak times. Companies have cut costs in offices so they’re just crowded and full of distraction and germs. So yeah, lots of time and money is saved by working from home.

      • 0x0@programming.dev
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        2 months ago

        The only logical reason i’ve read for back-to-office policies is to justify office space rent.

  • 0110010001100010@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    I work for a 350k+ company doing grid mod for energy utilities. The head of our division had an “all hands” meeting earlier in the week saying based on client requirements we all need to be in an office or on the clients site.

    The head of our group of ~20 (my bosses boss) scheduled a meeting right after and said ignore that. Our team is kicking ass and our current client has not such requirements (other than onsite at their location for training/go-lives which is reasonable). Furthermore, he said unless it was out of his hands this could be the normal with new clients.

    We have a killer team from all over the US (many of whom are nowhere near the client or our company offices). This team would dissolve quickly if that mandate ever hit us.

    My point is, there ARE still people in upper(ish) management that understand to keep top talent you have to be willing to accept or embrace work from wherever. Hell, during the last go-live last hear he basically said unless absolutely required he didn’t WANT any of us on-site with the client. He wanted us all comfy, no jet-lag, in our normal settings to be able to troubleshoot issues. Granted, I worked nearly 80 hours that week, but that’s not a normal week. I usually work 30-40.

    lol and holy wall of text batman. I didn’t mean to write that much but it’s here and I don’t want to delete it.

    • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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      Yup. We got a new CEO, and they did a big push for productivity and enforcing our 3-day in office policy. My team had been on 2-day since the pandemic WFH policy ended, and my boss said we’d give it a try, and if it sucked we could go back. We had worse productivity, so we went back to 2-days in-office. The company policy is still 3-days in office, we just ignore it.

      It really depends on your boss. A good boss can ignore stupid company policy, and a bad boss can ruin good company policy. My boss is one of the main reasons I took the job, and it’s also why I’m still here (I’m pretty sure I’m underpaid, and my boss is upfront about that, but I like my boss so I’m sticking with it for now).

    • edric@lemm.ee
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      2 months ago

      Similar to my case. My manager is based in Europe, and he basically said that to him, I’m a remote employee whether I wfh or go to the office, so it doesn’t matter. And even for other team members in the same location as him, he doesn’t force them to come in.

      Our director (my boss’ boss) moved out of the US so it doesn’t make sense for him to ask us to come in when he himself is remote. And he also told us that he doesn’t care where we work from.

      We’re lucky our bosses aren’t old heads with outdated work principles. Barring any explicit orders from the very top, I expect to keep the status quo. And even then, I’m sure at least up to our VP will defy those orders.

    • Kadaj21@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      Yeah our CIO started talking bringing cubes back. My manager, his manner and our director are pretty opposed to this. We do well remote and there are things we literally couldn’t do in the office. We’re in once a week-ish if it works out and if this forced our director would have to move back from multiple states over…. I don’t think they’ll make that move back if pressed and one co-worker expressed “fire me” sentiment if it comes.

    • 0x0@programming.dev
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      2 months ago

      you have to be willing to accept or embrace work from wherever.

      I started working my current job at the beginning of the pandemic, so about 2 years full remote. The company didn’t die, my project didn’t die (it’s just me and the QA btw). I like to use this as example whenever i tolerate WFH/BTO discussions (which is as useful as arguing about cats vs dogs) with RTO gasslighters.

      Now i have to go twice a week because… reasons.

    • Fontasia@feddit.nl
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      2 months ago

      If this would have surprised no one they wouldn’t have done it and just ate the cost of office spaec. No, there’s people out there who still think company loyalty is a thing and that fostering a “company culture” is actually viable.

      • Diplomjodler@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        It absolutely is. If you treat your employees like human beings, they’ll reward you with loyalty. But that just doesn’t seem to be a thing any more in the US.

        • SupraMario@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          Loyalty comes from money…old days of small companies who took care of their employees are gone. Wanna retain me? Fuck you pay me.

          • AlotOfReading@lemmy.world
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            2 months ago

            Just for context, a large chunk of “top tech talent” at the companies in the study are going to be making 200-400k. While there’s still going to be issues with pay, it’s a pretty different situation than fast food workers or similar.

          • Diplomjodler@lemmy.world
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            2 months ago

            What if I told you, there are other places than the US? While US style oligarchic capitalism has infected much of the world, it isn’t quite as dominant everywhere just yet.

  • Romeowns@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    The push to return to office is nothing more than a push to thin out the numbers. Much cheaper for them to jump themselves than be pushed by management.

    • RidcullyTheBrown@lemmy.world
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      No, it is just incompetence. There’s a serious disconnect between the people making the return to office call and the people dealing with it. The thinking is that, over years, the talent lost will be replaced and the backlash will subside and whatever reason they have for the RTO is more important than these.

      The trouble with the software industry upper management is that they have never had to deal with an industry in trouble. They’ve been working in a rapidly growing industry for their whole career. Bad decisions matter very little in such environments so they think they don’t make any.

      • Ragnarok314159@sopuli.xyz
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        2 months ago

        Also most of these people in management roles seldom are the ones doing anything. A lot of them are either HR MBA type people, or sales. They don’t know anything of how a company actually works, what the jobs entail, or how to run a company.

        Usually these companies all run in spite of them doing their best efforts to make it run as awful as possible.

        • kat_angstrom@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          Most of the VPs in my local Corpo are all politicians. They speak in buzzwords and value hearing themselves speak over hearing any feedback from people lower than them in the hierarchy. The disconnection between upper management and everyone else is greater than it’s ever been and it’s only getting worse.

    • cultsuperstar@lemmy.world
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      I think it’s more these companies invested millions into either building the offices or renting them (and can’t get out of the lease) so to make it worth while they’re having people come back.

      One of my offices moved to a larger building across the street because there wasn’t enough room for FTEs and contractors to come in 3 days a week. The larger building still isn’t large enough even for just FTEs so they rented a floor of another building and are making contractors go to that building 3 days a week. They’re going to an office to still be remote lol. Talk about stupidity.

  • Potatos_are_not_friends@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    No shit. Leave us the hell alone so we can focus on deliverables.

    The whoe “tech layoffs” always sound scary, but we are still in high demand. And we’ll keep jumping because fuck your BS micromanagement.

  • namingthingsiseasy@programming.dev
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    2 months ago

    Everyone in this thread is saying that this comes as no surprise, and that is certainly true. But the thing is, a lot of management types do know this already but they simply don’t care for two reasons:

    1. They care more about leverage/control over employees than they do about actual good work being done. You cannot understate at all how important employee control can be for managers and how seriously they’re willing to destroy their own business to keep this kind of power.

    2. RTO is basically a layoff program. As much as I love working remotely, it’s very important to keep in mind that remote workers are the first ones that will get laid off when the business wants to cut back - purely because of how easy it is to do. They can just mandate RTO without actually calling it a layoff and know many workers will outright quit, and the business won’t have to comply with whatever local regulations are in place around layoffs. Still, this shouldn’t sound like comfort for employees that do work in the office - there’s a good chance that once RTO is in place, another round of layoffs will strike when the company doesn’t meet its cut targets. So any time a business announces return to office, it means that there’s a good chance that layoffs will follow too.

    tl;dr: Managers knew this would happen all along too - it was just a trade they were very willing to make.

    • RubberElectrons@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      If they’re ok with the resulting technical shortfalls, cool. Another company degrades back into the mire of mediocrity.

    • blady_blah@lemmy.world
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      2 months ago

      But the reality is managers want to pick who gets laid off. It’s not that they want to just cut heads and reduce costs… upper management. may want that… but the actual managers want to keep their best and brightest. They know who the people are who get shit done, and they want to keep those people. Rto tends to have the opposite effect.

      The reality is it is often the best employees, the most experienced employees, and some very high level employees who have the most confidence and are most willing to say " screw you, I know I can find a job somewhere else" And give the middle finger to the employer who’s trying to do an RTO plan.

      Don’t be fooled by the headlines. Real businesses want to control who they let go. They want to have all the power in the relationship. They want to cut their lower performers and keep their superstars. RTO is about the worst head cutting program you could dream up.

      • namingthingsiseasy@programming.dev
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        2 months ago

        Sure, fair points. We should distinguish good and bad managers here before we get too specific. The bad managers will do whatever they’re told to do by upper management. Upper management just says “cut down to this number” and they do it because they only care about their own incentives and don’t care about the consequences. The good managers will probably realize the downsides of these decisions and will try their best to blunt the impact of these decisions. But in the end, they still have to report to higher levels of management, so there’s little that they can ultimately do. So they’re probably going to end up doing the same thing anyway.

        This is why management is such a hard position, especially in the lower levels. You’re basically at the end of the chain and usually have little power to get what you want. At the same time, you still have to make lots of different groups happy - upper management, your workers and whoever you’re delivering your product for. All the things that you listed are things that I’m sure they would like to have, but probably end up having to get sacrificed anyway. If there’s only one group of people that you’re going to please, chances are that it’s going to be the people you report to.

        • sudo42@lemmy.world
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          2 months ago

          A good example would be Musk firing his charging org. He apparently did this in reprisal for the manager not firing enough people.

    • ipkpjersi@lemmy.ml
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      2 months ago

      They can just mandate RTO without actually calling it a layoff and know many workers will outright quit, and the business won’t have to comply with whatever local regulations are in place around layoffs.

      It depends on where you live. In some countries, if they mandate RTO but your employment contract does not specify that you must work in an office, then that’s a constructive dismissal and you can go on employment benefits like unemployment insurance.