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When employers try to bring them back to the office, employees are burned by their promise to work from home and the collapse of the corporate culture “BS.”

Some workers are not so excited to return to the office. Antonio Sanchez Albacete / IM vaccination via Getty Images and relaxed health guidelines make it possible for more businesses to return to the office, disconnecting between managers and their workers via remote work There seems to be. A good example of this is a recent editorial written by the CEO of a Washington, DC magazine that could lose medical and other benefits if workers insist that they continue to work in remote areas as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes. It suggests that there is sex. The staff responded by refusing to publish for the day. The CEO later apologized, but she’s not the only one who seems to have put together a move to the office more than a year after tens of millions of employees were forced to work from home. According to a recent survey of full-time or civil servants, two-thirds say their employers aren’t or only vaguely telling them about their post-pandemic office strategy. As labor mechanics, we are interested in making fun of how workers deal with this situation. According to our recent research, this clear failure of communication undermines morale, culture and retention. Worker Relocation We began investigating workers’ pandemic experiences in July 2020 as shelter-in-place orders closed offices and remote work became widespread. At that time, we wanted to know that workers could take advantage of their newly discovered freedoms to work from virtually anywhere. The Business and Technology newsletter analyzed the dataset obtained by surveying 585,000 active readers. It asked them if they were planning to relocate in the next 6 months, and why and where and where to share their story. As a result of the examination, there were a little less than 3,000 responses, including 1,361 people who were planning to relocate or recently relocated. I systematically coded these responses to understand my motivations and, based on the distance traveled, the degree of remote work policy that may be needed on an ongoing basis. It turns out that some of these employees need to arrange full remote work based on the distance traveled from the office, while others face longer commute. Weaved into this whole was an explicit or implicit expectation of some ongoing remote work among many workers who moved during the pandemic. In other words, many of these workers were based on the assumption or promise that they would be able to continue working in remote areas for at least some time after the pandemic was over. Or, they seemed willing to quit if the employer was not obliged. One of the authors describes the study. I wanted to see how these expectations were met when the pandemic began to disappear in March 2021, so I searched the Reddit online community to see what the workers said. One forum proved to be particularly useful. One member asked, “Did your employer still work from home permanently, or is it still in the air?” And he continued to share his own experience. This post generated 101 responses detailing what each company is doing. This qualitative data is only a small sample that does not necessarily represent the entire US population, but these posts provided a deeper understanding of workers’ feelings that simple statistics cannot provide. .. We found a disconnect between workers and managers that started with the problem of the telecommuting policy itself and went beyond that. Broadly speaking, we found three repeating themes in these anonymous posts. 1. Breaking the promise of working from home Others use pandemic-related telecommuting to move to a city so far away that they need partial or full-time telecommuting after they return to the office. I also discovered that. A recent study by consulting firm PwC found that nearly a quarter of workers are considering or planning to move more than 50 miles from one of their employer’s headquarters. The study also found that 12% had already made such a move during the pandemic without getting a new job. Our early findings suggest that some workers quit their current jobs at the request of their employers rather than giving up new places, which is actually in March. It started to happen. One worker planned a move from Phoenix to Tulsa with his fiancé after the company left, and acquired a larger location at a lower rent. She later had to quit her job to move, even though “they told me they would allow me to work from home, but I didn’t care about it.” It was. Another worker said the promise to work remotely was implicit, but the leader “offended us for months by saying that he could continue to work from home and come from time to time. When he was still hopeful. The requested employee will return to the office after being vaccinated. 2. Confused telecommuting policy Another constant copy we read in worker comments was the disappointment or lack of the company’s telecommuting policy. Nearly a quarter of the sample, whether workers are currently away, returning to the office, or still uncertain, mean leaders are the driving force behind the policy. I found out that I did not give a certain explanation. To make matters worse, the explanations sometimes felt confusing and insulting. One worker complained that the manager “wanted to sit down because we couldn’t trust him.” [work from home] I’ve been doing it since March last year, “he added,” notifying me on Monday. ” Another company has published a two-week timeline for everyone to return to the office, stating: As a company, we have achieved most of our goals this year. … It doesn’t make sense. “As recent findings have pointed out, it’s not surprising that after a long office closure, it takes time for workers to readjust to their office life. When calling them back. Employers who switch to quickly and do so if there is insufficient clear rationale risk appear deaf. This is why many workers work harder than ever and When reporting that they are suffering from an increase in the digital intensity of their work, that is, an increase in the number of online meetings and chats, it suggests a lack of confidence in productivity and companies are in the office Workers still blamed them for their motives, even if they said they didn’t have to go back to, saying that many employees were financially motivated. It will be, “writes one worker. “Personally, I don’t think the company is doing it for us … I think they understand how efficient and how much money they can save.” Our sample Only a few workers said their company sought feedback on what their employees really wanted from future remote work policies. Given that leaders are rightly concerned about corporate culture, we believe they are missing out on an important opportunity to engage workers on this issue and show that their policy base is not limited to dollars and cents. I am. 3. Corporate Culture “BS” Business scholars, such as Peter Drucker and other scholars, have found that corporate culture is very important for connecting workers within an organization, especially when it is stressful. The culture of the company is essentially the values ​​and beliefs shared among the members. If everyone is working remotely, it’s difficult to facilitate it. This may be the reason why corporate human resources executives rank maintaining an organizational culture as a top priority for employees in 2021. However, many of the forum posts reviewed suggested that employers’ efforts to do so by coordinating team outings and other gatherings during the pandemic are actually boosting workers. This kind of “cultural building” was not welcomed. [Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter.] A worker’s company added, “Idiot,” according to a post, “everyone came to the office for an outdoor lunch a week ago.” Research shows that when it comes to corporate culture issues, workers most want management to have more remote work resources, up-to-date flexibility policies, and more communication from leadership. As another worker said, “I can tell you, most people don’t really give two flips about’corporate culture’and I think it’s BS. This article will be republished by The Conversation, a non-profit news site that specializes in sharing ideas from academia. Kimberly Merriman of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. David Greenway at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Tamara Montag-Smit at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Read more: Workers are looking for directions from management – ​​and no map is better than no map Digital nomads fled the big cities of America in remote labor You may have your army do the same. We receive funding from companies or organizations that benefit from this article and do not disclose any relevant affiliations other than academic appointments.