Companies Continue to Retract Remote Work Pledges, Call Workers Back to Office

Tired man covering his face with a hood while working from home. Home office and freelance concept.
juanma hache

Remote work options are reportedly diminishing as companies shift power back to managers who are demanding employees work in-person.

CNBC reports that major businesses are going back on their earlier promises to permit employees to work from home either full- or part-time, including Disney, Twitter, and Starbucks. Employees who are unhappy with their company’s remote working policies are more likely to look for a new job, potentially causing another wave of the “great resignation,” as power shifts back to managers amid recession fears and increasing layoffs.

According to a Monster report from January 2023, 33 percent of businesses that had intended to adopt a permanent virtual or hybrid model have since changed their minds. According to Kathy Kacher, president of Career/Life Alliance Services, who has been advising businesses on their return-to-work strategies, managers now perceive themselves to have greater negotiating leverage with workers, particularly when it comes to office attendance. “When executives were scrambling to retain workers, they were afraid to ask workers to come back to the office and lose even more talent, because many workers have made their distaste for the office very clear,” Kacher explains.

Zuckerberg Meta Selfie

Mark Zuckerberg Meta Selfie (Facebook)

According to Bentley University lecturer in management Susan Vroman, executives don’t think that the remote work accommodations that were made available at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic are long-term viable. More managers are ok with asking people to resume their pre-pandemic commutes as the pandemic enters its endemic phase. “If executives like having people in the office, it feels like the safest time in three years to communicate that,” Vroman adds.

Kacher also points out that some executives are using stricter office requirements as a covert means of reducing headcount without having to conduct mass layoffs and provide severance to workers. “It’s a good deal for companies who don’t want to deal with the backlash and consequences that come with layoffs but need to cut costs somewhere,” she explains.

Mark Zuckerberg might be using this tactic at Facebook along combined with massive layoffs to drive his “year of efficiency” plan. Business Insider reports that Facebook is cutting out job postings for remote positions and forcing more workers to come in to company offices.


Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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