Ride or Die, Remote or Comply: Anti-Remote Work Propagandaby@nebojsaneshatodorovic
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1,930 reads

Ride or Die, Remote or Comply: Anti-Remote Work Propaganda

by Nebojsa "Nesha" TodorovicApril 14th, 2023
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Why don’t you spend only a few minutes checking out the headlines about the latest remote work ‘situation,’ and then get back to me in your comments that the anti-remote work propaganda machine hasn’t put the pedal to the metal?

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It feels good when people react to your stories, doesn’t it?

In my case, both personally and “literally.” So, my neighbor, a React dev, reacted to my story.

“Thank you bro for not turning your back on us.” He was referring to all the devs out there and my story about rejecting to be an ‘HR for Happiness.’

“I just couldn’t do it.”

“You paid the price, though. I respect that.”

“What’s the situation at your company? Do you need a writer by any chance?” I know. It was my shot in the dark.

“Sorry buddy, can’t help you. I’m out. I’m looking for work too.”

“Sh*t, man. What happened? You were good. You’re a senior. I don’t get it.”

“I refused to return to the office. F*ck ‘em, I ain’t going back. Remote ride or die.”

It’s Company’s Office Work Way OR the Remote Highway

I’m not quite sure who said that ‘just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.’ But, something’s going on, and it ain’t good for remote-work-loving people.

Why don’t you spend only a few minutes checking out the headlines about the latest remote work ‘situation,’ and then get back to me in your comments that the anti-remote work propaganda machine hasn’t put the pedal to the metal?

OK. Here we go.

“No More Mr. Nice Boss: Flexible Employers Were a Pandemic Blip” (Time Magazine)

“Bad news, remote workers: You need to return to the office for your employer to succeed” (USA Today)

“Return to the office or see a pay cut: More and more companies are forcing remote workers to choose” (Business Insider)

Do you need more? Do you want more? How about this one? Now you know how I got the inspiration for my story’s illustration.

No worries, I’m going to thank Mr. Oliver for his tweets and tag Fortune Magazine when I share my story.

But unfortunately, that’s not all remote folks. It’s not enough because even in the midst of layoffs, employees are pushing back on RTO mandates. That’s why it’s going to get even worse.

From the Pandemic’s GOAT to the Recession’s Scapegoat

I don’t need a quote to remind you how not so long ago, we used to praise remote, do I?

But, here’s something from Forbes to refresh your memory:

The analysis found that GDP would likely have fallen by around twice as much during 2020 if remote working was not the option it ultimately was.

I’m a fair player, and I admit that I took this line out of context which includes the more thorough cost vs benefits analysis of the remote work ‘temporary phenomenon.’

But, didn’t Albert Einstein once say: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” That’s why I feel totally comfortable saying that without remote work, we wouldn’t have GDP in the aftermath of the pandemic.

It began with a series of ‘innocent’ questions, such as this one: “Is Remote Work to Blame for Lower Productivity?” It’s no coincidence these types of articles don’t give definite answers. But, this is how the blame game begins - with ambiguity.

Now, let’s bring in the big guns and revisit Forbes. But, this time, the full context. Because when remote work saved the day during the pandemic, we weren’t quite sure it was the dominant factor, but now, during the recession, we’re sure we can blame it for so many bad things:

Research from Columbia Business School suggests that the shift to hybrid working has affected not just the commercial real estate market but even the housing market itself, with suburban rents rising alongside house prices in comparison to urban locations.”

“In a recent article, I explored whether remote working might have an impact on inflation, the Columbia research suggest it could have a similarly significant impact on the equity and debt markets.

They explain that for the entirety of human history there has been an intrinsic connection between the places we live and the places we work. The rise in remote working has severed that relationship, and they believe this will impact not only the real estate market but society more broadly.”

“The analysis shows that during the pandemic, there was a considerable decline in office usage, which is understandable. What is interesting, however, is that this decline has lasted far longer than was initially expected, and it shows precious little sign of reversing.

The author highlights that pre-Covid, around 250 million square feet of new office leases were signed per year, but this fell to just 100 million in the first half of 2022.

This has had an understandable impact on office values, which fell considerably and remain below 2019. The author believes these valuations will remain below those levels for the next decade.”

The Last Stroke Is Reserved for - BlackRock

You know what, I’ve just had a change of heart about my story’s illustration. How about this one?

Keyser Söze vs Thor (before and after). Oh boy, that’s a tough one.

Forget about them, we all know who’s the boss of all bosses.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in an interview with Fox that “we have to get our employees back in the office,” because this would result in “rising productivity that will offset some of the inflationary pressures.”

So, who dares to prove this fine gentleman wrong in their comments?

Just as I thought. Now, accept the guilt, and get back to the office, you remote filth. It’s because of you that we don’t live in a world that’s all shiny and blue.

Home. Office. Gym. Repeat. You’ll sleep when you die. Remote, bye, bye!