The Paternalism and Condescension of 'Back Into The Office'
You couldn't find a better poster child than this.
In The hybrid workplace probably won’t last, Jon Levy is making the absolutist argument for back into the office. But at least he does a piss-poor job of it.
He brings out the Allen Curve — 1970s science that shows communication increases the closer people are situated in the office setting — saying 'If some employees are seen only at video meetings, there is less chance the rest of the community will value them.' Not in my experience, and I’ve been working remotely for decades.
He argues we won't trust people in a remote working relationship, and that will lead to a degraded sense of belonging for remote workers because those in the office will have 'more quality time to impress the boss'. Isn't that kind of petty office politics one of the things we are happy to be free of?
And this section peeves me on many levels:
Working from home can be too convenient. Things that are convenient aren’t necessarily good for us. Lifting weights is hard, but it makes us stronger. Similarly, it is more convenient not to have a commute or change out of our pajamas, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Having some commuting time, whether it’s walking, on public transit, or in a car, gives us an opportunity to let our minds wander and explore ideas. In these moments, you replay conversations from the day. Maybe you plan your discussion with your boss about a raise. You have time to process. Office life forces transitions and breaks throughout the day, as people shift between meeting rooms, desks, and meals and coffee. Of course, remote workers can plan breaks into their days, but most people aren’t very good at putting boundaries on their time.
Oh yes, all that mind wandering while blissfully commuting. Comparing useless polluting of the environment with lifting weights is stupid. And oh yes, the unpaid commute is such a great time to think about work, instead of living your own life.
Add the paternalistic, and condescending 'most people aren’t very good at putting boundaries on their time'. Hey, shut up, you asinine dick.
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