“Bet your dog is missing you.” That was the message on one of the poster boards in the lobby of a Toronto office building in March 2022 to welcome workers back to the office. But for office workers who spent the past two years working from home during a pandemic and maybe adopted a dog during that time -- well, that message may have seemed a little cruel.
Eventually even the people who placed the poster board in the lobby admitted that their attempt at a light-hearted joke hit the wrong tone.
The episode illustrates today’s disconnect between the factions that want workers to return to the office and the factions of workers who have grown accustomed to the increased productivity and convenience of working remotely. The current return-to-office moment has a distinct undertone of discord.
That may be part of what’s behind a kind of compromise setup of “hybrid” work now, in which workers spend a few days per week in the office and a few days per week working from home. For instance, many big tech companies have recently required workers to come back to the office for a few days a week in this type of hybrid arrangement.
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