Zoom ironically tells employees they need to come back to the office

Originally published at: Zoom ironically tells employees they need to come back to the office | Boing Boing


I expect this will likely accelerate the trend of tech workers moving out of major metropolitan areas.


If office space is the issue, then why not downsize? If you are doing a rotating schedule then you don’t need assigned desk, just have a few people share common desks when they are in the office. I thought that the leased office space thing was a niche business getting started before Covid hit…

Also 50 miles is a lot. As someone who lives about 25 miles from my work I think 30 to 35 is starting to push it on what I might consider mandatory. Obviously this is up to the individual to decide for themselves before they take the job, but I do think there should be some legal protection for someone who takes a job that lays out 2 days a week in person (compared to pre-Covid when you might have had to been in the office 5 days a week and then went remote or hybrid).


Agreed. I live just under 30 miles from work and it’s the farthest I’ve ever traveled and I think as far as I would reasonably travel. 50 miles, especially in the bay area, is a multi-hour commute.


Because commercial leases are often a decade or more in length. These tech companies have enormous fancy offices in extremely expensive neighbourhoods that they can’t unload. Bringing people back in to them is a way to justify their sunk cost.


I had an interesting conversation with a friend last year, regarding a chat he had with staff at one of their customers (a major UK public broadcaster known by a TLA :wink:). The move to start getting their staff back to the office was happening over late spring/early summer. During this process, the HR department was rather surprised to find multiple staff now living a lot further away from the offices in London - Cornwall, the Peak District, and in several cases, France. They’d been getting on with their jobs quite satisfactorily, all through the pandemic.

Being a very considerate and caring employer, the edict was delivered that staff should be in the office 2 days or 3 days a week. If 2 days, those days would be Monday and Friday. If 3 days, Monday, Friday and Wednesday. Dicks.

Apparently they were surprised at the number of people who chose to resign and seek work elsewhere…


they’re only expensive if you pay the bill …



Maybe they need to convert some floors into apartments and save some of their employees commute and rent.


From what I remember it always looked like a fun place to work.


We’ve got to protect our phoney-baloney jobs, Gentleman! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph, harrumph!


And pay them in scrip and food.


Now I’'m imagining the legal department lawyers who all speak in Ubbi Dubbi.


Many tech workers woukd take that instead of having to commute 4 hours to downtown SF from Livermore.


Unfortunately, many (most) office spaces aren’t zoned for that. :frowning:


Zoning can be changed. Especially as cities face rampant housing crises.


Pretty much everyone I know that works in IT says that 100% work from home is non-negotiable for them: they will immediately cease even considering a company or offer if they require any weekly in-person presence.


I work for one of the Big 3 auto manufacturers and I work 200 miles from the office I’m attatched to, and the only thing within a 2 hour drive of me is a plant, which isn’t fitted out for a secure room (I work in product design, so it’s more intense security than just plug into ethernet…I have a dedicated business-class data line installed at my home, managed by work, with a modem/device that they provided (it’s some type of Meraki)…I still have Comcast for my non-work devices), so I never have to go in…it’s very nice.


I spent a year fighting my company on this topic. People had been moving and my wife I made our plans, only they changed the rules after we did and told everyone at a meeting… while I was on vacation. And did they write the policy down somewhere? No.

So, when I told the boss last fall we were moving to Maine, they seemed confused. I double checked the written policy and I could see it was fine. So, we moved forward. Came January and I, once more, reminded them I was moving when all hell broke loose and I was told “no one can move.” I went up the chain to our department head and found out why I was being told that (see: missed meeting, no follow up documentation).

But, during our chat he said “well some folks are still moving, they just maintain like an apartment nearby in case they need to come back.” Boom. I had an out. My second oldest also wanted a place, so I got us a two bedroom. They pay some of the rent, I pay the rest, it’s a win-win in a tough rental market.

Last week my boss told me our department head got mad I moved. Apparently he thought he’d said they kept their primary house in Maryland, but he clearly hadn’t (and had told my boss what he told me). She finally had it out with him, said 'it’s done, you can’t make him come back now."

This is all bullshit, honestly. The wins for the workers AND the world are huge. This narrow minded viewpoint of “must fill our empty space” couple with these fictions about “team work is better in person” and “productivity will increase” need to stop. Working remotely is good for society, good for the world, and can be not only a way of improving the work lives of millions, but helping to slow/delay climate change by reducing pollution from car emissions.