Many companies are backtracking on remote work, demanding their employees go back to the office - although many might not wish to do so.
Ednews informs via Eurnonews that more than three years after remote working became the rule of the land during the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home is facing pushback, with several companies calling for their employees to come back to the office and tech industry titans openly condemning the practice.
In May, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman declared that remote work was a “failed experiment”, calling it one of the tech industry’s “worst mistakes in a long time” and claiming that the practice harms creativity, especially for start-ups.
In March, Elon Musk told Twitter employees that the office “is not optional.”
In June, Google informed its employees that they would have to spend at least three days a week in the office, while office attendance would be positively considered in their performance review, as reported first by the Wall Street Journal.
Some of the biggest newspapers in the world, like the New York Times, have published opinion pieces that claim that remote working is failing young employees and depriving workers of the communal experience of a shared workplace this year.
But is remote work really failing, as companies believe?
“Absolutely no,” Mansoor Soomro, future of work enthusiast and senior lecturer in Sustainability and International Business at Teesside University in the UK, told Euronews.
“Based on the surveys, the meetings, and interviews that we’re conducting, it hasn’t failed. Remote work is not going anywhere,” he said.
So what’s really going on? Experts say the situation is more complicated than saying whether remote work has failed or succeeded.
Stuart thinks that the renegotiation of remote work is going to lead to “various tensions” between employees and employers, resulting in the current strain felt by workers across several industries, who are protesting stagnating wages which haven’t kept up with inflation.
To make the office more attractive to workers, companies will have to offer perks and “make the place cosier,” Soomro said - but a mass return of all workers seems unlikely for now.