submitted 8 months ago by L4s@lemmy.world to c/technology@lemmy.world

Return-to-office orders look like a way for rich, work-obsessed CEOs to grab power back from employees::White-collar workers temporarily enjoyed unprecedented power during the pandemic to decide where and how they worked.

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[-] Nurgle@lemmy.world 248 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

"These elite CEOs probably work 100-plus hours a week and they're much more work-focused."

No they don’t. Full stop. Let’s stop fabricating this bullshit. That’s 16hrs a day M-F with 10hrs Sat/Sun. Elon Musk is not doing those hours period, let alone while also finding time to play Elden Ring.

[-] Moyer1666@lemmy.ml 115 points 8 months ago

Yeah people need to stop acting like they're the most hardworking people out there. They definitely are not. Especially when you can be CEO of multiple companies and no one bats an eye.

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[-] ChickenLadyLovesLife@lemmy.world 44 points 8 months ago

Even if Elon Musk is putting in 100-hour weeks, he's the CEO of five companies, which means being CEO of one company is a half-time gig at most.

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[-] Sanctus@lemmy.world 153 points 8 months ago






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[-] aesthelete@lemmy.world 133 points 8 months ago

My main take on the pandemic is that employers involuntarily gave their employees a huge benefit set by having to go remote. They had to give this benefit set not just to their buddies or a select few, but to people they consider undeserving or do not trust.

All of their moves since have reflected that they want to put the cat back in the bag.

It's not about productivity at all and never has been. The studies even called the bluff by comparing productivity and determined that productivity is higher with WFH. The reaction to that has been to ignore the data and lean back into gut feel, because high level management isn't really about productivity.

You can tell this simply by the fact that their natural environment is the office and very few things in an office environment are actually about productivity. The reason they want return to office is the same reason they wanted open offices: control. It's easier for them to hover behind you in an open office plan. It's easier for them to order you around when they don't have to call you first.

It's all about control, and likely always has been.

[-] unscholarly_source@lemmy.ca 50 points 8 months ago

As a manager, I can confirm that productivity drops in the office (even my own). I've got team members that choose to go to the office (moreso than me). I encourage them to work however they prefer, and want. You can work anywhere around the world however you wish, including at some nice beach, as long as it doesn't affect the project.

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[-] ArbiterXero@lemmy.world 37 points 8 months ago

A lot of that control is about perceived obedience and perceived productivity.

In many areas you’ll find that ACTUAL productivity matters far less than perceived productivity.

And it’s easier to perceived productivity when you can walk a floor and see people work as you walk by.

[-] eldavi@lemmy.ml 15 points 8 months ago

This is 100% true and I had to learn it the hard way; perception matters just as much, if not more than getting the job done.

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[-] ChickenLadyLovesLife@lemmy.world 18 points 8 months ago

high level management isn't really about productivity

High level management is about preserving your position as a high level manager and securing the maximum compensation for it.

[-] bernieecclestoned@sh.itjust.works 93 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

Good, they'll be left with second rate wage slaves while other companies who trust their employees will be more productive and competitive as a result.

[-] GregoryTheGreat@programming.dev 46 points 8 months ago

They don’t care. They need to lead/rule over/command people. Second rate or not.

[-] outdated_belated@lemmy.sdf.org 14 points 8 months ago* (last edited 8 months ago)

So many don’t understand just how wildly inefficient bureaucratic hierarchies are; what happens isn’t the most profitable thing, it’s the whim of whoever managed to claw their way highest up.

Basically, the decisions are the manifestation of the artificial stupidity of brute force.

[-] FunderPants@lemmy.ca 11 points 8 months ago

How are the MBAs going to pull all their power poses if we work at home?

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[-] BertramDitore@lemmy.world 13 points 8 months ago

Trust. You’re right, it completely comes down to trust. If you can’t trust the people you hire to work without someone looming over them or watching everything they do, then you shouldn’t have hired that person.

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[-] Diplomjodler@feddit.de 83 points 8 months ago

Managers are managers because they're good at playing power games, not because they're good at their jobs. These games are harder to play if people aren't there. That's why they're so scared.

[-] lustrum@sh.itjust.works 28 points 8 months ago

When I got my newest job the boss was bragging about I can work as much overtime as I want at 1.5x. like bitch I want undertime, let me work less!

[-] unscholarly_source@lemmy.ca 13 points 8 months ago

As a manager, I empower my team to work remotely as much as possible 🤷

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[-] FlaxPicker@lemmy.world 73 points 8 months ago

Seems like the commercial real estate collapse has a lot to do with it too.

[-] Staccato@lemmy.world 12 points 8 months ago

Eh, that may play a role for the big firms, but most of the small to mid sized businesses just lease their real estate. They'd realistically come out ahead by downsizing their offices.

I think what we are seeing is management really struggling to adapt and find reliable metrics for performance management as well as to promote employee retention and engagement without the social bonds of an office culture.

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[-] MaxPower@feddit.de 62 points 8 months ago

These elite CEOs probably work 100-plus hours a week and they're much more work-focused.

Oh ffs. I have nothing against Nick Bloom but this statement is so BS. Even if "elite CEOs" could work 24 hours per day, 7 days per week their salaries could not be justified by any means. There are just not enough hours in a day to actually do it.

The mandates symbolize the sharp disconnect right now between the way CEOs and employees think about work.

He's right about that though.

[-] krakenx@lemmy.world 25 points 8 months ago

When I was an intern at a large company, the CIO talked to our small group of interns. He said he worked around that much, and I don't think he was lying. He told us about his typical day.

The company was located in a big city and he lived in the suburbs with a long commute by taxi and train. He would get up at 5AM to start the commute. He worked on the train and taxi. Then he would leave the office at 5PM, work on the commute home, have dinner and family time for 2 hours, then work until bed at around midnight. He said he was lucky he only needed 4 hours of sleep and how much he treasured the 2 hours he spent with his family every day. It was the only time he refused to take calls.

I think part of the problem why executives mistreate their workers so much is that they themselves are overworked and exhausted. Despite having a ton of money, they don't get to enjoy it, so it becomes meaningless.

[-] Elivey@lemmy.world 20 points 8 months ago

And there's people out there who work just as much but will never make the same amount of money. When you have the privilege to never worry about cleaning, laundry, taking care of your kids, grocery shopping, cooking, and all the numerous bullshit things that just add up to consume your time that you can wave away when you were born rich allow you to do that. They don't consume your day and energy.

Not that everyone if suddenly given that kind of time would do what he does, but I don't think they should. I think he's the type of person who looking back on his deathbed will regret only spending 2 hours a day with his family. That's really sad.

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[-] MrBusiness@lemmy.zip 10 points 8 months ago

Some small number of people love being married to their work. And some of these people think since they enjoy it that others must feel the same, and when they see their employees quitting it's surprised Pikachu face and denial.

[-] Papergeist@lemmy.world 14 points 8 months ago

I've worked as cook and sous chef for about 13 years now. Most I ever made was 55k a year and at that time I was working ~75 hours a week. If we extrapolate to 100 hours... Carry the one.... Yup! Still a far cry from the paycheck of a CEO.

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[-] kafka_quixote@lemmygrad.ml 48 points 8 months ago

It's also to make sure the commercial real estate market doesn't crash

[-] autotldr@lemmings.world 26 points 8 months ago

This is the best summary I could come up with:

"Because the labor market is looser and there's more talent to be hired, I think the employers think they'll be able to get their way," Dr Grace Lordan, associate professor in behavioral science at the London School of Economics told Insider.

A certain kind of CEO — noticeably skewing male and older, she said — is drawing from this "command and control" playbook as a way to rebuild an employee base that fits their idea of being productive and diligent.

"This belief of a certain cohort of people, and they are represented across all sectors, that presentee-ism is productivity, for them it's perfectly rational that if somebody doesn't want to come into the office then that basically means they're not somebody who wants to add value to the firm," Lordan added.

Elon Musk is consistently adamant about workers at his companies from X to Tesla being present in office, going as far as calling remote work "morally wrong."

A number of firms that benefited from a pandemic bump in business, particularly in tech, went on a hiring spree — triggering the "Great Resignation" as workers quit for ever-higher salaries and perks.

That attitude means certain types of employees will lose out — and return-to-office mandates will likely hurt diversity too if they are strictly enforced.

The original article contains 512 words, the summary contains 215 words. Saved 58%. I'm a bot and I'm open source!

[-] amenotef@lemmy.world 23 points 8 months ago

For a lot of positions. Remote work is not just the past and the present. It is also the future.

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[-] DrMango@lemmy.world 21 points 8 months ago

It was never about productivity. It was always about control.

[-] stefenauris@pawb.social 19 points 8 months ago

And by "look like" we mean "totally are"

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[-] InfiniteFlow@lemmy.world 15 points 8 months ago

Oh my god, so much this! The only apparent reason I see for many of the “return to office” cases I know about is for middle managers to be able to hold court and lord over their subordinates. As for the actual work that needs to be done, I see little advantage (in fact, constant interruptions for management and colleagues make it quite worse).

[-] CharlesDarwin@lemmy.world 14 points 8 months ago

These dingles are gonna flex like this just before another Covid surge, I guess?

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this post was submitted on 24 Aug 2023
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