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Worker Wants To Call Out His Company's Threats To Move Back Into The Office After Weird Remote Restrictions Begin

Photo: Jay_Zynism, Drazen_ / Canva
Woman working from home while on a work call with her camera on

During the pandemic, workplaces and corporations struggled to maintain profitibility without sacrificing the livelihoods of all their employees. As a result, working from home became a much more prevalent option.

Except, one man’s remote working privilege is being threatened by the same people who offered it in the first place.

After receiving a troublesome email that he found to be entirely suspicious, a man decided to post about it in the “r/antiwork” forum on Reddit, hoping to get some advice on how to move forward with the initiatives the higher-ups were putting in place.

The company threatened to take away employees' work-from-home privileges and asked for cameras to be on during calls.

First, he clarified in his post that he works for a big government agency, and during a recent meeting, his boss claimed that the VP was informed by HR that “‘someone in his organization’ was abusing their WFH privileges to goof off.” As a result, new remote working restrictions are being threatened including cameras on during all Zoom calls, and the worker is understandably upset.

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In an effort to gain perspective, he turned to the Reddit community. “I'll never know, but would anybody want to bet on whether this is a false flag attack?” Everyone in the comments was incensed. 

Now that most lockdown restrictions have been lifted, it feels like companies are searching for ways to get everyone back into the office. That includes searching for ways to monitor productivity more closely.

The man pointed out that having cameras on during Zoom calls was a foolish way to employ some measure of checking on workers, adding, “I think it's an odd way of addressing people goofing off during WFH. Ok, boss, yeah, those ARE palm trees in the background. You caught me.”

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However, some people in the comments clarified that there are even worse monitoring tools out there to accomplish the same goal, which, at the end of the day, seems to be power over the employees.

The work-from-home debate is a mystery, seeing as the productivity increase is backed by data.

According to data published in January 2023 by Apollo Technical, remote workers are, on average, 47% more productive than their in-office counterparts. And a separate survey revealed that 22% of remote workers reported being happy with their working conditions.

So, if working from home yields happier and more productive employees, what's the problem?

When paired up against a 2022 article from Microsoft, however, it becomes clear that the concern doesn’t come from an increase or decrease in productivity — 85% of bosses struggle to believe that their employees are truly productive during their time doing hybrid work.

Coined “productivity paranoia,” the concept that despite data proving otherwise, management struggles believing remote employees are actually working as much as they claim to be, seems to be the root cause of the shift in hybrid and remote working models. But, at the end of the day, that's an issue for company leaders to deal with, and punishing employees isn't the solution.

Thankfully, there are still remote positions available for employees who thrive outside of normal office environments, and perhaps the compromise will come when employers realize they are losing talent because of outdated in-person policies.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.