Woman Forced To Go Into The Office To 'Collaborate' With Coworkers Realizes She's The Only One Not Working From Home

Her video sparked a debate regarding hybrid work and productivity.

woman working alone in office ESB Professional / Shutterstock

The toll the COVID-19 pandemic took on all of us is immeasurable — forever altering our perspective on life, work, and relationships. Those with full-time jobs are still getting their bearings after several years of unexpected changes, and the reality is that working environments have been inherently and irreparably altered.

As the number of employees working from home tripled during the pandemic, it’s become a new way of life, with employees generally enjoying the flexibility it gives them to spend more time with their families and cultivate a healthier work-life balance. 


However, employers are itching to pull their employees back into the office, despite the proven benefits of remote and hybrid work. In fact, over 68% of companies adopted “back to office” mandates between 2022 and 2023. 

So, what does that look like for your average office? Are people really returning to work and, more importantly, are they engaging in a healthier, more productive atmosphere?

One woman was forced to return to the office to ‘collaborate,' but the rest of her team was working from home. 

Corporate employee Kim, known as @kimm_ale on TikTok, shared her perspective on the “back to office” debacle, admitting that her own “forced return” to the office was completely unnecessary. 




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"I'm here at the office, you know, 'cause they want us to collaborate," she said while sitting at her desk. "But there's no one here for me to collaborate with"

When her employer requested she return to the office to work with her peers, she was reluctant to give up the flexibility and comfort of her home, but in the end, agreed to come into the office. However, when she arrived, she realized she was the only one actually present. 


The entirety of her team, supposedly also given the “in-office” mandate, were not in the office and instead joined the collaborative video calls from the comfort of their own homes

“There’s nobody here to collaborate with,” she said in her video. “Like why the [expletive] am I here? I could’ve been at home 'collaborating' with my dogs!” 



The truth is, despite many ‘return to office’ mandates, most companies are still operating from Zoom meetings, even while in-person.

Studies show that over 60% of people with “remote capable” jobs want a more hybrid work arrangement, and it’s completely understandable. They spend extra money and time and are forced to sacrifice their flexibility to return to an office where they work primarily from their computers. 


The reality is that the productivity, health, and happiness of their employees skyrocket when they’re given the flexibility of working environments, whether that be a few days in the office or a completely remote situation. Because of that, many full-time workers have expressed their frustration with these “return to office” mandates, especially when they’re falsely told that working from an office increases the collaborative nature of their work.

It’s simply not the case and it creates a “weird tension” in the office, as communications employee Nick Kneer told The Washington Post

Despite being back in the office, he spent his days locked in a "windowless, cinder block room," attending Zoom meetings. While everyone might’ve been technically “in the office,” they surely weren’t interacting “in person” at all, other than a quick chat on the way to grab a coffee or use the restroom. 

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It’s not what employees want, and it’s not benefiting them or their companies. Despite all of that, the mandates continue to roll in, pulling employees from the comfort of their homes into an often stale, unproductive, and unhealthy working environment. 

Questioning why she needed to be in the office, the woman sparked a larger debate about hybrid work and how much more productive it’d be for the average employee. 

In a TikTok from August, Emmy-winning journalist Jareen Imam expressed the sentiment of many in the workforce regarding remote work. 



“A functioning society needs happy, healthy people. That happens when people prioritize their health, families, and hobbies,” she honestly stated. “We don’t exist to serve the economy or businesses, [they] exist to serve us — to serve people.” 


Much like the employee above, a great deal of others in the workforce are advocating for more flexibility — hoping to create a healthy, yet productive, boundary between their personal and professional lives. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture and human interest stories.