That’s it, I’ve snapped. I warn you this is not the regular kind of newsletter I write where I am deeply thoughtful and reflective about the qualities of leadership and the future of work.
A study of 3500 American managers by employment background check company GoodHire found that 77% of managers would fire or cut someone’s pay for not coming back to the office.
I have a very simple message for them: Shut the fuck up.
I am sorry, I know, it’s cursing, it’s rude, and I should be nicer to people, but god damn, shut up. I am so sick of managers and executives complaining about how hard they have it and how they want workers to return to their nasty little work prisons so that they can do the same work they’d do at home but in the office.
“Clearly, managers are struggling,” said Max Wesman, GoodHire’s chief operating officer. “Organizations that find a work arrangement that satisfies the majority of their workforce will benefit in the areas of recruitment, productivity, employee satisfaction, and retention.”
I know I am meant to be writing a newsletter with the rigorous research and thought process that you’d expect from a journalist or otherwise intelligent writer. Still, I cannot find nuance in how I feel about this study and anyone who agrees with it. If you are willing to cut someone’s pay as a manager because they won’t return to the office, you deserve to have your entire pay cut and your job removed. You should be barred from managing other people until you’re able to pass a simple empathy test, or perhaps just never allowed to manage people again, a sort of corporate version of having a felony conviction for being too big a piece of shit.
I really want to be reasonable, and calm, and fair, but I cannot. I am sick and tired of these worthless, brainless cretins that seek to push their inefficient corporate policies on workers because they’re too insecure about the fact that they’ve done nothing of worth with their lives. We have too many managers, and too many of those managers are incompetent do-nothing slave drivers with no contribution to the organization other than their ability to abuse young people.
If you’re a manager reading this, I’m so sorry about your ego. I know. It’s tough hearing that your title is one associated with corporate rot. If you’re reading this, perhaps you’re one of the good ones, and you realize that management is a discipline and not a title. If you are not, and you believe your workers should return to the office, you are a cretinous moron and a detriment to your organization.
Let’s dig in further to this article:
When companies announce return-to-office plans, workers don’t have a lot of choice but to comply. Unless a worker was specifically hired for a remote position, they are probably required to work out of the office at least part of the time.
Some workers (particularly those with health issues including an immunocompromised system, chronic kidney disease, serious heart conditions, diabetes, and obesity who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections) may be able to get remote work accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state regulations, but that typically requires a formal review process.
Remote work is not just something that benefits people with disabilities - though, I add, it rocks that there are more ways that people who have disabilities can work, and that’s yet another reason that I love it. It’s also efficient, better for the environment, better for work-life balance (unless you’re in a digitally invasive organization, which would do the same to you on your off-hours), and genuinely better for the company too.
Except whiny, lazy, stupid managers are crying about not being able to glare at the people that actually do the work, screeching about how terrible it is that the people under them have anything approaching freedom or flexibility. If you are an anti-remote manager, you are very likely lying to yourself about your contribution to the organization, in that you do not do any real work and you are the copy-paste function of a computer with an empty heart and a tiny brain.
I realize this sounds cruel, and mean, and brutal, and I’m such a mean man for being so mean to people. But I am sick of this - again and again it feels as if the media is only interested in backing the interests of the powerful while suppressing the worker’s ability to have a better life. There is no reason to publish this study other than to make fun of it, and to specifically make fun of any manager that agrees with it.
To be clear, this is not a debate. Anyone fighting against remote work - especially a manager - is wrong. You know that “no office” doesn’t mean “never seeing another human being,” and you know that “collaboration is only done in person” is not true. No, we do not need soft work, no, we are not failing young people by going remote. Every one of your stupid ideas sucks, and if you need proof, here’s a list of the people that agree with you:
- David Solomon of Goldman Sachs, who are known for their inhumane working conditions.
- Reed Hastings of Netflix, the single most famous example of how you can do something without going somewhere, a man who does not have an office.
- Chris Merrill, CEO of Harrison Street, a real estate investment company that is part of the reason that housing prices are going up.
These people are losers, and you are a loser if you agree with them. You hate the people that work for you and see them as objects, and you are stunned that your lack of humanity and intelligence has led to people not wanting to share physical space with you. You are a net negative to society, consuming resources without providing anything of worth or merit, and you exist as a vacuum for productivity and young people’s happiness.
I hate you with my entire being. Have a terrible weekend.