The unspoken reasons employees don’t want remote work to end


It’s no secret that employee-employer tensions about heading again to the office are rising. As extra employers push to get employees again in-house, the employees themselves are taking a more durable stand. An April 2021 survey by FlexJobs discovered that 60% of women and 52% of men would quit in the event that they weren’t allowed to proceed working remotely at the least a part of the time. Sixty-nine p.c of males and 80% of ladies mentioned that remote work choices are amongst their prime issues when on the lookout for a brand new job.

The “official” reasons that they don’t want to head again to the office are well-documented. They’re extra productive. It’s simpler to mix work and life when your commute is a stroll down the hallway. However, for some, the reasons are extra private and troublesome to share. Who will stroll the canine they adopted in the course of the pandemic? They gained weight and want to purchase new work garments. The considered being trapped in a cubicle all day makes them want to cry.

We spoke with a number of individuals who shared their very private reasons why they don’t want to return to work. (Due to the delicate nature of a number of the feedback, Quick Firm has allowed a number of the people to use a pseudonym to defend their identities.)


‘I would like to nap in the course of the day’

Since 2013, when a backpacking incident triggered a backbone damage that required two surgical procedures, Lynn (not her actual identify) has been coping with persistent ache and sleep points. Because of this, she’s usually drained in the course of the day and realized she wasn’t at her finest, particularly after lunch, when fatigue would usually set in.

“After I’m in conferences, and folks throw questions to me, I can’t actually reply immediately [or I] say the flawed issues,” she says. She didn’t really feel comfy speaking to her boss or colleagues in regards to the points she was dealing with and was coping with nervousness, melancholy, and hair loss lately because of her sleep points. However, in the course of the pandemic, she’s been ready to alter her schedule so she will take a nap throughout her lunch hour and relaxation periodically when she wants to accomplish that. (Analysis tells us that naps are good for our brains.)

Since she’s been working from residence, her productiveness has soared—and her supervisor has observed and begun complimenting her on her work. She feels sharper and more healthy. Her largest concern proper now, she says, is that she can have to quit the stability she has lastly discovered.

‘I’d quit my elevate for remote work’

Melvin Gonzalez, a licensed public accountant (CPA) for Inc and Go, a web-based enterprise formation web site, is dealing with a dilemma. “I like my profession, love my job, and have superb advantages which embrace a lifelong pension—one thing very uncommon in right now’s labor pressure,” he says. “Nonetheless, as with all the pieces in life, there’s a value to pay: my commute,” he says. Gonzalez travels two hours every method, which provides up to greater than 20 hours per week simply getting to and from work.

Gonzalez mentioned he by no means actually thought of how a lot time he was spending on commuting till he labored from residence in the course of the pandemic, He used the additional time—the equal of a part-time job—to go to the gymnasium, spend time together with his spouse and kids, and nonetheless get his work completed.


Now that he’s dealing with heading again to the workplace, he’s not prepared to quit that point. He and his colleagues have shared their issues with their employer, however he doesn’t suppose remote work will proceed to be an possibility. He says he’s even keen to quit a elevate to preserve his flexibility. “This has actually grow to be my predominant concern about going again to the workplace,” he says. “I imagine my temper for work won’t be the identical.”

‘I’m in restoration’

Till the pandemic hit, Frank (not his actual identify) labored at a high-end restaurant in Philadelphia. What his co-workers didn’t know on the time was that he was fighting alcoholism. The atmosphere, the place he had prepared entry to alcohol and associates who liked to exit for drinks after work, made it troublesome for him to give up.

However, whereas many noticed their substance abuse points improve in the course of the pandemic’s isolation, James was ready to get his dependancy beneath management, he says. Now that the restaurant is resuming full service once more and alluring him to return to his previous job, he has issues about whether or not that can put his restoration in jeopardy. “Most individuals don’t recuperate as a result of they’re not keen to change their life-style,” he says. If he refuses to return to his previous job, cash might be tight, however he’s fairly certain he could make a go of it. “I additionally don’t want to admit to all of my co-workers that I’m a recovering alcoholic,” he says.

‘I don’t want to quit my aspect hustle’

“My reluctance is absolutely the chance price of commuting,” says Shondra (not her actual identify), a public relations skilled in New York Metropolis. Earlier than she was laid off in April 2020, she would wake at 6 a.m. to have sufficient time to prepare, stroll her canine, commute, and begin work by 10 a.m. After she was laid off, she began selecting up freelance work, which turned out to be profitable—and which she may simply do from residence.

Shondra has a brand new employer, however the plan about whether or not or not employees might be required to be again on the workplace full-time is “very unclear,” she says. For now, she has loads of time to full her duties for her employer and work on her freelance initiatives. That gained’t be the case if she goes again to her lengthy commute. Plus, the considered being on mass transit with so many different folks offers her pause from a security perspective, she says.

She’s ready to see what occurs however is reluctant to quit the freelance work that bought her by way of her layoff. “It’s given me the chance to construct a pleasant nest egg, in case—God forbid—one thing like that occurs once more,” she says. “I don’t want to lose this chance by having to return to the workplace full-time.”