Don’t let me go back to hard pants five days a week

I walked out of the apartment for the first time last week and found that I was wearing sneakers on one foot and Ugg boots on the other. This was a blocked low point.

As far as I know, this happened because I was wearing Uggs on my desk all day, taking them off and putting on sneakers to go outside. I was distracted by work calls. In terms of comfort, sneakers are so much like Ugg that I didn’t notice that I only put on one of them before driving on the street.

In the history of failures in workplace clothing, this is obviously not good. However, I still like it more than I am afraid of what lurks ahead.

With the introduction of the vaccine, public life in more places has returned to normal, people like me will soon be told to abandon slippers and other comfort facilities for working at home, and the risk of returning to the office after five days is increasing for a week. .

The Americans came up with a two-word phrase that perfectly expressed the fear caused by it: “hard pants.”

Technically, the term simply refers to pants with zippers, buttons, or no elastic waistbands—contrary to the elastic soft pants worn by remote workers in the past year or so.

But when people say they have to “squeeze back their hard pants” to get into the office, I suspect they are talking about all the other reasons why polling agencies unanimously find that only a few employees who can work remotely want to return to headquarters full-time.

What I am talking about here is skipping breakfast and frantically looking for decent but too tight clothes in order to snap up overpriced seats on a crowded train. Not to mention that it was too noisy when I arrived at the desk for work, the only place where I could make a private call was in the bathroom.

No wonder 75% Office workers in a large European investigation announced last week agreed that it should be illegal for bosses to force employees to work in the office.

Of course, some people, especially new employees and young employees, are eager to enter the same room with colleagues they hardly know or need to learn from.

I also really want to see my colleagues again, I miss what Apple’s boss Tim Cook said in an e-mail “the buzz of activity” Sent last week Tell employees that they must return to the company desk at least three days a week before September.

But I don’t know anyone who wants to go back to the original five-day work week. This means that an almighty showdown is about to begin between workers who want to work at home for at least one or two days a week and employers who want everything to be like before 2020.

A big company like Apple, overwhelmed by job seekers, may be able to decide terms easily.The same is true for Wall Street banks such as JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO Jamie Dimon said last month that remote work is not good For young people, corporate culture, creative generation or “those who want to be hustle and bustle”.

However, the pandemic has triggered a revolution in thinking about remote work, which may make it more difficult for many employers to require full-time work. “My feeling is that this will not succeed,” said Nicole Sahin, the CEO of US-based Globalization Partners, which helps companies navigate the process of hiring employees overseas. “If they require everyone to be in the office, it will be difficult for them to recruit people.”

For this type of organization, there may be no choice but to plunge into the unknown field of mixed work. In this case, employees switch from home to office every week.

How exactly should this be done is one of the biggest workplace issues today. How affordable is it? What does it mean for office layout? Can people still keep their old desks, or do they have to use mobile office to become the norm? Should employees come in on the same day? And this is just the beginning of it. Few companies know all the answers, but whether they like it or not, many companies need to find the answer quickly.

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Twitter: @pilitaclark

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About the Author: Agnes Zang