New York City-based TikToker Lo Hilton (@hilton.lo) posted a clip that was shared over 2,000 times and garnered over 36,000 likes on the popular social media platform. It also started a discussion about the “uselessness” of companies forcing employees to come to mostly empty workspaces to do their jobs after the pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home and social distancing orders implemented by the government have forced many companies to adapt their operations to work-from-home models. And according to several studies, these changes ultimately had a positive impact on companies’ bottom lines. Remote workers were ultimately more productive and happier with their jobs, resulting in lower turnover rates and higher profits/efficiencies per employee. Additionally, companies ended up saving a ton of money in overhead costs.
However, after COVID-19 restrictions began to ease, some companies began asking their workforce to return to the office. A fact Lo criticizes with a ten-second, visually-based TikTok clip showing what the return to the office looks like for many workers.
Unlimited N’espresso and a clear view of two bridges!!!!
♬ BIZCOCHITO – ROSALIA
In the video, she shows herself sitting in what appears to be a completely desolate office space. She’s the only one sitting at her desk and she goes on to show what the rest of the area looks like. A lone cornhole board rests on the floor near an empty seating area. There are rows of monitors and office chairs with no one sitting on them, and the video ends with Lo recording through an office window, showing a bright, sunny day outdoors.
In a quoted text overlay on the clip, she writes, “We really need everyone to come into the office at least twice a week to contribute to the culture of the company.”
It seems that Lo is one of the few people taking this message to heart, as the company culture, according to what she uploaded to TikTok, is an empty rented office space that nobody is using.
There are several successful companies that have a fully remote workforce model such as: e.g. WordPress. While the company writes that a 100 percent remote working model isn’t right for every single business, it has found a way to ensure its operations are profitable. Recent estimates have put WP at a whopping $3 billion, not bad for a content management system that has a massive crowd of free users.
CNBC reported in March 2022 that “50% of companies want employees back in the office 5 days a week,” but there are many analysts who have speculated that this might ultimately be a bad idea. That’s because 57% of workers are looking for fully decentralized jobs, and there’s an even larger number of people who also want a hybrid option. Plus, remote positions have practical benefits that companies miss by requiring employees to return to the office. Constantly having more employees in the office means more space and resources are needed to accommodate them.
But the real problem just seems to boil down to what the most attractive jobs are for those looking for gainful employment: and flexible positions are where it’s at. CNBC also reported that “remote and hybrid jobs attract 7x more applicants than in-person roles,” meaning larger applicant pools will statistically translate to greater opportunities to attract top talent.
TikTokers who saw Lo’s post expressed their boredom at being forced to return to the office in the comments section. Many others highlighted the absurdity of commuting to work just to do the same tasks on the work laptop they use while at home…just in a different environment. Then there were those who felt that working in a desolate office space wasn’t really the best for their mental health.
“I literally sat under my desk and cried at work yesterday because I was the only one working my entire floor,” read one top comment.
“We’re told we just have to come so everyone can sit with the office doors closed at team meetings all day, like goodbye,” shared one user.
“Translation: We urgently need to justify being locked into an overpriced 5 year office lease,” wrote another user.
“I can’t believe I’m driving to an office to work with a laptop I’m carrying,” shared one viewer.
“My company just fired me out for a week… to take Zoom calls from the office. depressing,” lamented one user.
“THIS! I’m the youngest in the office and need to come in 3 days a week, always empty,” one commenter wrote. “Wish more people around the world would come in or let me work remotely.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Lo via TikTok comment for more information.
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the web delivered to your inbox every day.
*Initial publication: October 1, 2022 at 2:44 p.m. CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/forced-to-come-in-to-empty-office/ Worker says boss makes her come to office for ‘culture’