When the pandemic began and office workers were sent home to work remotely, things slowed down dramatically. Companies spent the first several weeks scrambling to build the work-from-home infrastructure they lacked. By “infrastructure” I mean VPN networks, conferencing solutions, etc. For companies with tens of thousands of employees this takes a significant amount of time and effort.
Once the infrastructure was set up, it took employees time to become accustomed to working in a virtual environment. Employees were conducting business, but at a slower pace than normal as they learned to navigate Zoom, virtual meetings, remote work, and so on.
For a few months people were enjoying the work-from-home lifestyle. Those who remained employed suddenly had way more spare time and extra money. No more commutes, lunches, dry cleaning or travel costs. We all had more money and time to spend with family and enjoy life. Many of us said we’d never go back to the office.
But then the blood-sucking corporate world woke up. It realized that not only could it save money on office space, it could argue that employees just received a defacto raise – all while businesses actually did nothing for employees. Then, when businesses realized that remote working was actually productive, they found ways to soak up the extra time workers had gained by eliminating their commute.
Today, EVERY SINGLE PERSON I talk to that works for a major corporation is working longer hours than ever before, even when including their previous commute. Employers have piled on the work knowing that employees have extra free time and are afraid to lose their jobs.
Work life and home life have blended together and people have completely lost balance. Work-life balance is dead. People are now working from the second they wake up to the second they go to bed, with a little time for family in between.
It’s unhealthy, exploitative and unsustainable.