My employer shut down our worksite during the pandemic. My wife and I decided to move to a different state where living costs were cheaper, and we could live in a smaller community and enjoy a better quality of life.
Some months ago, my employer insisted all employees return to the company worksite. I didn’t want to turn into a long-distance commuter, so I pitched why I should be allowed to work remotely.
I’ve just received a letter from my company’s HR. They insist I return to our company offices by May 1, 2022. If I don’t, my employer will consider that I’ve resigned. This torques me, and there aren’t any viable jobs in the rural area in which we now live.
Given everything I’ve heard about the great resignation and the talent war, I don’t understand why my company is playing hardball. The problem may be my supervisor, who’s weak and a micromanager.
Reasons for hardball
Your employer likely has two reasons for playing hardball.
You don’t have to play ball with your current employer. You may, however, need to look at how you play the game of work.
Why employers choose to bring remote employees back onsite
Some employers want their entire workforce on-site, feeling its easier to manage them and that it creates better collaboration.
If the problem is your micro-managing supervisor, you’re not alone in facing that problem. Employers that employ remote employees absolutely need to train managers and supervisors how to manage by results. Micro-managers have to change their ways, or they drive employees away or themselves crater under the stress.
If your employer, however, values your supervisor, and more importantly considers you the problem, you may lose your job.
Additionally, when employers employ workers that live in a different state, they need to deal with a different set of employment and tax laws and reports, or travel and lodging costs when they want to hold all staff events. This becomes even more challenging when their employees move out of the country.
When employers call me complaining about out-of-state employees, I suggest they balance the time it takes to make and update an excel spreadsheet that identifies another state’s employment and tax laws and reports against the cost of losing and having to replace a talented employee.
I’ve recommended to my client employers that they define where remote employees can work and notify them and get advance permission before they move out of state.
Finally, your question creates a question in my mind. You describe your supervisor as weak. Are you hard to supervise because you engage in battles with supervisors? If so, you handicap your case for convincing your employer to allow you to continue working remotely.
If weak means inept, and you and your family love where you live, and your employer continues playing hardball, find a new employer that values remote employees. If you found this post valuable and you’re an employer, you may find “Making Hybrid Work” valuable https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/10/making-hybrid-work-charting-a-new-playbook-for-a-future-ready-workplace/.
If you’re an employee that wants to work remotely, you may find clues for making your case in “Making the Case for Teleworking,”https://workplacecoachblog.com/2021/06/teleworking-benefits-for-employers-employees/.
(c) Lynne Curry 2022