I am a remote employee at a company hostile to remote work.
I have been a remote employee at a company hostile to remote work for twelve years now, and ten of those years have been due to remote work. Despite this fact, my employer provides me with various benefits for me to work remotely, which includes furniture for my home and a membership at a remote work space, which is critical under normal circumstances, because I can always get an office during a meeting.
That is, until COVID-19 hit, and now everyone works from home.
The reality now is that everyone is a remote employee, and I no longer have an escape from my home life to get work done. Yes, the co-working space had shitty internet, and people who failed understand that in an open office, you do your best not to be loud and obnoxious and bring your stinky ass tuna sandwich into the coworking space. That said, it was a space away from the family where I can get work done if I needed it. That’s gone.
Many remote employees worked from a coffee shop, beach, park or library, or did the van life thing. That’s all dead now for the most part. The people who do work remotely work from home, and the lucky ones are the ones who don’t have families, and don’t have constant distraction.
I honestly think that employers who were hostile to remote employees before will continue to be hostile because they will point to the productivity drop during COVID-19 and say “See, look at how these people aren’t able to get anything done”, because let’s face it, if they could get away with it, they’d turf everyone under the age of 35 because we have families and lives outside of work. This is the ageism problem and that having a company’s anti-family bias used to wipe out remote work is bullshit. It’s bullshit to the people who are being targeted (who are usually women) and it’s bullshit to remote employees.
It’s important that people don’t let this happen.