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Are You Going Back?

July 7, 2021

I got to take a long weekend for the Independence Day holiday. Actually, it’s pretty much been a long month. My company did layoffs in May. COVID. So, I’ve been looking at new opportunities and interviewing for various IT positions. I was in a similar situation 8 years ago. When I was ALSO laid off.

One of the differences this time around is that jobs are more plentiful. And there’s a new interview question.

We are currently in a work from home model, but anticipate going back to the office later this year. Would that be an issue for you?

What was so common, so understood and accepted that it wasn’t even mentioned in previous years is one of the early interview questions now.

I spent the last 17 months working from home. I have a nice, if somewhat small, home office. My family knows to (mostly) leave me alone when I’m working. And, like most remote workers, it’s worked out well. I put in more hours, and had more time with my kids. (My commute to Salt Lake City was an hour each way.)

One of the differences between the jobs I interview for and the jobs my kids interview for is the “compensation package.” To my kids, that just means how much they get paid. For white-collar jobs, the compensation package starts with salary, but includes things like paid time off, health benefits, 401K matching, and now work-from-home options.

You can’t look at any one element in the package and base the decision to accept a job just on that. Salary alone is a poor choice, if it means other areas of your quality of life suffer. So, would a work-at-home option be a make or break addition?

Not necessarily.

But, like everything, it figures in the mix.

There are now reports that some workers are refusing to go back to the office. They would rather quit than give up their new work/life balance. Being out of work currently it’s an interesting question. Like most people, I’d rather work than not work. The thought of turning down a position because it requires work in an office building is. . .an unusual thought. Sure, I like working from home, but have i really become entitled enough to feel I somehow DESERVE to work from home?

Hardly. But, then, I’m kind of old school. I’m certainly older than those just now entering the workforce.

How about you? Are you going back to the office when your company makes that decision?

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

One Comment
  1. I took a job just a year ago that required ‘office’ attendance. That only lasted til December, we had differing management visions. I felt that every employee deserves to be treated like a human. I hear now they are getting worried about running out of potential employees, but it’s far too late to change their philosophy.

    I picked up a better (compensation, benefits AND work/life balance) job in March and while they want me in the office most days they aren’t religious about it. The best part is they agree – employees are people. Many have been there for decades. I get respect and recognition for my good ideas which oddly inspires me to give more of them. Oh, they’re human too, but it is refreshing to work for a company that considers the human element instead of grinding every possible ounce of benefit out of employees before tossing them aside.

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