We don’t owe our employers a physical office presence!
Working from home seems like a rational move for many of us, now more than ever. The idea of working from home was certainly not a novel thought introduced along with the Covid virus. Some companies and institutions1 had adapted work from home modalities well before the 2020 pandemic hit. Even though the pandemic, along with persistent research, shows that working from home has no negative effect on the productivity of the employees, still many employers are hesitant to grant this option to their workers.
It appears that employers want to charge their employees for their work at their homes. An added bonus: while employees spend in order to create and maintain a home office, employers save on skipping the same expenses. The situation is presented as if we owe our employees a physical presence in the office, but do we?!
Whatever the path to a more flexible work schedule may be, workers should remember that they don’t owe their work to their companies. We are not the borrowers, rather it’s the other way; the institution and the company take time and skills in cash literally every second we work for them and pay us with a week- to weeks-long delay!
We should remember this as we bargain for our rights to work from where it makes sense, as Tayo Bero reminds us in her Guardian article.