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Humanity has a bit of a habit – when we taste something that is good, we either want more or we quickly adapt to it and stick with it. Both speak the idea of “we don’t really wanna let it go”.

The same trend now seems to hit Dell in the face when their rally for returning to the office to work began in early 2024 and encountered some resistance from its workers. And by that resistance, I mean quite the resistance.

Dell Technologies Buildings 1

Following on Ars Technica‘s cover on the news citing Business Insider, BI seems to have access to or at least seen the internal data of Dell’s research and report on the matter that nearly 50% of its workforce basically said “NO” to the rally even if the consequences were “no longer promotable” or getting fired.

Yet there’s something to clarify workers did have to classify themselves as either ‘Remote’ or ‘Hybrid’, and Dell’s issue revolved around the former group. As for the latter, they will need to stay on track via an internal system by committing to at least 3 work days per week, making up to 39 days per quarter.

BI also did some interviews with a bunch of Dell employees to find out the reason behind the “anti-office” movement and sure enough, a bunch of reasons came up so here’s just a quick summary of them:

  • More free time
  • Less financial constraint through WFH
  • Local offices were gone post-COVID
  • Not interested in promotions
  • Pointless physical meetings when they can be done virtually

Expanding on the last point, some hybrid workers even experienced “empty physical offices” where they usually hop into online calls involving people all around the world, making the workplace venue irrelevant most of the time.

Most interviewees also thought of switching companies in the event that Dell’s WFH policy became a complete demerit rather than benefiting people when it was first widely implemented during the pandemic.

Even if executive managements of companies have all the reasons to incite workers to come back to the office, I don’t think that “making WFH benefits shittier” should be the way but rather, give unique perks and benefits for going hybrid or full physical.

This way, let employees weigh off the pros and cons of each format based on their circumstances. And most importantly, let them speak up. Work it out. Smashing one’s “comfort habit” is just one way to piss off people quickly and you wouldn’t want that you know.


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