Every day or so, I receive 3 or 4 notifications about the same article, usually from the New York Times or CNBC.com. For the most part, they’re annoying but harmless — Kevin O’Leary is annoyed at quiet quitting, or some sort of piece about why the office may or may not be dead. These pieces are frustrating but have become a form of white noise — I do not believe they actually harm anyone anymore, because they are so nakedly, cravenly agenda-driven, pushed by outlets and editors that see an opportunity to support their advertisers or friends who have not experienced a moment of real work in their lives.
In the last 24 hours, though, I have experienced true mental heat-death at the hands of the New York Times, with the single least-knowing piece on remote work I’ve read in a year, entitled “So You Wanted To Get Work Done at the Office?”
For some history — the writer, Emma Goldberg, has been part of the Times’ anti-remote standard bearing for a while, but had improved over the course of a few months into someone that at the very least tried to speak with workers. Sadly, this latest piece is, and I do not say this lightly, one of the silliest things I’ve ever read, especially in the context of it being written by someone who has championed anti-remote causes for the best part of a year.
Let’s dig in!
… when more than 50 million people started working from home in March 2020, some of them discovered a luxury their companies couldn’t offer: peace and quiet. As executives tighten their return-to-office policies, workers are finding their days filled with more interruption. The workplace, they’ve discovered, isn’t always the ideal place for doing work.
“I have my larger to-dos but I just have to address things as they come up,” said Jennifer Choi, who manages finances and operations at an arts nonprofit in New York, and finds herself fielding office maintenance, technology and human resources questions during the four days each week she spends in the office.
Gee fucking whiz! It’s almost as if the straight year of “we are inevitably going back to the office” created a situation where, based on absolutely nothing, people were forced back to the office. And despite the obvious warnings from millions of people working remotely, nobody at the Times considered that — egads! — working at the office isn’t great for productivity!
As managers try to draw people back to…