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Thread: Harvard Business Review: Women want to work from home too much, so don't let them.

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    Harvard Business Review: Women want to work from home too much, so don't let them.

    https://hbr.org/2021/05/dont-let-emp...their-wfh-days

    ...
    We’ve been surveying more than 30,000 Americans monthly since May 2020 and our research data shows that post-pandemic, 32% of employees say they never want to return to working in the office. These are often employees with young kids, who live in the suburbs, for whom the commute is painful and home can be rather pleasant. At the other extreme, 21% tell us they never want to spend another day working from home. These are often young single employees or empty nesters in city center apartments.

    ...

    But others raise two concerns — concerns, which after talking to hundreds of organizations over the last year, have led me to change my advice from supporting to being against employees’ choosing their own WFH days.


    One concern is managing a hybrid team, where some people are at home and others are at the office. I hear endless anxiety about this generating an office in-group and a home out-group. For example, employees at home can see glances or whispering in the office conference room but can’t tell exactly what is going on. Even when firms try to avoid this by requiring office employees to take video calls from their desks, home employees have told me that they can still feel excluded. They know after the meeting ends the folks in the office may chat in the corridor or go grab a coffee together.
    The second concern is the risk to diversity. It turns out that who wants to work from home after the pandemic is not random. In our research we find, for example, that among college graduates with young children women want to work from home full-time almost 50% more than men.


    ...
    Adding this up you can see how allowing employees to choose their WFH schedules could contribute to a diversity crisis. Single young men could all choose to come into the office five days a week and rocket up the firm, while employees with young children, particularly women, who choose to WFH for several days each week are held back. This would be both a diversity loss and a legal time bomb for companies.


    So I have changed my mind and started advising firms that managers should decide which days their team should WFH.
    ...
    God I love how leftists really champion working people, unless working people's preferences interfere with leftist religion. Then it's time for women to suck it up and come into the office, even if they don't want to or have to.
    Last edited by Metaphor; 06-08-2021 at 12:56 AM.

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    This is what happens when you base "discrimination" on disparate outcomes.

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    Contributor Arctish's Avatar
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    The thread title is grossly misleading.

    The linked article's author argues against allowing employees to choose which days they will work from home, and in favor of businesses making that decision based on business needs and fairness in the workplace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctish View Post
    The thread title is grossly misleading.

    The linked article's author argues against allowing employees to choose which days they will work from home, and in favor of businesses making that decision based on business needs and fairness in the workplace.
    It is not misleading, let alone 'grossly'.

    The author argues that because women want to work from home more than men do (the 'too much' of my title), that employers ought control both the number of days (don't let them indulge in their wishes of more days at home compared to men) and the timing of the days that employees be allowed to work from home.

    The author backflipped on his earlier recommendation of letting employees choose how much to work from home, because he thinks women's personal autonomy leads to troubling non-diverse outcomes, and he is willing to sacrifice that autonomy on the altar of diversity.

    I was able to work from home for the first time in my life starting in 2020, due to the change in culture brought about by COVID. It was wonderful. Now the diversicrats think employers should go back to removing some of that freedom and autonomy because women make different decisions to men, and those decisions must be corrected.

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    Contributor Arctish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arctish View Post
    The thread title is grossly misleading.

    The linked article's author argues against allowing employees to choose which days they will work from home, and in favor of businesses making that decision based on business needs and fairness in the workplace.
    It is not misleading, let alone 'grossly'.

    The author argues that because women want to work from home more than men do (the 'too much' of my title), that employers ought control both the number of days (don't let them indulge in their wishes of more days at home compared to men) and the timing of the days that employees be allowed to work from home.
    No, it's misleading, and grossly so.

    The author begins the article with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by HBR
    As U.S. states and the federal government start to roll back Covid-19 restrictions, and companies and workers start to firm up their office return plans, one point is becoming clear: The future of working from home (WFH) is hybrid. In research with my colleagues Jose Maria Barrero and Steven J. Davis, as well as discussions with hundreds of managers across different industries, I’m finding that about 70% of firms, from tiny companies to massive multinationals like Google, Citi, and HSBC, plan to move to some form of hybrid working.

    But another question is controversial: How much choice should workers have in the matter?
    He then goes on to talk about employees, not women or men or other gender presentations. He's talking about all employees, not just the female kind.

    He says that many managers are passionate that their employees should determine their own schedule, but 32% of employees say they never want to return to working in the office, while 21% say they never want to spend another day working from home. He says that allowing the employees to choose their own work from home schedules raises two concerns: the difficulty of managing a hybrid team and people feeling excluded, and the risk to diversity. It is only then that the author makes any sort of distinction between male and female employees, saying that "among college graduates with young children women want to work from home full-time almost 50% more than men." And then he goes right back to talking about employees in general.

    He presents a hypothetical in which "[s]ingle young men could all choose to come into the office five days a week and rocket up the firm, while employees with young children, particularly women, who choose to WFH for several days each week are held back". Note that he says "particularly" women, not exclusively women. He calls it a diversity loss and a legal time bomb for companies. He says that for these reasons he has started advising firms that managers should decide which days their team should WFH.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor
    The author backflipped on his earlier recommendation of letting employees choose how much to work from home, because he thinks women's personal autonomy leads to troubling non-diverse outcomes, and he is willing to sacrifice that autonomy on the altar of diversity.
    He said nothing of the sort. That's just you adding your own spin to a pretty straightforward discussion of teamwork and basic management of employees.

    I was able to work from home for the first time in my life starting in 2020, due to the change in culture brought about by COVID. It was wonderful. Now the diversicrats think employers should go back to removing some of that freedom and autonomy because women make different decisions to men, and those decisions must be corrected.
    Ah, so this is all about you wanting to work from home too much.

    Got it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctish View Post
    He then goes on to talk about employees, not women or men or other gender presentations. He's talking about all employees, not just the female kind.

    He says that many managers are passionate that their employees should determine their own schedule, but 32% of employees say they never want to return to working in the office, while 21% say they never want to spend another day working from home. He says that allowing the employees to choose their own work from home schedules raises two concerns: the difficulty of managing a hybrid team and people feeling excluded, and the risk to diversity. It is only then that the author makes any sort of distinction between male and female employees, saying that "among college graduates with young children women want to work from home full-time almost 50% more than men." And then he goes right back to talking about employees in general.

    He presents a hypothetical in which "[s]ingle young men could all choose to come into the office five days a week and rocket up the firm, while employees with young children, particularly women, who choose to WFH for several days each week are held back". Note that he says "particularly" women, not exclusively women. He calls it a diversity loss and a legal time bomb for companies. He says that for these reasons he has started advising firms that managers should decide which days their team should WFH.
    I have no idea how it's a 'diversity loss'. I literally can't figure it. If anything, his recommendations will drive employees disposed to 'office attendance' to companies that want office attendance, and drive employees that want maximal WFH to companies that allow maximal WFH, thus reducing diversity in 'forced' scenarios.

    He has suggested it's a 'legal' time bomb but hasn't suggested how, or if there is any other way to mitigate the 'time bomb' except by reducing employee autonomy.

    He said nothing of the sort. That's just you adding your own spin to a pretty straightforward discussion of teamwork and basic management of employees.
    Of course he did not say that, but his discussion and conclusion implies it. If instead there was no difference between men and women's preferences in number of WFH days desired, or it didn't have a relationship to promotions, I doubt very much he would argue for reducing employee autonomy.

    Ah, so this is all about you wanting to work from home too much.

    Got it.
    No: the article is all about a woke diversicrat at HBR who wants to reduce employee autonomy because he believes absent this reduction, women would make choices he doesn't like.

    Some people want to come in five days a week, some people want to come in zero days a week. Reducing employee autonomy in allowing them to decide for themselves is a disbenefit no matter which side of the fence you are on.

    I'd expect the allegedly pro-labour left to want employees increased autonomy. But apparently there are higher purposes than people's preferences. The preferences of the left for equity, for example.

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    I'd rather eat boiled peanuts than admit this but I think Metaphor's take is correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gospel View Post
    I'd rather eat boiled peanuts than admit this but I think Metaphor's take is correct.
    Boiled peanuts are great. Metaphor's take not so much. We learn from the pandemic that most American workers can be productive for their companies from home.

    As for problems that will make for large office spaces I say convert them to living spaces so people won't have to live in shacks in the sticks.

    Leave those spaces for retirees so they can enjoy themselves. They're mostly conservative any way so they can be with the addicts, fishermen, loggers, farmers, and other ner'do-well conservatives in intellectual deserts.

    Its obvious Americans are selfish so why not let the old folk live in rural slums with no hospitals. I'm old and I'm up for the drive if I want to have good care.

    So FU selfish ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gospel View Post
    I'd rather eat boiled peanuts than admit this but I think Metaphor's take is correct.
    His take on the article in the OP, or his take on the issue of employees being the ones to decide when they work from home and when they come into the office?

    The only time I've ever had the 'autonomy' to decide when I would be at a workplace was when I was an Uber driver. Other than that, it was always my manager's decision when and whether I was physically present at the business. So I don't really get what's the big whoop about a business advisor advising businesses to have their managers make those decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gospel View Post
    I'd rather eat boiled peanuts than admit this but I think Metaphor's take is correct.
    His take on the article in the OP, or his take on the issue of employees being the ones to decide when they work from home and when they come into the office?

    The only time I've ever had the 'autonomy' to decide when I would be at a workplace was when I was an Uber driver. Other than that, it was always my manager's decision when and whether I was physically present at the business. So I don't really get what's the big whoop about a business advisor advising businesses to have their managers make those decisions.
    Employee autonomy is valuable to employees. In fact, low autonomy often correlates with low job satisfaction.

    I like working from home and I object to bullshit reasons for that choice to be taken away or reduced. That women want more days working from home is a bullshit reason to reduce employee autonomy and take away WFH choice.

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