Going Back to the Office is Destroying Our Firm

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I am so tired. We must be in the office two days a week. It has been exhausting. I have three small children and used to have a lot of at-home help, which I lost during the pandemic. My husband and I try to patch together coverage, but he has to be in two days also. I work for a large financial services firm, and we used to have reduced rate parking. That has been eliminated. We also went to the hoteling structure because we sold a building and had to consolidate our space. Not knowing where I am going to sit, carrying my bags around with me and having to search a busy downtown area with a ton of construction to find parking is overwhelming.

I get into the office by 8:30 a.m. and feel as though I have worked a full day.

I spoke to my manager about full-time virtual because my role is such that I am behind the scenes and can easily do what I need to from home. I did it quite successfully for the better part of two years. My manager’s response was, “This is to instill collaboration back in the company.” Okay, but on the days I am in, I might see two people I know and previously worked with. It’s still like a ghost town and some managers are validating 100% work from home for their important employees because of the mass resignation. We are all doing three times the work we were in late 2019 with no additional upside.

Is this normal and are you hearing this from others? I am a positive, upbeat person who is used to pushing through and doing what I need to but lately I want to quit and go work at Talbot’s in retail. I make a good living and I need to get three kids through college but having every single day feel like an exercise in exhaustion doesn’t seem worth it lately.

Am I not seeing what I need to do? Do I need to manage myself differently? I need someone to tell me if it’s time to get off this treadmill or if things will change and I can go back to being exhausted only on Thursdays and Fridays instead of every day of the week.