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    Australians Are Raging Over Their "Return To Office" Mandates And Shots Have Been Fired

    "If all commute time came out of the employer's 9–5 time, I wonder how important they would still consider it to be working in the office."

    As the world increasingly learns to live with COVID-19, and people begin to reconsider habits from a pre-pandemic way of life, one of the most hotly-debated topics remains the benefits of working from home vs. working from the office.

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    In a Reddit thread, Australian user u/HiBulban asked fellow Aussies what their workplace had mandated regarding a "return to office", as well as their honest opinions on it:

    In the comments, Aussies came forward with their brutally honest and insightful opinions about the "return to office" movement in Australia, as well as their thoughts on resigning during a "hot" job market.

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    Here are some of the best responses:

    1. "I get done in eight hours in the office what I can do in four hours at home."

    —u/movingrandomly

    2. "I feel I'm one of the only people that hates working from home. It's not great for me mentally and, realistically, it's been that way for me since high school — when I had big assignments and things due at school, I'd pick myself up and go to the library or even back to school to get the work done."

    —u/WowThisShitAgain

    3. "Most people do not need to be in the office to fulfil their roles. As the past two years have shown that WFH is possible, any commute time should come out of the company's time. So if the employer wants us there, we leave home at the start of the work day (e.g. 9am). If it's a 30 minute commute to home, leave at 4:30pm. If the commute time comes out of the employers time, I wonder how important they would still consider it to be working in the office."

    —u/digbybaird

    4. "We've had three days a week mandated in the office. Not a fan, the only benefit I have come across is that I keep up with my podcast queue while sitting in my car for two hours a day. Because everyone comes in on different days, I still spend the entire day on Zoom calls, it is just that I do it with shitty wifi in the office, instead of solid wifi at home."

    "It bugs me, I have worked at home on and off for 15 years and I thought with the pandemic that we had finally learnt that it was fine to work remotely. But sadly not — I now spend $80 a week on petrol (in a tiny car) to do exactly what I could do at home for free."

    —u/driveonthursday

    5. "I haven't considered a non-remote gig since 2018. Wouldn’t ever again, unless I had absolutely no choice — even then, I'd quit the second a remote contract came up. Job market is flaming, so if you're unhappy with your employer's WFH policy, consider sniffing around."

    —u/honktonkydonky

    6. "I'm gearing up for a chat with HR, because the mandated three days doesn't really work with how my department is composed. So far, the only reason I've been given is basically the social/culture benefit, which is BS when sometimes there's only two of us there, seated about 10 feet apart, with our backs to each other."

    "For people who need to be in the office for whatever reason — whether it's meetings, the social aspect or not having a productive WFH space — going in should be an option. It shouldn't be mandatory, except on an individual basis, where a person has demonstrated they can't be trusted to WFH."

    —u/Feverel

    7. "My advice is don't wait to move jobs. Who knows how long the job market will stay hot. There are plenty of companies that have actually pivoted to full-time remote. If that's important to you, move while it's still easy."

    —u/QuickMight

    8. "I feel you 100%! Working from home is the best life (for some), I love it too. I'm currently being forced to go into the office and I've contemplated changing jobs. But I genuinely love my current job. So I'm in a 50-50 fix, not sure what I'll do."

    —u/Cha_nay_nay

    9. "We've been mandated three days a week. Not happy and on the days I do go in, the building is still 80% empty. What's the point?"

    —u/Japandaman

    10. "We've been asked to go to a hybrid model after Easter. Encouraged to go in a couple of days a week, but at this stage, not being forced to do it — just strongly requested. My team has been exceptionally active on remaining in touch with each other, doing ad-hoc video calls, just to talk crap like we would in the office etc. It's been really effective at keeping team spirit alive and I don't see any reason to change the current status quo."

    —u/forthegoats

    11. "I don't know about this 'culture' argument. Seems to me, office environments encourage an environment where information is very verbal and based on who you know to get the information you need. That and the obvious sucking up to the old guys by listening to their boring footy chat at Friday night drinks. I don't miss it one bit."

    —u/LeasMaps

    12. "I heard the city is back to 70% capacity, as per the news, but find it hard to believe."

    —u/HiBulban

    13. "Back in the office two days a week, as of last week. Once the bosses realise that we get a tenth of the work done in the office as we do at home because we distract each other, I'm sure they won't increase our office days."

    —u/Frangipani_Princess

    14. "My gig's policy is 'come in if you want'. Some people are barely in the office. The minute this changes, I'm finding a new gig. Preaching to the choir, but find a new job. And when you do, loudly announce that you're moving because of the WFH stance."

    —u/bigmoneyprops

    15. "Who the fuck are these people excited to go back that I keep hearing about in meetings?"

    —u/fist4j

    16. "I have a woman in my team who thinks everyone should be back in the office to benefit morale. Fuck off, Judy, my morale's been fine the past two years working at home — I talk to who I want when I want and don’t have to be fake nice to the people I can't stand."

    —u/soccermum_00

    17. "I get the feeling there's some sort of government incentives going on under the table to get the cities humming again. But it's happening right up the top."

    —u/Adsykong

    18. "I have a very energetic child and am in the office full-time by choice. The people I see there most often also have young kids at home, or live in share-houses or multi-generational homes, so the office is a more comfortable working space. I don't really see much benefit in working from the office if you do have a nice working space at home. People who try to force a return to the office because they are lonely need to find a hobby instead."

    —u/jeronimus_cornelisz

    Belinda Howell / Getty Images

    19. "Management are behind it. Since people can manage themselves, they're shit scared that they'll be made redundant, or worse, be forced to actually work."

    —u/bigmoneyprops

    20. "I am working for a big bank and they're pushing hybrid — two days or so a week in office. I don't mind it, but it's like damn, I realised how little I actually care about talking with these people — all I can think of is being home with my wife."

    "I don't even spend anything extra besides train fare and I don't get any benefits from being in the office either. If anything, it's worse because I have to try to find meeting rooms so I can have a quiet space for Zoom meetings, as opposed to being able to jump into back-to-back meetings with ease at home."

    —u/dxx1017

    21. And finally: "It's not about productivity or even money. It's about power and control. Fuck these cunts. Don't give in, if they force you, just quit."

    —u/Stop_Banning_me_I

    What do you think about working from the office vs. from home? Has your workplace mandated any kind of return to office? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

    Reddit responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.