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Remote, Telework, or Hybrid: How About a Raise Just for Showing Up?


Is the option of working from home for some employees coming to an end? It depends on who you ask.

Last week, Forbes ran an article titled, “Is remote work dying a fast death?” while only 10 days earlier, the Los Angeles Times had declared, “Why the trend toward remote work isn’t going to fade in 2023.”

Forbes pointed to LinkedIn data from 2022, which suggests that remote/telework job postings have already peaked, despite an increasing demand for them:

“US remote-job postings on LinkedIn reached an all-time high in February 2022, at 20% of all US jobs—yet they attracted over 50% of all applications,” according to LinkedIn. “By September, remote-job posts fell to 14% of all posts, but got 52% of all US applications.”

It is, perhaps, no surprise that most job applicants would prefer to work from home. Despite the obvious lure of days spent in fuzzy pajamas and a short commute time from bedroom to laptop, there are some not-so-selfish reasons that seem justified—like calculating the high cost of childcare or gasoline—things needed for traditional jobs.

In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took flak for rescinding New Mexico’s telework for state employees. (In most areas, “remote” and “telework” are used interchangeably, though technically there are slight differences.)

A recent article in the Santa Fe New Mexican exposed angry emails to the governor that were obtained under a public records request.

A sampling from those vehemently opposed to ending telework included:

  • A counselor for the deaf and hard of hearing, employed in the state’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, who was so upset that she would have to show up in person that she declared her intention to leave the state.
  • Multiple emails from people afraid of the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
  • Multiple emails arguing telework saves the government on building costs.
  • A state employee’s spouse, who argued rescinding telework would mean they would have to spend more than they could afford to care for their pets.

Some of these protestations are downright offensive to many hard-working Americans. Especially for those who’ve had the backbreaking work of shoveling their cars out of the snow only to be penalized for punching the clock two minutes late; or those who’ve had to choose between their jobs and taking time off for a possibly life-saving medical screening or doctor’s appointment. (And, of course, they needed the job for the health insurance, so they were in a Catch-22.)

And yet, because I myself have questioned the logic of an 8 to 5 workaday world—squeezed into cubicles and overseen by an omniscient, whip-snapping lion tamer—I know we can’t stand in the way of progress. There must be a better way, at least for some of the workforce.

Hybrid work may be the answer. Combining in-person attendance with working from home, and offering a flexible schedule, it has the power to simultaneously make employees happy and boost productivity. If it can be administered with equal deference to employees’ needs while keeping the company’s best interests at heart, it will be the way of the future; but employers have a lot of kinks to work out.

Over at “woke” Disney, CEO Bob Iger just told his hybrid employees that they will soon be required to be in the office at least four days a week. Iger reportedly released a memo saying, “As I’ve been meeting with teams throughout the company over the past few months, I’ve been reminded of the tremendous value in being together with the people you work with.”

Iger follows Elon Musk’s earlier directives at Tesla and Twitter; and Tim Cook over at Apple had to tread lightly just to get his employees into a hybrid schedule without triggering an all-out rebellion.

Last June, Fortune magazine documented how employees were rebelling against in-office mandates and said the battle was just beginning.

Indeed, the situation calls to mind the post-World War I song, “How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?)”

Meanwhile, in the real world of health care, transportation, utilities, construction, retail, and restaurants, many people have never had the option of hybrid work. By today’s standards, they all deserve a raise just for showing up.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Susan D. Harris
Susan D. Harris is a conservative opinion writer and journalist. Her blog is

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