There’s been a trend of employees calling out long-established labor practices on social media, especially businesses that are requiring their workforce to return to the office in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before remote work became the norm for many industries, it was considered par the course for employees to commute long distances from the homes and apartments they could afford to live in. More often than not, these included living spaces outside of the major metropolitan centers that businesses operate in.
However, TikToker Paige (@paigeinpublic) is stating companies that hire workers who must travel more than 20 minutes for their jobs aren’t all that successful. She argues it’s because they clearly can’t make enough money to afford to pay their employees a salary that allows them to live closer to work.
@paigeinpublic Im pretty tired of all the “back to office” news for companies that promised they were remote. #remotework #remotewfh #remotelife ♬ original sound – Paige
“If your company requires you to come into the office and they cannot pay you enough to live comfortably within 20 minutes of that office, your company cannot afford to operate within that city and they are asking you to subsidize their operations with your commute,” she says in the short video clip.
She added in the caption, “I’m pretty tired of all the ‘back to office’ news for companies that promised they were remote.”
Prior to posting this clip, Paige called out a Fortune article that spoke positively about “NYC super-commuters” who travel up to five hours a day round-trip to work.
@paigeinpublic Offices are a network, not a community. Remote work is a skill, and if you cant figure out how to do it, then work on that skill instead of requirinf people to come into the office. #remotework #workfromhome #remotefirst ♬ original sound – Paige
“This Fortune magazine article about people who commute up to five hours a day for their job had problems upon problems, like, it was written by a big office,” she says. “But the part that angered me the most was the claims about ‘community.’ This Toronto Professor of economics says, ‘any commute beyond 20 minutes really affects your life, well-being, happiness, long commutes are very deleterious. But we need community we need each other,’ he says.”
Paige claims this line of thinking is harmful and overlooks another important community many in-office workers are unable to participate in: the neighborhoods that they live in.
“Offices are a network. They are not a community. You know who is your community? Your neighborhood. Maybe you could connect with the people in your neighborhood if you didn’t have to commute 5 hours a day,” she says.
There have been throngs of articles and think-pieces that discuss the importance of office culture. The notion has been criticized by many employees who claim it’s a front by companies that want to use the most out of the office spaces that they more-than-likely still have leases on.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Paige via TikTok comment.