man in room with captions 'What i find funny about all these employers forcing people back into the office' (l) 'Is that you're also forcing back the really annoying people' (c) 'Like when I was in the office, I would go into my boss's office 10-15 times, ask 42 disjointed questions, make a stupid joke and scurry off' (r)


‘You’re forcing back the really annoying people’: TikToker shares the problem with employers forcing remote workers back in the office

'Also bringing back more office conflict.'


Braden Bjella

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 3, 2022   Updated on Aug 4, 2022, 7:19 am CDT

While many employees seem to be enjoying the “work from home” lifestyle, feelings are a bit different on the employer side. A Microsoft survey from earlier this year cited by CNBC claimed that “about 50% of leaders say their company already requires or is planning to require employees to return to in-person work full-time in the next year.”

Understandably, employees don’t seem to be on board. The same survey noted that employees enjoy the flexibility of working from home, with “52% of workers said that they are thinking of switching to a full-time remote or hybrid job in 2022.”

Plus, employees note that there may be unforeseen consequences of bringing everyone back into the office.

One such potential downside recently went viral after being shared on TikTok. In a video with over 542,000 views, TikToker Matt (@itsmattslaw) explained his thoughts on the issue.

“What I find funny about all these employers trying to force people back into the office is that you’re also forcing back the really annoying people,” he says. He then goes on to list the ways he was “annoying” in the office—things he can no longer do now that he works from home.

@itsmattslaw They won’t realize it until it’s too late #law #lawyers #remote #wfh #corporate ♬ original sound – Matt M.

In the comments section, users were largely in agreement, saying the behaviors possible in the office actually hindered productivity as opposed to increasing it.

“The only person I’m distracting at home is my dog. The only person I’m distracting in the office is EVERYONE who tolerates me,” one user explained.

“You’ve found the solution! Everyone needs to start doing that on work emails and chats,” another shared. “Make bosses realize they can best avoid this by staying remote.”

“Also bringing back more office conflict. Some people are more pleasant via teams/email than they are in person,” a third observed.

Others complained about their working-from-office troubles.

“The woman who sits in the cube behind mine is SO loud I can hear her over my ear buds at full volume & I want to scream,” a commenter stated.

“The first day I went back a guy was walking through the cubicles meowing,” a second user claimed. “I’m sorry… WHAT.”

“I was told to ‘quiet down’ at my last job multiple times a day by our COO – bring me back, see if it makes anyone more productive,” a further TikToker offered.

“My boss used to make us all come into the office but she herself would WFH insisiting she ‘doesn’t get anything done’ in the office,” an additional commenter alleged. “Ironic right?”

Update 12:15pm CT, Aug. 3: In a call with Daily Dot, Matt said he works for a business that is fully remote and has not worked in an office for several years.

“I’m the head of community at a company called Lawtrades…we’re like a marketplace for lawyers and legal folks. All of our stuff is remote, and it always irks me when I hear employers say, like, ‘I need someone sitting in the desk there.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve got a rock star that lives in New York or California.’ Who gives a shit, right?”

This thought, along with the news about Tesla and other companies demanding employees return to the office, led him to creating the TikTok.

“I’ve been working remote for years now. [Seeing this news] kind of triggered some memories. Like, ‘oh my God. I was really—I was the worst!'”

While Matt acknowledges that fully remote work may have some downsides, he also says that if employees are serious about staying remote, they can use their current position in the job market as leverage.

“Because of where the job market is, I think there are still a lot of options out there for remote work, so if you’re getting faced with an employer that says, ‘You’re coming back’ or ‘You’re moving to this location’—there are still options out there to say ‘No.'”

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*First Published: Aug 3, 2022, 9:27 am CDT