Keturah, a TikToker who uploads content under the handle @blackgirlkurl, went viral after posting about a massive work conflict she recently encountered: She’s being called back into the office to perform her job duties. While there are many businesses transitioning remote positions to in-office gigs, this TikToker’s situation is a bit unique in that she’s living in Virginia… and her job’s office is located in Newark, New Jersey.
She says in the clip, “I just got an email that said starting September we gotta be in the office in Newark. I live in Virginia. I live in Virginia!”
She writes in the viral TikTok’s caption: “they got me good!” and pens in a text overlay: “When you thought you were working from home but …”
@blackgirlkurl 😂😂😂😂 they got me good! #wfhlife #returntooffice #naturalhair #protectivestyles ♬ original sound – Black Girl Kurl
After restrictions imposed by local and federal governments around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of otherwise “in-office” jobs into work-from-home titles, there were a lot of businesses that discovered they operated just fine, if not better, with a remote workforce.
Several studies showed marked improvements when it came to employee productivity, not to mention the amount of money companies save on overhead and other costs associated with operating out of a dedicated office. Not to mention that a large number of employees enjoy the opportunity to work out of the comfort of their own homes in either a hybrid of full-time format and there are several industries and uber-successful companies that operate with workforces that are entirely remote, like WordPress.
However there are some companies that either operate “much better” in person or have doggedly committed to bringing employees back into the office for one reason or another. Tesla CEO Elon Musk mandated that unless there is a special circumstance necessitating otherwise, all employees of the Electric Car/Solar Panel/Software manufacturer must report to work in office for 40 hours a week.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a marked increase in housing costs almost everywhere in the United States, with “hot spots” becoming less affordable than they ever were. This either forced folks out of areas that they resided in for a very long time in search of more affordable living situations, or a chance to sell their prime real estate for a huge profit while moving to a new part of the country as they weren’t tethered to their work and could operate remotely. Forbes reported that Upwork said there were some 19 million Americans who either planned on relocating to a different home, or had already done so since the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19.
For Keturah, the timing of the transition from remote-to-in-office actually came at an opportune time. As it turns out, her lease is up and it seems like she’s committed to moving back to New Jersey and commuting to Newark, however, there were several TikTokers who asked if the rule applied to her, as there’s no way human resources didn’t know that she lived in Virginia.
Others said that they would flat-out refuse to come work in office since they’re in an entirely different state hundreds of miles away. According to the TIkToker, the company she works for indeed knows she’s living in Virginia, but they just “don’t care.”
“I automatically assume that doesn’t apply to me lol they knew what it was when they hired you,” one TikTok commenter wrote. Others penned:
“see if they make an exception or pay yo rent forever…cause ain’t no way.”
“I asked in my interview if they ever planned on going back to the office They’re even letting the lease run out on their physical office location.”
“Don’t say anything and see if they notice.”
“Was residency required when u got hired? They payin’ for relocation? Business case for going once a month?”
“I was scared to move because of this exact thing.”
“An auto reply of resignation would’ve followed immediately…”
Other TikTok users on the platform urged Keturah to quit her new job and find a position that was entirely work-from-home, but she mentioned several times in the comments section that she just started the new position and wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so.
Ultimately, she seemed OK with the fact that her time in Virginia was over: “LMAO y’all it’s okay! My lease is ending soon and I’ve been out in VA for two years so it’s about time to close this chapter anyway It’s just funny”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Keturah via email for further comment.