Four Reasons Why Your Boss Wants You Back in the Office Amid ‘Productivity Paranoia’  

Back to work
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Since the pandemic has reshaped workplace culture and more people are working from home, new fears among employers are arising.

“Productivity paranoia,” a term coined by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, describes a concern that bosses have about their employees not being as “productive” when they’re working from home, writes Callum Borchers for The Wall Street Journal.  

It can be difficult for employers to know what their employees are up to, and time stamps on messaging apps aren’t always reflective of whether someone is working.  

Some wonder why managers care so much about what employees are doing, as long as work is getting done.

There are a few reasons why bosses might be afflicted with this paranoia, and why many companies are stressing in-person work.

1. Feeling in Control

Managers want to feel in control of how their workplace is running, so naturally, having eyes on their employees would make them feel at ease.

According to a Fiverr survey, managers said they want people back in the workplace because they believe employers would be more “motivated” if they “have eyes on them,” writes Borchers.  

2. Rent’s Due 

Some companies have expanded their operations or have long-term leases on buildings. They want the offices they invested in to be used, and their money to be well spent.  

3. Fighting Competition 

Jerome Hardaway of Vets Who Code told The Wall Street Journal that in-person work can also be a way for managers to prevent other companies from plucking up their employees.

It’s hard to have an interview with another company during day-time hours when your boss can be peeking over your shoulder.

4. Building Camaraderie 

Employers want their workers to have a sense of unity. Working together in-person can allow employees to connect one-on-one in a way that Zoom can’t.  

Read more about what employers are doing about productivity paranoia on The Wall Street Journal.  



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