Martha, Elon, and Jeff Really Want You Back in the Office

You hear that sound? That’s the sound of millions of people cheering their return to the office.

What? You don’t hear anything? Same.

Nobody’s cheering. People are heading back to their offices very quietly. It’s almost like they aren’t happy about it. 

You know who is cheering? Martha, Elon, and Jeff. 

You know exactly who I mean by just those first names, right? That’s one thing they have in common. Another is that they are fabulously wealthy. And still another is that that they hate remote work.

Martha said people “can’t possibly get everything done working three days a week in the office and two days remotely.”

Elon called remote work “morally wrong.”

And Jeff said… Well, I don’t have a quote from Jeff about remote work (and I’m resisting a joke about where his snazzy remote office might be located this summer) but I do have a quote from Amazon CEO Andy Jassy. He said requiring corporate workers to be in the office at least three days a week would make it “easier for employees to collaborate.”

(I don’t know about you, but I find collaborating via Zoom and email pretty darn easy!)

in-person office meeting













People like flexibility (just not the right people)

When it comes to remote work, it’s clear that corporate America’s direction is in line with how Martha, Elon, and Jeff think. In March 2022, according to LinkedIn, about one in five U.S. job postings offered remote work. In May of this year, that figure was down to just one in nine. 

But you know what? “When offered, almost everyone takes the opportunity to work flexibly.”

That’s from this June 2022 report from McKinsey and Company, which was published with this headline: “Americans are embracing flexible work—and they want more of it.”

We want more flexibility for reasons that include avoiding the hassle (and time and expense) of commuting, being able to share more meals with our families, and not having to wear “hard clothes” every day.

But I believe the main reason we want more of it is that it gives us control. Control not only of where we work, but to some extent when we work — and how we work. We are grownups, right? We don’t need Martha, Elon, or Jeff telling us when, or where, or how to get our work done.  

During the pandemic, the rules controlling work changed — and that’s when it dawned on many people that although the old rules controlled us, they did not benefit us. Rather, they benefited the companies who made those rules. 

When they were working remotely, millions of people — for the first time in their careers — had an epiphany: “I’m in control. I’m getting my work done. I’m wearing sweatpants and slippers. I like this!”

And now many of those people find that wonderful feeling of being in control being taken away from them. 

But while getting you back in their office and back on their schedule might be what your Martha, Elon, or Jeff want for you — it’s not something you have to accept. 

If you want to be in control again — to make your own rules about where, when, and how you work — business / franchise ownership might be something you should explore.

There are plenty of coaches out there to guide you on that exploration – including me.

And I’m also always willing to lend an ear to your reasons for stepping out of the corporate world and exploring franchise ownership.