AT&T employees are pushing back against the company’s return-to-office (RTO) plans, saying they can do their work just fine from home.
AT&T is the latest company to struggle with the new normal that has come about as a result of the pandemic. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others have all struggled to navigate a changed workplace landscape. AT&T is the latest to face stiff opposition to its RTO plans.
According to The Guardian, AT&T is accused of going back on an agreement it made with employees to allow them to work from home until at least March 2023. The company is now requiring many of its workers to come back to the office. Employees are pushing back, citing commute times, exorbitant childcare costs, and concerns over COVID as motivations for wanting to continue working from home. What’s more, many employees see tangible benefits they didn’t previously enjoy.
“These are extremely stressful times over the last few years and being at home has allowed us to have less distractions, giving us better one-on-one time with our customers and our clients,” said James Bloch, an AT&T employee of over 21 years, regarding the mental health, physical health, productivity, and climate benefits of remote work. “With AT&T technology, they’re a communication company. We have some of the best stuff out there. Let’s use it. We can do the same job from home anywhere that we could do if we were all sitting there together.”
Employees have signed a petition for AT&T to make work from home a permanent option.
“Now is the time to make Work From Home (WFH) a permanent option for AT&T Call Center workers, Teleconference Specialists, Communications Technicians, and other eligible work titles,” the petition reads.
“The WFH arrangement has proven extremely beneficial to the workers and the company. WFH provided a safer, more convenient work environment and minimized the spread of COVID-19 among the workforce. Production and attendance rates are both way up. WFH was a necessary adjustment that has proven tremendously popular in what continues to be uncertain times.”