Finding Balance: Why Corporations Can't Have it Both Ways

Based on the onslaught of Instagram Reels and LinkedIn posts, many of us can relate to the struggle between work-life balance and the demands of corporate America.

The very issue that corporations are griping about is of their own doing. In recent years, we've witnessed a major shift in the employment landscape. Companies, eager to cut costs and reduce headcounts, started outsourcing their workforce to 1099 contractors. This arrangement came with the promise of flexibility and the freedom to work when and where we choose. The shift also paved the way for many of us to now take on side hustles to make ends meet. It was a dream come true for many working caregivers who craved a better work-life integration.

However, here's where things get tricky. While employers initially touted the benefits of this newfound freedom, some have started dictating the terms of where work takes place, even when it should be up to us as independent contractors (quite frankly all adults regardless of employment type). And now, they want to drag everyone back into the office without even considering the impact on our lives or offering fair compensation for the inconvenience.

So, let's dive into some compelling statistics that drive home the point that corporations can't have it both ways.

  • For starters, it is estimated that employment in independent contracting rose by about 30% from 2005 to 2015 and this increase occurred while the rate of true entrepreneurial activity remained mostly stagnant.
  • From 1979 to 2020, net productivity rose 61.8%, while the hourly pay of typical workers grew far slower—increasing only 17.5% over four decades (after adjusting for inflation). Organizations are more productive than ever, technology has enabled us to be far more productive, yet the wages of those operating with these gains aren't rising at the same rate or even close to it.
  • Meanwhile, a whopping 90% of companies plan to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024. For what? Just to watch you sit there, do a job far more efficiently than ever, and take away 2 hours of your life daily just to commute there for a micro-managing glutton. Hard pass.
So, what's the bottom line here? Companies cannot expect us to give up the freedom we've grown accustomed to and return to the office without any consideration for our needs. We're not asking for the moon; we're asking for fair treatment, compensation, and respect for our work-life integration.

We deserve the flexibility that remote work and the technology we've become attached to initially promised us. It's time for corporations to recognize that they can't have it both ways – they can't dangle the carrot of freedom in front of us and then yank it away when it's convenient for them.

We deserve to have a say in how and where we work, and we won't settle for anything less. Never forget, there are more of us than there are of them. Regardless of where you live, union or not, as someone who has owned and invested in many businesses, workers are MORE important than the shareholders, workers have more power than we even recognize so wield it.

Stay strong, stay resilient, and keep fighting for the work-life balance you deserve!

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