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City Beat: Interesting Survey On What It Would Take To Get Employees Back In The Office Setting





Paul Osborne

     There are so many surveys and polls floating around that I usually don’t pay too much attention to all that are sent to this newspaper. However, a few days ago, one caught my eye that was revealing results of a survey of office workers who have been working from home since the the COVID-19 pandemic changed the dynamics of workplaces around the globe.

     The survey, conducted by Authority Hacker, “throws light on employees’ perspectives on returning to the office, showing that the majority are reluctant to give up the flexibility they have grown accustomed to.” Authority Hacker surveyed 3,000 full-time remote employees, posing a hypothetical question: “What cash lump sum payment would entice you back to the office full time?”

     “The average respondent required no less than $12,188. There were significant differences based on location. For example, North Dakotans would demand a whopping $28,176 to migrate to the office full time. Illinoisans, on the other hand, would need $13,588 to return back to their pre-pandemic places of work. West Virginians seem less bothered about a full time return – they would settle for $5,626.”

     The survey also found that 63% expressed a willingness to unionize to prevent a forced return, while 72% believed returning to the office would negatively impact their mental health. The survey also points out that “this data is particularly relevant in the light of recent developments.

     Companies such as Disney, Amazon, Meta, and Lyft have announced definitive plans for returning to the office. For example, Disney has called for four days a week, while Amazon proposes three days. Google is taking a hybrid approach but has indicated that performance reviews may be affected by lengthy unexplained absences.

     “Finally, beyond the immediate concerns of returning to the office, employees have expressed concerns regarding the future of work itself. The Authority Hacker survey found that over half of the respondents (53%) are more concerned about the impact of AI on their jobs than the idea of returning to the office.”

     A link to the survey is

     Of course, times have changed a lot in recent years and most offices will never be the same as they once were — when everyone showed up in person, and on time, every workday. In some ways, employee efficiency has probably improved under the “work from home” era. Technology has made that attractive and possible.

     For many of us, it doesn’t seem that long ago that if someone didn’t show up at the office for the day’s work simply because they didn’t feel like it that day, they were out of a job — as in “fired”. Times have changed. Some ways for the better and some ways for the worse.

     Anyway, just so you know, I continue to come to the newspaper office every day. How else could I write about all of the crazy driving I see, unless I drove to work? (smile)

     • WORK on Route 51 South continues to move ahead with resurfacing work making some real progress. It is actually kind of nice to drive to the office single file through the construction zone — with no one driving any faster than anyone else.

     • DOTY DECLARES CandidacySherry A. Doty has announced her bid for re-election to the office of Macon County Circuit Clerk, an office that she has held since July 1, 2020.


Sherry A. Doty

     “It has been my honor to serve the citizens of Macon County as your Circuit Court Clerk,” said Doty. “I am proud of the important work we have accomplished since taking office in July of 2020. I would like to continue to address the ever-changing issues of the court system and keep improving the experience in the office. Therefore, I am announcing my candidacy for re-election to the office of Macon County Circuit Clerk because I believe I am the most qualified, knowledgeable person to lead the office into the future.”

     Sherry does a great job in the position and she will be a tough opponent, because of her experience and knowledge of the office, for any potential challenger.

     •UNCOMFORTABLE—A teen-age swimmer in Springfield said during a news conference on Thursday, that the YMCA dismissed her concerns of changing in the women’s locker room with a transgender woman present and was later ejected from the swim team. Abbigail Wheeler, the 16-year-old swimmer who raised objections in late April, said she was uncomfortable changing in a locker room with a transgender woman present. Her feelings, according to Wheeler, were not taken seriously when she approached her coach and YMCA administrators.

     “I was made to feel as though I was in the wrong,” Wheeler said. “I was made to feel as though there was something wrong with me feeling uncomfortable changing in the women’s locker room where biological men were being allowed to undress in the same space as me and my underage teammates.”

     A spokesperson for the YMCA said: “The YMCA is an inclusive organization proudly open to all, We welcome all people and do not discriminate based on ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, sex, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race, and sexual orientation.”

     The episode playing out in Springfield has attracted a strong reaction from area legislators and Congress-woman Mary Miller, who said: “This is a travesty. This young girl was simply exercising her right to privacy and safety. She should not be punished for defending herself and her teammates. In Congress, I am proud to defend our daughters from the Biden Administration and Governor Pritzker’s radical ‘gender ideology’ agenda that will make this an everyday occurrence for young girls across our country.

     “The YMCA should immediately reverse their decision and apologize to this young girl and her family. Men should NEVER be allowed to violate young girls’ locker rooms and bathrooms. Any adult coach or organization like the YMCA that allows this to happen because of radical leftist politics should be ashamed of themselves,” said Miller. “Governor Pritzker continues to promote policies that put our daughters at risk. His failure to address the concerns of parents and protect the safety and privacy of young girls in Illinois is deeply concerning. This is a matter of basic safety, security, and common sense. Parents must stand with these girls and end this madness!”

     • THE ILLINOIS Freedom Caucus in partnership with the Independence Women’s Forum also held held a press conference last week and called on the Springfield YMCA to stop the “outrageous discrimination” against 16-year-old swimmer Abbigail Wheeler for simply standing up for truth. (Their comments are on page 12 of this week’s print and online editions.)

     The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Chris Miller (R-Oakland), chairman; Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City), vice-chairman; Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur); Jed Davis (R-Newark) and David Friess (R-Red Bud).

     Quite frankly, I’m pleased with the defense of the teenager’s right to make her views known and agree with her. It is way past time to stand up to those who seek to destroy traditional values.

     • APOLOGIZE? A Macon County Board meeting heated up last week when board member Karl Coleman asked the board to issue a formal apology for the 1893 lynching of Samuel Bush. (The story of the lynching was a recent “Scrapbook” feature in the Tribune.)

     Board Chairman Kevin Greenfield said, in response to the public discussion that was getting heated, “I want to see us find ways to get along instead of ways to divide us,” adding that he and anyone would say the lynching was a horrible act, but the people being asked to apologize for it weren’t even born when it happened.

     As the temperature in the room continued to rise, Greenfield adjourned the meeting. Greenfield made a good point about how horrible it was that the lynching took place, but, since no one alive today was alive then, or responsible for it, it is better to focus on what unites us instead of what divides us.

     • I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 for the City Hall Insider, a weekly conversation we’ve had for the past 20 years.

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