Image This is FBI agent Robert Hanssen. He was tasked to find a mole within the FBI after the FBI's moles in the KGB were caught. Robert Hanssen was the mole and had been working with the KGB since 1979.
For a short while last year, I worked as a team lead for one of the app development teams for one of the food delivery apps. The entire team had been working from home since the start of the pandemic and had had a bunch of remote-only people join, so they were spread across several time zones, but we made it work because we thought this was how things were going to be going forward.
After making several billion dollars from people like us working from home and ordering delivery, around the end of summer, the entire C-suite decided that COVID was pretty much over (spoiler: it definitely wasn't and all my people knew it) and that we would all be heading back to the office part time, gradually increasing to full time. Now, this place had pretty high turnover, so most of us had never been to any of the offices since we had been hired. We had been told when we were hired that any return to work policy would be super flexible and it turned out it really wasn't. Moreover, those in cities without an office, even though they were hired as remote workers, were expected to come up with a 1-year plan about how they were going to move without any assistance or compensation to a city with an office.
Needless to say, my team and many others lost their collective shit over this new policy. So the CEO started doing town halls with the other executives to pump the "collaboration" and "team-building" aspects of being back in the office. During one of the Q&A sessions, someone finally asked something like "I was hired remote and I don't live in a city with an office. I don't want to uproot my family. Will you make exceptions for people like me?". To which the CEO replied "Look. This is what we're doing and what we think is best for the company. If you want to work from home, my suggestion is to go work somewhere else".
What happened next was the digital equivalent of the air being let out of a balloon. The company slack channel conversations ground to a halt and became virtual ghost towns, going from spirited conversations to the bare minimum of functional courtesies. The attendance at company-wide meetings fell by half and within a month, there was a veritable flurry of resignations, including mine. Prior to this debacle, we had already been paid below market rates, so this Fuck You from the CEO was just the match being lit on an already pretty sizable tank of gas.
By the time I left, the team that started at 8 people was down to just 2 deciding to stay. And six months later, word is they are still trying to find people and resorting to making QA people into app developers just to try to keep things going. As for me - I got a 50% pay bump for less responsibilities and work just a few hours a day instead of tons of unpaid overtime trying to put out fires at that old shitshow.