Signs mocking the end of work-from-home
twitter | @audrawilliams

Company Apologizes After Posters Taunting Returning Office Workers Go Viral

It's still a bit hazy on how much remote work has changed the landscape for employers and employees alike, but it's safe to say that throughout the pandemic, even having the option made a huge difference for countless people.

Now, with employers increasingly opening up their offices to those formerly remote workers, many are going through a period of adjustment. It certainly hasn't been without some bumps.

Case in point: A Canadian company has issued an apology after missing the mark with its signage. While the signs were intended to be humorous, many saw them as an example of mockery instead.

We've all gotten used to working from home.

A person in a home office
Unsplash | Jason Strull

Since the pandemic got serious about two years ago, employers and employees alike have been forced to adapt to a different workplace culture — one that, for the most part, takes employees out of the workplace and puts them in home offices.

The transition back to the office has begun.

Employees at a conference table
Unsplash | Campaign Creators

Different businesses have taken different approaches, but we're starting to see a trend back towards employees working in offices. This is the situation that led to a sign controversy in Toronto.

Here's the first sign.

A sign mocking the end of work from home
twitter | @audrawilliams

This was spotted in the lobby of an office building in Toronto. The tiny 'welcome back' text at the bottom is barely noticeable compared to the larger message, which appears to be mocking people for having to go back to their business wear.

The signs keep going.

A sign mocking the end of work from home
twitter | @audrawilliams

Pet owners know what it feels like to miss their furry friend as they work in a cubicle, so the "Bet your dog misses you" sign really feels like it's twisting the knife.

It's an unforced error.

You can see the attempt at humor in the signs, but the message seems to have missed the mark. Many people have found that working from home is better for their mental health, so being asked to return to work, and then getting mocked for it, is a bad look.

The company was identified.

You can see their logo at the base of each sign. The company that put them up is Oxford Properties, a multinational property management company with about $70 billion in overall assets.

Twitter was not having the signs.

The images went viral for all the wrong reasons. While the company was clearly trying to inject some humor into the return to the office, virtually everyone who commented on Twitter and Reddit expressed anger at the sentiment.

The company has apologized.

To their credit, Oxford Properties did own up to their mistake, saying the signage has been removed. While the original signs were a major misstep, an unreserved apology like this is all the company can really do at this point.

What do you think?

Many of us have had the chance to compare working from home with working out of an office. Which do you prefer? How would you feel if your employer put these signs up? Be sure to let us know in the comments.