New Mom Praised for Calling Boss's Bluff Over Demand She Return to Office

A new mom returning to work has been hailed as a "badass" after calling her boss's bluff when she demanded the woman either return to the office or resign.

One of the few positives to come out of the COVID pandemic was a noticeable shift in attitudes towards working from home. Once dismissed as an excuse to slack off by skeptics, COVID-19 forced many employers to reassess such practices.

With many businesses experiencing little disruption as a result, some companies have opted to make home working a permanent option for those more comfortable and productive at home. For employees, working from home has improved their situation considerably.

A 2022 Pew Research Center survey of people who are now working from home at least some of the time, having rarely or never done so before the pandemic, found that 64 percent found it easier to balance their work and personal life.

Additionally, 44 percent of respondents said working from home made it easier for them to get tasks done and hit deadlines while just 10 percent said they found this harder.

But despite many employers keeping an open mind where home working is concerned, there are still some companies hesitant to commit to such practices in a post-pandemic world.

A notable example of the kind of conflict faced recently came to light on Reddit, where a new mom detailed her own experiences of dealing with an employer who did not want her to continue to work from home.

Writing under the handle Dinfinity18 in a post upvoted over 22,000 times, she detailed how, for much of the time in her current job, which started in January 2020, she has been working from home and "quickly became the top performer on the team." "I have the largest account in the company," she wrote.

The poster said they were first told they would need to start coming back to the office in early v4 2021, despite the fact, as she puts it "we didn't need to be there and we all worked better from home."

Despite their protests, the company line was that they "weren't hired to work from home." A few months later, however, the woman discovered she was pregnant in a development that delayed her return to the office.

After giving birth, she returned to working from home having been told by her boss "the team is falling apart," with several new hires struggling with the workload.

Everything seemed to be going OK until a few days into her return to work when she received an email asking her to decide on which two days a week she would be coming back into the office.

She replied, "I'm not comfortable, willing, or able to physically come into the office." A day later, however, her boss's boss called her and, without even greeting her, said: "It is company policy to come into the office 2 days a week. If you do not come in, we will consider it your resignation."

The new mom said she initially "froze" at the warning but after speaking to her husband they agreed that she would not back down and would not quit. She emailed her boss to confirm she would not be resigning and would instead "continue to work at home until they say otherwise."

Though it was a bold call, the decision drew praise on social media.

Watchncis commented: "You are a badass and they hate that. Make them fire you...better companies deserve you." Gamingdevil added: "You cannot force someone to resign. You either fire them, or they continue working and you continue paying."

SB_90s branded her employer's approach "selfish and manipulative" writing: "they're banking on her recent pregnancy making her desperate to keep her job...This tactic of threatening and pressuring employees to do what they want has probably worked much more often than it hasn't."

User Gnork, meanwhile, said: "I bet they are absolutely panicking trying to figure out what is more important: their business or firing employees who don't crumple." User Quiet___Lad commented: "They appear unable to manage a team remotely. It's a new world. Time for management to learn new skills."

BuffaloJackalope also wrote: "If the pandemic has proven anything beyond any doubt, it's that 90 percent of office jobs don't need the office."

Newsweek has reached out to Dinfinity18 for comment.

A woman working from home.
A new mom has taken a stand against her boss for demanding that she return to the office. Stock image of a woman working from home. Dima Berlin/Getty