Post-Pandemic 'Welcome Back to Work' Display Branded 'Comically Pathetic'

One Reddit user has shared the scene that awaited them upon returning to the office after two years of working from home: two slightly deflated "welcome back" balloons.

In a post shared on the subreddit u/ABoringDystopia on Monday, which has so far reached over 18,400 upvotes and 700 comments, CherenkovsWake shared a picture of the welcome back display their company organized for employees—and the internet was not impressed.

Since the pandemic has become more manageable many companies are calling their employees back to the office as some argue it's good for productivity.

However, a survey carried out by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago found that 30 percent of respondents were more productive and engaged while working from home rather than the office.

This same survey also calculated that commuting time was reduced by 62.4 million hours per day with a total time savings of over 9 billion hours starting from the middle of March 2020 to the middle of September 2020.

The internet's response to the deflated welcome balloons display was unsurprisingly negative. One user, suolad, commented: "Even the balloons aren't excited to be there." While GlockAF joked: "Just curious, on the backside of the balloons do they say 'f***ing peasants'?" Minus1colon, added: "Nothing says we care about your mental health more than a couple partially inflated balloons, an empty snack fridge and a packet drawer filled with Taco Bell hot sauce from 2019!"

A user who goes by the username dankincense joked: "At least there is a giant bottle of hand sanitizer you can chug to forget the pain." While AllergicToStabWounds answered: "Alcohol is alcohol".

The original poster, CherenkovsWake, also added: "I'm not going for sympathy here; I just thought the [balloons] were comically pathetic with the message they're trying to get across vs what they're actually saying."

While most users made jokes about sad balloons unhappy with their jobs, and the world's helium resources running out, others turned the issue more political. Neocommenter said: "Thanks for nothing, Boomers. You could have dismantled this shit the first day in charge but instead you doubled down." To which ZorglubDK answered: "Why would they dismantle a system that has helped them immensely? They perfected the shitty system, made it even worse for everyone else and pulled the ladder up behind them."

Some other users also pointed out their discomfort traveling for work every day. Arrest_Tom_Nook commented: "I did that for 5 years at old job. Working from home now and I will straight quit if my current company says 'hey we got empty corporate retail we need to fill for no fucking reason when you do the exact same thing at home'. Screw that shit, my productivity and work/life balance is at its peak since I've been working from home."

Smithincanton added: "At my worst I had a 47 mile commute. At best 27 miles. Fuck that. I work in IT, I can do 95% of my job from a beach in the Caribbean if I really needed to. I'm not coming back in."

woman holding balloon
A Reddit user shared pictures of their sad "welcome back to the office" party, and the internet is not pleased. A stock picture shows a sad woman holding a balloon. Getty Images