Nobody Wants to Go Back to Work

Jennifer R. Povey
5 min readAug 5, 2021
Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

This morning, my husband is back in the office for the first time since March 2020. The only reason he’s there is it’s his turn to water everyone’s plants, which the IT guys stopped doing when they went in to check the on site servers once voluntary return happened.

He’s coming back at lunch time.

Nobody wants to go back to work. Restaurants are complaining about shortages (although businesses willing to offer semi-decent pay are not having these problems.

Some companies have accepted reality and are offering permanent work from home.

Others are looking forward to getting everyone back in cubicles.

But it highlights something deeper.

None of us want to work.

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

But, I Love My Job

I love my work too! But I would much, much rather be spending all of my time writing fiction. Without worrying about getting paid for it, because worrying about getting paid for it turns it into work.

No matter how much you enjoy your job, there’s still the basic fact of coercion.

Being forced to do something makes it less fun. Think back to your childhood. I bet there was at least one vacation, likely several, that you didn’t want to go on. Your parents picked it without consulting you, you weren’t asked about the dates (which included your best friend’s birthday), and you were expected to enjoy it. As an adult, you have probably had to deal with somebody in the office’s idea of fun.

Mandatory fun isn’t fun.

Work isn’t fun by the very nature of it not being a choice. And for the majority of us? A Gallup poll in 2017 said only 15% of people are “engaged” with their jobs, an awful word which really says more about whether people are productive than happy.

In Japan, it was 6%. Whether this actually means 85% of people are miserable at work or not… (In the U.S. it was higher, 30%, but that’s still not…)

So, do 70% of Americans hate their jobs? I don’t buy it.



Jennifer R. Povey

I write about fantasy, science fiction and horror, LGBT issues, travel, and social issues.