DEAR HARRIETTE: When the pandemic hit and we were all sent home, my job went remote. After about six months, I moved in with my parents because I couldn’t afford my apartment in the city. Now, nearly two years later, my company is saying we all have to come back to the office in the fall. There’s no firm date yet, but it will be soon. I don’t want to do it. I couldn’t afford to live alone in Los Angeles before the pandemic, but I had a couple of roommates, and we managed. I’m not willing to do that again. I dread talking to my boss about it.
While I have no idea when my company will make us come back in-house (because of variant worries), I feel like I should let my boss know what I’m thinking. I have been a loyal employee for six years. I don’t want to leave the company, but I think I should start looking. How do you think I should handle this? -- Need To Be Virtual
DEAR NEED TO BE VIRTUAL: If you are 100% certain that you do not plan to move back to the city to work in-person at your job, start making plans. Since you do feel loyal to your boss, you can be upfront about your issues. Schedule a meeting to talk about your thoughts. State your case. If you truly want to stay with the company, say as much. But also start looking for a job. Once you express your intention not to return, if the company policy does not change, you will need to find work elsewhere at some point. Hopefully being upfront about your thoughts and plans will be seen as respectful of the company and valued by your boss.