WFH to WTF: Ad signage slammed for teasing workers returning to office

Mar 7 2022, 7:24 pm

With COVID-19 restrictions loosening across Canada, more workplaces are reopening — and that means remote workers have to now return to the office.

While being at the office has its perks, the move isn’t a welcome one for many. Cozy sweatpants sound better than commuting to work on a cold winter morning.

So when the following signs were seen in the lobby of a Toronto office building, people had mixed reactions — mostly bad.

“Miss your sweatpants yet?” one of the signs reads. “Bet your dog is missing you,” reads another that has a photo of a very sad-looking pup.

“In the lobby of an office building in Toronto. I guess to make sure employees are flooded with resentment the instant they walk in the door?” asked writer Audra Williams on Twitter. As of the time of publishing, her tweet has nearly 11,000 retweets.

The images were first posted on Reddit by 1esproc on Sunday. According to the user, these signs were seen at RBC WaterPark Place, located at 20 Bay Street in downtown Toronto.

As seen at the bottom of the signboards, they were put up by investments and asset management company Oxford Properties, who confirmed in an email to Daily Hive that it had placed the signs there as part of a campaign.

“With COVID-19 restrictions easing across Ontario, and an associated uptick in occupancy, signage was displayed to welcome customers back to our building,” the company wrote.

“Unfortunately, in an attempt to be lighthearted, the signage came off as uncaring, which was never our intention. The signage clearly missed the mark and was removed last week as a result. The campaign should have not made it into production and we sincerely apologize to any customers, colleagues, and members of the public that were offended.”

But the move may have come too late. The photos have been shared widely across social media platforms, with some people finding them humorous, but most people saying the signs are in poor taste and mock workers.

“If I got to work to see a reminder that my dogs missed me (evil!), I would walk out and never come back,” wrote @casscrowe_ on Twitter. “Workplaces are so psychologically abusive lol,” said activist and educator Wagatwe Wanjuki.

Toronto-based game developer Will O’Neill shared the following image, confirming that the signs had been removed.

According to its website, Oxford Properties’ Toronto office is not located at RBC WaterPark Place, but in the EY Tower on 100 Adelaide Street West.

RBC WaterPark Place appears to be on the list of properties it manages.

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