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Sarah Green Carmichael

Middle Managers Deserve Our Thanks

This often-unappreciated group has had a tough job lately as senior executives heighten demands and workers push back.

Stuck in the middle.

Stuck in the middle.

Illustration: Jessica Karl

On this day of Thanksgiving in the US, let’s express our gratitude for one oft-overlooked group: middle managers. They’ve had a tough couple of years.

They have been the ones balancing top management’s ever more strident calls to return to the office against employees’ desire to maintain some level of flexibility. They also have been the most hurt by the shift to hybrid or remote work: Time-use studies show that non-managers have been largely able to reclaim the time they once spent commuting for a mix of work and personal pursuits. Middle managers, by contrast, saw their workdays get longer — by nearly an hour on average — as the demands of management-via-Zoom gobbled up time. No wonder this group reports the highest rate of post-pandemic burnout of workers at any level.