The work-from-home future is destroying bosses' brains
The masters of the current working society have told a giant lie around corporate advancement, specifically that people "Don't just want money, they want to feel part of something." While this statement is technically true, a lot of companies read the sentence with either a bolded or entirely-removed "Just," parsing the sentence as a means to not pay people more, but to reward them with new titles and the ability to be mini-bosses in a larger empire, regardless of whether they're actually good at or capable of managing people as anything other than a feudal lord. We have tied the vague idea of management so tightly to career advancement that we simply make people managers as a rite of passage - we think that because they're good at their job they can either make people good at their jobs or watch people be good at their jobs and make them do them more. These people are so prevalent because most companies aren't okay with the obvious way to make people who are good at their jobs happy - paying them more money. While there are always soft contributions - people that inspire others with ideas, people that do truly help mentor others - it becomes far less palatable to have someone you're paying well who's position appears to be "Tells other people what to do." Manager contributions are vastly overemphasized in person - they walk from meeting to meeting in full consternation, they go to people's desks, it's all very dramatic and visual and thus justifies the expense. Generally, people are attracted to and inspired by leaders that lead by doing stuff - by doing work, by putting themselves on the line, by compensating people for their work and, ideally, providing fulfilling and meaningful work for them to do. The rise of middle management culture is contrary to the whole idea of "Lean management" that companies have lied about believing in - it's simply a way of the executive giving people the chance to taste and enjoy having power over people's time and money. Management is tough, managing people is tough, motivating people is tough.