I'm software engineer in one of the south east Asian countries, and my company follows government instruction to let employees 100% work back from office post covid.

Immediately one of my teammates submit resign notice and end up resigning this month leaving our team with only 2 engineers. Without knowing that my teammate is resigning I also talk to my supervisor about resigning and end up knowing that information, and my supervisor who I get along well persuades me not to since I'm one of the best performers and our team doesn't have enough engineers if I end up leaving.

The thing is I don't really like working from the office since I'm more of an introverted person and end up being more productive when working alone, but in the office, my co-workers are noisy and joke at the expense of others which end up interrupting works.

How should I proceed to resign without burning the bridge, if possible? Give notice anyway or wait for the replacements?

  • 2
    Please edit your question and expand the acronyms (or at least define them on first use); not everybody knows what "SWE" and "SEA" might mean. Jun 10, 2022 at 8:14
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    You could meet your supervisor half-way: Offer to wait for the replacements, if you get permission to fully work from home in return.
    – Heinzi
    Jun 10, 2022 at 8:59
  • Is it not really that by co-incidence, Covid showed you working from home was more comfortable for you? If you really end up being more productive when working alone, why does that mean you want top leave? Why not present the details and ask to continue working at home? If you must resign, the least you could do to avoid burning your bridges would be to wait for the replacements. Jun 12, 2022 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


How should I proceed to resign without burning the bridge if possible?

You resign, and work your notice period in as professional manner as possible. That shouldn't result in any bad feeling from your employer, because the notice period is the agreement that you have in place. If your employer views you as currently critical to the project, they need to put appropriate compensation (whether directly monetary or indirect benefits - e.g. the ability to work from home) in place to reflect that.

Remember that if your employer decides to dispense with your services, they won't give you any more notice than they are legally required to. You don't owe them anything more than that in return.

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    True, I guess they don't really think I'm critical since they just promise to put me as Project Manager and stuff without any appropriate compensation for it. The best they did was give me an earlier time to leave work which doesn't matter since our office had flexible office hours.
    – Shinjo
    Jun 11, 2022 at 5:23

You're looking at this the wrong way. You say you don't want to burn bridges, but what value do those bridges have for you? You say that working from the office is a deal-breaker for you, to the point that you want to resign from the company over it. If this is your position, then, even if, in future, you were to come back to this company, you'd have to still work from the office, which would be a deal breaker for you. That's not going to change. Which is a long way of saying that you're never going to come back to this company because their policy of working from the office is too distasteful for you.

So, the root of the question is: Why do you not want to burn the bridges? The answer to this question becomes much easier if you don't care about burning the bridges, and here it is:

Submit your resignation whenever you feel like resigning. It's not your job to worry about company continuity, that's the job of upper management. If your company demands everyone to work from the office, and their entire workforce quits because of this, then perhaps the company should not have demanded everyone to work from the office. That's the company's problem, not the problem of the people who quit. You have no responsibility, inferred or otherwise, to ensure company continuity. If you want to quit, then quit.

Once you've submitted your resignation letter, adhere to whatever other requirements are stipulated in the contract, e.g. notice period or whatever. Don't break your contract, do what you are required to do. Then leave. That's it.

The company will do whatever the company will do. Perhaps they won't write you a reference letter; whatever, if they're going to be petty about that then they can be petty. If you're scared of the company being petty then don't quit and adhere to their rules about working from the office. You have no control over them being petty, so either you keep working for them and work in the office to avoid them being petty, or you quit and take the risk that maybe they become petty. Those are really your only 2 choices if this is a concern for you.

As for other requirements like confirming employment and so on, there are (in most locales, not sure about yours) legal requirements for what employers must do with regards to that sort of thing. For example, in Canada (where I live), an employer must confirm employment dates of ex-employees and must not provide any additional information about those employees to prospective future employers, even if asked, and they can be in legal trouble if they don't adhere to those rules. Your locale may be similar. If you want to know more, contact a lawyer. Whether you "burned a bridge" or whatever has no bearing on your company's legal requirements in this way, they still have to do this even if they hate your guts.

That's all. So the real question is, what are you losing by worrying about burning this bridge, and is it worth it to you? My advice is to not worry too much about it as long as you adhere to your contractual obligations.


What your government says doesn't really matter.

The choices are: You stay and work in the office, you stay and work from home, or you resign (and hopefully find a place where you can work from home).

Tell your supervisor that you absolutely don't want to come to the office. Tell them you've worked from home for quite some time, and there was no problem. Tell them how much cheaper and more convenient it is for you, and ask what are the benefits for the company actually if you come to the office.

Don't tell them that you will quit if you are not allowed to work from home, but tell them that you will start looking for a position in a different company. Just not making a threat, but making sure they know you can leave whenever you like. Some people react badly or very badly to threats.

If you leaving causes the company problems, well, that's their problem, not yours. Once you leave you have no responsibility for this.

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    “Don't tell them that you will quit if you are not allowed to work from home, but tell them that you will start looking for a position in a different company.” - What’s the difference? As a manager those two options sound identical. My reaction would be identical, I would accept their immediate resignation, and probably exercise my discretion to release them from their notice period. I would the ability to find a replacement and give them the time and opportunity to move on to an opportunity that’s a better fit
    – Donald
    Jun 10, 2022 at 11:10

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