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Work from home after the pandemic

Old 03-02-21, 10:24 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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Work from home after the pandemic

Do you think it will still be wide spread when we come out on the other side of this? Will you want to?
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Old 03-02-21, 10:40 PM
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Word is my office will be looking for a much smaller place with open layout intended for short visits.
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Old 03-02-21, 10:55 PM
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Zoom-teaching blows chunks. I can't do experiments at home.

But I have always tried to spend time at home with those that I love, which primarily include my dogs and bikes.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:09 PM
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I'm getting mixed messages. I don't think leadership knows what they're going to do.

I wouldn't mind going in from time to time. But Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have 6AM meetings with India? I'm not going in the office for those.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:37 PM
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I'd love to and I think I'm more effective working from home. But TPTB won't go for it.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:54 PM
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My work was always about 30% on the phone and another 20% in online meetings. For online we’ve always used Webex for the necessary security walls. The online meetings have gone up to around 50% since the beginning of the pandemic, especially because of travel/conferences/etc issues. We have always found that smaller meetings which need high interactivity work best with video support and less textual information, larger meetings, especially those which make final decisions, are best managed with both video and textual tracking.

I do like the interacting with my team in person and want that to continue for a number of positive reasons, especially, for the in person visual information and giving others positive support. Our offices are well designed for distancing and we have the proper and necessary safety health issues worked out so that hasn’t been a problem and a number of people have continued going in everyday. Since the pandemic I’ve being going in only for team or partner meetings and would like that to continue as that has worked that out well and given me more time to work in my home office, interact and being around my family more and also taking a break for a ride, run or doing some photos
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Old 03-03-21, 01:14 AM
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Well... I am physically 1200 miles away from the office... so I certainly hope they can deal with me not showing up there.

As long as tasks are completed, I think they are fine with it.
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Old 03-03-21, 08:58 AM
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I think it'll be a while before a 'normal' is established. We'll see a gradual decline in COVID cases, but there will always be COVID around, we've just got to find a plateau of case numbers that society is comfortable with. The plan at our place is every-other-day as a work-from-home situation (my department). I work a lot with customers and have found using Zoom, Facetime, or other apps just don't cut it like being in a facility and seeing everything around your project; there are usually other things/operations at a building site that need to be considered, too. Personally I'll try and go in as much as possible, as I like keeping my home and work lives separate; I just hate seeing that pile of work stuff on my desk on the weekends.
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Old 03-03-21, 09:34 AM
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Most office jobs will be downsized over the next few decades, along with most of the internet.
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Old 03-03-21, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
I think it'll be a while before a 'normal' is established. We'll see a gradual decline in COVID cases, but there will always be COVID around, we've just got to find a plateau of case numbers that society is comfortable with. The plan at our place is every-other-day as a work-from-home situation (my department). I work a lot with customers and have found using Zoom, Facetime, or other apps just don't cut it like being in a facility and seeing everything around your project; there are usually other things/operations at a building site that need to be considered, too. Personally I'll try and go in as much as possible, as I like keeping my home and work lives separate; I just hate seeing that pile of work stuff on my desk on the weekends.
At the same time there is a good chance that society/work will change to be more accepting of Zoom et. al. for meetings and we'll all get better at it. Remote work isn't going away... for a variety of reasons... the least of which is the fixed costs to a business to lease office space... why do that if employees don't need to sit in the employers' furniture.

It feels awkward right now as it is new, and there are lots of glitches, and the software is just not perfect... but I suspect remote presentation software and cameras and the like will be a focus for companies in the future.

Times will be a'changin'
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Old 03-03-21, 10:31 AM
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Last February my wife's employer gave her the option to work from home. Unfortunately, they furloughed, and then terminated her 2 months later. She was in their Accounts Payable department and basically audited bills from various vendors. There was really no reason she needed to be physically located in their office. We believe if the job does come back they will option her to work from home permanently. All of her contact with corporate and vendors was either by phone or email. It's actually the perfect work from home position. I believe her performance actually improved once working from home. While she was located in their offices there were way too many distractions that would consume 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there, and then add up to losing probably an hour of productive time just dealing with BS.

We're hoping her company is able to pull through and someday we can all get back to normal (she misses her job).
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Old 03-03-21, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
At the same time there is a good chance that society/work will change to be more accepting of Zoom et. al. for meetings and we'll all get better at it. Remote work isn't going away... for a variety of reasons... the least of which is the fixed costs to a business to lease office space... why do that if employees don't need to sit in the employers' furniture.

It feels awkward right now as it is new, and there are lots of glitches, and the software is just not perfect... but I suspect remote presentation software and cameras and the like will be a focus for companies in the future.

Times will be a'changin'
I believe one major issue is being able to have a dedicated space in your home or apartment where you can work and not be distracted. Tele-Work will probably have a much better feeling to it once the kids are in school, your significant other is back to work and you can concentrate on getting the job done.
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Old 03-03-21, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Well... I am physically 1200 miles away from the office... so I certainly hope they can deal with me not showing up there.

As long as tasks are completed, I think they are fine with it.
Bike commute?
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Old 03-03-21, 10:39 AM
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Federal employees have been encouraged to work from home for years now. Unfortunately for me that wasn't an option due to the job I held. But it was nice going into the office and being pretty much alone. It was kinda like 'down time'. haha
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Old 03-03-21, 10:48 AM
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Last spring we moved out Philly office across the street from where it had been located. The pandemic caused delays in getting operational. When it finally was, I couldn't wait to stop working at home even though I am allowed to work at home.

I come here virtually every day. Usually, I am the only one here. Occasionally, there are two others. Today is an anomaly because there are five others. Plenty of room, and I mostly stay in my office When people do move around, they where masks. Gets me out of the house for a two-mile walk each way.

Kitty cat is not happy, though. No more suckering me into giving him a mid-day meal. And once the weather gets nicer I will have lunch in a nearby park every day.
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Old 03-03-21, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I believe one major issue is being able to have a dedicated space in your home or apartment where you can work and not be distracted.
Distraction is my problem. I have a dedicated place where I can work, but I am not that disciplined. As noted just above, I was so happy to be able to go back in the office. Plus, it fits my routine. I go into town for work and shop for dinner stuff either during lunch or on my way home.
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Old 03-03-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I believe one major issue is being able to have a dedicated space in your home or apartment where you can work and not be distracted. Tele-Work will probably have a much better feeling to it once the kids are in school, your significant other is back to work and you can concentrate on getting the job done.
Agreed... that makes a huge difference... as well as dedicated office equipment... vice working on the kitchen table with the family laptop.

I do have a separate office... My commute is "downstairs." When the office door is closed, it is "keep out." Now mind you the "office" is also a guest bedroom... so it was easy to dedicate to the task of home office.

My wife has an artist studio on the other side of the wall from me... If we are both working, it can be disturbing... but no more so than the typical cube office space... seems like there is always "that guy in the office that has to take all his calls on speaker." And of course the lighting and AC are always set for "someone else."

There are some advantages to having a home office... There is always just the right amount of coffee, that "speaker guy" can be told to shut up without dealing with HR, and you CAN open a window on a nice day... and even play Led Zeppelin vice Muzak... just to name a few. Collaboration is a bit more difficult for a home office situation... so if you have to "play with a team," it can be a hassle. I am an "individual contributor," so for me, it works out quite well.

Seems like the sales and marketing folks are the ones that need "face time" the most (IMHO).
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Old 03-03-21, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Bike commute?
Only once.
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Old 03-03-21, 11:12 AM
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One of the biggest things we enjoyed was the absence of the commute. Hers was about 40 minutes each way. Also, with her line of work there was no need to video conference. When working from home my wife would be able to clock out very close to her scheduled time and I could have dinner ready to go right then. We were able to each lunch together, she could schedule her shower during her lunch break in case she felt like sleeping n. It really improved on the quality time we were able to spend together.
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Old 03-03-21, 01:22 PM
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My previous commutes were via bicycle... so losing the commute time wasn't really an asset... Now I have to "make time" for a bike ride. On the plus side, I can choose when and where to ride, vice "during rush hour and on busy roads."
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Old 03-03-21, 02:39 PM
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I'm in the office today, for the second time in nearly a year. Right off the bat, I noticed I'm less focused, more distracted. Even less than a quarter full, the office has conversations and people coming and going. It's less intense.

Not what i expected.
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Old 03-03-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
At the same time there is a good chance that society/work will change to be more accepting of Zoom et. al. for meetings and we'll all get better at it. Remote work isn't going away... for a variety of reasons... the least of which is the fixed costs to a business to lease office space... why do that if employees don't need to sit in the employers' furniture.

It feels awkward right now as it is new, and there are lots of glitches, and the software is just not perfect... but I suspect remote presentation software and cameras and the like will be a focus for companies in the future.

Times will be a'changin'
Yeah, maybe I'll get used to it in the future, but I plan to retire in about two years, too. If the company keeps the whole Zoom, Facetime, Duo software process going I'll just put up with it and be done with it when I leave. if I have to use the platform for something in the future then so be it, but I'm not too pleased with it right now.
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Old 03-03-21, 03:38 PM
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I heard someone on the radio predicting this will be permanent in my line of work. There's already a lot of competition for good people, companies won't be able to require physical attendance. I hope that plays out but I'm not holding my breath. It hasn't been an issue in terms of productivity or people slacking off. I had my first on camera meeting yesterday in two and a half years of WFH.

I miss being around my colleagues, and people generally. I don't miss commuting. I like being able to take care of my fur babies, one has asthma. I like being able to take my laptop down to the beach and work from a piece of driftwood. I picked my phone plan for the hotspot to be able to do that. On the whole I want to keep doing this.
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Old 03-03-21, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Yeah, maybe I'll get used to it in the future, but I plan to retire in about two years, too. If the company keeps the whole Zoom, Facetime, Duo software process going I'll just put up with it and be done with it when I leave. if I have to use the platform for something in the future then so be it, but I'm not too pleased with it right now.
I hear ya... the irony for me was that during 2019, I was in the office, as many of us were... but the company I worked (still work for) for is large, and has offices all over the US... and the design work I was doing entailed showing PWB concept layouts and chassis designs to engineering folks in different disciplines in various offices all over the US, via of all things SKYPE. But I had to sit in their chair, in their dingy, stinky office to do so...

Until COVID hit... Then, in 2020, I was still doing the same work, using similar tools, and still using SKYPE to talk to engineers all over the US. Hey, just what I was doing before.

Now really, what has changed for me? I no longer sit in a dingy, stinky office, and my physical commute has gone from 30 min each way to 2 minutes and a walk down stairs. I bought myself a better chair, too.

(BTW the office was dingy and stinky because it was in an old building, which had a poorly sealed outer door, near my office... and the AC could never keep up. Oh and the carpet looked like something from a bowling alley from 40 years ago... the coffee was good though, because I MADE MY OWN! )

I now control my entire office environment, from lighting to fresh air to noise/music level to, of course, coffee. I still do the same work, I still SKYPE, email and phone just like I did before. (Lunch is cheaper now too... )

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Old 03-03-21, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I heard someone on the radio predicting this will be permanent in my line of work. There's already a lot of competition for good people, companies won't be able to require physical attendance. I hope that plays out but I'm not holding my breath. It hasn't been an issue in terms of productivity or people slacking off. I had my first on camera meeting yesterday in two and a half years of WFH.

I miss being around my colleagues, and people generally. I don't miss commuting. I like being able to take care of my fur babies, one has asthma. I like being able to take my laptop down to the beach and work from a piece of driftwood. I picked my phone plan for the hotspot to be able to do that. On the whole I want to keep doing this.
Too much latency for me to work from a phone... My tools would work fine, as they are on the laptop, but presentations via SKYPE... uh, no. But I did upgrade my home internet to a 1G plan... and the local provider is putting in 10G fiber... certainly, they see the future.
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