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SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/9/21 11:39 a.m.

Huh.

So, we are apparently transitioning from employees hoping their employers will allow WFH as an option, to employers mandating that many roles will not be allowed to work from the office. 
 

Interesting...

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/9/21 11:42 a.m.

It won't be long before companies realize how easy it is to outsource almost any WFH job to less costly staff in other countries. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 11:48 a.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

It won't be long before companies realize how easy it is to outsource almost any WFH job to less costly staff in other countries. 

Maybe.  My company has been trying to do this for at least a decade.  Its not 'easy'

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/9/21 11:53 a.m.
ProDarwin said:
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

It won't be long before companies realize how easy it is to outsource almost any WFH job to less costly staff in other countries. 

Maybe.  My company has been trying to do this for at least a decade.  Its not 'easy'

Yeah, DW's company has tried that with her group.  They have branches performing similar work in India, with very mixed results.  Nothing against the Indian team for intelligence, work ethic, or skill set - but some things require local nuance and more direct commonality.

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/9/21 11:57 a.m.

Last I checked, none of my abilities are something that remote work could allow. (Technicians hate waiting for me to drive in from home to pull the part they need)

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/9/21 11:58 a.m.
Duke said:
ProDarwin said:
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

It won't be long before companies realize how easy it is to outsource almost any WFH job to less costly staff in other countries. 

Maybe.  My company has been trying to do this for at least a decade.  Its not 'easy'

Yeah, DW's company has tried that with her group.  They have branches performing similar work in India, with very mixed results.  Nothing against the Indian team for intelligence, work ethic, or skill set - but some things require local nuance and more direct commonality.

 

Many things also require common time zones. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/9/21 12:00 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

That's a big part of it.  Hard to have meetings and  'core business hours' when your groups are offset by 9 and a half hours.

 

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
4/9/21 12:03 p.m.

Those companies haven't seen the productivity numbers Banks, insurance,  and other businesses have.  
    Average of 34% more productivity and 23% lower operating costs. 
     With the new keystroke loggers and video conferencing, etc.  typical objections to working from home are moot. 

Or maybe they realize that a dramatic increase over a short period of time is not enough info to base major business decision on. And if there really is an increase in productivity it's not going to last

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/9/21 12:04 p.m.

One thing to consider in the "should I WFH permanently" question is that video meetings work decently when everyone is on video.  They don't work quite so well when 90% of the meeting is in one conference room and you're the only person who's attending remotely.

 

CAinCA
CAinCA GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/21 12:45 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

It won't be long before companies realize how easy it is to outsource almost any WFH job to less costly staff in other countries. 

Unless your work involves ITAR. My company has offices in the USA, China, India, Russia, etc. For the projects I work on the foreign offices can only work on low level stuff. The interesting stuff has to be done here.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
4/9/21 12:49 p.m.

My employer allowed us one telework day a week before the pandemic.  There has been non announcement yet, but the scuttlebutt is that it may increase to 2-3 days a week with a designated "day everyone is in the office".  Though I dont think that makes sense as we were expanding and running out of footprint for desks. 

 

at least when I am remote I can get the real work done while attending a meeting that should have just been an email. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/9/21 12:50 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

It won't be long before companies realize how easy it is to outsource almost any WFH job to less costly staff in other countries. 

Maybe.  My company has been trying to do this for at least a decade.  Its not 'easy'

Yeah. We already have offices all over the world. But since all of our help docs are written in US English, there is a distinct advantage over non-native speakers. 

Although we have been doing more hiring in Europe because salaries are lower than even here in Oklahoma. But I'm also mentoring a new hire in Richmond. Just depends really. 

Basically when we buy a new company, we leave the office and people there intact because of the built-in knowledge. Sure, you may be able to find devs/engineers/QA in India that are cheaper, but they also don't have the 10+ years of knowledge of the product that has more than 1 million lines of code.

CAinCA
CAinCA GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/21 12:57 p.m.

We're WFH until further notice. We've been told that nobody will be required to come back until they are "comfortable" doing so. I was planning to be "uncomfortable" with that idea permanently but I was told that sooner or later management will probably politely ask us to start using our offices for some portion of the work week again. Not sure when that will happen. Pre-COVID I was WFH 2-3 days a week and working in between peak traffic hour on the days I did come in. 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/9/21 1:25 p.m.

I'm officially mostly WFH as of last month. Our setup will likely be what was described earlier in the thread: WFH until a team meeting or something that requires face time. I'm pretty happy about it. I didn't think I'd be happy working from home, but it's really growing on me. The flexibility and lack of a commute is so nice. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 1:27 p.m.

On a WFH note:  Is there such a thing as a ~1000btu air conditioner?  The smallest AC unit I have seen is HUGE.  I need something to cool off the office just a little during the afternoon, but I don't want to run the house A/C and cool the whole house.

I suppose I could go and shut all the other vents except for the office, then open them back up at the end of my work day...

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/9/21 1:31 p.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:

I'm officially mostly WFH as of last month. Our setup will likely be what was described earlier in the thread: WFH until a team meeting or something that requires face time. I'm pretty happy about it. I didn't think I'd be happy working from home, but it's really growing on me. The flexibility and lack of a commute is so nice. 

I'm continually amazed at how much of my free time my job took up. 30 minute commute (25 and 35 minutes for to/from), 15-30 minutes getting ready, any coffee breaks or lunch breaks - sure, they were my time, but did I really want to spend my time in the lunch room? Berk no. Now I can spend them lifting, skating, playing with my kid, walking the dog, etc.
 

The time working hasn't changed; if anything it has gone up. But I have so much time back in my life. 

Hasbro (Forum Supporter)
Hasbro (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/9/21 1:42 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

What we are learning from this conversation is that a non-trivial percentage of GRM forum members are pants-adverse. Keep that in mind while reading the forum :)

I put my pants on around noon to meet a customer. Fair enough.

And I'm not pants-adverse, just putting-them-on-adverse.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/9/21 2:01 p.m.

Our son works from home, northeast rep for a wine distributor.  With Covid they realized an office in NYC was unnecessary.  With a baby coming in a few months it works out.

One day he tried working from his home office dressed in jeans and a T-shirt,  nobody was going to see him anyway; no good.  Like racing without a helmet or Karate competition in shorts; dress makes the mindset.

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
4/9/21 2:12 p.m.

The pandemic has shown a lot of companies how a largely remote workforce would impact that bottom line. In some cases, they are saving so much money at very little loss in productivity, that it's hard to deny the benefit of WFH. 

As such, I think a lot of employers will consider allowing it as an option, but just as I want to know if I need to plan on an adding an addition to home to allow for more space, the employer wants to know how badly I need office space so it can plan on its real estate options. 

My company has long been planning on downsizing quite a bit, and most everyone in my office can work remote (aside from maybe 4 people). We probably have 4x-6x the amount of space we need, and overpay for. 

This all being said, if I had to choose between full-time remote and full-time office, I'm not sure which I would pick. I don't like the idea of need to dedicate space in my already expensive house for a home office for both me and my wife...while having kids running around. I need rooms for children, not for offices. I also tailored my lifestyle around being close to work. I enjoy a 2 miles drive or bike ride to my office. My commute costs me nothing in terms of transportation or really even time. Therefore, I like having an office. 

Alternatively, it'd be nice to be able work out of any office in the company, just for the change of co-workers and scenery. Many of our other office locations have far cheaper housing markets compared to my current location. 

jharry3
jharry3 Dork
4/9/21 2:14 p.m.

My company eliminated assigned offices.  They just started encouraging us to go in to a hot desk twice a week starting in April.  Getting  a hot desk involves going on line, reserving a desk for the day, signing up for a covid screening, getting the screening at security when you arrive, a sticker on your badge for the day.    Do it again the next day.  Only two people at a time on an elevator.  Fortunately they have stairs, and its a 6 story building, so walking up isn't an issue.

Not many people are going in so they are threatening to make us work a 4 day - 40  hour week in the office at hot desks.   Which defeats the purpose of hot desks I would think.   

I will probably not go in until a few weeks after my 2nd Covid shot so that is about a month.  My client doesn't care, they don't want to go into an office environment either.  

Some projects do have clients who won't work unless the whole team is in the office everyday so, for those employees, its go in or get replaced with someone who will.   That is what they were told.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
4/9/21 2:16 p.m.

My local office closed in 2019, but I'd been WFH well before then, as I worked exclusively with teams from other locations.  Our VP is (was) averse to having teams spread out geographically and WFH, but has partially come around.  Still wants to have team members come in on "key" days for planning/meetings, and I'm not yet sure how that will affect me.  Hopefully, I'll continue staying home, proving I'm productive enough not to get on a plane every month or so.

As for dressing for the part, I think it is very much up to the individual.  I've used part of this year to see how many t-shirts I have.  Every work day, I wear a different shirt. I'm up to over 50, and still have quite a few to go.  I think I have a problem.

 

Edit:  Before COVID, our local employees had a monthly get together at a local restaurant, to spend some time catching up and hanging out.  I tried to make it to those, and will be happy when we start doing it again.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/9/21 2:17 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

I disagree on the attire. When I did do the WFH pre-c days I'd do it in my jammies. BUT.... I would go into the computer room and that was work. I would still stop and leave the room for breaks. If I was in that room, I was working. If I wasn't, then I was off. I had to have that boundary.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 2:21 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Haha boundaries.  My race sim sits back to back with my office setup.  I could turn around and be running laps in ~20 seconds.  Or playing Doom (this happens during lunch).

For me its just a time thing.  8-5 I am at work.  Outside of those hours it better be scheduled in advance, and I better have nothing else going on.

 

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/9/21 2:26 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

That's the truth. I have 2 job responsibilities one is facing the rest of a large company and the other is to the manufacturing ops in the factory. Facing the rest of the company WFH has been great, a large % are also WFH and being in multiple states our collaboration has improved. Internally I am the only one 100% WFH and the atmosphere is awful. You know that people are having pre and post meetings, there are jabs made about "the online guys". It's enough that I am seriously looking for a different job in the larger company. I have 10 years in and have done an awful lot of good things for the company. I don't want to leave all together but the atmosphere when a very small group works from home can be terrible. 

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
4/9/21 2:43 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

On a WFH note:  Is there such a thing as a ~1000btu air conditioner?  The smallest AC unit I have seen is HUGE.  I need something to cool off the office just a little during the afternoon, but I don't want to run the house A/C and cool the whole house.

I've setup my office in our 3rd bedroom at the front of the house.  Which was was a study/workout/knickknack room prior.  It's the furthest room from the A/C and with routers, printers and computers working, was never as cool as the rest of the house.  I currently have the smallest WallyWorld window unit in the window helping to keep the room cool.  It's ~5000 btu's but really not very big at all, but helps keep the room cool.  I also keep the door closed so my calls don't interrupt the rest of the house. 

We've been working from home since March 13th of last year.  The local office 10 year lease ends in October, so prior to covid, there was talk about moving offices anyway.  I don't expect us to go back into the office ever.  It's software, so everyone had laptops and wfh'd a couple of days a week anyway.  In some ways, our productivity is up because people are more likely to be working earlier/later since nobody has to commute.  I have some that are working nights/weekends because they're bored.  Trying to push them to unplug as much as possible. 

I miss the office a bit.  I miss the clear line between "work time" and "personal time".  We do a lot of video chats and text chats, but it's more difficult to have off the cuff/brainstorming type of work because you have to setup a meeting to do those (i.e. less natural progression).  

-Rob

Also, I miss a comfortable desk setup. 

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