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Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/9/21 3:25 p.m.

I am all in favor of WFH.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/9/21 3:32 p.m.
Brett_Murphy said:

I am all in favor of WFH without the W.

fixed for accuracy.

 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/9/21 3:47 p.m.

The biggest loss to companies has nothing to do  the cost of real estate or the electric bill.  It's the on the job training that comes naturally when people work together. 
 

When  you work as an assistant to someone, you learn their job by watching. When you're an apprentice or a trainee for example to an engineering firm, you learn the culture and lingo of engineering when you hang out at the water cooler. If you work alongside me, you will learn my managerial quirks and mannerisms, and I will learn the best ways to manage, motivate, and encourage you. 
 

There is no corporate culture with WFH. Just a bunch of loners doing their own thing from their 3rd bedroom, with occasional pants-less Zoom meetings. 
 

It gonna hurt the next generation of the workforce. 
 

So yes, outsourcing is hard. But it will become easier over time as the corporate losses of WFH mature and the benefits of being in the "same" location begin to wane.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 3:48 p.m.
rob_lewis said:

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).  

For me this is difficult because of the lack of whiteboard/sticky note/collaboration tools.  Zoom annotation is super limiting.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 3:49 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

There is no corporate culture with WFH. Just a bunch of loners doing their own thing from their 3rd bedroom, with occasional pants-less Zoom meetings. 

All-day pantsless meetings thank you very much.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
4/9/21 4:04 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

The biggest loss to companies has nothing to do  the cost of real estate or the electric bill.  It's the on the job training that comes naturally when people work together...

Absolutely.  I am in the position where I can, and want to pass on some skills to my co-workers, but being remote makes that very difficult since it involves using various, somewhat complicated programs.  Just leaning over and asking or showing someone something is wildly more efficient than attempting the same thing on zoom.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 5:21 p.m.

Agreed on the mentoring.  Our team is the same since it went remote, but I am very concerned about how onboarding new employees, especially inexperienced ones might work out.

That said, I have worked with a few interns who are remote and they have performed rather well.

 

One other thing to note is that as much as nobody wants to admit it, WFH requires people to learn another toolset.  Some people are really BAD at Zoom/Teams/Slack/whatever collaboration, video conferencing, etc. software.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/9/21 5:32 p.m.
914Driver said:

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.

I can see that. GRM's been WFH the last year, more or less, and I still wear my usual: camo cargo shorts, black T-shirt, Vans. But, yeah, I need to shower, get dressed, put in contacts, etc. Then I'm ready for work. 

I already had a home office, so it's not like I'm working at the kitchen table. And my office is about to get a new area rug. But first, the cleaning crew (me) has work to do. 

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/9/21 5:42 p.m.

We are doing kind of a hybrid system, but with a real need to go to the office.  Works for me- we've been doing this system since last July- where we can test our cars remotely, and if we had to go in to work on something specific, we can.

Having sat through many meetings, I will disagree that corporate culture is dead.  It's different- the face to face personal relationships will be declined, but I never made much of those for real work anyway.  Listening in meetings is really important to me, and we have that.  

I know we've been struggling with office space for a long time- now we have just about enough.

Not sure how long this will last, but the lack of real offices has been going on for a few years now- and I've heard not once single positive outcome of that.  With WFH, that's pretty easy, and works well.

There will still be a lot of people conviced that people need to be in an office, just not everyone- gives people who have to be with people options just like those of us who don't want to be with people options.  Net positive for all.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/9/21 5:58 p.m.

I agree some of the on the job training and mentoring has suffered some, but my company was never great at that to begin with (despite many efforts at improving). That said, if I'm having an issue with a file, I can do a Teams meeting and screen sharing to help sort it out - I did this today.  At 4 PM. On a Friday. Which would have been impossible were I in the office when at 4 PM on a Friday I'm dodging tumble-weeds between the cubicles.  Will it be a challenge?  Yes. But in our case, it's always been a challenge. Now it'll just be a different challenge.

The out-sourcing thing has been tried. And failed miserably. As mentioned, my job requires a certain level of local knowledge that is somewhat difficult to translate from 9 time zones away.  But at the same time, WFH has allowed us to hire experienced people from new locations that may not be near one of our offices. 

One advantage of WFH is even when I do go into the office, I am no longer tied to a hard schedule.  I can go into the office for a meeting, then go home before the commuter traffic hits.  I actually figured that out years ago - if I'm logging into a web meeting in another state at 3PM, it doesn't matter if I'm at my desk in the office or at my desk at home. So I would leave early and beat the traffic.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 6:24 p.m.

The hybrid approach is interesting.  We are supposed to have desks available so we can setup camp for the day/morning/afternoon at the office.  For me, unless I am killing 1hour between meetings, this seems kind of silly, unless they actually standardize what 'desk' means.

If its a surface to drop my laptop, its not very effective.

If its at least 2 monitors, a docking station, 3d mouse, keyboard, mouse, microphone/camera - then its more enticing.  I simply have no desire to screw around with the wrong tools when I can just wait to use the right ones when I get back home.  Since a fully outfitted desk is extremely unlikely, I don't see a scenario where anyone actually works from the office, outside of killing time between meetings.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/9/21 6:29 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

Agreed on the mentoring.  Our team is the same since it went remote, but I am very concerned about how onboarding new employees, especially inexperienced ones might work out.

That said, I have worked with a few interns who are remote and they have performed rather well.

 

One other thing to note is that as much as nobody wants to admit it, WFH requires people to learn another toolset.  Some people are really BAD at Zoom/Teams/Slack/whatever collaboration, video conferencing, etc. software.

Have to disagree. I'm actually mentoring a new hire now. He's never been a Tech Writer before and just graduated college 1 year ago. I'm a Senior Tech Writer with nearly 15 years of experience. If I want to show him something, I can share my screen, record the meeting and walk him through it. Then he has the recording to refer back to, we can get in another meeting, etc. 

But this has already been a common way to do things since in any given meeting we can have people in California, Canada, Austin, OKC, Atlanta, Durham, London, Barcelona, Brno, Montevideo, and Manila. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/9/21 6:30 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

This is it for me. If they have two external monitors that work + a quality chair - I will stop in a day or two per week just to regain some sanity. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/9/21 6:34 p.m.
rob_lewis said: Also, I miss a comfortable desk setup. 

Get on it! My setup at home was better than my office setup long before this started. And I've got a new chair coming tomorrow and trying to decide on a larger desk to order. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/9/21 7:01 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Desk set-up is definitely a concern we have.  A mish-mash of some on laptops and others on desk CPUs.  And despite the fact we use Dell laptops that use the same docking stations, the configurations are rarely the same.  So while the desk station may look the same (typically two monitors), you're never quite sure what you'll get when you plug in.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) UltimaDork
4/9/21 7:14 p.m.

One reason I took my new job was so that eventually I could create a situation where I work from home about 50% of the time.  Having to be in an office so I can work quietly by myself at a computer is dumb.  Having to drive there and back is dumb.  I don't want to be 100% WFH but there's a lot of days where I didn't need to be out driving around to get the same or less work accomplished.

I think a lot of companies should be doing a lot better with technology and remote work than they are and the worker gets blamed.  Can't get people up to speed decently remotely?  Perhaps your training is bad or non-existant and the only way people learned how to do the job was to just start doing it badly until they got better on their own.  That was my last job.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/9/21 7:27 p.m.
z31maniac said:
ProDarwin said:

Agreed on the mentoring.  Our team is the same since it went remote, but I am very concerned about how onboarding new employees, especially inexperienced ones might work out.

That said, I have worked with a few interns who are remote and they have performed rather well.

 

One other thing to note is that as much as nobody wants to admit it, WFH requires people to learn another toolset.  Some people are really BAD at Zoom/Teams/Slack/whatever collaboration, video conferencing, etc. software.

Have to disagree. I'm actually mentoring a new hire now. He's never been a Tech Writer before and just graduated college 1 year ago. I'm a Senior Tech Writer with nearly 15 years of experience. If I want to show him something, I can share my screen, record the meeting and walk him through it. Then he has the recording to refer back to, we can get in another meeting, etc. 

But this has already been a common way to do things since in any given meeting we can have people in California, Canada, Austin, OKC, Atlanta, Durham, London, Barcelona, Brno, Montevideo, and Manila. 

Oh I get it.  Sometimes screen sharing is incredibly valuable.  I think it works for some things better than others though.

I think a lot of the issue isn't that stuff can be communicated remotely.  It's that the people who are now remote who are terrible at zoom/slack/etc are difficult to reach or not adept at passing that information on.

Lots of the more experienced employees say older than 40 at my company don't answer when I call them from teams, call into zoom with their cell phone (wtf??), forget to even login, don't know how to markup images on the fly and share them, etc.  Stuff that would not inhibit information sharing in the office, but it does remotely.  

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/9/21 8:39 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Ahh, gotcha. I can see how that could be an issue for some people. 

lnlogauge
lnlogauge HalfDork
4/9/21 9:14 p.m.

I left my wfh job for a drive with a 45 minute commute. During those 90 minutes I regret it. The rest of the 8 hours not a bit. 

The wfh is great for some jobs, and good for sometimes at my job. Not having coworkers to bounce ideas off of, or for the first time in awhile, a boss that is actually really smart. I don't think engineering should be full at home. You're not going to get any better at your job on your own. 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/10/21 4:56 a.m.

I was technically a "remote worker" when the pandemic hit (would go into the office 2-3 days per week), but since last March I've been full-time WFH.  We recently opened up a program where you could sign-up for WFH on a permanent basis, which I jumped on. It gave us a $400 (pre-tax), one-time stipend to get some additional equipment, so I picked up a used Herman Miller Aeron to make things more comfortable.

Our company has closed the two offices in my state, one was a ghost town so I wasn't surprised to see it go, but the other was pretty full most days and came as more of a surprise. I'm sure there's substantial cost savings by not having those two offices.

I miss seeing people, but productivity has been through the roof. We use cameras a certain percentage of the time, the all-day on camera thing at the beginning got old fast.  So I think we've found a better balance there.  I'm going to end up seeing folks when we're allowed to take customers out again, so I think that'll give us a little better balance.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/10/21 6:55 a.m.

Fortunately my company will re-open (sometime) with a lot of flexibility for WFH. Previously WFH was taboo. 

The office lease ends in Feb 2022 and like many companies (I presume) we're going to downsize considerably despite a consistent head count. Desks will be shared/transient. I'm confident the tech concerns will be figured out  

WFH has definitely changed my perceptions related to people. I used to get irritated by people standing around talking in the kitchen.. because I believed that I was there to work. But a year of isolation has taught me that I need human interaction. I kinda miss some of those people and I look forward to seeing them again.. one or two days per week.

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/10/21 6:56 a.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

The biggest loss to companies has nothing to do  the cost of real estate or the electric bill.  It's the on the job training that comes naturally when people work together. 
 

When  you work as an assistant to someone, you learn their job by watching. When you're an apprentice or a trainee for example to an engineering firm, you learn the culture and lingo of engineering when you hang out at the water cooler. If you work alongside me, you will learn my managerial quirks and mannerisms, and I will learn the best ways to manage, motivate, and encourage you. 
 

There is no corporate culture with WFH. Just a bunch of loners doing their own thing from their 3rd bedroom, with occasional pants-less Zoom meetings. 
 

It gonna hurt the next generation of the workforce. 
 

So yes, outsourcing is hard. But it will become easier over time as the corporate losses of WFH mature and the benefits of being in the "same" location begin to wane.

i agree with this. With my hearing impairment, Teams meetings were almost impossible for me to follow. I rely on body language, a little lip reading and the lack of delay to understand what is going on. 90% of our meetings, I would message someone else and ask for the cliff's notes because it all sounds like the adults from a Peanuts cartoon. Some of us just don't comprehend or absorb information in that virtual setting. I tried better headphones and seclusion from all other inputs. Nothing works. I feed off the energy of the coworkers and not being around them inhibits that. 

I get it. Some people don't want to be around others. Some prefer to not leave their home. Good for them. It's just not how others of us work. I see in the very near future a large spike in mental health issues

 

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