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(Vice)   You're not going back to your normal office life. You'll get over it   (vice.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Telecommuting, Facebook, Employment, Andrew Cuomo, Telecommuter, WFH-ers, country's work, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo  
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1800 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Apr 2020 at 9:24 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-04-25 7:22:06 AM  
The enforced travel restrictions are coming.
 
2020-04-25 8:06:50 AM  
"The open office plans that allowed employers to squeeze workers together will likely become a thing of the past."

Something good to come out of the pandemic.
 
2020-04-25 8:27:36 AM  

bostonguy: "The open office plans that allowed employers to squeeze workers together will likely become a thing of the past."

Something good to come out of the pandemic.


"You've shown you can work from home. So we'll do that"

"Yay!"

"If something happens at 6:45 am or 8:30 pm, you have to be ready"

"Uhh..."
 
2020-04-25 8:36:32 AM  

Aar1012: "If something happens at 6:45 am or 8:30 pm, you have to be ready"


"My work hours are between X and Y. I will not check email, open Slack, or answer the phone outside of that period of time."
 
2020-04-25 8:40:38 AM  

Another Government Employee: The enforced travel restrictions are coming.


They've postponed the RealID requirements for air travel due to this. Anyway I've been using my passport card at the airport for any trip that doesn't require my paper passport already.
 
2020-04-25 8:43:13 AM  

bostonguy: Aar1012: "If something happens at 6:45 am or 8:30 pm, you have to be ready"

"My work hours are between X and Y. I will not check email, open Slack, or answer the phone outside of that period of time."


I'd rather do my work in a flow state than not in a flow state. In exchange for which, if it's a really nice day, I'm gonna go fark off somewhere else and come back to it in the evening. Most of what I do doesn't have to be done at a particular time, as long as I get it done when I need to. And then there's the shiat that happens when it happens when it's my turn on the 24/7 on-call rotation.
 
2020-04-25 9:02:04 AM  
One peculiar issue that this pandemic and the resulting work from home will put forward is the startling lack of strong friendships for many (most?) American adults.

Over the decades other reliable avenues for meeting people have eroded.  The result being that once we're out of school, a lot of us rely on our place of work for our IRL socializing.  Especially if you move to a new city.

Will online communities get increased traffic?

Will depression increase?

Will extremists get more recruits?

I vote Fark smart people form our own secret cabal, get a financial backer, and begin posting content all over the internet that acts as defacto recruiting tools that can pull more people to healthier points of view.  Same methods the Nazis use, just different results.
 
2020-04-25 9:10:24 AM  

weddingsinger: One peculiar issue that this pandemic and the resulting work from home will put forward is the startling lack of strong friendships for many (most?) American adults.


Some governments have created ministries to combat loneliness.

I see your point. I'm in my late thirties. I'm self-employed and work alone from home. Almost all of my friends are married with children. (I don't want kids.) I don't do online dating / friend apps. It is difficult to hang out with existing friends -- let alone make new ones -- after you're out of your twenties.

So, I have the local pub. But hardly anyone there is my age (they're with their spouses and children). People there are in their twenties, early thirties, or fifties and above.
 
2020-04-25 9:37:38 AM  

weddingsinger: One peculiar issue that this pandemic and the resulting work from home will put forward is the startling lack of strong friendships for many (most?) American adults.

Over the decades other reliable avenues for meeting people have eroded.  The result being that once we're out of school, a lot of us rely on our place of work for our IRL socializing.  Especially if you move to a new city.

Will online communities get increased traffic?

Will depression increase?

Will extremists get more recruits?

I vote Fark smart people form our own secret cabal, get a financial backer, and begin posting content all over the internet that acts as defacto recruiting tools that can pull more people to healthier points of view.  Same methods the Nazis use, just different results.


This... actually seems really smart.  But Fark probably ain't the right community to welcome lonely depressed people into a healthier worldview.  You'd probably want to make several internet enclaves for like-minded and like-cultured people to gather in ways they find comfortable and then sort of saturate that enclave in healthy positivity, empathy for the other enclaves and a sense of larger community outside of their enclave.

But to post this kind of stuff on Free Republic, for example, would just get you marked as an interloper.

Hold up... hold up... I should re-read Thus Spoke Zarathustra... I seem to recall it kind of covers this.
 
2020-04-25 9:37:43 AM  
"...and the death of open-office plans."


It was all worth it.
 
2020-04-25 9:46:43 AM  

bostonguy: Aar1012: "If something happens at 6:45 am or 8:30 pm, you have to be ready"

"My work hours are between X and Y. I will not check email, open Slack, or answer the phone outside of that period of time."


Yup.  When I was given a work phone, I was given the option to use it as my personal phone as well and split the bill with the company (we're getting a corporate rate with Verizon. $40/month/line, unlimited everything).

Said fark that, I'd rather spend ~3x what I would've spent for the sole ability to leave my work phone next to my work laptop in the other room when I sign off at the end of the day.
 
2020-04-25 9:48:57 AM  

bostonguy: "The open office plans that allowed employers to squeeze workers together will likely become a thing of the past."

Something good to come out of the pandemic.


My company was in the middle of converting two of our offices to co-work locations. As of our staff meeting yesterday, they were still continuing.

I'm *hoping* we get dispensation to work from home except when we need to meet clients or work hardware projects after this. Hell, I'm actually amazed at how quickly we got 65% of our staff up and working from home in a matter of days.
 
2020-04-25 9:55:20 AM  
Aar1012:"If something happens at 6:45 am or 8:30 pm, you have to be ready"

I handle IT for my employer. If my consultants or I need to reboot a server for planned maintenance then we'll do that in off hours. Our offices normally close 6:00 pm CT.

I've been stunned by how late in the evening my coworkers connect to our system, particularly bookkeepers. As I type this on Saturday morning, there are four users on over an hour before their offices would normally open.
 
2020-04-25 9:55:58 AM  
But however will a pendantic micromanager oversee.. Hang on, I have an instant message to check.
 
2020-04-25 9:58:11 AM  

mtrac: Aar1012:"If something happens at 6:45 am or 8:30 pm, you have to be ready"

I handle IT for my employer. If my consultants or I need to reboot a server for planned maintenance then we'll do that in off hours. Our offices normally close 6:00 pm CT.

I've been stunned by how late in the evening my coworkers connect to our system, particularly bookkeepers. As I type this on Saturday morning, there are four users on over an hour before their offices would normally open.


Didn't Germany or some country make it illegal to work outside of working hours?
 
2020-04-25 10:01:12 AM  

BeesNuts: This... actually seems really smart. But Fark probably ain't the right community to welcome lonely depressed people into a healthier worldview. You'd probably want to make several internet enclaves for like-minded and like-cultured people to gather in ways they find comfortable and then sort of saturate that enclave in healthy positivity, empathy for the other enclaves and a sense of larger community outside of their enclave.


So like reddit?
 
2020-04-25 10:02:12 AM  
I remember someone saying, "If your job can be done from home, it can be done from India." I'd be a tad wary if I were a WFHomer.
 
2020-04-25 10:05:46 AM  

jjorsett: "If your job can be done from home, it can be done from India."


And done poorly.
 
2020-04-25 10:07:54 AM  

jjorsett: I remember someone saying, "If your job can be done from home, it can be done from India." I'd be a tad wary if I were a WFHomer.


I wonder how true it is, though.

I worked phones at Amazon 15 years ago when they were opening call centers in India.  The return rate for.customers saying the answer they got from India based centers was always MUCH higher than U.S. based.

Meaning their saved costs were reduced by increased work
 
2020-04-25 10:08:36 AM  
We imaged and deployed 800 laptops in a three week period. It was a little crazy.

Things have settled down a little as more people get used to the WFH paradigm. But I have noticed 2 types of users. About 70% follow their old routine. They ALWAYS log in around 5-10 minutes from their regular start time. Take a lunch break at Noon. Log off at 5:00. And then there are 30% that log in at crazy hours. All hours night and day.

Human nature I guess.
 
2020-04-25 10:11:09 AM  
I wondered when companies would quit treating the internet like magic.

All it took was a global pandemic.

Also: Quit crosstalking with Karen about her background so she'll tell you how clever yours is and learn where the farking mute button is, toolbox.
 
2020-04-25 10:14:40 AM  
The only people who actually want to go back to the office are the ones who either get off on office politics or can't maintain their positions without them due to incompetence.
 
2020-04-25 10:18:54 AM  
Dear god, I hope so.  I work with/for a bunch of PhD'd Engineers that have been educated beyond their intellectual capacity.  It's unsurprising that our shiat is running far smoother with them working from home.
 
2020-04-25 10:19:12 AM  

bostonguy: Didn't Germany or some country make it illegal to work outside of working hours?


No idea. In any event, unless the gov't defines "working hours," they're 24x7x365, especially if you have an international clientele.
 
2020-04-25 10:22:43 AM  
My normal office life for ~5 years has been working from home.
 
2020-04-25 10:29:28 AM  
Office life for my company has barely changed, save for the signs posted everywhere to keep 6 feet apart. Most of the office workers could work from home, but the owners want everyone there unless they're sick.
 
2020-04-25 10:33:05 AM  
I hope more companies figure out how to onboard new hires remotely.
 
2020-04-25 10:46:15 AM  
The day before we all left the office, our boss give us all a pep talk saying how we could work safely in the office (bullshiat) and how he'd be happy to "negotiate" WFH hours for certain people. Then he told us, "Not many of you know this, but I have asthma. And I'm still coming in."

I've been rolling this in my head in the weeks since he was overruled and we were sent home. Either he was lying in order to compel some other at-risk drones to take a gamble, or he was telling the truth, and he just doesn't care about his own health.

They're calling us back on the 4th. On a good day, that place is a pigsty. There's never soap in the bathrooms. This looks bad.
 
2020-04-25 11:02:32 AM  

bostonguy: Aar1012: "If something happens at 6:45 am or 8:30 pm, you have to be ready"

"My work hours are between X and Y. I will not check email, open Slack, or answer the phone outside of that period of time."


I've relaxed my work hours while WFH. I'll check emails in the evening, despite being "at work" by 7am every day (I'm an early bird). However, I also do personal stuff around the house during the day both out of necessity and to break up the monotony. Kind of settling into it, but I miss seeing the people I work with (I'm lucky to work with a pretty good bunch I guess).

/ moving around is the thing I miss the most
// My recliner has become my office and that's not a good thing
 
2020-04-25 11:04:47 AM  

jjorsett: I remember someone saying, "If your job can be done from home, it can be done from India." I'd be a tad wary if I were a WFHomer.


"Good afternoon, sir or madam. My name is Elvis. How may I addressed the problem that is befallen you today?"
 
2020-04-25 11:22:40 AM  

jjorsett: I remember someone saying, "If your job can be done from home, it can be done from India." I'd be a tad wary if I were a WFHomer.


Not jobs requiring a clearance, which is one reason I transitioned into the gummint. Already lost one jorb to India (2010).
 
2020-04-25 11:26:28 AM  
I wonder how many businesses have run the numbers and realized they can save on a lot of overhead by shrinking their physical office by utilizing more WFH workers. If you can get the same or mostly the same work done from a workers home, then those are SF you no longer have to pay to upkeep with utilities, rent, furniture and other costly things. Seriously may companies will be able to shrink their foot print by over half even with social distancing if they stick with WFH as a model and will save millions in the process to offset potential losses in productivity if those ever materialize at all.
 
2020-04-25 11:27:43 AM  
I still have to go in to my office (certain older pieces of equipment can't be operated remotely). But there's usually only about 5-10 people in the building at the most, out of the 50+ that used to be there every day.

I find it's amazing how much more productive I've become without an entire sales staff stopping by my office to "chat" or "just need a second" to introduce me to a new client.

I'm kinda dreading the return of these people.
 
2020-04-25 11:30:25 AM  

bostonguy: "The open office plans that allowed employers to squeeze workers together will likely become a thing of the past."

Something good to come out of the pandemic.


Came here to dream the same thing.
 
2020-04-25 11:39:53 AM  

AngryDragon: The only people who actually want to go back to the office are the ones who either get off on office politics or can't maintain their positions without them due to incompetence.


I work with a 3rd type - Those who hate their spouse but are staying together for their kids. He was livid when were were ordered to WFH.
 
2020-04-25 11:52:31 AM  
This could be the cause for bursting a bubble on commercial real estate.  But it's all going to come down to money.  The happiness of employees not having to commute isn't factoring in the decision.  But fewer sick days taken, lowered cost due to facilities not needed and so forth is being considered.
 
2020-04-25 12:05:40 PM  

Nick Nostril: jjorsett: I remember someone saying, "If your job can be done from home, it can be done from India." I'd be a tad wary if I were a WFHomer.

Not jobs requiring a clearance, which is one reason I transitioned into the gummint. Already lost one jorb to India (2010).


Can you do a job requiring a clearance from home now? I'd be surprised. When I was a guvvie engineer, nothing classified was allowed out of the building, and there was no way to access an air-gapped classified system remotely.
 
2020-04-25 12:06:51 PM  
My employer is waiting for the "reopen" announcement with his finger on the trigger. He's hated the WFH part, and we now have multiple meetings per day to make sure we're working. The boss complains about productivity going down, but can't see that at least part of it is because we all have to attend 3+ meetings per day to "make sure everything is on track." He also complains that communication is difficult when you can't do it face to face.

My comments are always, "Are deadlines being met? Yes? Please fark off back to your office and let me work instead of interrupting and changing my organization every 2 hours. Your insecurity is why productivity is down."

At least we know that the very instant lifting WFH suggestions is allowed, he'll insist we go back to the normal work from the office schedule. I hope nobody dies from it.
 
2020-04-25 12:15:04 PM  

fredbox: Another Government Employee: The enforced travel restrictions are coming.

They've postponed the RealID requirements for air travel due to this. Anyway I've been using my passport card at the airport for any trip that doesn't require my paper passport already.


I was wondering about this. Real ID in October... Oregon not offering enhanced driver's licenses until July (way to drop the ball, Oregon). I renewed my passport just in time, but my son's application was accepted March 6th. His is going to be a while.
 
2020-04-25 12:21:12 PM  

bostonguy: "The open office plans that allowed employers to squeeze workers together will likely become a thing of the past."

Something good to come out of the pandemic.


And I don't believe it for even one second.
 
2020-04-25 12:23:45 PM  

AngryDragon: The only people who actually want to go back to the office are the ones who either get off on office politics or can't maintain their positions without them due to incompetence.


Or the people who want to keep home and work separate.
Or people who need the context switch from home to work to keep their focus up.
Or people who have a family and can't deal with the youngish children not understanding that, yes, daddy/mommy is at home but has no time for you.

I'm in the second group. I'd rather sit all alone on a cheap chair in the broom closet at the office with only my laptop than at home with my 2 additional screens, a decent mouse, and a decent keyboard. I have serious issues with keeping my motivation up at home.

There have been mentions about how the mandatory WFH might last the rest of the year, and that after that they might look into whether people really need to be at the office, and if they can't downscale the number of desks by having continue to people work from home.

If they made it mandatory for me to work from home even a day a week, they need to accept a productivity drop. Not to mention that I will seriously consider updating my resume.

/WFH is nice if I expect a package so I could just come in in the afternoon or something like that
//Not something I want as a default
 
2020-04-25 12:28:41 PM  
Who the hell even WANTS to go back to the "Old Normal"?
They'd have to be some kind of an asshole.
This is one of those situations where the brave and the smart see opportunity, not  inconvenience and burdensome change to be whined about.
 
2020-04-25 12:32:58 PM  
I work with some great people and I miss them. I'm 45, very active and outdoorsy, and single. I'm introverted and fiercely independent... don't make friends very easily and prefer to be outdoorsy active alone. But I love people. My kids are all in their 20s now, and only my youngest and his girlfriend live with me. I don't use social media anymore. Being forced to stay at home sucks because my coworkers are kind of my only friends. I looked forward to seeing them every morning.

We'll all go back eventually, but the bosses are asking us which days we would like to continue working from home and what equipment we'll need. I told them I don't need anything and I really only want to work from home when I'm under pressure to meet a deadline for a big project, or Mondays and Fridays because that's when the other departments in the cube farm won't STFU about their weekend bullshiat.
 
2020-04-25 12:34:49 PM  

jso2897: Who the hell even WANTS to go back to the "Old Normal"?
They'd have to be some kind of an asshole.
This is one of those situations where the brave and the smart see opportunity, not  inconvenience and burdensome change to be whined about.


If I worked with you, I sure as hell wouldn't want to go back to the office.
 
2020-04-25 12:38:08 PM  

jso2897: Who the hell even WANTS to go back to the "Old Normal"?
They'd have to be some kind of an asshole.
This is one of those situations where the brave and the smart see opportunity, not  inconvenience and burdensome change to be whined about.


Define what it is about he "Old Normal" that would make people assholes for wanting the option to get it back.
 
2020-04-25 12:41:13 PM  
My "office" is whatever arena I'm taking photos of whatever sport is being played there.

So, yeah.

/my sustaining hope is that "they" say sports can start but no fans, making my photo/video services considerably more valuable
//more likely they say "refs and players only" and I'm permanently out of work
///time to fall back on my real-estate photo custo...oh, they're all gone too. Cool.
 
2020-04-25 12:44:24 PM  

DerAppie: jso2897: Who the hell even WANTS to go back to the "Old Normal"?
They'd have to be some kind of an asshole.
This is one of those situations where the brave and the smart see opportunity, not  inconvenience and burdensome change to be whined about.

Define what it is about he "Old Normal" that would make people assholes for wanting the option to get it back.


Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I see the pandemic leading to:

- Universal health care in the US
- Canceled health and student debt
- Increased taxes on the rich and on companies that specialize in tax avoidance (Amazon) and holding cash offshore (Apple)
- Universal basic income
- No open plan offices
- Erasing the huge gap between the rich and poor
- Vast increases in the minimum wage
- Less interested in partisan and propaganda media outlets
- Regulation of social media companies

A lot of people would hate all of that.
 
2020-04-25 12:44:43 PM  

keldaria: I wonder how many businesses have run the numbers and realized they can save on a lot of overhead by shrinking their physical office by utilizing more WFH workers. If you can get the same or mostly the same work done from a workers home, then those are SF you no longer have to pay to upkeep with utilities, rent, furniture and other costly things. Seriously may companies will be able to shrink their foot print by over half even with social distancing if they stick with WFH as a model and will save millions in the process to offset potential losses in productivity if those ever materialize at all.


Here's the difficulty: Many companies (including mine) have spent the last 2 decades reducing their real estate footprint by densifying their office space. They have pushed the occupancy of every floor up to the legal limit by removing individual offices and large cubicle partitions in favor of open air desk systems (cheaper and denser).

If COVID-19 means that the total legal occupancy of our building goes from 6,000 to 3,000 then having 50% of the workforce shift to permanent WFH only maintains the status quo. And it torpedoes the plan to further densify by replacing individual desks with benching systems that push people even closer together.
 
2020-04-25 12:52:23 PM  

cloudofdust: keldaria: I wonder how many businesses have run the numbers and realized they can save on a lot of overhead by shrinking their physical office by utilizing more WFH workers. If you can get the same or mostly the same work done from a workers home, then those are SF you no longer have to pay to upkeep with utilities, rent, furniture and other costly things. Seriously may companies will be able to shrink their foot print by over half even with social distancing if they stick with WFH as a model and will save millions in the process to offset potential losses in productivity if those ever materialize at all.

Here's the difficulty: Many companies (including mine) have spent the last 2 decades reducing their real estate footprint by densifying their office space. They have pushed the occupancy of every floor up to the legal limit by removing individual offices and large cubicle partitions in favor of open air desk systems (cheaper and denser).

If COVID-19 means that the total legal occupancy of our building goes from 6,000 to 3,000 then having 50% of the workforce shift to permanent WFH only maintains the status quo. And it torpedoes the plan to further densify by replacing individual desks with benching systems that push people even closer together.


Right now most employers who can have more than 50% WFH. While you make great points, the goal from many employers would be to look at that data and say great, leave 75% of the workforce at home at least (if not more) and then downsize the footprint even further by staggering the workforce when they do have to come into the office.

It's not lost on me how much employers have already tried to downsize by packing people in like sardines, however the businesses so far that have been able to institute WFH for a large portion of their workforce are no doubt strongly questioning if they can further downsize by keeping most employees in a WFH state since the virus forced them to experiment and they now realize that packing them in an office environment isn't necessarily any more productive than letting them work from home.
 
2020-04-25 12:57:42 PM  

bostonguy: DerAppie: jso2897: Who the hell even WANTS to go back to the "Old Normal"?
They'd have to be some kind of an asshole.
This is one of those situations where the brave and the smart see opportunity, not  inconvenience and burdensome change to be whined about.

Define what it is about he "Old Normal" that would make people assholes for wanting the option to get it back.

Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I see the pandemic leading to:

- Universal health care in the US
- Canceled health and student debt
- Increased taxes on the rich and on companies that specialize in tax avoidance (Amazon) and holding cash offshore (Apple)
- Universal basic income
- No open plan offices
- Erasing the huge gap between the rich and poor
- Vast increases in the minimum wage
- Less interested in partisan and propaganda media outlets
- Regulation of social media companies

A lot of people would hate all of that.


There is optimistic, and then there is whatever drug you are on but not sharing with the rest of us. The terrorist group (republicans) and the voters who support them would never allow half that list to be accomplished.
 
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