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(GeekWire)   Microsoft CEO warns of dangers of permanent remote work, citing the mental health costs of not being able to crush your employees' spirits and see the defeat in their eyes in person   (geekwire.com) divider line
    More: Misc, Telecommuting, Twitter, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, staff of the New York Times, Microsoft Teams users, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, first quarter, Microsoft  
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730 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 May 2020 at 4:50 PM (8 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-17 12:44:00 PM  
He's not entirely wrong. There is something gained from the casual interaction. But it isn't necessary to be in five days a week.
 
2020-05-17 1:02:44 PM  

EvilEgg: He's not entirely wrong. There is something gained from the casual interaction. But it isn't necessary to be in five days a week.


I wonder how much of what is uniquely to be gained from face to face casual interaction is only irreplaceable because we're still negotiating the social rules and expectations and paralinguistic communication of remote work.

Some, probably, sure.

But it wasn't so long ago that it was thought absolutely essential for businessmen to take clients out and get shiatfaced on martinis and smoke cigars and hit up a strip club because only then could you properly cut through the boring red tape, talk straight with each other, and cut a real deal. It wasn't so long ago that golfing and bowling with your boss were considered essential ways of opening up direct lines of honest communication that you couldn't get in the office environment. And that isn't to see that businessmen don't entertain clients or that go-getters don't schmooze, but the extent to which that is seen as *irreplaceable* has cratered since the '50s and '60s. It turned out those were not actually essential activities at all, but were rather just how a certain generation of men felt most comfortable being around each other. Once that generation aged out of the workforce those activities have become less and less common.

People find ways to communicate and adapt to their environment. We're really good at that. You and I probably will never be 100% native at remote interaction; Zoomers entering the workforce very well might consider face to face interactions to be weirdly obtrusive and impolite, much as most Millennials find unannounced phone calls to be, and might laugh at how their out of touch Millennial or Gen-X boss can't even make proper eye contact with the camera without coming off like a weird robot.
 
2020-05-17 1:18:01 PM  
"What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you're able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after," he said

Dude, nobody really wants to wash your car.  It's a nice car and all, but really, get it done professionally, man.
 
2020-05-17 1:18:48 PM  
My employer is considered an essential service, but many of us are able to work from home at least part of the time, and the new company policy is that we should work from home as much as possible.  Based on my experience and the experience of my coworkers, I see two big challenges with continued remote work:

1. Schools, daycare and various forms of hired help are still shut down, forcing employees to spend more time on their kids and household chores. This means they have to spend less time working, or in the case of the most dedicated employees, they have to work odd hours (I've seen an increasing number of 2am emails from some coworkers with small children).

2. Especially in areas where housing is expensive, many people don't have space at home to set up a proper home office.  I was able to carve out a space in my home where I could set up my work laptop with an ergonomic keyboard, mouse, and two external monitors, but many of my coworkers have been forced to make do with using their work laptops on kitchen tables, with no ergonomic accessories.

Once we get a handle on COVID-19, #1 will likely cease to be an issue, but #2 will not.

/don't get me started on the folly of open office plans
 
2020-05-17 1:23:24 PM  
I've been a WFHer since 2009 and it hasn't impacted my social life one bit.

Now excuse me while I take my annual shower and sort my urine jar and toenail clipping collection.
 
2020-05-17 1:31:03 PM  
I've worked remote my whole professional life, sans three years at the only professional job I've had (1997-2000).

I can't imagine it any other way.  Any time I've had to meet in person... I just see time and energy being wasted.

At the same time, I don't work well with others.  I don't think silos are bad.  I like a strict division of labor (taking liberties with the term "labor" here.)  I'm probably not the best person to opine on such a topic.  However, for me personally... I need to work on my own, it is the only way I am productive.  And I am very productive.
 
2020-05-17 1:34:44 PM  
How can redundant middle managers manage if everyone is doing their job somewhere else?
 
2020-05-17 1:52:36 PM  

whither_apophis: How can redundant middle managers manage if everyone is doing their job somewhere else?


This is exactly where we'll discover the dinosaur companies.  The corporate level will realize that worker bees are more useful than drones and the middle manager will become expendable.

It's my firm belief that the reason so many idjits want to reopen everything is to hide just how unnecessary they are.  As long as they are going into an office and pushing paper or people around, they have value.  But society has deemed essential personnel differently, do the idjits are freaking out.
 
2020-05-17 2:00:55 PM  
Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.
 
2020-05-17 2:45:15 PM  

anfrind: My employer is considered an essential service, but many of us are able to work from home at least part of the time, and the new company policy is that we should work from home as much as possible.  Based on my experience and the experience of my coworkers, I see two big challenges with continued remote work:

1. Schools, daycare and various forms of hired help are still shut down, forcing employees to spend more time on their kids and household chores. This means they have to spend less time working, or in the case of the most dedicated employees, they have to work odd hours (I've seen an increasing number of 2am emails from some coworkers with small children).

2. Especially in areas where housing is expensive, many people don't have space at home to set up a proper home office.  I was able to carve out a space in my home where I could set up my work laptop with an ergonomic keyboard, mouse, and two external monitors, but many of my coworkers have been forced to make do with using their work laptops on kitchen tables, with no ergonomic accessories.

Once we get a handle on COVID-19, #1 will likely cease to be an issue, but #2 will not.

/don't get me started on the folly of open office plans


There is a lot of truth to this. I had to call my credit card company about a charge the other day. The very nice lady had to keep asking me to repeat myself because he toddler was screaming in the back ground the whole time.
 
2020-05-17 2:49:21 PM  
Satya seems like a good guy and Microsoft has been really awesome during all this COVID business. I would listen to what he says with an open mind. But sure, Windows ME.

/Microsoft employee
 
2020-05-17 2:50:55 PM  

koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.


I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?
 
2020-05-17 3:11:46 PM  

pkjun: koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.

I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?


They already tried this with some the fiamace department at my wife's company. It didn't go so well.
 
2020-05-17 3:28:03 PM  

pkjun: koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.

I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?


Not all work can be done remotely.  It's all fine when your employees or coworkers can work from home and use a VPN to access the company resources they need, but if e.g. a critical piece of equipment drops off the network, someone has to be able to go there and investigate in-person.

Admittedly, the need for this can be mitigated if your entire network and software stack is designed to easily fail over if one server or network segment goes down, but lots of organizations don't have that level of redundancy.  And, no, not everyone can just migrate their workloads to the cloud and let someone else deal with it.
 
2020-05-17 3:29:27 PM  
It depends on who you work with. If you're just a cog in the system and good for x units of work, working from home probably isn't going to impact much. But I'm lucky enough to work with a close knit team that feeds off each other's energy and bounces ideas off each other in casual conversation. Being split up has been terrible but manageable so far. But we're all looking forward to getting back to normal.
 
2020-05-17 3:37:43 PM  

pkjun: koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.

I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?


Remote work still requires competence.
 
2020-05-17 4:56:31 PM  
So microsoft is no longer off-shoring any of their development?

How about go fark yourself.

I don't need to be paid for my attendance, when I can get paid for my work.
 
2020-05-17 4:58:38 PM  
Weird, I thought that the CEO of a tech company would have been worried that the people he employs are farking morons when it comes to basic IT security and talk about those kind of concerns
 
2020-05-17 5:12:34 PM  
I've worked 100% remotely since October, 2017, most of that time on contracts with Microsoft, so I'm getting a kick...

No, really. I'm getting a huge kick out of this, because not a single farking person at Microsoft could give a rat's rancid rectum about my mental health or burnout beyond "...but you are gonna turn your content in on time for this sprint, right?" Given how many remote folks Microsoft uses, this is a simple reminder that I'm once again "dash-trash" - I was a Microsoft FTE for over half a decade, and I've worked on about 8 or 9 contracts with them over the intervening 15 years or so.

He's worried, I'm sure, about Microsoft FTEs, because they're valuable. We, on the other hand, don't even need cameras because no one gives a shiat about what we look like; as long as we can see our work items & pull requests on ADO, see our scheduling & hear our orders on Teams, and get to code on reSearch, we probably don't even need farking mics, either.

Satya's probably just worried about all the construction money they just spent on the Redmond campus.
 
2020-05-17 5:22:12 PM  

pkjun: much as most Millennials find unannounced phone calls to be,


Do you just make shiat up? As a "Millenannial" I lived a whole 23 years before I sent my first text in 2010. I've never heard of such a thing as an "unannounced phone call" until today.
 
2020-05-17 5:22:50 PM  

downstairs: I've worked remote my whole professional life, sans three years at the only professional job I've had (1997-2000).

I can't imagine it any other way.  Any time I've had to meet in person... I just see time and energy being wasted.

At the same time, I don't work well with others.  I don't think silos are bad.  I like a strict division of labor (taking liberties with the term "labor" here.)  I'm probably not the best person to opine on such a topic.  However, for me personally... I need to work on my own, it is the only way I am productive.  And I am very productive.


I used to roll my eyes at the people who worked from home many days of the week before this pandemic.  I did get a taste of it a few times (I live rural, so good Internet is difficult to get in my area) earlier this year and loved it.  The managers where I work were worried productivity would decline; however, the opposite has happened.  If anything, it's much easier to get in touch with people for an impromptu discussion, plus there aren't issues with scheduling meeting spaces.  The people complaining about the "need" for social interaction are the butterflies who spend more time avoiding work and have to conduct their mindless chit-chat sessions.  The other aspect I like is that my company may put all FTEs on permanent WFH -- PLUS -- there's a good chance I can move to a different state while keeping this job.  I love having zero commute, plus the coffee is much better.

Screw the old norms, and screw returning to them.
 
2020-05-17 5:26:39 PM  
What about the lamentations of the women, Subby?
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-05-17 5:45:54 PM  

pkjun: EvilEgg: He's not entirely wrong. There is something gained from the casual interaction. But it isn't necessary to be in five days a week.

I wonder how much of what is uniquely to be gained from face to face casual interaction is only irreplaceable because we're still negotiating the social rules and expectations and paralinguistic communication of remote work.

Some, probably, sure.

But it wasn't so long ago that it was thought absolutely essential for businessmen to take clients out and get shiatfaced on martinis and smoke cigars and hit up a strip club because only then could you properly cut through the boring red tape, talk straight with each other, and cut a real deal. It wasn't so long ago that golfing and bowling with your boss were considered essential ways of opening up direct lines of honest communication that you couldn't get in the office environment. And that isn't to see that businessmen don't entertain clients or that go-getters don't schmooze, but the extent to which that is seen as *irreplaceable* has cratered since the '50s and '60s. It turned out those were not actually essential activities at all, but were rather just how a certain generation of men felt most comfortable being around each other. Once that generation aged out of the workforce those activities have become less and less common.

People find ways to communicate and adapt to their environment. We're really good at that. You and I probably will never be 100% native at remote interaction; Zoomers entering the workforce very well might consider face to face interactions to be weirdly obtrusive and impolite, much as most Millennials find unannounced phone calls to be, and might laugh at how their out of touch Millennial or Gen-X boss can't even make proper eye contact with the camera without coming off like a weird robot.


Even 15 years ago, I knew sales/marketing guys (Gen X, like me) who did the golf thing.  "After you've been out on the course for three hours, they'll open up about what they need."

I don't want a client who needs 3 hours to warm up to the subject of what he needs for his business.  Be rational, stop feeling shame for needing to call in a contractor or consultant for a non-core-business need, and get to the damn point.  The client who needs the golf outing to "open up" is also the client who is going to change the requirements 17 times.
 
2020-05-17 6:08:21 PM  

SoupGuru: It depends on who you work with. If you're just a cog in the system and good for x units of work, working from home probably isn't going to impact much. But I'm lucky enough to work with a close knit team that feeds off each other's energy and bounces ideas off each other in casual conversation. Being split up has been terrible but manageable so far. But we're all looking forward to getting back to normal.


I also work with a small close-knit team of experts. None of us want to go back
Be more verbose on your chat channels. Create a situation where people post their random thoughts. It helps fill this void
 
2020-05-17 6:21:28 PM  

koder: pkjun: koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.

I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?

Remote work still requires competence.


Outsourcing has been going on for 20+ years now, so I think that oil well is fully tapped out by now.

I also think the coronavirus has exposed the risk of outsourcing to another country.
 
2020-05-17 6:27:11 PM  
pkjun:
I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced.

Because no one that saw their coworkers face-to-face was ever outsourced.
 
2020-05-17 6:32:19 PM  
As they go on to hire entire teams and organizations in India and the Check republic, because they are worried about in person comradee
 
2020-05-17 6:55:45 PM  
Never thought I'd say I miss going into the office but I miss going into  the office. WFH is great when you are not forced to...
Eh, At least I am still working
 
2020-05-17 7:09:28 PM  
There are definitely times when either face to face or even a group meeting are the simplest way to convey an idea as long as the details don't get lost in the weeds. I'm a speed typist but even I hate typing out those long e-mails nobody reads. And there are things I can only do in the office because they're not authorized for remote work. I have no problem going into the office once a week to do those limited tasks.

Before this we got one day of telework every two weeks. Ridiculously low and there's no reason for it being that limited - our familial organizations often allow at least one per week if not more. Some folks got two, three, or even the fabled four days per week. I hope it doesn't just get dropped because we've proven we can work like this.
 
2020-05-17 7:09:45 PM  

IHadMeAVision: pkjun: much as most Millennials find unannounced phone calls to be,

Do you just make shiat up? As a "Millenannial" I lived a whole 23 years before I sent my first text in 2010. I've never heard of such a thing as an "unannounced phone call" until today.


Also a millennial and nothing annoys me more then a text conversation that does on for an hour that could have been handled with a sub two minute phone call.
 
2020-05-17 7:49:02 PM  

casual disregard: There are definitely times when either face to face or even a group meeting are the simplest way to convey an idea as long as the details don't get lost in the weeds. I'm a speed typist but even I hate typing out those long e-mails nobody reads. And there are things I can only do in the office because they're not authorized for remote work. I have no problem going into the office once a week to do those limited tasks.

Before this we got one day of telework every two weeks. Ridiculously low and there's no reason for it being that limited - our familial organizations often allow at least one per week if not more. Some folks got two, three, or even the fabled four days per week. I hope it doesn't just get dropped because we've proven we can work like this.


Umm, group meetings are generally done either on Skype or Webex now.  Phone calls are handled the same way.  We can all chime in without seeing the office.  Which is good when you're sitting at your home office/dinner table working in pajamas.
 
2020-05-17 7:55:28 PM  

mcreadyblue: koder: pkjun: koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.

I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?

Remote work still requires competence.

Outsourcing has been going on for 20+ years now, so I think that oil well is fully tapped out by now.

I also think the coronavirus has exposed the risk of outsourcing to another country.


There's something to that.

Not getting a lot of productivity out of India because they have little work from home infrastructure (not blaming anyone).  Don't know if that will spark into more infrastructure investment, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does (if for no other reason than keeping jobs from evaporating).
 
2020-05-17 7:59:04 PM  
So far, so good.

But, some of that is burning existing social capital as Satya says. Almost everyone I've interacted with on Teams over the last two months, I've worked with for 4-5 years. How that's going to scale to onboarding a new hire... yet to be seen.  I know plenty of all-remote shops have that worked out pretty well.

I also fear it will accelerate the move toward "hire specifically to spec", as opposed to training up, lateral moves and mentorship.  Where the desktop support screwdriver-wielder starts shadowing the Sharepoint admin or the Sharepoint admin starts shadowing the Pythonistas or such.
 
2020-05-17 8:00:12 PM  

OrionXVI: casual disregard: There are definitely times when either face to face or even a group meeting are the simplest way to convey an idea as long as the details don't get lost in the weeds. I'm a speed typist but even I hate typing out those long e-mails nobody reads. And there are things I can only do in the office because they're not authorized for remote work. I have no problem going into the office once a week to do those limited tasks.

Before this we got one day of telework every two weeks. Ridiculously low and there's no reason for it being that limited - our familial organizations often allow at least one per week if not more. Some folks got two, three, or even the fabled four days per week. I hope it doesn't just get dropped because we've proven we can work like this.

Umm, group meetings are generally done either on Skype or Webex now.  Phone calls are handled the same way.  We can all chime in without seeing the office.  Which is good when you're sitting at your home office/dinner table working in pajamas.


I'm all for that, man. Re-reading my original post it did come off as "in person to the point that I can smell you" vs. "video chat is fine." I can write better posts than that and I apologize for not having done that originally.
 
2020-05-17 8:11:16 PM  
And don't forget the best perk of working from home: you're not forced to watch someone else's favorite show or channel on the break room TV.
 
2020-05-17 8:13:46 PM  

casual disregard: OrionXVI: casual disregard: There are definitely times when either face to face or even a group meeting are the simplest way to convey an idea as long as the details don't get lost in the weeds. I'm a speed typist but even I hate typing out those long e-mails nobody reads. And there are things I can only do in the office because they're not authorized for remote work. I have no problem going into the office once a week to do those limited tasks.

Before this we got one day of telework every two weeks. Ridiculously low and there's no reason for it being that limited - our familial organizations often allow at least one per week if not more. Some folks got two, three, or even the fabled four days per week. I hope it doesn't just get dropped because we've proven we can work like this.

Umm, group meetings are generally done either on Skype or Webex now.  Phone calls are handled the same way.  We can all chime in without seeing the office.  Which is good when you're sitting at your home office/dinner table working in pajamas.

I'm all for that, man. Re-reading my original post it did come off as "in person to the point that I can smell you" vs. "video chat is fine." I can write better posts than that and I apologize for not having done that originally.


Hey, I'm not judging.  I know I'm not the most social creature, but I've had coworkers that were, and this is probably agony for them, since there are no meetings or water cooler talk.
 
2020-05-17 8:39:24 PM  
If your job can be done from home it can be done from home from India.  Good luck bros.  May the odds be ever in your favor.
 
2020-05-17 8:39:59 PM  

Uncle Eazy: Satya seems like a good guy and Microsoft has been really awesome during all this COVID business. I would listen to what he says with an open mind. But sure, Windows ME.

/Microsoft employee


Oh yeah, what building do you work at are you currently avoiding?
 
2020-05-17 9:01:01 PM  

OrionXVI: mcreadyblue: koder: pkjun: koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.

I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?

Remote work still requires competence.

Outsourcing has been going on for 20+ years now, so I think that oil well is fully tapped out by now.

I also think the coronavirus has exposed the risk of outsourcing to another country.

There's something to that.

Not getting a lot of productivity out of India because they have little work from home infrastructure (not blaming anyone).  Don't know if that will spark into more infrastructure investment, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does (if for no other reason than keeping jobs from evaporating).


They can't agree on sewers.
 
2020-05-17 9:56:56 PM  
Hey, only the rich can work from home.

It is how we are able to tell who the poors are.
 
2020-05-17 10:19:03 PM  

pkjun: But it wasn't so long ago that it was thought absolutely essential for businessmen to take clients out and get shiatfaced on martinis and smoke cigars and hit up a strip club because only then could you properly cut through the boring red tape, talk straight with each other, and cut a real deal. It wasn't so long ago that golfing and bowling with your boss were considered essential ways of opening up direct lines of honest communication that you couldn't get in the office environment. And that isn't to see that businessmen don't entertain clients or that go-getters don't schmooze, but the extent to which that is seen as *irreplaceable* has cratered since the '50s and '60s


What I want to die next are the parties, the mixers, the company sponsored happy hours, the social hours that happen after normal business hours or on weekends. A company that wants employees to meet and network with one another should pick a day and knock off operations at 3:00 p.m.. Instead, currently, too many organizations expect employees to report to this company sponsored social events at 6-ish and stay until 8 or 9 pm. It's like they think we're all Andy Griffith - unmarried and with an Aunt Bee at home minding the kids.
 
2020-05-17 10:26:23 PM  
I have enjoyed working from home so far, but I dread the day they wanna start installing shiat on my home computer.  I really don't want that. They wanna give me a separate machine just for the office work, fine.

My other problem is one I used to have in the office as well. I like to write a detailed email, and I expect details back.  If I have three questions I need answered, I write numbered paragraphs like Question 1, Question 2, Question 3.  Invariably, they answer only one of the three questions, leaving me having to follow up with additional messages.  It isn't like they didn't know answers 2 and 3 and needed time to research a reply. They just don't seem to read more than three lines of anything. My way, I send one email I get back one email and all is answered. Their way, takes five or six back and forth messages. Stupid.

And webex, don't get me started.  Farking useless.  Usually covers nothing a group email couldn't do faster and better. Half the participants are phone-only, so what's the point of the video. Might as well email any documents out and then do a standard conference call if needed.  And it's never needed.
 
2020-05-17 10:32:14 PM  

anfrind: pkjun: koder: Sound alike someone involved in the housing market suddenly worrying that there are no geographic constraints of remote work to drive prices up.

I think employees are going to want there to be at least *some* degree of face to face contact considered necessary, or else there really is nothing preventing your office job from being outsourced. If your workers can do their job just as well in a cheaper house a hundred miles away, why not find someone with even lower bills to pay a few thousand miles away?

Not all work can be done remotely.  It's all fine when your employees or coworkers can work from home and use a VPN to access the company resources they need, but if e.g. a critical piece of equipment drops off the network, someone has to be able to go there and investigate in-person.

Admittedly, the need for this can be mitigated if your entire network and software stack is designed to easily fail over if one server or network segment goes down, but lots of organizations don't have that level of redundancy.  And, no, not everyone can just migrate their workloads to the cloud and let someone else deal with it.


Our entire office is working remotely. However, at least once a week, someone goes in to check mail; check the fax machine; and check the server room. Frequently, that person is also  obliged to reset someone's desktop computer or desk phone so the employee it is assigned to can continue working remotely. So, at least one person would need to live proximate to the office in order for the rest of us to telecommute.
 
2020-05-17 10:38:42 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: The people complaining about the "need" for social interaction are the butterflies


The people on our chat complaining about telecommuting and longing to return to the office are the people that prompted  me to walk bizarre routes to the bathroom - because I knew that if I failed to avoid them,at a minimum they would eat up 20 to 30 minutes of my time talking at me. If only two people a day do that to a person, that person has to stay an hour late that night to stay on track.
 
2020-05-17 10:48:17 PM  
The biggest improvement? All meetings are now via Teams/Webex/etc. Doesn't matter so much for little meetings, but really improves the weekly status report like meetings.

You know the ones - a minimum hour (usually two) meeting where you speak for about 5 minutes, and are maybe interested in an additional 5 minutes. Previously, these meetings would be done in a board room in person, basically killing any chance you had of doing any work during that time.

Now, you can just put yourself on mute and ignore most of the meeting. So much better.
 
2020-05-17 10:50:19 PM  

Any Pie Left: My other problem is one I used to have in the office as well. I like to write a detailed email, and I expect details back.  If I have three questions I need answered, I write numbered paragraphs like Question 1, Question 2, Question 3.


Even before social distancing, the behavior you describe has driven me to consider fleeing the office like it's on fire, running in circles in the parking lot, and screaming like I'm being stabbed. How hard is it to answer each of three questions? Why do I have to send five emails, leave a sticky note on a guy's monitor, and drop by his office to get the answers to all three questions?
 
2020-05-17 11:33:24 PM  
"1. Why do I have to send five emails,
2. leave a sticky note on a guy's monitor, and
3. drop by his office to get the answers to all three questions? "


"Five is an odd number. I'm not answering the other two questions yet. Ask them separately."
 
2020-05-17 11:58:09 PM  
I enjoy going into the office from time to time mainly to break up the monotony of working from home.
 
2020-05-18 12:53:09 AM  

Uncle Eazy: Satya seems like a good guy and Microsoft has been really awesome during all this COVID business. I would listen to what he says with an open mind. But sure, Windows ME.

/Microsoft employee


They're tracking your every keystroke, aren't they?
 
2020-05-18 1:24:12 AM  
Three months ago I would've considered a Teleworker going on vacation to be the height of laziness. I naively thought that I probably wouldn't really be working all that hard. But I had no idea how exhausting this has become.
 
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