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(Guardian)   Hoping to keep working from home after the pandemic? Be careful what you wish for   (theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Scary, Employment, 2nd millennium, Trade union, Factory, 19th century, Industrial Revolution, 18th century, 20th century  
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1645 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 May 2020 at 10:36 AM (18 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



22 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-05-26 9:55:17 AM  
Do you people have any idea how much scratch I pull stuffing envelopes?
 
2020-05-26 10:44:45 AM  
That article was a jumbled mess. Comparing working at home now to the industrial revolution is complete bullshiat. And this notion of companies wanting complete control over their workers is bullshiat too. You read about the odd place that so much as thinks about it because it's newsworthy.
 
2020-05-26 10:45:36 AM  
TL;DR: if you work at a place with assholes in charge they will continue to be assholes when you work from home.
 
2020-05-26 10:46:57 AM  
But, as clerical work proliferated, the office became subjected to the same supervisory techniques by which Frederick Winslow Taylor broke industrial labour into simple, carefully-timed components.

I'd worry more about it, but I have to finish 2 work items on my kanban to close out this 2-week sprint, or I'll have to carry them forward into the next sprint and explain in 3 minutes or less about the issues that blocked my successful completion in tomorrow's rigidly-timed standup meeting before I close out my recorded Teams meeting & get back to hammering out content on my remotely-monitored work-issued laptop at home.

Fark off.
 
2020-05-26 10:48:04 AM  

toraque: TL;DR: if you work at a place with assholes in charge they will continue to be assholes when you work from home.


This, obviously. So obviously, in fact, that the article wasn't necessary - but, as it appears the writer was paid by the word, we instead received a meandering, branch-laden piece of literary confusion that timidly restated the obvious even as it spewed semi-coherent rationalizations.
 
2020-05-26 10:54:21 AM  
Let me make this real simple to the people that think their jobs can be done from home: If it can, you need to start thinking up reasons why it can't be done from dirt cheap places like India, China, South America, Africa, and so on.

Your boss might be all in favor of keeping you working from home, and their boss might also be, but up the corporate ladder very quickly people will start to wonder why they need to retain many of you, when someone else someplace else will do it for less than 1/10 what you're paid.
 
2020-05-26 11:04:43 AM  

FormlessOne: But, as clerical work proliferated, the office became subjected to the same supervisory techniques by which Frederick Winslow Taylor broke industrial labour into simple, carefully-timed components.

I'd worry more about it, but I have to finish 2 work items on my kanban to close out this 2-week sprint, or I'll have to carry them forward into the next sprint and explain in 3 minutes or less about the issues that blocked my successful completion in tomorrow's rigidly-timed standup meeting before I close out my recorded Teams meeting & get back to hammering out content on my remotely-monitored work-issued laptop at home.

Fark off.


Your scrum master will be disappointed in you.
 
2020-05-26 11:05:36 AM  

Opacity: Let me make this real simple to the people that think their jobs can be done from home: If it can, you need to start thinking up reasons why it can't be done from dirt cheap places like India, China, South America, Africa, and so on.

Your boss might be all in favor of keeping you working from home, and their boss might also be, but up the corporate ladder very quickly people will start to wonder why they need to retain many of you, when someone else someplace else will do it for less than 1/10 what you're paid.


ITAR/EAR regulations are really beneficial to my line of work.
 
2020-05-26 11:13:44 AM  

Opacity: Let me make this real simple to the people that think their jobs can be done from home: If it can, you need to start thinking up reasons why it can't be done from dirt cheap places like India, China, South America, Africa, and so on.

Your boss might be all in favor of keeping you working from home, and their boss might also be, but up the corporate ladder very quickly people will start to wonder why they need to retain many of you, when someone else someplace else will do it for less than 1/10 what you're paid.


How does working from home factor into that at all?  They do have offices in other countries.
 
2020-05-26 11:13:48 AM  

Opacity: Let me make this real simple to the people that think their jobs can be done from home: If it can, you need to start thinking up reasons why it can't be done from dirt cheap places like India, China, South America, Africa, and so on.

Your boss might be all in favor of keeping you working from home, and their boss might also be, but up the corporate ladder very quickly people will start to wonder why they need to retain many of you, when someone else someplace else will do it for less than 1/10 what you're paid.


Everyone is replaceable.  Even one man shops can find their customers going elsewhere if they aren't providing value to who is paying them.  I assure everyone the bean counters in organizations large enough to have them already knew the cost:benefit ratio for international outsourcing before the pandemic and finding ways to work remote changes that equation very little.  In fact, it may help the stay in the US argument by lowering real estate expenditures.

Having said that, I am aware of a large international organization that did use the pandemic as cover to lay off a large portion of their US staff and will be replacing them with personnel in South Africa and India.  I can state that this was the plan before COVID-19, it just got implemented during it because it meant it would be missed in the news and it let them avoid the bad press.

In short, if you are just now getting worried about your job getting moved out of country, you're late.
 
2020-05-26 11:49:25 AM  
If you're worried about appearing 'idle' on Skype or Zoom or whatever system your company uses to potentially keep track of you, give your computer some caffeine and it will stay awake.

/Seriously, search for caffeine.exe. It's a free  application which does just that. It also doesn't require installation so you shouldn't need to be an admin to run it.
 
2020-05-26 1:16:18 PM  

Opacity: Let me make this real simple to the people that think their jobs can be done from home: If it can, you need to start thinking up reasons why it can't be done from dirt cheap places like India, China, South America, Africa, and so on.


In my current organization, it's because we tried that and it has been an unmitigated failure for a whole host of reasons (many related to uncreative and racist executives and senior management)

My job can be done from anywhere in the Earth-Lunar system. Period. Full stop, end of story. But it has to be done by a deeply cynical white guy (because the businesslizards are racist farks) with an innate understanding of American businesslizard culture (because the businesslizards sure as fark aren't going to adapt to changing circumstances) during the hours of 9AM-5PM Chicago time because the businesslizards don't understand timezones that vary by more than 1 hour from that.
 
2020-05-26 1:34:28 PM  

Lance Robdon: If you're worried about appearing 'idle' on Skype or Zoom or whatever system your company uses to potentially keep track of you, give your computer some caffeine and it will stay awake.

/Seriously, search for caffeine.exe. It's a free  application which does just that. It also doesn't require installation so you shouldn't need to be an admin to run it.


Thank you!
 
2020-05-26 1:34:46 PM  
Before this went down, my wife was looking at two days in the office and two at home once her probationary period was up.  Now it's four tens at home.  Once it's safe, she'll probably work three at home and one in the office, plus having to go to the office to pick up a company car for a client visit once in a while.

I'm retired.
 
2020-05-26 1:39:02 PM  

Lance Robdon: If you're worried about appearing 'idle' on Skype or Zoom or whatever system your company uses to potentially keep track of you, give your computer some caffeine and it will stay awake.

/Seriously, search for caffeine.exe. It's a free  application which does just that. It also doesn't require installation so you shouldn't need to be an admin to run it.


You know what would be cool is if you could program caffeine.exe to only function between specified hours of work.
 
2020-05-26 1:41:43 PM  

Weng: Opacity: Let me make this real simple to the people that think their jobs can be done from home: If it can, you need to start thinking up reasons why it can't be done from dirt cheap places like India, China, South America, Africa, and so on.

In my current organization, it's because we tried that and it has been an unmitigated failure for a whole host of reasons (many related to uncreative and racist executives and senior management)

My job can be done from anywhere in the Earth-Lunar system. Period. Full stop, end of story. But it has to be done by a deeply cynical white guy (because the businesslizards are racist farks) with an innate understanding of American businesslizard culture (because the businesslizards sure as fark aren't going to adapt to changing circumstances) during the hours of 9AM-5PM Chicago time because the businesslizards don't understand timezones that vary by more than 1 hour from that.


I'm in a similar position in that while my job can be done remotely, it kind of has to be done by an American guy with my experience. Without doxxing myself, I'm not saying I'm irreplaceable, far from it, but there's not 500 people in India that can do my job as it's pretty technical but also culturally relevant.
 
2020-05-26 1:42:00 PM  

natazha: Before this went down, my wife was looking at two days in the office and two at home once her probationary period was up.  Now it's four tens at home.  Once it's safe, she'll probably work three at home and one in the office, plus having to go to the office to pick up a company car for a client visit once in a while.

I'm retired.


I cannot wait to retire.
 
2020-05-26 2:06:44 PM  
It's almost as though the two hours of actual work that gets done every day doesn't require three and a half hours of commuting to be penned like a farm animal for another 8, plus you can do laundry.
 
2020-05-26 2:20:23 PM  
Some jobs, like mine, can be done from home ONLY if you have institutional knowledge of your community and its people. Overseas people don't have that.
 
2020-05-26 3:29:15 PM  

Opacity: Let me make this real simple to the people that think their jobs can be done from home: If it can, you need to start thinking up reasons why it can't be done from dirt cheap places like India, China, South America, Africa, and so on.

Your boss might be all in favor of keeping you working from home, and their boss might also be, but up the corporate ladder very quickly people will start to wonder why they need to retain many of you, when someone else someplace else will do it for less than 1/10 what you're paid.


So the fark what? Yes, if my job can be done from home, it likely can be done from India.

And if my job requires me to be on site, it likely can be done from a site in India. No different.

It isn't like outsourcing & off-shoring of jobs is a rare theoretical thing that might finally take off now we've had this large scale test of remote work.
 
Juc
2020-05-27 2:56:05 AM  
My place tried to outsource a ton to India, we ended up with just a handful of folks.
It's so hard to find people that are qualified and can communicate technically and on a conversational level in English that you might as well be hunting unicorns some times.
Had one job that I think took two years to fill because the people applying were not up to snuff technically, or unable to communicate.

I don't think it's easy for the Indian folks they have a ton of extra education and practice necessary just to do the job as well as someone or of a technical college locally. I'd have a hell of a time of the roles were reversed
 
2020-05-27 9:52:05 AM  

Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Lance Robdon: If you're worried about appearing 'idle' on Skype or Zoom or whatever system your company uses to potentially keep track of you, give your computer some caffeine and it will stay awake.

/Seriously, search for caffeine.exe. It's a free  application which does just that. It also doesn't require installation so you shouldn't need to be an admin to run it.

You know what would be cool is if you could program caffeine.exe to only function between specified hours of work.


Using the Task Scheduler isn't exactly 'programming' but sure, go ahead.
 
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