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The "Work from Home" Conundrum

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  • The "Work from Home" Conundrum

    tl;dr: Working from home works for me, I'm more productive, and employers should explore allowing that to employees more often if they have proven that they can handle it

    This is a topic that I have very strong opinions about and, I think, most people do, actually.

    A few caveats:
    1. Some people don't like working from home. They like to keep things separate, and I totally respect that. They should be provided a place to work away from home if they desire.
    2. There ARE reasons that we need to be in the office. Client meetings, team meetings, staff events, and so on. I am completely open to coming to the office for those.
    3. Some people CAN'T work from home. The distractions are too many and they don't get anything done. If you can't perform at home, you should be in the office

    So, up until my time ended at the job I had prior to starting my own company, I was required to be in the office 8/9-5/6 for my entire career.

    I hated it. It was like being on a leash. Micromanagement at it's basest level. "I need to see you to know you're working" <----Fuck you

    We go through K-12 being micro managed, then go to college and are forced to make/keep our own schedule and achieve results. Then, we step into the corporate world and take several "freedom" steps back.

    Think about that, we have grown ass professionals watching their clocks because they need to get back from their 30 minute lunch so they can leave the office on time and beat traffic. That is such a backwards way of thinking.

    The end goal of forcing people to work in the office is not results based, it's time based. "I paid for 40 hours of your time, so I expect you to be here 40 hours". How about, you paid for XYZ work, and if it gets done on time, and it's good, who cares when it got done?

    Let's set aside the stupid-ass commute. When I worked in downtown KC and lived in Lenexa, depending on when I got in/out of the office, my commute was anywhere between an hour to two hours round trip. Time that I lost that was no benefit to anyone. I even know that my commute was short compared to many others in bigger cities.

    You have companies bullshitting about their green initiatives, how about the greenest initiative, take vehicles off the streets. Cut down the strain on public transit.

    So, along comes the virus and forces companies to send people home. Lots of people struggled at the beginning and settled in and handled their shit, as expected. No doubt, I'm sure lots of people struggled with it throughout, and they should come back to the office when it's safe, but there is no reason, in my opinion, to revert to the old ways, just because.

    Again, I acknowledge that some people, or even many people, can't handle it; however, for people like me, that thrive in their own environment, without the bullshit of people stopping by to chat, interruptions, random meetings, should have the option to continue working in such a manner.

    I've found that those against it are typically from an older generation and dislike being challenged on tradition by a younger generation.

    I recently re-entered the world of full-time work because my clients cut their projects due to corona....I'm fortunate that I had previously worked with the firm I joined, and they're open to working from home, but there is no way I could go back to working full time in the office.

    Feel free to disagree, I'd love to have a discussion about it, but I remember seeing people back in the phog days bragging about forcing their people to come in if it's snowing because they couldn't be trusted to work at home. To me, that's a management issue. The goal should be that employees should spend their days working the way that is most productive for them. This is not a one-size-fits-all setup.

  • #2
    So I agree with most of what you wrote. I have come into the office every day since this shit started. My company owns a stand alone office building and only 5 of us come in the rest work from home. My issue with work from home is when emergency situations arise. The owner or investor call me with something I need all staff on hand for and I reach out and crickets for a few hours. You maybe ready to jump at all times, but when I can walk down to someones office and tell them I need them to drop everything and get this report ready or a wire sent it is just so much easier than through emails. Also the PPP loan was all me as no one was helping. The same with other requests that have to be handled right now. WFH gives lazy people more excuses to not get work done. I realize it works for some but I think not for all.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RDhawk View Post
      So I agree with most of what you wrote. I have come into the office every day since this shit started. My company owns a stand alone office building and only 5 of us come in the rest work from home. My issue with work from home is when emergency situations arise. The owner or investor call me with something I need all staff on hand for and I reach out and crickets for a few hours. You maybe ready to jump at all times, but when I can walk down to someones office and tell them I need them to drop everything and get this report ready or a wire sent it is just so much easier than through emails. Also the PPP loan was all me as no one was helping. The same with other requests that have to be handled right now. WFH gives lazy people more excuses to not get work done. I realize it works for some but I think not for all.
      I agree with everything YOU wrote as well.

      I am available at all times during the work day. For example, sometimes I work all night because I can get through so much more work than I would during the day. That doesn't mean I get the day off, I'll have my phone by me and access to my work comp just in case I need it. I'm also in client service, so I'm used to fire drills and the whole, "I need this yesterday" mentality.

      I would agree that if WFH gives you the green light to be lazy and not do your work, then you would not be afforded that privilege.

      This whole idea hinges on the individuals staying productive or being more productive. You have to earn the right, but if you prove yourself, there's no reason not to allow it

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      • #4
        I agree about earning it.

        Also Zoom meetings suck. I am a CFO at a hotel company, things have been rough. We are going back full office ASAP. I had to renew a bunch of contracts and doing it over Zoom so much tougher than in person. Trying to read what they sent as people talk just is terrible.

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        • #5
          Also with all the layoffs things have been really tough because we are asking people to WFH and take on new duties. So much easier to teach and learn in person.

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          • #6
            tenor.gif

            tenor-1.gif

            DismalImpoliteDorado-size_restricted.gif

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            • #7
              I prefer working from home. The lack of separation between work and home is a real thing, though. Feels like I'm always working now. And when I'm not working, I'm just taking a break from work. On the other hand, It felt like I was always working pre-COVID too, so whatever.

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              • #8
                I have some scattered thoughts on the situation as well:

                I may have mentioned this previously, but the pandemic has laid bare many of the problems with open office environments, most specifically how counterproductive it is to cram as many people as possible into one space in the name of "collaboration" when all you're doing is creating noisier spaces that double as vectors for the spread of bacteria.

                By and large, people who struggle to be productive from home are generally going to struggle in the office, but it depends on the environment. WFH in the before-times is different than working from home when your spouse may be doing the same thing and your kids are stuck home with you too. It can also be tough on people (particularly those newer to the workforce) who live in 1BR apartments and aren't able to easily squeeze a comfortable workspace into their dwelling; Individual cases may vary, but the science is pretty conclusive that having your workspace in your bedroom can have adverse affects on sleep and mental health, and subsequently productivity.

                Before the pandemic, my last job (that I just left about a month ago) was hardline anti-WFH. Even though everyone was issued laptops, you had to take PTO if you were snowed in or needed to be home for a contractor, sick kid, etc. And because we were a big company, there were lots of bullshit demands on our time like "Town Halls" when the executive team would fly in and give talks, 99% of which had no bearing on what we did on a day-to-day basis. Meanwhile they put no resources into collaborative tools like Zoom/Microsoft Teams, so management was essentially caught pants down when March came, and the first 1-2 weeks of lockdown was spent implementing and training people on those tools when they could have been more proactive.

                I agree that a lot of the resistance to WFH seems to come from older generations, but that goes back to the industrial revolution when everyone started measuring themselves by how hard they worked compared to their peers rather than how actually productive they were and we're only now starting to see a shift away from those behaviors.

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                • #9
                  I wish I could drill on teeth from my basement in my underwear.

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                  • #10
                    I haven't figured out a way to have the hospital ship patients to my apartment for breathing treatments, but if someone has some suggestions, I'm open to it. You'll have to contact me tomorrow, though. I'm in Gard's basement getting my "teeth" drilled. He's in his underwear. For now.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GardArmighty View Post
                      I wish I could drill on teeth from my basement in my underwear.
                      Why can't you?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MissTCShore View Post
                        I haven't figured out a way to have the hospital ship patients to my apartment for breathing treatments, but if someone has some suggestions, I'm open to it. You'll have to contact me tomorrow, though. I'm in Gard's basement getting my "teeth" drilled. He's in his underwear. For now.
                        Can one still advertise for "patients" in the back of The Pitch for in-call blowj...er..."breathing treatments?"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WolfShirtSophomore View Post

                          Why can't you?
                          MissT would get jealous. And I would never cheat on her like that.

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