The verdict after three weeks back in the office

Rifler

HR Legend
Jan 26, 2011
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No need to be sorry. Did the other points help answer your question? Do you buy leasing less space helps the employer?

Sure that's a positive provided the business model is truly still functioning,.. My biggest concern is future employee development,.. Hard to believe that the business leaders of tomorrow are honing their chops while working from a bedroom, dressed in boxer shorts, with a box of twinkies in their lap...
 

QChawks

HR Legend
Feb 11, 2013
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It’s stupid.

We are back 2-3 days a week. I literally lock myself in my office and say hi to a couple people in the hallway. In person meetings don’t happen because not everyone is in the office on the same days.

it’s all so if the owner wants to stop by there will people on site. That’s it.
 
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Hawki97

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Dec 16, 2001
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I'm reading all the positives being related here for working from home and I'm not seeing anything that benefits the employer...

Regardless of employee location, employers benefit only if they are capable of managing by objective vs time clock / work location.** Let me show you how:

1) Set objective for employee (must include measurable criteria including date, scope, quality, etc. expectations).
2) On date employee was to complete objective, evaluate if criteria were met.
----2a) If not, take corrective action with employee.
----2b) If so, return to Step 1 with new objective.

The work is what is important, not where it is done. I understand most organizational culture, old school office mindset, and a lack of basic management skills make this a tough row to hoe for a lot of organizations, but it's the key to navigating WFH. And it would help organizations even if they weren't WFH because it's kind of Management 101.

**This mainly only applies for jobs that can be done in an office setting
 

Hawki97

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Sure that's a positive provided the business model is truly still functioning,.. My biggest concern is future employee development,.. Hard to believe that the business leaders of tomorrow are honing their chops while working from a bedroom, dressed in boxer shorts, with a box of twinkies in their lap...

Not everybody is meant to be a business leader. In the grand scheme of things, very few are actually cut out for it. Those that want it bad enough will find a way. Those that want to just ride the wave will stay home in their boxers.
 
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bhawk24bob

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Jul 8, 2001
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The amazing thing to me is that the playbook has changed in regards to demands you can make when negotiating a new deal. Things that I use to ask for and hope that i'd get somebody to bite on 1 of has now turned into a list of demands and me dreaming up new compensation angles
 

WorldSeriesChamps2015

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Working in the office furniture industry I want all you sheep to get back to the cubicle farm ASAP! It's really crazy because a lot of companies remodeled their offices when Covid first hit, they thought since everyone is going to be out for a few months we might as well do our renovations now.

So they now have these brand new offices that they sunk millions of dollars into and nobody to fill the seats. Some employers are making them come back just for this reason.

I wish my company would go to you for new chairs for our Cubicles. Because these are old and not comfy.

Our work does a 4 WFH days a month for everyone. I choose 0 days a month because I hated working from home. Wont do it again.
 

Rifler

HR Legend
Jan 26, 2011
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The amazing thing to me is that the playbook has changed in regards to demands you can make when negotiating a new deal. Things that I use to ask for and hope that i'd get somebody to bite on 1 of has now turned into a list of demands and me dreaming up new compensation angles

And that's the real reason why this is playing out like it is,... I suspect that when the job market tightens employers will be singing a slightly different tune.
 

HawkRCID

HR All-American
Nov 7, 2018
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I still maintain that the biggest proponents of "face to face" office returns are the people who spend their entire days twittering around chatting...you know those who value "relationship building" meanwhile getting little to nothing accomplished but hamper the productivity of everyone else....These people are also the same people who love to schedule meetings that should have been emails...

With people WFH, it suddenly becomes apparent what value these people bring...think office space people skills...
 

SoDakHawk

HR Legend
Sep 14, 2006
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It depends on the industry, but for mine - auditing/consulting, the associates wanting to work solely from home are setting themselves up to be good worker bees, but WAY behind on networking, teambuilding, leadership, business development -all the things that will help you rise up to the higher levels of the organization.

I have a mentee that was hired to be out of my local office - Tyson's Corner, VA, but because of covid he never moved down here. He still lives in NJ. As people are starting to come back to the office more and hang out with each other, he's at a competitive disadvantage. It's not counting against him at this point, because there's still a lot of discretion/flexibility, but it's also not counting for him and his career development.
Do you really need to get to know anybody socially inside the company and "move up the ladder" that way when the trend has been, even prior to Covid, to move up the ladder by switching companies every few years? People generally haven't been long-term employees who have moved up the ladder from within for a while now.
 

NDallasRuss

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Dec 5, 2002
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Do you really need to get to know anybody socially inside the company and "move up the ladder" that way when the trend has been, even prior to Covid, to move up the ladder by switching companies every few years? People generally haven't been long-term employees who have moved up the ladder from within for a while now.
For my industry it's pretty critical that you develop a network - internal and external. Internal: you align yourself with people who are the "shining stars" that get assigned to the best/most profitable clients, and who can/will take you on as a protege to help teach you, get you connected, etc. External: your "book of business" and ability to sell new work will make you a lot more valuable - both to your current firm, and to a competitor. At the associate/sr associate level it doesn't matter which firm you're at if all you want to do is collect a check and be a "worker bee". But if you want to be manager and above (eventually partner or equivalent) you have to plant yourself in an org and prove that you're valuable enough to make you part of their long-term plan and invest more in you. Sure, you can move to another firm as a director or above, but I don't think it happens all that often. Only, really, when someone thinks they should be made a partner and gets passed over, so they go to another firm to get a partner shot there, and maybe as kind of a middle finger to their old firm.

But jumping around job to job doesn't make as big of a difference in my industry because we all get paid well, and the raises/bonuses are all pretty decent. A lot of the jumping happens because some associate isn't doing well and not getting promoted, or because someone wants to leave auditing/consulting and go into a different industry (no tracking billable hours, more consistency, etc).
 

ThorneStockton

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Oct 2, 2009
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Sure that's a positive provided the business model is truly still functioning,.. My biggest concern is future employee development,.. Hard to believe that the business leaders of tomorrow are honing their chops while working from a bedroom, dressed in boxer shorts, with a box of twinkies in their lap...

That is hard to believe, you don't need to believe it, use your imagination for other purposes?
 
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SoDakHawk

HR Legend
Sep 14, 2006
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The benefit is having employees, lol. If you can’t retain high quality employees, you’re fvcked. Believe me, I know.
Another benefit is the ability to recruit employees from anywhere in the country and not being stuck with a local employee pool. Some areas of the country have a larger pool of applicants that have specialized education or backgrounds in certain fields, think being able to run a software development company out of Maine with a hiring pool of employees in Silicon Valley.
 

eb05

HR All-State
Feb 5, 2002
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I much prefer working in the office. I like keeping my home and work life as separate as possible.

Personally, I think those of you clamoring to have your work be part of your daily home life are nucking futs.

i agree completely.
 

Hawki97

HR Heisman
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Eh it's pretty easy to get accustomed to taking a long walk with each dog, take your kid out for i lunch, catch a baseball game, or get ice cream and read in the park vs. the combined 2 hours it used to take me to get ready and commute. Commuting really isn't an easy thing for most people that live in large metro areas

You can definitely tell people that commute vs. those that don’t commute in their views on WFH. Hours in heavy traffic, asshole drivers, accident backups, and just the general realization of what a waste of time it all is makes it brutal.
 
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Herky T Hawk

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Feb 5, 2003
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I manage 11 employees on three different teams. 4 in the Twin Cities where our HQ is, 1 in Duluth, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Florida, 2 in Poland, and 2 in Australia.

I go into the office about 3 days per week to get away from home and when the weather is good I bike the 10 miles each direction to get my exercise. But I don't go in because of the "work experience". My desk, monitors, etc. and the amenities at home are just as good or even better than what I have in the office. Aside from some socializing with a small group of regulars, I don't really get much advantage of collaboration by going in. My building is the 3rd largest on campus and seats about 500 people, but we only get between 20-40 total on any given day because everyone was given the option to work from home even after the pandemic is over.

I actually like not having my employees there since they are so spread out around the globe. It doesn't make sense for me to have a team meeting with one employee in person and the others online. I have regular individual meetings with each of them and regular team meetings to make sure that we all establish relationships. And it is actually pretty impressive how well that works when you've got people that turn their cameras on for those calls. Most of these people I've never met in person but can have a decent chat about how things are going with their families, hobbies, etc. before jumping into work discussions. We had a fellow manager that joined the company a year ago that I never met in person but talked to a lot because we worked on projects together. He just left the company but I had lunch with him his last week. We were able to interact like colleagues rather than strangers when meeting in person for the first time because of the video calls.

The people that are going to suffer is the managers that don't know how to adapt to not watching over their employees' shoulders all day and the extroverts that need to be talking to a lot of people. There is something to be said that productivity is lower for employees working from home, not for everyone but it is enough to be measurable for many jobs. But the problem is that this is the new world and if we don't adapt then we will lose good people and see even lower productivity from having open positions or hiring less experienced employees as replacements.
 

eb05

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Eh it's pretty easy to get accustomed to taking a long walk with each dog, take your kid out for i lunch, catch a baseball game, or get ice cream and read in the park vs. the combined 2 hours it used to take me to get ready and commute. Commuting really isn't an easy thing for most people that live in large metro areas

i hear you. i liked it at first but i don’t like the lack of separation between work/home and trying to get work done while juggling the family stuff. i live near houston. the commute isn’t great but i will take that hour a day to relax and listen to some music or a podcast.

i’m sure it’s great for most people, just not me.
 
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General Tso

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Nov 20, 2004
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I much prefer working in the office. I like keeping my home and work life as separate as possible.

Personally, I think those of you clamoring to have your work be part of your daily home life are nucking futs.
I used to be 100% of this mindset, that I needed physical separation between work and home. However, the last two years have tought me it's more about mental separation and there are lots of ways to create that separation that don't involve putting up with stupid office stuff.
 

General Tso

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Nov 20, 2004
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It’s stupid.

We are back 2-3 days a week. I literally lock myself in my office and say hi to a couple people in the hallway. In person meetings don’t happen because not everyone is in the office on the same days.

it’s all so if the owner wants to stop by there will people on site. That’s it.
That's exactly what the VPs at our company do. They mandated everyone come back three days away, then retreat to their offices for most of the day while the cube farmers run around with their heads cut off trying to find meeting rooms for hybrid meetings. It's a micro caste system
 

hawkifann

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Being in the office for any mandated period of time is pointless. I'd predict that most companies with mandated time in the office will slowly move to a purely flexible model where people come and go as they choose. I'm not against being in the office when there is a specific reason for it (like a team meeting, project, etc) but the 'spontaneous collaboration' and culture reasons are 100% bullshit. Most people are sitting in their cubes in zoom calls anyway. Fire away..m
Amen, brother.
 

hawkifann

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I much prefer working in the office. I like keeping my home and work life as separate as possible.

Personally, I think those of you clamoring to have your work be part of your daily home life are nucking futs.
I’ve done it since 2010. I have an office with a door and love it. I’m not opposed to being in office, but I should be there for a reason, not just to Zoom/Teams/Skype from a cube.
 

hawkifann

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Working in the office furniture industry I want all you sheep to get back to the cubicle farm ASAP! It's really crazy because a lot of companies remodeled their offices when Covid first hit, they thought since everyone is going to be out for a few months we might as well do our renovations now.

So they now have these brand new offices that they sunk millions of dollars into and nobody to fill the seats. Some employers are making them come back just for this reason.
Sunk cost fallacy
 

SoDakHawk

HR Legend
Sep 14, 2006
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I used to commute about 45 minutes one way to work in a nearby town. I had been doing that for about 25 years. I loved going to the office and when WFH started I hated it and was happy to go back to the office. My position now is 100% WFH and that will never change as my team is all over the country and I have no walk-ins. I have gained back 2 hours of my life in commute and prep time. I have saved thousands and thousands of dollars in commuting expenses by working from home.

If I worked in an office that was in town a couple miles away, no problem. But I don't ever want to commute again. Too much time and money. Waste of resources and bad for the environment.
 

torbee

HR King
Gold Member
I used to be 100% of this mindset, that I needed physical separation between work and home. However, the last two years have tought me it's more about mental separation and there are lots of ways to create that separation that don't involve putting up with stupid office stuff.
I agree.

I think mainly I'm an extrovert and like being able to interact with others in person. There was also something I really, really hated about shutting my laptop off at 5 and then being "off work" despite the fact I didn't get up and leave and was still sitting in the same spot. It just annoyed me.

Personally, I'm also more motivated in the office. I guess I figure once I've made the effort to get up, shower, put on decent clothes, grab some coffee, drive to work and get into my office - I might as well get down to business. Whereas at home, rolling out of bed 10 minutes before my first meeting and attending it in my underpants while still half-asleep just didn't feel like "work."

I will say my view is probably skewed by having my own private office. If I were in a bullpen or cubicle situation, I believe I definitely would prefer more home than office workdays.
 

SoDakHawk

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Sep 14, 2006
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I used to be 100% of this mindset, that I needed physical separation between work and home. However, the last two years have tought me it's more about mental separation and there are lots of ways to create that separation that don't involve putting up with stupid office stuff.
Yep. My separation is to turn off my computer and head to gym/golf course/driving range/go for a run. All way better than driving and much healthier.
 
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ping72

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I'm reading all the positives being related here for working from home and I'm not seeing anything that benefits the employer...
Uhm... having employees is a pretty big benefit. And having employees who are not disgruntled is an even bigger benefit.

There are a lot of companies that are really struggling now with their employees quitting and not being able to hire new ones. But they just cry about how nobody wants to work anymore (complete BS) rather than owning up to the fact that they pay too little, demand too many hours, and are crappy places to work.
 

ping72

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I am sure I’m not the only one who gets contacted by a recruiters frequently. Half of them won’t even talk salary...bye.

And it’s crazy how many of them that will be upfront are throwing out salaries 25-50% below market value. And you must go into the office, and the benefits suck. And their application procedure is like a 12-step 20hr process. “But we have a great culture; we are like family!” Yeah, screw that.

I know I’m fortunate to be in my position in life. But several years ago I started interviewing potential employers rather than them interviewing me. What a wonderful change. Sure I’ll explain my background, experience, and skillset. But why do I think I’m a good fit for your company? I’m not sure I am, yet... tell me why your company is a good fit for me. It is actually quite surprising how few people have a good answer for that question. They expect us to be begging them for the job 🙄.
 

srams21

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Sorry,.. not buying the productivity claims that everyone throws out there.
Not sure why you aren't "buying" it but at the company I work for, it is very true. Our productivity went up big time.

Aside from that, there are tons of benefits for the employer ...

Happy employees with better morale
Reduces expenses
Also allows them to hire anyone anywhere in the US or perhaps beyond that.

Heck, I know lots of small town Iowa employers that struggle to fill specialized or higher roles. By allowing remote work, you significantly expand your talent base. Do you not understand that?
 

SF HAWKEYE

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I wish my company would go to you for new chairs for our Cubicles. Because these are old and not comfy.

Our work does a 4 WFH days a month for everyone. I choose 0 days a month because I hated working from home. Wont do it again.
I can help with that. Whats the company name?
 

SI_NYC

HR MVP
Dec 15, 2001
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Not sure why you aren't "buying" it but at the company I work for, it is very true. Our productivity went up big time.

Aside from that, there are tons of benefits for the employer ...

Happy employees with better morale
Reduces expenses
Also allows them to hire anyone anywhere in the US or perhaps beyond that.

Heck, I know lots of small town Iowa employers that struggle to fill specialized or higher roles. By allowing remote work, you significantly expand your talent base. Do you not understand that?
Productivity is way up from everyone in my field. There are some tech issues being that we move very large files back and forth and some of the television networks/media companies I work for have strict security which causes the tech issues, but all and all they have it worked out. Three years ago, if you asked whether they could do this work remotely they would say you were crazy. Speaking of which, the show runner for Colbert's show said that specifically as many others working in the field.