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There are far less unnecessary distractions from co-workers
Interesting that you brought it up because in Illinois, the occupations that require state license such as engineers, accountant ...etc., is now requiring taking a course in workplace sexual harassment prevention. They never did this before but starting it this year. Perhaps they missed the boat? :skep:
 

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Interesting that you brought it up because in Illinois, the occupations that require state license such as engineers, accountant ...etc., is now requiring taking a course in workplace sexual harassment prevention. They never did this before but starting it this year. Perhaps they missed the boat? :skep:
Two words: Jeff Toobin.
 

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There are tons of zoom meeting mishap videos posted online, including a dude who thought the zoom is disconnected but only the audio was and he started watching a porn site with a hand cream on his desk. :blush2: Female coworkers flipped out (actually flipped the laptop down) and left the meeting even though they are still in it. In such cases, they should require taking a course in proper computer operation. :idea:
 

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LOLZ! I clicked on the first link to their homepage and the first link was titled ‘Challenges Facing Fotomat. I clicked on that link and I got an article dated 7/27/81!
 

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NYC/NJ here.

All larger companies are completely WFH until Spring/Summer. However, small companies are working from the office full time. My small business (3 people) rents a 1,200sq ft space in a three story building comprised of 100 small businesses. 80% of the building is at work, the parking lot is full, life goes on. So its interesting to hear this doom and gloom about life never going back to normal, when 100+ businesses are going about as normal just outside of NYC in NJ.

Definitely a disconnect in dealing with folks from large companies and small. I do understand the issues around getting 750 people onto a floor via an elevator at 9AM.

Facebook is signing leases on huge swaths of office space in NYC, so there's that.

I'm not sold on this whole not going back to normal ever again when an entire building is operating almost as usual. Yes, open floor plans can be problematic, but I'm starting to think this is more of a liability issue for the corporate giants.

Finally, I lived through 9/11 here in NYC, was pretty close to it all. And now, some twenty years later, whenever I hear a low flying plane and there isn't an airport around my mind wanders or just asks "hey self, what the fk is this plane doing here?". I notice it. I'm afraid that living through Covid in NYC in the Spring of '20 may have similar PTSD-like repercussions.
 

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As an employee that has trudged to work every day as normal I see it a bit differently. I see some instances where we are finding out how much we really needed some of these employees. They are home, and their absence isn't missed. Worse yet, they email or call and ask you to do things for them since they aren't there. We have an especially large R&D department that was built up under the Obama administration but which could actually be about half the size. Some people are responsive and actually at their desk at home, but some always get back to you later as it seems they are doing other things at the time.

The whole experience has me jaded. Maybe because I have to actually work for a living :p
 

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Discussion Starter #51
NYC/NJ here.

All larger companies are completely WFH until Spring/Summer. However, small companies are working from the office full time. My small business (3 people) rents a 1,200sq ft space in a three story building comprised of 100 small businesses. 80% of the building is at work, the parking lot is full, life goes on. So its interesting to hear this doom and gloom about life never going back to normal, when 100+ businesses are going about as normal just outside of NYC in NJ.

Definitely a disconnect in dealing with folks from large companies and small. I do understand the issues around getting 750 people onto a floor via an elevator at 9AM.

Facebook is signing leases on huge swaths of office space in NYC, so there's that.

I'm not sold on this whole not going back to normal ever again when an entire building is operating almost as usual. Yes, open floor plans can be problematic, but I'm starting to think this is more of a liability issue for the corporate giants.

Finally, I lived through 9/11 here in NYC, was pretty close to it all. And now, some twenty years later, whenever I hear a low flying plane and there isn't an airport around my mind wanders or just asks "hey self, what the fk is this plane doing here?". I notice it. I'm afraid that living through Covid in NYC in the Spring of '20 may have similar PTSD-like repercussions.
Perhaps smaller companies dont have the infrastructure to support a remote environment. When we were first sent home, the first week or two was bad in terms of video conferencing capability, VPN capacity and overall bandwidth. The company put a lot of effort into fixing that. In now appears that they are sold of the costs benefits of saving office space. They are closing our leased building and moving us to a much smaller space in a building we own. We are being told there will be no permanent desks. We will come in two days a week, and another project will come in the other two days. Desks will be shared. I fear that if it goes badly, there is no way to reverse it.
 

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I suspect I'm working at home until the vaccine happens. Honestly, there's nothing I can do at my office that I can't do at home. It's been kind of nice, but I don't want to do this forever. It hasn't been good for my kids.

I finally broke down and bought a real office chair for my dining room table. My wife found it on this virtual yard sale site she visits. I go to pick it up and the woman there tells me that their lease came up, and they decided to not renew and will be working from home permanently now. It was a small office of 4-5 people.

Downtown DC is still really dead. Drove down there last Friday. They closed down the walk in IT office for two weeks -- unspecified reasons. Out here in the suburbs, there's more activity. Traffic is picking up. Parking lots are half full. Everyone wears masks.
 

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I finally broke down and bought a real office chair for my dining room table. My wife found it on this virtual yard sale site she visits. I go to pick it up and the woman there tells me that their lease came up, and they decided to not renew and will be working from home permanently now. It was a small office of 4-5 people.
Right after I grabbed a new bike and wheels - just weeks before the great bike grab of 2020 - I also spent some money on my home office setup. An electric stand up desk, a 38" wide monitor and a pro-grade Steelcase chair. I cringe when I hear about people working from their dining rooms. Right now, this setup is far better than what I had at home. Specifically, the 38" monitor is a game changer. I find I don't stand as much in front of the stand up desk as I thought I would.
 

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I've got a stand up desk at the office. Had it for several years. Never use it. I find typing while standing to feel odd.

Can't imagine working in your dining room? Mine is pretty nice. Two big French doors off the dining room look out onto the deck and woods behind my house. It's the most unused room in the house. I feel sorry for my wife who has a real office set up in the basement. Before this all happened, she used to work at home sporadically. I was never allowed to.
 

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NYC/NJ here.

All larger companies are completely WFH until Spring/Summer. However, small companies are working from the office full time. My small business (3 people) rents a 1,200sq ft space in a three story building comprised of 100 small businesses. 80% of the building is at work, the parking lot is full, life goes on. So its interesting to hear this doom and gloom about life never going back to normal, when 100+ businesses are going about as normal just outside of NYC in NJ.
It's the exact opposite of doom and gloom if you ask me. Doom and gloom would be thinking some day I will need to go back to having to be in a certain place place at a certain time, dress a certain way, lose hours of my life commuting and be forced to be around certain irritating people 40+ hours per week.
The few people I miss being physically around I meet for lunch now and then so I really can't think of any positive about going back to an office full time.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
It's the exact opposite of doom and gloom if you ask me. Doom and gloom would be thinking some day I will need to go back to having to be in a certain place place at a certain time, dress a certain way, lose hours of my life commuting and be forced to be around certain irritating people 40+ hours per week.
The few people I miss being physically around I meet for lunch now and then so I really can't think of any positive about going back to an office full time.
Staying at home gives more opportunities to yell at kids stepping on your lawn
 

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I have been retired for 5 years now. Some observations.

Jobs that don't require interaction held by fully trained independent workers are probably more productive remote.
Large companies have eliminated much bloat (wasteful meetings, unneeded training,)
Lack of synergy, teamwork, and coworker led training can be hidden short term. Long term, it will kill future development.
Many people are getting paid to work remote with very little they can do from home. This is a house of cards.
People shouldn't rely completely on work for social interaction. You can see the results of this across the nation.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
I have been retired for 5 years now. Some observations.

Jobs that don't require interaction held by fully trained independent workers are probably more productive remote.
Large companies have eliminated much bloat (wasteful meetings, unneeded training,)
Lack of synergy, teamwork, and coworker led training can be hidden short term. Long term, it will kill future development.
Many people are getting paid to work remote with very little they can do from home. This is a house of cards.
People shouldn't rely completely on work for social interaction. You can see the results of this across the nation.
I think those are good observations. I think work from home will impact the sense of team ownership which impacts productivity and motivation long-term. I have no idea how you mentor young engineers from home. This whole situation has me re-thinking my retirement timeline
 

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I have been retired for 5 years now. Some observations.

Jobs that don't require interaction held by fully trained independent workers are probably more productive remote.
Large companies have eliminated much bloat (wasteful meetings, unneeded training,)
Lack of synergy, teamwork, and coworker led training can be hidden short term. Long term, it will kill future development.
Many people are getting paid to work remote with very little they can do from home. This is a house of cards.
People shouldn't rely completely on work for social interaction. You can see the results of this across the nation.
Not sure how you figure companies have eliminated bloat yet have a bunch of people getting paid at home with very little to do but I'd be curious just who/what job you think is sitting at home doing nothing? I certainly haven't been exposed to that.....well, no more than I was paying people to sit in an office or cubicle and do next to nothing.

With the right software there is nothing about not being physically together that hampers synergy, teamwork and coworker training. I experience all that almost daily with a lot of people I've never been in the same building with. I spent 30 years going to an office every day and there's nothing inferior about any of that being done through a computer.

There have been plenty of credible studies on this that I assume could be googled no need to take my anecdotal observations.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Not sure how you figure companies have eliminated bloat yet have a bunch of people getting paid at home with very little to do but I'd be curious just who/what job you think is sitting at home doing nothing? I certainly haven't been exposed to that.....well, no more than I was paying people to sit in an office or cubicle and do next to nothing.

With the right software there is nothing about not being physically together that hampers synergy, teamwork and coworker training. I experience all that almost daily with a lot of people I've never been in the same building with. I spent 30 years going to an office every day and there's nothing inferior about any of that being done through a computer.

There have been plenty of credible studies on this that I assume could be googled no need to take my anecdotal observations.
So I did Google it. This is thee first article that came up. Its not a positive take. There may be others that are more positive. I whole agree that it depends on the type of work.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/benjam...y-and-bad-for-most-employees/?sh=1e6d256f6734

What I have observed in doing virtual meetings (I work in a collaborative engineering environment) is that introverts are far less likely to participate. Then dont want to break in on the call and get critiqued by people they have never met in person. One of the advantages of sitting in a room together is you get subtle clues from body language and intonation. You can tell when someone wants to say something but maybe needs some encouragement from colleagues. I do think that age plays a factor. Some of the younger folks that grew up glued to their phone seem to accept it better than us old fogies. We have fair amount of work that require folks to come in (labs, special data handling) so we will never be 100% virtual
 
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