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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I’m Frustrated That My Employees Don’t Want to Return to the Office’”

Home Forums General Chat “I’m Frustrated That My Employees Don’t Want to Return to the Office’”

  • This topic has 33 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by OU.
Viewing 12 posts - 13 through 24 (of 34 total)
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  • #1099449 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I actually like starting around 7am to get shit done in peace and quiet, then showering before my first meeting, and stopping at 4:30.

    #1099451 Reply
    Fyodor
    Guest

    @ktfran, I certainly miss the regular camaraderie of seeing my coworkers every day. I don’t think that’s a reason to make people come in, but I understand it. I think that the fact that she’s basically powerless to do anything about it makes me more forgiving of her asshole-tendencies. If she were in charge and dragging people in I’d probably react more strongly to her.

    #1099452 Reply
    Ange
    Guest

    I haven’t been in an office since May and since I changed jobs it won’t happen at all until near Christmas, if not the new year. I miss it but that’s because I am also at home by myself all day trundling along, that doesn’t mean I should upset the apple cart for people for whom it’s a big help (I’m just going off comments as I’m out of free articles). Find some friends, get a hobby. If the work is getting done let it be.

    #1099460 Reply
    PurpleStar
    Guest

    I would love to be able to at least work a hybrid schedule. I am in health care – administrative support – but still considered essential. I managed some work from home in March 2020 when I was clear that I would work from home or just go home. Company was taken over early this year and new company, mainly my director, just doesn’t understand that 80% of my work can be done from my laptop no matter where I am. Well, that is not really true bc my counterpart in the home city works from home about 40% of the time. Sigh. Thank for letting me rant.

    I read that post and the LW seems to really need to make a social life outside of work. Which is very hard to do right now.

    #1099492 Reply
    Allison
    Guest

    I’m a huge fan of Ask a Manager, so thank you for sharing this! There are SO many reasons that I (personally, I realize it’s not for everyone) love working from home, it astonishes me when someone like the letter writer doesn’t understand this. LW mentions the commute, but there are so many more benefits! Not being constantly disrupted and distracted by all the people around, not having to get up early every morning just to do your hair/makeup and get dressed, being able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want (much healthier too), being able to use your own bathroom, and basically, being in control of your whole environment all day long, instead of at the mercy of other people, traffic, and “being on” for appearances sake. It’s AMAZING and I never want to go back just because someone has a butts in seats mentality.

    #1099508 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    At the last job I had where I worked for someone else – the women’s website some of you found me through – I worked remotely and was the only local employee to do so. I was hired as a remote freelancer but then hired full-time and asked to come to the office regularly and I… didn’t want to so I negotiated and managed to get a mostly WFH situation for myself. They wanted me to come in to the office occasionally so I did, but it was always a total waste of time. There was literally nothing I did in the office that I couldn’t do from home, and I never understood why no one else seemed to want to negotiate for WFH privileges, especially since they knew I had them and there wasn’t anything special about my role or about me except that I fucking asked to WFH and made a case for it.

    For some people and some offices and roles, I can definitely see benefits in working in an office, at least some of the time, but the overwhelming majority of office employees can do their work as or more efficiently at home, where they can also enjoy a better work/life balance for all the reasons already shared here.

    It’s been nearly 11 years since I worked for someone else, but I am really happy that this pretty extraordinary change in American work life is one silver lining of the pandemic. Drew is among the many who works from home full-time now and it’s benefitted our family so much. Before, he had to leave at 7:30 to get to work on time and so all the schlepping the kids to school and picking them up was on me, as well as most of the daytime household chores and errands. Now we can share these things, which has helped our marriage and, by extension, our home life. And to have had him here through the 18 months the kids were home full-time probably saved whatever sanity I had left by the end.

    #1099511 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    That is all true, but I will say that the situation has morphed in a way where it’s constant video meetings and constant interruptions with intrusive pings on Teams. It was so much more reasonable and civilized before when people were in the office (but sometimes at home, it was flexible). I do project work, and so there is a lot of collaboration with others, as well as things I do independently. I would not mind going back to a hybrid. This 100% WFH has gotten kind of problematic.

    I did work at one place for a couple years that required us to be in the office all day every day for NO good reason, and that was so fucking painful. Also expensive! Parking cost money. T cost money. It was an expensive urban neighborhood with $15 salads. We all could have worked remote a lot of the time. The office had old heat and A/C that weren’t customizable and I was always hot, or others were cold. It sucked.

    #1099512 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    And our business has that Agile model where everything is done with cross-functional teams in sprints, with standup or scrum meetings. Now they’re scheduling those at 8am, or at lunch, or at 4, which didn’t happen before.

    #1099514 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    So for the last year+, we’ve been working on a large pursuit that was finally submitted a couple of weeks ago!! We’ve had strategy sessions, first over Teams because of the pandemic and then once everyone was vaxed, we’ve held a few in person. The in-person meetings were SO MUCH MORE productive. Everyone was engaged. We were up at the white board mapping out how to win this project. Storyboarding our sell. We basically set up a war room.

    We’ve tried on-line “white board” tools, like Miro. It’s just not the same.

    But other than the occasional strategy session, or some face-time, relationship-building pow wows, I do prefer to work from home. I definitely like the hybrid model. Come in when it makes sense, otherwise WFH.

    #1099516 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    In Zoom meetings, people multitask, which you really can’t when it’s in person. So the meetings are less productive and then you have more!

    And I feel like no one pinged you during meetings because they knew you couldn’t actually do anything if you were in a meeting. Now no one cares if you show red.

    #1099519 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    That’s a good point, Kate, about all the Zoom meetings. When I worked from home for the women’s website, that did not exist. We had daily conference calls every morning, but that was over a phone and not video and lasted 30-60 minutes and then we were done and I was mostly on my own for the rest of the day (with emails, and occasional phone calls and google chats). I can see how constant zoom meetings would be absolutely exhausting and soul-sucking!

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Dear Wendy.
    #1099521 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I miss conference calls so much!

    The other thing about zoom is that for some reason, it glitches and freezes JUST in my office where I have a comfy chair. So now I am doing them from the kitchen where the chair hurts my back, and always moving from room to room.

    And it IS awful to always be on camera. It’s not normal or a natural way to interact or do presentations.

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