Author Topic: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???  (Read 11085 times)

Altons Bobs

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #50 on: February 16, 2017, 01:28:30 PM »
When I worked in corporate America more than a decade ago, we had to reserve a space to go to the office. Most of us were given cell phones, computers, toll free conference lines, etc., to work from home. If you don't reserve a space in the office, when you go in, there is no space for you because you're supposed to work from home. We normally only went to the office if we had a meeting in the conference room or if we had to meet with customers, otherwise there was no reason to go to the office.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2017, 03:49:55 PM »
I think I could do partial WFH, but ultimately many of the tasks of my role are difficult to do remotely, and it is beneficial being able to physically meet and talk to colleagues. That and the social aspect which is valuable (and I'd miss that if I worked from home).

That said, I like the idea of more flexible hours. Maybe some people are more productive working 7-3 or 11-7 than they are working 9-5. Maybe that would ease the burden on traffic and public transport systems.

I guess in many jobs, there's plenty of work being shifted to remote workers, but it's usually more along the lines of being outsourced or offshored. If you don't need someone to be physically in the office, does it really matter if they're working from the US or employed in a lower COL country for less?

Joexrunner

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2017, 12:13:52 AM »
I'm one of the lucky ones who does get to work from home and my employer totally gets it!  Some years ago I would have had to move, particularly to a large city, in order to hold the position I have.  I happen to choose and enjoy a cheaper more rural lifestyle so am pleased I don't have to move back to the city.  I would have struggled to become mortgage free and would have had to place my son in full time care whilst struggling to pay for that also so every day the move was absolutely worth it.  As someone who was self employed for many years I am happy working autonomously and although on occasion I can feel a little isolated I do have enough meetings or face to face contacts to break up the time I spend working from home.   

svennman

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2017, 12:44:59 PM »
Looking at the heading I can only say that I am baffled why it is still the case, for the vast majority of people little seems to have changed. During the industrial revolution there was a quite rapid migration from the countryside to cities and I had expected the post-industrial world, fuelled by Moore's Law to have created a rapid flow back to the country that would then give most people a better standard of life as it no longer was necessary to physically move from one place to another 5 times a week in order to interact with other people.

Anyway, I think I am all MMM forumed out. If anyone is interested I wrote more about this on the following thread:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/robots-and-their-impact-on-the-future/msg1439349/#msg1439349

EconDiva

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2017, 01:06:22 PM »
WFH is a fantasy for many introverts, but personally I would DIE doing it every day.  No way, no how, no thanks.  I'm also relatively visual; I solve problems best when I can sit in a room with you or look over your shoulder or something and we can take notes or use a whiteboard or what have you.  Given how every single conference call ever contains tons of "sorry, couldn't dial in" and "whoops, didn't mute and started talking" or "didn't UNmute and started talking" and "sorry, what was that, I was multitasking" and on and on and on and I think it would be a disaster.  Sure, if you do a solitary task and don't collaborate with anyone all day, I get it, but I'd say I'm 60/40 meetings (formal and informal)/solitary work.  And how do you ever learn how to work with groups and manage people and move around an organization if you sit holed up in your home alone all the time?

While I understand your point of view, look at it from the other side as well:

How do you ever grow, learn to manage people and work effectively amongst other people in other countries/cultures when you only work amongst those in your office?  My company is global and most of my colleagues are spread across the entire world; those in my office headquarters make up only a % of the total number of employees that exist in the entire company.  We all play our part and have to work together efficiently across cultural, language and time zone barriers in order to get our work done.

You have to posses a certain amount of discipline, a certain set of skills and a certain kind of mindset in order to function in a global work environment.  Maybe due to your industry/company this isn't applicable to you but for some of us remote work has its advantages and being able to cut out the commute to put more time towards work (especially if you have to work across different time zones) is just one of those advantages.  My manager manges 2 people locally and the other 4 are all in different countries and she does a great job at it; I think if you haven't done it before it's easy to say it isn't doable, it's too hard, it's not as effective as being in person, etc., but the reality is many people accomplish this just fine.

EconDiva

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2017, 01:12:15 PM »
I think it's mainly because most managers are control freaks and seeing their employees in the office gives them a greater sense of control.

Yep.

Honestly, it's a lot of legacy thinking in high positions in most organizations.  At least that is imho.

I believe we will only ever see slow gradual change on this and then we will look back and wonder what we're we thinking.  The culture has to shift.

And yep.

WFH is a fantasy for many introverts, but personally I would DIE doing it every day.  No way, no how, no thanks.  I'm also relatively visual; I solve problems best when I can sit in a room with you or look over your shoulder or something and we can take notes or use a whiteboard or what have you.  Given how every single conference call ever contains tons of "sorry, couldn't dial in" and "whoops, didn't mute and started talking" or "didn't UNmute and started talking" and "sorry, what was that, I was multitasking" and on and on and on and I think it would be a disaster.  Sure, if you do a solitary task and don't collaborate with anyone all day, I get it, but I'd say I'm 60/40 meetings (formal and informal)/solitary work.  And how do you ever learn how to work with groups and manage people and move around an organization if you sit holed up in your home alone all the time?

It's a lot better than listening to an office full of people eating popcorn and clipping fingernails at their desks all day and having impromptu hallway meetings 3 feet from where I'm trying to think.

Or catching up with their coworkers in the cube next to you on the latest episode of The Walking Dead....or on the phone with their child asking if they did their homework/took out the trash yet/cleaned up their room...or how about that one office person that apparently doesn't know email exists and simply HAS to come to your desk every time they have a question interrupting your work when a 12-second email would suffice?  And God forbid you're in an office that celebrates birthdays, weddings, work anniversaries, has baby showers, retirement going aways, etc. etc....

My company is so huge there is a different 'celebration' every day and I hate to say sometimes I just decline because between working like 60 hours a week and commuting 4 hours a day and having to literally slam my laptop shut in just enough time to run out the door to catch the work shuttle to 2 trains to get home and having to hold my pee for that entire time because there wasn't time to pee while at work...

I just don't have time for the social stuff.  (I would say 30% of the time I bring my breakfast/lunch to work I can't even get to the kitchen 30 seconds away to heat it up and I bring the same uneaten food home with me which is insane.)  Anyways, my point is that there are distractions when WFH but there are distractions working in the office as well. 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 01:32:42 PM by EconDiva »

Sloeginfizz

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2017, 08:44:59 PM »
I hate work. Why would I want to bring such a dreadful thing into my comfy cozy nest that is designed for maximum enjoyment of the life I have free from work?

Also, the attorneys I work for insist that much of my work be printed onto pieces of dead trees. Never mind that the only way we file things with the government is strictly electronic. I suppose I could print onto the dead trees at home, but I would still need to go into the office quite often to file the pieces of dead trees with the other pieces of dead trees and put it all into the special rooms dedicated to the storage of dead trees.

gerardc

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2017, 10:06:04 PM »
It's a lot better than listening to an office full of people eating popcorn and clipping fingernails at their desks all day and having impromptu hallway meetings 3 feet from where I'm trying to think.

Hehe, open floor plans are a disaster. At least if you have a closed office it's not too bad. I can't focus with my co-workers yapping around all day, my productivity is literally 50% lower right off the bat, and that's not considering the wasted time in breaks where I could do useful stuff at home, like cooking or grooming. If you're trying to do "deep" work, you need isolation, period.

People who don't understand this are often the chit-chatty people who just piggy-back on other people's deep work, whether they realize it or not, in the name of "collaboration" and "exchange of ideas". Please. Most communications in software are a major wrench in the wheel anyway. Cutting it to a minimum would be best.

gerardc

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2017, 10:33:19 PM »
Selfishly, I consider my ability to network and form relationships and be polished in front of senior leadership and take charge in large groups as a significant reason why I'm at the level where I am today, and why I expect my career will continue to accelerate.  If I was forced to WFH, I'm not confident I could continue to advance if all I can do is interact electronically. 

I'm sure for others, it is 180* in the other direction; you feel if your work speaks for itself you will advance faster, but you aren't good at playing the network/politics/etc game.  No wrong answers, but one reason why I'd continue to fight to work in person.

If we abstract away your selfish motives, this is a good argument for WFH. You want a meritocracy in the work place, i.e. real contributions are rewarded, politics/relationships play a minimal role. "Relationship-type" people contribute nothing, they just position themselves to take credit from others. Organizations would get a competitive advantage by getting rid of those people.

gerardc

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2017, 10:52:14 PM »

Ugh.  Same story here.  Open floor plan hell to my own private office where I control the environment?  I'm radically more productive here, and coworkers have commented on it.

Send them a few copies of "Deep Work" to toss around the office.  It talks about distraction and the power of actual concentration in modern work.

This book is gold.

I'd be happy with 1 day a week of meetings only, to "get out the house", see your co-workers (and actually be happy to see them), talk about all the important things, then get out of there and WFH for 4 days (and actually accomplish stuff). During those 4 days, communication happens on a when-needed basis.

Most communications at my workplace are kinda useless anyway. Brainstorming sessions that lead nowhere, or technical discussions that you could have just easily read up online yourself, read the actual documentation, etc. and gain way more knowledge. Plus the benefits of controlling your attention are invaluable.

libertarian4321

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2017, 08:44:01 AM »
2 reasons for me:

1) High speed reliable Internet is not a thing where I live.  I've tried telecommuting, but often had those days cut short by having to drive in anyways when my Internet went down.

2) The "If I can't see you, you're not working" people in the office

Regarding number 2, I've found that some people can get into the office at 6 AM and leave at 6 PM.  They scurry around looking busy, busy, busy all day. 

At the end of the day, they've often accomplished little or nothing.  They can't focus on what needs to get done, getting distracted by every little thing.  These folks would be better off just taking a moment to collect her thoughts, focus, and just get something done- but they never will, because that's the way they are wired.

Others are like me.  We can get the same amount of work done usually in 2-4 focused hours.  So yeah, my "work from home" usually includes half a day of actual work and half a day of playing with my dogs, cooking, surfing the net, or whatever the Hell I want.

Smart managers realize it's the amount and quality of the work produced, not "looking busy" that really matters.  Unfortunately, there aren't very many smart managers.

babysnowbyrd

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2017, 10:07:00 AM »
I work from home. Regarding the technology: my employer provides the computer software on a thin client. It's pretty much limited to only company work. I can't print from it, save files on it or from it or visit sites like YouTube or Netflix.

My supervisor can see what I'm doing anytime. Or look things up in the past.

So it's possible to have secure systems and be able to micromanage if that's what a company really wants and still be WFH.

Smokystache

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2017, 10:26:37 AM »
2 reasons for me:

1) High speed reliable Internet is not a thing where I live.  I've tried telecommuting, but often had those days cut short by having to drive in anyways when my Internet went down.

2) The "If I can't see you, you're not working" people in the office

Regarding number 2, I've found that some people can get into the office at 6 AM and leave at 6 PM.  They scurry around looking busy, busy, busy all day. 

At the end of the day, they've often accomplished little or nothing....


I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working ... I'd say in a given week I probably only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.

Slee_stack

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2017, 10:30:09 AM »
I'm pro WFH and have been trying to get approval to do so just 1 day a week.  At this point, I have to ask every time and maybe get (1) WFH day every 1-3 weeks.

Obviously, if you work in an environment where physical things are actually made (or physical services performed), it would (likely) be impossible to WFH 100% of the time.  We do manufacture product here.

Still, the physical requirements are relatively low and there's no reason why many of us couldn't WFH at least 2-3 days per week.

Jouer

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2017, 11:15:06 AM »
Quote
Yep, that should do it, but how much production will be halted?  How pissed are the users going to be and what will be the consequences of them being pissed?  The second one is a hidden cost, but it is still a cost to the business.

So instead, let's choose which data is allowed to leave.  There is technology out there that can do this, but it starts with a very labor intensive project of classifying and marking the data so that the technology can make a decision based on the classification.  This is not a low cost proposition and you still need to show management that this will increase profit.

If you can come up with the solution, I'm pretty sure you can FIRE within a year.

I don't have a solution. I work in one of the few industries where security is not considered a drain on profit and often takes precedence over production at customer demand. Most of the solutions you listed are implemented to one degree or another. I know most other industries are way more lax and see security as a burden (as you said).

If I was a black hat and found out that company X had a big new project while employing an all remote workforce, I'd have their addresses and be nabbing laptops out of living rooms within the week.

I don't know, maybe it wouldn't be an issue.

I work from home with access to very personal data. We have all kinds of security on our laptops: passwords, nothing is saved on desktop, etc. And if someone steals my laptop, one second after I report it, the machine is wiped clean remotely.

ptobeast

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2017, 04:04:45 PM »
I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working ... I'd say in a given week I probably only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.

Yeah........I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday.

DailyGrindFree

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2017, 05:00:44 PM »
I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working ... I'd say in a given week I probably only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.

Yeah........I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday.

I am guessing you need those TPS reports. :-)

GuitarStv

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2017, 06:40:42 PM »
I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working ... I'd say in a given week I probably only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.

Yeah........I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday.

I am guessing you need those TPS reports. :-)


Office space was one of the hardest hitting documentaries I've ever watched.

goateeman

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2017, 01:24:27 AM »
I've worked from home for the last 10 years or so, primarily.  I go into the office a few times a year.

I shudder to think about the commute and horrible cubicles that most offices now comprise of.  Cubicles were intended to support work and not become a horrible hive... this is an interesting article:  The Man Who Invented The Cubicle Went To His Grave Hating What His Creation Had Become  - http://www.businessinsider.com/cubicle-inventor-propst-hated-creation-2014-10

There are multiple studies that show employees are much productive when working from home than in the office.  I work extra hard from home to prove that I am more effective at home than at the office, and thus have been able to work from home for 10 years.

It has saved me a lot of money on gas, vehicle wear and tear, clothes, etc. And I have been very happy as a result.

I couldn't imagine going back to a regular office job... I think the regular office job is a thing of the past for many people. 

gerardc

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cheapass

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2017, 06:12:27 AM »
I wish I could work from home regularly but my company is also plagued with crusty old baby boomers that hate change. Plus, they had to commute in traffic every day for 35 years so dammit, you will too!

I think part of it is they hate being home. Their wives nag them all day or their grandkids are running around like a bunch of billy goats.

We are granted the flexibility to work from home after 5pm and on weekends though. That's pretty generous of them.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 08:06:52 AM by cheapass »

fattest_foot

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2017, 07:51:58 AM »
I get to work from home because my workday starts with Germany (GMT+1) and end with US Pacific (GMT -8). So the company thinks its fine because I'm working >12 hour days. As soon as more companies figure this out the acronym WFH will send employees screaming to the office.

100% true and unfortunately I'm on the early edge of what the future of employment will be like.

I feel like the trend is actually going in the opposite direction; more people working 30ish hour weeks so that the employer doesn't have to provide full time benefits.

horsepoor

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2017, 08:38:41 AM »
Why Working from Home is Both Awesome and Horrible

I teleworked for about five weeks this winter during an office renovation.  It luckily coincided with a big batch of solitary, focused work that I needed to accomplish, so it was pretty productive.  One barrier I've found is that some people are simply luddites and getting them to communicate electronically, in a timely fashion is impossible. It also seems like many people are still reluctant to call my cell phone when I'm out of the office, so they'll either not call, or wait until I'm back at my cube. I do like being able to get little things done around the house on work breaks, like starting dinner on my lunch break, or throwing clothes in the wash.  On the other hand, it's a self-discipline challenge, and I have some problems getting started in the morning when I'm still in my sweat pants, and after days on end, I get a little stir-crazy and need to get out of the house.  I think optimum for me would be teleworking ~2 days a week when I can control my work flow enough to save the focused tasks that don't require high-speed computing for those days.  The other thing is that we have the luxury of lots of unused space in a daylight basement, so I have room for a dedicated office.  WFH would have been more difficult in our previous, smaller house where I would have had to co-mingle my personal and work equipment.  Another coworker has trouble teleworking because of small kids at home.

Smokystache

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2017, 08:40:47 AM »

I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working ... I'd say in a given week I probably only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.

I posted this tongue-in-cheek, but there is definitely some truth to the fact that many, many people only work hard enough to not get fired..... while others (i suspect a small minority) would be disciplined enough to achieve the same or more results.

MishMash

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2017, 08:50:19 AM »
I WFH twice a week, there is absolutely ZERO need for me to be in the office, and prior to them moving the headquarters to where I live currently I worked strictly remotely for 4 years prior.  It's a main topic of conversation in our office as they moved the office to Loudon county when most of the office lives in DC/Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax so the drive is HELL, and if you take the toll road, expensive.  We have a HUGE office space, and it's usually well over half empty.  They could save themselves the 15k a month rent and just do a weekly or monthly meetup somewhere if they wanted.

You know WHY we don't do this?  Our CEO and CFO don't want to deal with their families.  I kid you not, they've both said it.  Both have stay at home wives, older high school kids and they will be in this office EVERY day, even in a blizzard (did I mention the office is only a 5-10 minute drive from their houses) when no one else is in the office, just so they don't have to be home.  And they both have 6k square foot mcmansions so it's not like they couldn't carve out a room or a corner that they could work from.

Aelias

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #75 on: February 28, 2017, 09:43:23 AM »
I have an office in a physical office space, but it's with the understanding that I can work from home whenever it's convenient.  it's definitely the wave of the future, but there are certain jobs (service sector, healthcare) that cannot be WFH. 

The big plus of working from home is obvious--I get to control my schedule better.  The big minus is that you're never really away from work--if I have cell phone reception, I am on call and available to work.  You can set up some boundaries on your personal time, but they're porous.  If things get busy, you won't be asked to cancel your vacation, but you will be expected to work during it! 

goateeman

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #76 on: February 28, 2017, 09:48:55 AM »
Selfishly, I consider my ability to network and form relationships and be polished in front of senior leadership and take charge in large groups as a significant reason why I'm at the level where I am today, and why I expect my career will continue to accelerate.  If I was forced to WFH, I'm not confident I could continue to advance if all I can do is interact electronically. 

I'm sure for others, it is 180* in the other direction; you feel if your work speaks for itself you will advance faster, but you aren't good at playing the network/politics/etc game.  No wrong answers, but one reason why I'd continue to fight to work in person.
My career really took off when I started working remotely.

My communication had to be much more precise and effective.  I would lead meetings because I had the best ideas and action steps.  I would write internal memos that everyone followed because I could objectively state my case and leadership got visibility of my output.

For me, kissing ass in person or schmooze in an office is outdated.  Now I market myself to internal and external networks, and my visibility is better than ever. 

Working at home was the best thing I ever did...and a reason why I'm seen as the "most valuable player" on my team.

gerardc

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #77 on: February 28, 2017, 11:26:32 AM »
When it comes down to it, some roles require constant exchanges (managers) while others need deep concentration and isolation (individual contributors). Working in-person usually facilitates managing, but harms IC; and vice-versa for WFH. And since the managers are also the decision makers, no surprise the culture still trends towards in-person! Basically, the managers may be well-meaning but they misjudge the ideal working conditions of ICs as the same as their own.

ChpBstrd

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #78 on: February 28, 2017, 11:52:05 AM »
When it comes down to it, some roles require constant exchanges (managers) while others need deep concentration and isolation (individual contributors). Working in-person usually facilitates managing, but harms IC; and vice-versa for WFH. And since the managers are also the decision makers, no surprise the culture still trends towards in-person! Basically, the managers may be well-meaning but they misjudge the ideal working conditions of ICs as the same as their own.

/\ Good insight. I think it would be easier for the managers to figure out non-physical techniques to do their jobs than it would be for the IC's to figure out how to justify the costs of commuting and offices.

WFH can probably only work under the assumptions of professionalism, self-direction, and work ethic. A software solution plus management technique that would end commuting for some significant chunk of the population might need a subsystem to wash out those who can't be productive in such an environment. Then we'll see a gap between the old school office and the virtual office, with different personalities going their respective directions.

goateeman

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #79 on: February 28, 2017, 11:53:35 AM »
When it comes down to it, some roles require constant exchanges (managers) while others need deep concentration and isolation (individual contributors). Working in-person usually facilitates managing, but harms IC; and vice-versa for WFH. And since the managers are also the decision makers, no surprise the culture still trends towards in-person! Basically, the managers may be well-meaning but they misjudge the ideal working conditions of ICs as the same as their own.
I'm in management (and an individual contributor), and I've risen in career even though I work remotely.

I have recurring meetings and ad-hoc meetings as needed. My meetings are efficient and to the point.  It has not hurt my career at all..only helped.

mm1970

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #80 on: February 28, 2017, 01:56:03 PM »
Selfishly, I consider my ability to network and form relationships and be polished in front of senior leadership and take charge in large groups as a significant reason why I'm at the level where I am today, and why I expect my career will continue to accelerate.  If I was forced to WFH, I'm not confident I could continue to advance if all I can do is interact electronically. 

I'm sure for others, it is 180* in the other direction; you feel if your work speaks for itself you will advance faster, but you aren't good at playing the network/politics/etc game.  No wrong answers, but one reason why I'd continue to fight to work in person.

If we abstract away your selfish motives, this is a good argument for WFH. You want a meritocracy in the work place, i.e. real contributions are rewarded, politics/relationships play a minimal role. "Relationship-type" people contribute nothing, they just position themselves to take credit from others. Organizations would get a competitive advantage by getting rid of those people.

You make a good point in some situations - I'm not a huge fan of office politics.  HOWEVER - in many businesses and industries, relationships are KEY.  There are people who really aren't very technically capable at all, but somehow are able to build good working relationships with customers.

Relationship-type people are OFTEN the ones who determine success and failure of a company.  You can have the world's best gadget, but you need to get someone to BUY it, and relationships can do that.

Noodle

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #81 on: February 28, 2017, 05:06:55 PM »
This discussion is fascinating, but somewhat theoretical as far as I'm concerned...my career field involves a physical space and IRL interactions, so my job won't be going WFH any time soon. Overall, maybe 10% of my employer's positions could be done from home, which isn't really enough to make it worthwhile for them to invest in the technology and training to make it really seamless--especially since they own their office space, so there's not a lot of financial incentive to reduce square footage. Maybe another 40% could work from home on occasional projects, but our workforce is pretty old-school. It's still hard to get some of them to use email and Outlook calendaring, although that group is growing smaller every year.

I wonder if some of the resistance by managers to converting current workgroups (as opposed to starting from scratch) to WFH is the need to create and enforce new habits and workflows, which people HATE doing (and a lot of managers are not good at.) My worksite expanded from one to two buildings a few years back, and it took a lot of effort to develop new protocols for scheduling spaces etc. The staff was used to being able to just talk from desk to desk to make plans, or to knowing what was going on because they could hear and see it...no formal messaging required. We also found that a lot of things fell through the cracks when senior staff weren't present...particularly because we had a couple key supervisors who failed to update procedures and training to account for people not being physically present.

Schaefer Light

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #82 on: March 01, 2017, 08:00:27 AM »
We are granted the flexibility to work from home after 5pm and on weekends though. That's pretty generous of them.

This is what grates on me.  They expect us to be available to work from anywhere at any time, but don't actually give us the freedom to do so.  When I figured out that I'm never going to be allowed to work from home, I pretty much said fuck it and stopped paying attention to my phone after hours.

ariapluscat

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #83 on: March 01, 2017, 08:43:00 AM »
My situation is not the norm, but I work in defense and the security clearance and access system demands that the people working on a given program are located in the same room, working on a limited set of computers that are not connected to the internet.  Once you solve all the technical challenges of video conferencing, you would have to secure them to make everybody's house a SCIF. Not gonna happen.
yeah, the security of private or confidential information can be one issue.
some of it can be solved and i hope the progression of home tech and education about internet security will help, but some things really can't be decentralized

rg422

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2017, 02:16:17 PM »
My side gig is actually a WFH type of job (or anywhere there's internet, really). No set schedule as long as goals are met. I really enjoy working in my own office, not having to deal with office 'noise', commute, etc. For me, there is absolutely no negative with working from home.

GetItRight

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Re: WTF do we still commute to work to sit and use a computer???
« Reply #85 on: March 03, 2017, 07:29:55 PM »
Some of us work for manufacturing companies. I work at a plant that manufactures products. We have R&D and engineers that work closely with production. Those folks also need to travel across the country for product testing throughout the year. There are also a fair amount of support staff that do physical work either before sale or after sale support or training at our facility or the customers.

Aside from that for the desk jockeys it's not necessary to be at the office every day but being entirely remote without any office presence would be very detrimental to the company as a whole and the individual. Not office politics, just staying in the loop and maintaining relationships with coworkers. 100% WFH is not feasible IMO, though I could see WFH several days a week or 3 weeks away 1 week in the office type arrangements working for the desk jockeys. We do have some people that primarily work remote but are regularly in the office, at customer sites, or doing testing at one of our facilities. All these people do a lot of sitting using computers, but simply cannot solely work from home.