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To feel WFH has had its day a bit?

493 replies

Seaswimminginwinter · 23/09/2022 06:10

Bosses think workers do less from home - bbc article

My job doesn’t lend itself to WFH but I have noticed on nearly every thread on here about WFH, people insist that they are more productive. However, I have to admit that this doesn’t match with my experiences. But I am one person so maybe I’ve been unlucky, except this article is quite interesting about perceptions.

I also think it changes homes and areas. My own DH is WFH today and it is my day off, meaning I will spend it feeling as f I am I the way in my own home. Homes aren’t meant to be offices.

I get there are advantages but overall I don’t think it works well at all.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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NumberTheory · 23/09/2022 06:47

There are some things that are better with people in the same place - a lot of work needs the cooperation and conflict, fast back and forth and serendipitous connections that are more easily experienced in the office. But a lot of jobs (and many of the same ones) need the focus and flexibility that is better created at home. And while there are some people who skimp on the hours at home, there are people who spend half their day in the office finding an excuse to be up and moving around, not working.

But for the most part I think bosses perceptions on this are a version of presenteeism, which is really hard to overcome. So while WFH will, I think continue to be way more popular than it was before the pandemic, there will be unjustified pressure to be in the office for the foreseeable future.

Personally, I hate it and it stresses me out, but lots of people find it really helps with work life balance.

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Teeheehee1579 · 23/09/2022 06:47

I think a PP hit the nail on the head - those that used to do naff all in the office (chatting, time wasting, inefficient) are doing exactly the same at home. It is not a working from home problem it is a people problem albeit I think much harder to manage this when they are at home and out of sight

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EarringsandLipstick · 23/09/2022 06:48

It's very dependent on sector, culture & the individual!

I do think certain assumptions that were made about WFH during / immediately post-pandemic are now being challenged. For example, it appeared extremely efficient for many - but now, that is dependent on everyone you work with broadly working in that same pattern.

For some sectors (eg finance, those with an international base) it seems to have clear benefits.

In my sector (university), there is a lot more happening f2f, from meetings to informal connections, and being on-site more is required for me to be efficient. I also manage a team & there are communication challenges at times due to on-site/wfh patterns.

But having some time at home to work in a focused way, and to accommodate personal situations eg wfh allows some people drop kids to / collect them from school when they couldn't on an office day and that eases stress & pressure so is hugely beneficial for individual & organisation

I think it's also about continuing to have open & honest conversations in both directions too .

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GhostFromTheOtherSide · 23/09/2022 06:48

I think there’s something to be said for having a mix.

I’m about to start a job which is entirely remote, and while this is absolutely a setup which works for me, and I have a dedicated space to do it, it’s kind of surreal, because I have never and likely will never meet any of my colleagues face to face. We will know each other purely in the online world, which is odd when you consider that we’ve become a generation who have learned to be wary of people online and to not consider online associations real associations, iyswim.

We are creating a generation of staff who will not have personal working relationships, often at a time in their lives where developing good relationships is a positive thing. And while I am absolutely embracing the idea of working from home as I have some health issues and a commmute on top may have well been too much, I do think that we need to recognise that there are some pitfalls as well as benefits.

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AloysiusBear · 23/09/2022 06:48

Its been brilliant for my team. Its also keeping pay under control - people are getting less willing to take on huge commutes, time & money wise. Wfh means i don't have to pay the extortionate amount needed for my staff to live decently in central London.

The jobs in my industry wanting people in 4 or 5 days a week get no applicants.

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SweetTeapot · 23/09/2022 06:48

Employers need to be careful if they don't offer flexible / WFH as they will lose good talent. it's a high priority people looking for jobs.

I recently turned a job down because they "had an expectation" to be in the office every single day. They seemed like they were stuck in the dark ages. My jobs have always had 1 day at least WFH so I was very surprised.

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knittingaddict · 23/09/2022 06:49

It doesn't work for everyone's circumstances but it works very well for us. Probably for these reasons:

Husband has office based job now wfh.
I don't work.
No children at home.
Have a tiny, but adequate office with a door.
Husband's team works very well from home.
Husband is nearing retirement, so appreciates not doing the long commutes he used to do.

We frequently have young children and a dog (not ours) to look after, but it still works well. The dog was here yesterday and was either in his bed outside the office or on my husband's lap during audio calls. They both love it. 😀

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Borgonzola · 23/09/2022 06:50

I worked from home before the pandemic. Partner and I both exclusively worked from home during pandemic. I then went remote full time and he went back to office 2-3 days a week.

I'm now on mat leave and him remote working means we get to have lunch together, he can work a bit later without then needing to get home later, and has been around when I really needed help with the baby. He's not missing out on her life.

Neither of us have jobs that need us to be in an office full time and our quality of life has improved so much. It might not be the same for you but I don't think that means you can just decide no remote working situation is ever appropriate.

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AloysiusBear · 23/09/2022 06:51

We are creating a generation of staff who will not have personal working relationships

Not true! One of my good friends is my American co worker who I've never met in person.

Younger people are used to online communication and are very adept at building relationships that way.

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Pengwinn · 23/09/2022 06:51

The balance is definitely tipping back to being in the office in my sector, even those who were very vocal about heading back to the office are enjoying it now. We can work from home if needed ie a bit under the weather, have a delivery being made, poorly child etc and only have to do a min of 2 days in office; most do 4 or 5 out of choice. Personally I love being back, but for those who enjoy wfh then that's good for them and companies should keep offering it.

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knittingaddict · 23/09/2022 06:52

SweetTeapot · 23/09/2022 06:48

Employers need to be careful if they don't offer flexible / WFH as they will lose good talent. it's a high priority people looking for jobs.

I recently turned a job down because they "had an expectation" to be in the office every single day. They seemed like they were stuck in the dark ages. My jobs have always had 1 day at least WFH so I was very surprised.

That's very true. My husband used to work from home at least one day a week even before covid. I don't think that was very unusual even then.

With modern technology available it seems very shortsighted to insist on a physical presence.

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TheBeesKnee · 23/09/2022 06:52

I hate the office. A massive, open space full of noise and usually someone eating something. So many distractions and having to talk to people when you'd really rather not. I'd be much more open to coming in if we were given personal offices instead of this open plan hell Smile

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Pengwinn · 23/09/2022 06:53

Younger people are used to online communication and are very adept at building relationships that way

I think this plays a part in why many are terrible at communicating in person, not just at work. Its definitely a set of skills that's going down the pan and imo will lead to everyone being more isolated in tbe future.

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Stag82 · 23/09/2022 06:53

I think it depends on your set up. We were always set up for remote working prior to Covid. I also am fortunate enough to have a designated office space away from the main living areas.

My work is now hybrid and my office day is my least productive as people want to chat and I have lots of meetings etc.

i don’t watch tv or anything else when I work and if I do housework, walk etc I do it before work or during my dinner break.

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mondaytosunday · 23/09/2022 06:53

I think wfh suits those of a certain experience and life stage - possibly those who are already coupled up or have kids and/or are established in their field.
It may not suit those just starting out in the field of work.
When I started out, work was my social life too. Fresh out of university, new to the city, if I was stuck at home staring at a computer I would have been miserable and would not have learned anything. I would not have learned HOW to work. I wouldn't have made friends, I wouldn't have learned how the office structure works. I would not have seen how other departments operate and recognise my next job move. I would have missed so many opportunities. I would have hated it.
Now I am decades older, have a family and do not depend on work in the same way. A hybrid system would be great.

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Popaholic · 23/09/2022 06:53

Works brilliantly for DH and I. No time wasted commuting, can therefore actually do overtime and work flexibly in the evenings/at weekends if needed.

Also we have managed to diversify geographically to employ people in parts of the UK who wouldn’t necessarily usually be able to access a job in the SE.

I’m in my second 100% wfh role, and very experienced at onboarding people 100% remotely.

This can really regional address wealth inequality if we get it right - imagine anyone in the UK can work anywhere. It could level the playing field for a lot of careers.

long live wfh!

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GuyFawkesDay · 23/09/2022 06:54

DH job required 3hrs travel time a day. Now it doesn't
He does 3hrs more work a day instead. He's definitely more productive at home and prefers it.

I can't understand the OPs view: I can't do my job at home so nobody should? I mean I can't, I am a teacher but it doesn't mean I can't see the benefits of it. I'm at the moment looking to leave teaching and would happily take a hefty pay cut to WFH or hybrid and lose the more expensive car etc for a better balance instead of doing the mad hours I do at the moment

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Longdistance · 23/09/2022 06:55

My db worked from home for the majority. It helped when dm was alive as he looked after her. The one time he did go in, he looked on the internal camera and she had a tumble, so had to rush back home. He seems to do more work away from the office as he doesn’t get disturbed by his colleagues wanting to chat about inane rubbish.

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MyLovelyPen · 23/09/2022 06:56

Wfh in an established job is fine but it’s bloody hard to start a new job wfh as I’m finding out at the moment. I’m a hybrid worker and I learn so much on my office days that is impossible at home.

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Darbs76 · 23/09/2022 06:56

I do 3 office days, and then 2 at home (Monday and Friday). I am over WFH to be honest. I am someone who likes to speak to real people and due to my role I need to be visible. Our team are productive at home, we have no issues with individuals productivity. I’m sure they all have breaks and do something else, but I often hang the washing out mid morning. Guess no different to having a chat in the kitchen.

A lot of our team don’t feel the same as us and complain about their 40% which to be honest is not asking much to come in twice a week

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Sallyh87 · 23/09/2022 06:58

I think remote working will be a real positive in closing the pay gap for men and women. WFH allowed me to maintain full time following having DD1, I didn’t have the organisational stress of commuting, nursery drops offs and the guilt of not seeing her until the late evening. It’s a real positive.

Also, I am equally productive at home, if I wasn’t I would be pulled up on it.

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typingcake · 23/09/2022 06:58

I’ve had a home office since before lockdown, I’m self employed so it’s my main place of work. When my husband was working from home he would set up in the kitchen. I’m off every Monday but he’s in the office that day so it’s no problem. In fact he’s in every day now and we both hate it. It was better when he was home 2 days a week as it’s nice to have lunch together or do a lunchtime walk. And it was easier for him to do the nursery pick up. Ow I have to do more of that.

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YingMei · 23/09/2022 06:58

My company sold their office space and bought a substantially smaller one. My team now wfh all the time - I hate it. I find it isolating to be at home all day. But it undeniably helps with work life balance as I have primary age kids. I would love a hybrid model. DHs company now have to be in 4 out of 5 days although many don't seem to be doing it.

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pompomdaisy · 23/09/2022 06:59

I do about two days in the office and 3 days wfh. I'm definitely more productive at home because I can start at 8 when at home but the drive into work is 45 mins each way! I think if you are a self motivated driven person it works well. If you are a lazy arse then it doesn't!

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holidaynightmare · 23/09/2022 07:00

I'm nhs and we do a split between the office and working from home.

Our offices have been compressed and it's a hot desk system now so we couldn't all be in 5 days a week as the hospital have converted a lot of what was office spaces into clinical areas. The option for everyone being there 5 days a week has now gone there just isn't the desk space anymore.

I work 4 days and do 2 at home and 2 in the office and as the team leader I have so many seats allocated to me for the team and I Rota around it and peoples annual leave etc......

My team all seem to be fine with it, nobody has had any issues although people (including myself!!) are worrying about heating our homes to work in them all day with rising costs.

We have regular meetings online and I always have this on the agenda so if people's circumstances change we will swop things round a bit and we're all flexible to swop days etc

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