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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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GnomeDePlume · 23/09/2022 07:02

Certain types of manager were really challenged by remote working. IME these were the type of manager who didn't really know what their teams actually did! The only way they could be sure their teams were working was by seeing them heads down over their desks.

My role is technical and very suited to remote working. For me, in work terms, WFH is brilliant. I can get hold of people. So much less time is spent trying to track down people who in other times could disappear for hours on end.

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Autumn2022 · 23/09/2022 07:03

My workplace actively encouraging working from home to save on heating and lighting. I used to hate it during covid. But now covid is over and I get my adult interaction elsewhere I’m enjoying it. I go into the office sometimes - but at my total discretion. I make it work for me, allows me to put a wash on, walk the dog at lunch. Im probably equally as productive, I can’t work with anyone else in the house. I go into the office then.

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itsgrownbacknow · 23/09/2022 07:03

I go back into the office for workshop days that are highly productive but we do spend part of the day chewing the fat. That's nice of course but is non productive time. WFH enables me to work compressed hours so I have a non working weekday to fulfil my caring responsibilities for my dad

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Phos · 23/09/2022 07:03

I was already alternating between 50% in office and 50% home pre-covid and have recently gone back to that. Both DH and I WFH at the same time and don't feel on top of each other but we are lucky we have space to do this. I find at the moment I get more done at home because at work so many of us don't see each other much so there's a lot of chatting going on. I don't mind it but I'm firmly of the opinion colleagues aren't friends so I find it a bit exhausting, I'd rather just crack on.

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StarcourtMall · 23/09/2022 07:04

I think a hybrid model can work okay. Personally I don’t like working from home - I prefer my home to be my relaxing space and really enjoy having a short commute to separate the two worlds. I also agree about younger/newer employees missing out on the learning and networking opportunities of being face to face with colleagues.

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Noteverybodylives · 23/09/2022 07:04

I couldn’t do it as I can’t focus at home.
I also like to separate work and home and my MH would suffer from not seeing people everyday.

However, i can imagine it works very well for many people.

My commute is an hour each way. Plus I have to get up extra early so I can do my make up and get ready etc.
I could also use my lunch break to put the washing on, prep dinner or hoover - all things I need to find time for after work.

If I WFH I would have much more free time.

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MsTSwift · 23/09/2022 07:05

Works great now but as a twenty something new in London it was how I met friends and a husband!

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BiologicalKitty · 23/09/2022 07:05

@Sestriere I'm almost 100% sure we work for the same org.

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TeenDivided · 23/09/2022 07:06

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.

I worry about this too. I met really good friends (and my DH) at work. By all having to be in the same place regularly we all lived in in vaguely the same area so we could meet and socialise after work sometimes too.

Plus I learned a lot in my first years from having experts around that you could shout over to for help or who would hear a conversation and chip in.

I also get the feeling there are more issues being raised here on MN due to WFH issues. Where either within a family or between neighbours people's daily lives are being impacted by WFH people. (e.g. complaints about building work or children in the garden, having to be quiet in own home).

Finally I find it hard to believe that everyone WFH productively and it is just mistrusting managers who have an issue. There have always been people who are 'relaxed' about working, and WFH will give those people yet more distractions.

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CoffeeWithCheese · 23/09/2022 07:06

If you have the space and reliable internet connection to do it (ie not our Router of Satan) then fine... but I hate employers assuming that everyone DOES and ignoring the fact that it does have an impact on everyone else who lives in the house.

I work in a community NHS role and our team are very much trusted to work however suits us in terms of where we work and how we structure our diaries as long as the caseload gets dealt with - so we have some staff who go to the base nearer to them and work out of there, some who go to allocated bases and work out of there and some who work from home when not actively out seeing patients. I've got areas a fair distance away from where I live so I tend to work out of the community bases on patient-facing days, but I probably do get a bit less work done because of office discussions and general chit chat than I can get done on a day blocked out for admin at home.

It's having staff who don't take the piss, and management who facilitate working in a way that works for staff that's key really.

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Simonjt · 23/09/2022 07:09

My bonuses improved when I was working from home as I was more productive, I’m now back in the office that is noisy, too warm, we hot desk, people are disturbing you quite often and pointless meetings go on for ages, personally my productivity has decreased.

It entirely depends on the job and the type of worker.

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EarringsandLipstick · 23/09/2022 07:09

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

That's often said but I'm not convinced.

I noticed many graduates / early career professionals being anxious & struggling more with tasks.

It's really hard to quickly ask a question, get support or form meaningful collaborative relationships if you don't have an opportunity to meet in person.

That doesn't have to be all the time, but should be effectively embedded.

I think it's different if your colleagues are in another country entirely as your expectation wouldn't ever be the same anyway.

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ContadoraExplorer · 23/09/2022 07:10

Where I work we've always had the flexibility to WFH because all of the software we use is cloud based so can log in from anywhere although most people, pre pandemic, have been in the office for the largest part.

Over the last few months, most of our staff have migrated back to the office once or twice a week, and I guarantee that the decision to do so was more from a social perspective rather than a business one. Instead of time lost to hanging out washing or some other household chore, it will come from when people stop by a desk for a catch up or get chatting in the kitchen whilst they make a cup of tea, and either way, as long as they're not taking the piss and the work is getting done well, neither are issues.

I appreciate we're in a lucky position to be able to do it but I don't think we'll ever go back to being fully office based - I know it has made the entire team's life much better to have the flexibility.

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PerfectlyPreservedQuagaarWarrior · 23/09/2022 07:10

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.

What you mean there is it wouldn't have suited you and people who are similar to you when starting out in the field. There are others for whom wfh will open the door to roles they couldn't have got under the working model you trained in. Young people with caring responsibilities, those who can't get to the locations with the best job markets and are disadvantaged by location, those whose neurodiversity or health issues mean they'd struggle to do their work in an office setup.

These people were always disadvantaged by the work model you feel was helpful to you when you were younger. We just didn't pick up on that as a society before March 2020.

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Oysterbabe · 23/09/2022 07:12

I'm permanently WFH since the pandemic and this isn't likely to change, they've massively downsized the office so my department has nowhere to sit now. All of us prefer it and now we're recruiting all over the country and not just our local area. I really feel like it's given me a bit of my life back, I no longer have a panicked dash to get back in time to do pick up from afterschool club. I can do food shopping or dinner prep at lunchtime, stick a load of washing on.
I have a separate work space and I'm definitely getting as much if not more done than when I was in the office.

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Isthatyourname · 23/09/2022 07:12

I am actually less productive in the office, I can no longer focus at all in the office listening to other people ramble on and on. Plus hitting the traffic on the way home is completely draining after a long unproductive day.

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RustyShackleford3 · 23/09/2022 07:12

It works extremely well for me, but I like my job and I have a dedicated office space.

If I was sitting at the kitchen table doing something I didn't care about, I would not be productive.

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EarringsandLipstick · 23/09/2022 07:14

those whose neurodiversity or health issues mean they'd struggle to do their work in an office setup.

Good point. I have two people on my team with complex health conditions. Hybrid working has really helped them manage their conditions in a way that works for them & be more in control of their work environment.

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MrsJBaptiste · 23/09/2022 07:14

I WFH with one day a week in the office. I am so much productive at home, I'm logged on by 8am and finished and ready for the gym by 5pm. The day I'm in the office, I don't get there until 9am due the the commute, get very little done as people take it as an opportunity to ask things in person (which they absolutely should and is the point of the day in the office) then stay until 6pm so I can have an hour after everyone else has left and am home by 7pm.

However, we built a garden office so I'm out of the way of the family and it makes working that bit more bearable! I can log on, zone out and have my meetings in peace which is a far cry from the first year when I had a camping table in the corner of the kitchen...

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Ohtsd · 23/09/2022 07:14

I think my probate case worker is working from home....

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macthekwife · 23/09/2022 07:16

the problem there is he is using the living space as an office, that's not fair at all. He needs to have a separate space. Mine uses the bedroom, which is fine, I stay downstairs. I work in the lounge but my work is contract and I can do it at any time and it doesn't take any paper or set up, just me and my laptop which isn't in the way of anyone.

The thing about WFH is you cut out travel and lunch which at work can just be time-consuming and expensive and may not sustain you properly. I can make a lovely lunch, a fresh salad, my husband gets a cooked meal at lunch and teatime and it does make you more productive as you're not comfortable.

But some people need that work environment and it's just an individual thing. There are people who use WFH to slack of course. I've seen it myself.

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Autumn2022 · 23/09/2022 07:19

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

that’s something I’ve really struggled with. I’m 32 so not sure where you’d place me. But started a new job and spent 2 days in the office when lockdown hit. A team of 20 and 2.5 years in I have met maybe half a dozen. I’ve found that really tough.

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KILM · 23/09/2022 07:19

Sestriere · 23/09/2022 06:35

I’ve long said this (under various usernames). I’ve WFH since 2006, and my employer first introduced it in 1999. It was a massive success, but then they realised that being in the office also had huge benefits too and started to reduce WFH and bringing people back.

Cut to the pandemic, due to our history, lifting and shifting 1000s of employees home quickly was a breeze. But now, two years on a formal policy has been launched this very week with the clear expectation that all employees will be expected in three days a week and can work from wherever two days. Because, given the chance to work hybrid without a policy meant people simply didn’t come in. Now they are expected in with the rest of their team. Our pass cards enable the company to monitor this. There is still some flexibility for appointments, caring responsibilities etc. it’s not all bad. I work for a huge household name.

we need to do this for the new recruits to learn, develop and grow as well.

there’s an article on BBC news about the same thing. Microsoft are expected in 50% of the time, Apple have been called back, Tesler are expected in five days.

Others will follow.

I think we might work at the same employer. Respectfully (as you are right, there are benefits on an individual level in the right circumstances) i feel like you've missed out in your post that your employer (if we indeed work for the same one which i think we might) is going through an unbelievable attrition crisis due to pay and conditions like forcing people to work from offices that are hours away from where they live, in a sector where competitors will offer completely remote to candidates and stick to it.
This company is struggling to recruit because they recruit people on the basis its 'flexible working' like other tech companies, then once the person starts they discovered they are actually expected to do a 3 hour commute to sit in an office alone on Teams calls with colleagues scattered around the world. So people quit within months of getting here.
Word appears to be getting out about this, as they dont pay market rate, so if they dont offer fully remote how can they possibly expect to recruit any talent worth having. Obviously the movement in tech (and the sector the employer is in) is very high across the board, but this employer has put itself in a position where consumer services are going to be impacted because of the recruitment and retention crisis from pay and WFH.

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Ohtsd · 23/09/2022 07:20

He definitely needs a separate place to work, I'm retired and it was a right pain when DH worked in the house, in the end he worked in the caravan on the drive, even when he was in the spare room I could still hear his calls. An office in the garden is a good idea, luckily he is retired now but long term I think we would have converted the outbuilding

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Sestriere · 23/09/2022 07:21

BiologicalKitty · 23/09/2022 07:05

@Sestriere I'm almost 100% sure we work for the same org.

😉 three together two wherever?

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