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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

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

PerfectlyPreservedQuagaarWarrior · 23/09/2022 07:55

MossGrowsFat · 23/09/2022 07:35

WFH does not help new starters (ie our children) it only helps those that are already established.

Whenever MNers say this, it's always very clear that they have a particular type of 'our children' in mind.

More wfh opportunities are going to be extremely helpful to my neurodivergent child who wouldn't cope a full day in an office environment, for example. They're going to benefit those of our children who don't live within commuting distance of the best job markets. They're going to open up more opportunities to young people looking for an entry job they can balance with caring responsibilities.

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incywincyspiders · 23/09/2022 07:55

I work hybrid so have a direct comparison of my productivity at home vs at work and I can tell you I am SO much more productive at home than I am at work.

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Forebt · 23/09/2022 07:56

@PerfectlyPreservedQuagaarWarrior true but it doesn’t work for everyone.

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ErrolTheDragon · 23/09/2022 07:57

Obviously it depends on the job and the person. I've WFH since 1995, and also 1989-1991 when it was significantly harder to do as there was only dialup email. I write scientific software, with colleagues in different time zones. It's the sort of thing where working flexibly, quite often picking up emails late in the day, sometimes working in the evening can make it very productive. Its also the sort of job where there's a lot of thinking and problem solving - quite often if I'm stuck, half an hour pottering in the garden seems to allow my subconscious to find a solution much better than sitting at a desk.
If you're the sort of person who isn't very self-motivated and/or doesn't enjoy their job (for itself, rather than the social aspects) then it won't be a good fit for you.

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Hearthnhome · 23/09/2022 08:00

Forebt · 23/09/2022 07:55

Try bring a trainee and just wfh, it’s shit, you don’t learn anything. I’m looking for a new job now because I hate it so much. There’s no culture or way of networking and when you do finally get into a meeting it’s all about the one person that hogs the mic and their personal life.

I’m glad some people get a positive experience though.

I would bet a years wages, that employee was poor when everyone was in the office. Showed by the fact that haven’t come up with a plan that works. It shows they don’t give a shit.

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Forebt · 23/09/2022 08:00

Also depends on the role doesn’t it, my new role is the type where you learn by osmosis and niche area. Also don’t other people miss all the skills you pick up being around multidisciplinary teams etc?

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Forebt · 23/09/2022 08:01

@Hearthnhome That’s nice but no not really.

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ErrolTheDragon · 23/09/2022 08:02

I personally think that WFH is the spawn of Satan. I am sick of not being able to ring up any organisation and have a sensible conversation with someone which isn't interrupted by children/dogs/postmen. Either that, or whoever I'm ringing up wants to tell me their life story, presumably because they are missing the social side of being at work. It's a bloody nightmare, and one of the very worst things about Covid.

Really? We've done quite a lot of phoning banks and service providers over the last couple of years. I've only once heard a kid in the background (during lockdown when the schools were closed) - mostly we've found that the phone is answered faster than it used to be.

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Forebt · 23/09/2022 08:02

Gosh. People get very frothy around the mouth about this topic don’t they.

Dont worry I’m not about to protest for office working out there but I don’t like it and the post asks for opinions.

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Treesandsheepeverywhere · 23/09/2022 08:02

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Also states:
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
So @Seaswimminginwinter has every right to post and talk about it.

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JassyRadlett · 23/09/2022 08:02

That article should be titled 'Bosses admit their lack of capability, having no objective way to measure productivity beyond feelings and not having the skill to motivate and maintain performance in their workforce without standing over them all the time.'

Honestly, any manager who says that they 'feel' or 'know' their staff are less productive WFH without having any performance or productivity metrics, any analysis of the tasks that are more/less productive remotely, and at least a fleeting sense of shame that they are so bad at their jobs that they can't get results without being in the same building as their workforce, should be sacked on the spot.

From my experience in very different workplaces since the pandemic, and teams who were either part remote or at a minimum geographically dispersed, there are some tasks that are naturally more productive in person (eg creative and collaborative work) and those that are more productive remotely. That doesn't mean that either should be fully enforced and managers need to be creative around to overcome the natural shortfalls of a particular way of working. For example, I have teams in Dundee, Aberdeen, London and Cardiff. We are rarely all going to be in the same place, and I'm rarely going to be standing over them to check they're working and not surfing the sidebar of shame. That doesn't mean I throw in the towel on collaborative work, it means I work harder to make the more difficult things work.

I also know which of my team members are more productive than others, and those whose performance dips in different settings and on different tasks.

Hybrid is working pretty well for us. It's not perfect and it's got shortcomings but we've exceeded our performance targets and improved productivity year on year without breathing down people's necks.

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SirCharlesRainier · 23/09/2022 08:03

Bosses who think WFH means lower productivity have massively underestimated just how unproductive I managed to be while in the office.

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GoldenOmber · 23/09/2022 08:03

In my experience - for my type of job - there is a productivity issue but it’s not about people slacking off at home. People tend to be better at some tasks at home (getting through their inbox, quiet writing, process-based tasks), but anything that involves collaboration or innovation as a team rather than an individual doesn’t work so well. Hybrid is a good compromise.

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NotQuiteUsual · 23/09/2022 08:03

WFH with some flexibility has been a genuine life changer for us. We could buy a house in a cheaper area(with the boss very happy for us and supportive). DH is around more with the kids since he's not sat on a forever delayed train. He can do the school run and make yo the time after. His MH is so much better for it and because he's very introverted he works a lot better without people around distracting him.

Although before we moved, when DH had to work in the dining room(which was the through room to the kitchen and toilet) he absolutely struggled. It only works if you have a suitable space to do it. But in this day and age there's no reason why WFH shouldn't be an option for suitable jobs.

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RampantIvy · 23/09/2022 08:03

My job doesn’t lend itself to WFH

Mine does.
I think it works well because of the type of job, the right people and excellent leadership. I get more done at home because I have fewer distractions. I am pretty focussed anyway, and the type of work I do isn't the type that you can spend time procrastinating.

I go to the office once a week.

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PerfectlyPreservedQuagaarWarrior · 23/09/2022 08:04

Forebt · 23/09/2022 07:56

@PerfectlyPreservedQuagaarWarrior true but it doesn’t work for everyone.

Yes. Didn't say it did. The whole point is not to generalise.

In this specific example, young people and new starters doesn't simply mean those ones who are like the person making the claim and found office based working beneficial to them. If what posters actually mean is people like me will find it harder to work from home as new starters, they should say that, rather than assuming all young people have the same traits and advantages as they did.

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NuNameNuMe · 23/09/2022 08:05

It works if you have a dedicated space to do it in and a door that closes

I agree with this. It works if you have an office space at home to go to, and come away from. I'm torn. When I'm in the office I enjoy people, the shops at lunchtime etc, but the office itself is not fully optimised for ME the way it is at home. I think hybrid is the way, use the office for people things, and home for concentration. I've been massively more productive at home, but that may not be a totally good thing to jump from one meeting to the next without even a break to walk between floors or meeting rooms.

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PerfectlyPreservedQuagaarWarrior · 23/09/2022 08:05

SirCharlesRainier · 23/09/2022 08:03

Bosses who think WFH means lower productivity have massively underestimated just how unproductive I managed to be while in the office.

Love that!

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Rewis · 23/09/2022 08:05

I'm equally good at wasting a day in office as I am doing it at home!

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Fuwari · 23/09/2022 08:05

I’m in a small team which probably helps but we were 100% remote before covid. I’ve helped a couple of new starters, met with them at a local office and took them through a few things. We have our own group chat on teams so there’s always someone there to answer a question or listen to a moan! We all meet up 3-4 times a year for lunch. We have a wide age range, youngest is 30 oldest is 70! (though the 70yr old is part time). It works really well.

I’ve said it before on these threads but for me, wfh flexibly is different from wfh 9-5. Because for me the main perk is being able to choose when I do the work. If I was chained to my desk 9-5 then I might as well be in the office. I have a work phone that’s on during office hours if I’m needed (rarely) but I can work when I like.

I actually do more work than is “expected”. Because I’m faster and more motivated at home. I can work solidly when I do work knowing if I then want an hour or two to myself I can. Honestly I was someone who often used to faff about in the office. Sometimes I’d work hard, other times I’d just waste time on the internet. Now if I waste time, it’s my own time I’m wasting, not the employers! That’s very motivating to me.

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MargotChateau · 23/09/2022 08:06

I wish I could work from home, unfortunately it really depends as an artist the scale you are working on, or who has contracted or commissioned you.
I’m disabled and the commute and being at work all day when I’m in pain and can’t quickly have a hot bath to ease symptoms is agony. As soon as my baby is born ill be looking for another job/project on my maternity leave,

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Blanketpolicy · 23/09/2022 08:06

Whether WFH works or not is dependent on many factors - the role, the person, the competency of the manager, the company environment, tools available to name a few. It is not, and never has been, a one size fits all.

To feel WFH has had its day a bit?

What has had it's day is meaningless generic discussion about WFH and other peoples working arrangements when it is not relevant to yourself and you have not experience of a job where it does work. It reeks of jealousy and a grass is always greener on the other side. You would not be jealous of the downsides of my job.

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AhaLynn · 23/09/2022 08:07

Gotta love the ‘la la la’ I love it and if you hate it then you’re workplace is just rubbish. Yeah, I’m kind of glad I don’t work in your team! 🤣

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MargotChateau · 23/09/2022 08:07

I also waste a lot of time at work with ineffective meetings and colleagues chatting with me. I appreciate their interest but it slows me down.

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BunsyGirl · 23/09/2022 08:08

I work for an international company.
I have Teams meetings with people all over the World and I draft complex legal documents. Neither of those lend themselves to working from a noisy open plan office. I am far more productive working from home. In fact, it would be impossible to fit the meetings in if I worked from the office as they often have to be very early or very late in the day to allow for time differences.

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