I’m currently a desk jockey working in a business 2 business field. I’d rather not go into specifics about my work but suffice it to say that my normal working week is split between leading / attending meetings and computer work.
Before the pandemic we had a family emergency which meant I needed to leave work unexpectedly one day to go home and look after my very young baby so that my wife could be with her family. Remote working was not the norm at that point but I was allowed to WFH for the rest of the week and made no secret of the fact that I was splitting my attention between work and childcare (adding any time spent looking after the baby to the end of the working day). I then returned to work normally but after a few more weeks I negotiated an arrangement to WFH one day a week mostly on health grounds. HR approved this but emphasised that I could not look after my baby during this time and that doing so would be a disciplinary issue.
Then the pandemic hit and we were all sent home to work remotely 100%. After a few weeks of this I was furloughed for a couple of months on 2/3 pay before returning to work remotely. Ive since left that job but my new work has been pretty much 100% remote excepting the odd office visit for meetings and stuff.
Anyways, WFH has been wonderful. Pre-Covid I was getting up obscenely early to beat the traffic into the office and finish at a reasonable time to get home and actually have something like a life. It feels like I’ve got 2.5 hours of my life back each day and had time with my family I would never have got otherwise. I find it so weird when I talk to people who would rather be office based 100% or most of the time. Yes, there are downsides to full remote working but that’s why I plan the office visits.
I was curious, are any of you remote workers and what have your experiences been like? Do any of you dislike remote working and if so then why?
Passing on the experience of my father - He works in education (admin side) and is classed as highly vulnerable. He worked from home for a lot longer than most of his colleagues. Dad was overjoyed when he could return to the office part-time. As he couldn’t leave the house in the same way as the rest of us he really missed the social side of being at work.
I started school remotely and graduated during the pandemic. Now working remotely for a company that operates out of another province. I love it. My hours are super flexible as long as I get my work done. I can work through insomnia not worrying about being late to work. I can take breaks when my mind isn’t able to focus. I can ride a motivation high whenever it hits to clean the apartment. It’s great.
That makes sense to me. I went a little stir crazy for a while there because getting up and walking through to my home office with the same routine every day did start to wear a little thin. I think the social aspect and the informal, ‘chats around the coffee machine’ meetings are the biggest argument for the office.
That said, the occasional trips and meetings I have really make up that psychological gap for me and the rest can be resolved to some degree by careful planning.
A lot of times this gets described as the “new normal” but I think it’ll be a few years before we really know fully what it will look like. Even before the pandemic there was a lot of vacant office space in Glasgow but new offices were still getting built. Now so much of the city centre is empty (including shops) but it won’t stay that way forever, nature abhors a vacuum.
Also, in my field the salary you command has traditionally been salary linked. London typically commands the best wages with the salary level rising and falling over the rest of the country dependent on local industry factors and living costs. With a mainly remote workforce those same economic arguments don’t apply and we’re already seeing people complain that they deserve parity.
I think a lot of it depends on what your home environment is like.
For me, trying to complete my degree at home wasn’t easy. I had many distractions to deal with and I couldn’t separate “work space” from “home space” because we just didn’t have enough space in the house to do that. I found it a lot easier to study when I was physically at the university. Even though the commute was an hour each way, that time was easily made up by actually being able to concentrate.
Also, I’m terrible with procrastination. Trying to do my work on the same computer that has all my games installed and my websites set up how I like was easier said than done.
I completed a degree programme remotely, I agree that you have to be really strict with yourself or it won’t work. I was also in a good position where I had a decent home workspace, some colleagues were balancing their laptops on their beds and ridiculous things like that so I can sympathise, it isn’t all about procrastination.
I don’t have a job where home office is doable, but I wouldn’t like it. The social part is important to me, I like chatting with my colleagues, and I like having a reason to get out of the house. I would never work somewhere with a toxic environment and “bad” colleagues. My “commute” is 15min by bike, one way
My brother loves home office. He has an office job 30min away and two kids at home. He hates the inefficiency of spending 1 hour in his car to do the same job he can do from home. Colleagues aren’t really important to him .
A friends lives alone, his kids are grown up and have moved out ans his girlfriend lives in another city. He went nuts during the lock down and missed going to the office, he was one of the first to return. His commute is around 1h one way
Im working from home 100% since Covid and probably going to be going forward. Im a big fan. Im a consultant which means that even when I was working on site it was at a client site and was probably just me with a laptop set up in some unused corner. So not like I really had a desk I went normally or anything.
For me the biggest benefit is being able to be more productive as a whole. For instance I have days with alot of meetings/calls and inevitably there will be times where I have 7 minutes between calls. 7 minutes is not enough time to do any meaningful amount of work so when we were on site it would just be killing time. But at home I use those little bits of down time to start the dishwasher or throw a load of laundry in. It just leads to alot more free time after work since Ive been able to finish some of the annoying small chores during the day.
Have there been any drawbacks for you?
My perspective is quite similar to your brother’s. I’m friendly with my colleagues but there are very few I’d consider actual friends. I’m also a bit of an introvert, I like meeting up with people face to face but I don’t need that interaction on a daily basis.
Eh kinda. With my job Im often working with international teams that plus the nature of the projects I get mean that my hours are never super consistent. There is never a consistent start and stop time. So while its been great to not have to commute when I have those projects that start at 4am or the ones that end at midnight there were some learning curves when people went remote.
Its gotten alot better now but right at the start of the pandemic there was more scope creap. Because in person you going home marked “I am done with work for the day”. Since people were now remote and still had their computer some people (managers and employees) had a hard time ending for the day and so work that was supposed to end at 6PM would kind of bleed on and people would still be pinging each other for a few hours since they were still by their work computers.
We had some trainings though and that atleast in my experience has improved geeadly
Fortunately my team and clients were mainly based in the UK so we didn’t have those issues. The main drawback I’ve experienced is that it’s challenging to keep up with the day to day activities when you aren’t in the room listening in to the work in progress. It’s also harder to chase people when you can’t turn up at their desk and / or physically go looking for them when they don’t turn up for scheduled meetings.
My former job meant I was driving 1 hour and 15 min to work daily, in heavy traffic with very unpredictable patterns. I was so exhausted and drained of the drive after 2.5 years that I started nearly/actually getting into accidents. Now I can get up in the morning at the same time I would’ve had to leave, go to my friend’s house for a run together, go home to shower and get ready to hang out with you guys.
I’ve been working from home since before the pandemic, and I’ve found that being able to set my own schedule and the freedom to just move around and take breaks as needed has been such a positive thing overall.
My career is particularly well-suited to working remotely. My company was already remote before the pandemic.
Pay is often linked to location, but remote working incentivises people to live places that are lower cost of living so they can make the most of their money anyway.
I’ve been working (IT support) remotely since March 2020 and enjoying it; while my commute is not that long, it still took 50 minutes both ways, so that’s over 1.5 back for me as well.
Now we’re partially going back to office. Originally, the plan was that we go in every Tuesday and Thursday, but I was among the few ones who turned up both days, so for now, we only need to go in on Thursdays. So I still have the social aspect of office working (discussing, at length, with one colleague why Rise of the Skywalker is awful and valiantly defending my point that The Last Jedi is not awful, despite what almost everyone, including said colleague, says ) while enjoying WFH most of the time.
I didn’t hate the Last Jedi but I’m still very curious about your defence of it!
I don’t want to derail the thread too much (if there are enough SW fans here, maybe we could attempt a Star Wars media discussion thread?), so I won’t go into much detail, but to name a few arguments…
-Unlike in Episodes 7 and 9, Rey is NOT a Mary sue here. No, she has struggles, new force powers don’t just come to her without effort and she is definitely not always right.
-Poe shows that he’s not just an ace pilot, he’s also a good, if overly confident and rash, planner/leader.
-Finn and Rose are interesting side characters with their own motivations and personalities. (My only complaint about them is that stupid, unnecessary and ultimately pointless as it was canned romantic subplot.)
-DJ is a cool character and a(n IMHO) much needed cynic in the otherwise black vs white setting.
-Kylo is grew past his “Emo Darth Vader Wannabe” stage, showing that he can be a very pragmatic big bad if given a chance.
Back to Rey, I have actually preferred the “her parents were nobodies” narrative as it would have cemented the fact that you don’t have to be, or be related to, a force user from previous media to be a force user yourself.
Canto Bight is a daring, cool new location, not Tattooine n+1 or some random warship.
The “Holdo maneuver”, as problematic as it is to integrate into the lore, was a surprising and incredibly impactful moment, not the least because of the choice to mute the movie for a few seconds.
We had a potentially awesome big bad in Snoke, whose overconfidence did turn out to be his undoing.
That said, I’m not saying it was anywhere near perfect (I don’ like how they turned former new hope and light of the Galaxy Luke Skywalker into a mopey do-nothing, the aforementioned romantic subplot, the ass-pull of revealing that Leia is also a trained force user, Holdo’s character as a whole /aside from her sacrifice/ and the 100% pointlessness of Finn and Rose’s mission), but I think it was much better than Rise of the Skywalker, partly because the latter went straight against some of the points I listed above.
Oh, I’d say that its definitely worth pulling this into a separate thread. Lots of interesting discussion points there! I think my main issue with the sequel trilogy is that its a disjointed mess which doesn’t hang together as a consistent narrative. The Force Awakens was almost a remake of a New Hope and Episode 9 seemed like it was trying to undo as many of the innovations the Last Jedi made as possible.