Working from Home

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Working from Home

With everyone getting a taste of working from home it could really become more part of post recovery life

I question if NYC folks are really going to want to live on a dirt road 20 miles from the nearest stop light and big grocery store like I do though.  Saratoga and Queensbury might get a big boost though.  To me that is living in the city.  I’m sure those are great places to live but they aren’t my cup of tea.
if You French Fry when you should Pizza you are going to have a bad time
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Market Philosophy: What You Got?

I personally don't like working from home.  You never go home if you are there all day.

As a business owner I like it even less.  Less collaboration, less idea sharing, less team spirit, and less work.

I think its 50/50  that last weeks 18k was the bottom. Imo to believe that you have to be confident that we are close to the turn.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
TheGreatAbyss TheGreatAbyss
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Re: Market Philosophy: What You Got?

Harvey wrote
Less collaboration, less idea sharing, less team spirit, and less work.
I think it really depends on the office, the business, and the people.  I don't know your business but study after study shows that open office floor plans actually decrease all of those metrics.  From personal experience I can say that everyone just stares into their computer with their headphones on avoiding as much direct human interaction as possible, and instead opting to communicate over Slack/Email.  

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2019/06/30/open-plan-work-spaces-lower-productivity-employee-morale/#5cb6042661cd

I work in tech and thankfully I see it changing.  Most developers are pretty self motivated and responsible for getting shit done, and there's no better place with fewer distractions than at home.  We're constantly communicating and sharing on slack, and getting face time and screen share time on Google Hangouts.  

When you're a manager or an owner there is a basic human paranoia of not trusting your employees, and feeling that they need to be in your line of sight to know that they are doing work.   Mid level managers especially need that ego trip of physically seeing their subordinates.  

I hope to see a lot of companies move to the 50/50 office/remote model, but we'll see.  After this pandemic my worry is that the combo of slow business and workers not setup, prepared, or in the correct productive mindset will give working from home a bad rep.  

We'll see.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Market Philosophy: What You Got?

We are a digital marketing agency. What many "ad agencies" have evolved into.

I wasn't necessarily talking about open floor plan. We are (were before last week) about 50/50 open and closed floorplan.

One thing we are doing now is a company-wide (LOL now only 8 people) phone call. We are trying to get video going to simulate being together.

Before our big layoff we were split roughly 50/50 above 30 and under 30. Under 30s were the ones with headphones.  In the last two years I gave up my office to a writer. They seem to have the most trouble working in shared space. I am far more in touch with office dynamics.  I did have a hard time at the beginning adjusting to the talking, but now I am used to it.

Just one story, but on the biggest project we did last year (big website) one potential problem was averted because someone overhead some else discussing an issue on the phone.

Also just one story, from an owners prospective, once I called our interactive director who was WFM, when he answered he said he would call me back later, he was in the car.  By my definition, not working or home.

Another woman was chit chating before a meeting and mentioned that she loved WFH Fridays because with all the kids at school she could give the kitchen a good scrub. The fact that she freely shared that with an owner in the room kind of blew me away.

I agree, at least in our experience, developers seem highly motivated. Also in our experience they are not great project managers, and always seem to underestimate the time it takes to get work done.

I guess we'll see how it works for us. We are much smaller now so maybe that will be an advantage.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Brownski Brownski
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Re: Market Philosophy: What You Got?

In reply to this post by TheGreatAbyss
Harvey wrote
I personally don't like working from home.  You never go home if you are there all day.

As a business owner I like it even less.  Less collaboration, less idea sharing, less team spirit, and less work.

I think its 50/50  that last weeks 18k was the bottom. Imo to believe that you have to be confident that we are close to the turn.
TheGreatAbyss wrote
Harvey wrote
Less collaboration, less idea sharing, less team spirit, and less work.
I think it really depends on the office, the business, and the people.  I don't know your business but study after study shows that open office floor plans actually decrease all of those metrics.  From personal experience I can say that everyone just stares into their computer with their headphones on avoiding as much direct human interaction as possible, and instead opting to communicate over Slack/Email.  

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jiawertz/2019/06/30/open-plan-work-spaces-lower-productivity-employee-morale/#5cb6042661cd

I work in tech and thankfully I see it changing.  Most developers are pretty self motivated and responsible for getting shit done, and there's no better place with fewer distractions than at home.  We're constantly communicating and sharing on slack, and getting face time and screen share time on Google Hangouts.  

When you're a manager or an owner there is a basic human paranoia of not trusting your employees, and feeling that they need to be in your line of sight to know that they are doing work.   Mid level managers especially need that ego trip of physically seeing their subordinates.  

I hope to see a lot of companies move to the 50/50 office/remote model, but we'll see.  After this pandemic my worry is that the combo of slow business and workers not setup, prepared, or in the correct productive mindset will give working from home a bad rep.  

We'll see.
This is an interesting conversation. It probably deserves its own thread.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Working from Home

Brownski wrote
This is an interesting conversation. It probably deserves its own thread.
Haha... was thinking the same.

If you catch it early, it's not hard to break it out.

Would really appreciate keeping the Covid/Skiing thread about Covid and Effects on Skiing. That would be a nightmare to break out, and if it gets OT it will go in the OT.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
TheGreatAbyss TheGreatAbyss
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Re: Working from Home

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Harvey wrote
I agree, at least in our experience, developers seem highly motivated. Also in our experience they are not great project managers, and always seem to underestimate the time it takes to get work done.
100%.  And engineering middle managers are even worse at it, cause they instill peer pressure to underestimate.

As to needing a phone call - You gotta get modern tech for it to work.  Team Conversations should happen publicly on Slack where everyone can read and contribute and conversations are indexable and searchable.   Meetings, screen shares and presentations need to be done using video chat with Google Hangouts or Zoom.  If the telephone is involved at all then you are doing it wrong

As to people not being around I agree that there are bad apples that abuse it and unfortunately ruin it for the rest of us.  But in my last team we had set rules around it.  You were always presumed to be at your computer working unless you said on Slack that you were stepping away for XYZ and should be back in approximately N time.  It seems a little onerous but in the end it works cause it weeds out the bad apples and is the equivalent of looking at someone's desk to see if they are there.

As to those under 30 being on headphones, are they in mostly junior roles who spend more time "doing" and less time "meeting, talking, deciding"?  Two people having a convo in an open floor plan can bring 50 people's productivity to a grinding halt.
TheGreatAbyss TheGreatAbyss
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Re: Working from Home

One more thing to add - Employees have to be setup correctly, a desk, monitor, keyboard, keypad in a private space in their home.  Most people right now who are WFH for the first time are sitting on the couch in the living room, many with kids that aren't in school.  I worry it's not going to be a fair trail experience for many companies
Brownski Brownski
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Re: Working from Home

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I have worked independently/ remotely for the last 20 years as an outside sales rep but being on the road is a lot more pleasant then being at home. Management can’t handle the idea of their sales force working from home. Early on in this there was a lot of pressure to continue seeing customers in person but they’ve finally accepted it. Now they’re desperately looking for busy work to assign us. I’ve been doing a lot of online trainings. Zoom meetings were already a thing with us before covid. The sales force and our management are pretty top heavy with older guys that aren’t good with technology so conference calls and online meetings are always chaotic. Nobody knows how to use a mute button.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
Brownski Brownski
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Re: Working from Home

In reply to this post by TheGreatAbyss
TheGreatAbyss wrote
One more thing to add - Employees have to be setup correctly, a desk, monitor, keyboard, keypad in a private space in their home.  Most people right now who are WFH for the first time are sitting on the couch in the living room, many with kids that aren't in school.  I worry it's not going to be a fair trail experience for many companies
That’s important but the real problem is middle managers that can’t tell the difference between good independent workers and loafers. Micro managing is always bad. An incompetent trying to play CYA to show his own boss that he’s tough prevents good employees from being as productive as they could and doesn’t make unproductive people any better.
"You want your skis? Go get 'em!" -W. Miller
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