Return to Office?

Mike Hoxbig

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Almost everyone in Management or higher positions I've spoken to has noticed a marked decrease in productivity since wfh was made full-time.

As someone pointed out here before, it works well for a certain job profile and person - but not for many others. There's a reason we've had offices far longer than COVID-19, and it wasn't because companies liked wasting money on premises.
If they aren't productive are home, chances are they were never productive at the office anyway. They just looked productive...
 

surface

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If they aren't productive are home, chances are they were never productive at the office anyway. They just looked productive...
Most of the management has realized that their own role is being completely undermined as people are collaborating just fine without them. That is one main reason tbh. Own job preservation, nothing else.
 

ShloshMalosh

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A family member working at the head office of a well known retailer told me that they have to come in once a week for a compulsory in office day.

No work gets done on said day, staff just meet up for coffee chats, lunches etc. so hes happy to get paid for 5 days worth for 4 days work with one of them being a free social day.
 

Lupus

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i have a junior that now needs to spend 3 hours in traffic on compulsory days that could have been productively used working from home, less stress from traffic, worrying about whether she will make it in time to fetch her 9 month old in time from daycare etc.

clown world
Yeah we have guys who moved to Centurion to be closer to sick family, now they've got to spend 2 hours in traffic, it's ridiculous.
 

Harmonic

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Jun 30, 2018
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We got 2 BA's and one developer who moved out of Gauteng to as far as coastal areas. They are gonna have some serious issues if return to office happens. :-(
Seeing as good developers are very scarce, this is where they tell the employer to sod off. The BAs on the other hand, meh, they can beg for their porridge.
 

surface

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Seeing as good developers are very scarce, this is where they tell the employer to sod off. The BAs on the other hand, meh, they can beg for their porridge.
Although, in my experience, there is a symbiotic arrangement between BA & upper management. So, many BA's almost act as bosses as well.
 

Schmeltz Herring

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LOL - That is management response everywhere.

Wasting money on premises? It is not like they are going to be successful in renting/selling those? Also, top guys want people under their direct supervision - most of the time.
Ask them to show numbers to compare productivity pre and post wfh, and their reponses boil down to their subjective observations.

What has bugs me about the lack of productivity complaints is that the only difference for both manager and subordinate is location. The same tools and rules available to manage staff working on premises is available when staff work from home.

The most pig headed managers that I've encounted, are those that started their careers in the 80's. The micro-time managers. They're more concerned with monitoring hours spent on premises than actual productivity because for them it's the same thing.
 

Priapus

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Jun 8, 2008
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My company has three models

- Hybrid
- In office
- Fully remote.

The whole of engineering ins fully remote.

I'm in the latter and being 1,405km away from the office, it's not like I can just pop in.
 

Okty

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Almost everyone in Management or higher positions I've spoken to has noticed a marked decrease in productivity since wfh was made full-time.

As someone pointed out here before, it works well for a certain job profile and person - but not for many others. There's a reason we've had offices far longer than COVID-19, and it wasn't because companies liked wasting money on premises.
Probably also since there was no full blown affordable domestic high speed internet in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s...
 

The_Ogre

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Apr 30, 2010
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My work has hot-desks that they've hired for those who want to see other colleagues or for when load shedding at home is affecting their work.

As for me. I haven't seen any of my colleagues for two years. I refuse to go to the office due to load shedding. I'm rather busy investing in an inverter and batteries. And that I can use on weekends or after hours as well when there's load shedding.
 
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Sanzer

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Our office works on a alternating roster. Three days in and two WFH. With the high covid rates in other parts of the business most of us in our dept are hesitant to go in on our assigned office days. There are some big projects starting soon so it looks like will be spending more time in the office.
 

Bismuth

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My current employer was operating a alternative week system (home/office) during covid, and has made that permanent now.

However, our schedule is based on client requirements, so sometimes, like now, I am going be at the office/clients, for 3 weeks in a row, where I have mostly managed to alternate since the beginning of the year.

That works for most of us, but they did make it clear that there will never be a permanent WFH system in place.
 

Markd

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Almost everyone in Management or higher positions I've spoken to has noticed a marked decrease in productivity since wfh was made full-time.

As someone pointed out here before, it works well for a certain job profile and person - but not for many others. There's a reason we've had offices far longer than COVID-19, and it wasn't because companies liked wasting money on premises.

Office-based working is a legacy of an antiquated past. As others have said, even just 10 years ago, it was challenging to work from home because we didn't really have stable, fast internet connectivity, or enterprise-grade collaboration applications like Teams etc.

Why are people more productive in an office than at home, in your or your management friends views? What is the reason? Is someone standing over them in the office with a whip beating them like a tired horse to push out some more 'productivity'? Are you measuring performance in something other than 'outputs'?

Organisations SHOULD be looking at how this shift in mentality can be used for a competitive advantage. For example, you can now get ANY engineer in the WORLD to work for your company if you offer an attractive enough proposition. We've never had that kind of opportunity of access and thinking to secure it prior to COVID.

Other than just being tired of shitty jobs and outdated approaches to 'management', employees are realising more than ever before that time is fleeting and precious and should be spent on something meaningful. If there is legitimate cause for concern around 'productivity' then I'd wager there is a good chance those employees aren't buying into the corporate 'vision and mission' anymore and aren't doing work that they enjoy or that adds any real meaning to their lives. This is a challenge that 'management' needs to address, and you cant address it by simply forcing people to come into the place where they dont want to be. Not everyone is going to be able to find greener pastures elsewhere and will have to toe whatever the line is, but the fundamental problems I've highlighted above are not going to go away by maintaining legacy thinking.
 

Priapus

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Seeing as good developers are very scarce, this is where they tell the employer to sod off. The BAs on the other hand, meh, they can beg for their porridge.

This was a condition I set with my employer before joining them. Told them if they could not guarantee it, in writing, we might as well end the interview there and then.

They were more than happy to meet the terms.
 
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