Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

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totallynotsure
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Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by totallynotsure »

given Coronavirus and the fact that many of us that can WFH are, do you expect your employer to change their tune regarding WFH and potentially offering it as a benefit going forward?
TIAX
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by TIAX »

I would guess that this depends on how long the stay at home orders last. The longer they last, the more businesses that don't really need real estate will not renew their leases. Those businesses will then be 100% work from home and that will put pressure on other businesses in the same industry to at least offer some number of days per week work from home.
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Already happening.

My employer was one of the first major tech companies to close their offices. Last week we were told that even in jurisdictions where restrictions are being lifted, our offices will remain closed. We likely won't re-open them for months and maybe not even till 2021.

And, when our offices do start to re-open, nobody will be required to go to the office.

For us, WFH is here to stay.
OCWhale
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by OCWhale »

Not my employer (private equity firm), though I can't say I'm surprised.

Plans are not final but we are likely going to be returning to the office the day after the shelter-in-place orders are lifted, though somewhat staggered.

Have heard anecdotally from my buddies at some of the Wall St. banks that they will be back in the office within the next few weeks, though procedures are still being worked on.
bloom2708
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by bloom2708 »

If my megacorp building opened up May 1st, I wouldn't go back.

I told my manager I am happy to be one of the last people back. That may mean fall or later.

If we can do this from home and succeed/flourish, then why risk it? One person with no symptoms on a floor with the air handler humming away..no thanks.

One of our buildings is scheduled for a full remodel this summer for 1 year. Those people might be WFH for >1 year.
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dsmil
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by dsmil »

Nope. My company is old school and they were very resistant to letting us work from home at all in the earlier stages of the virus. Now they are allowing people to do half of their work from home during the virus, but I expect that we'll all be back in the office once this passes.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Anecdotal, but I’ve heard that many employers have been surprised at how well wfh is working. These are obviously not public facing jobs. Many jobs involved meetings with geographically dispersed colleagues anyway, so now rather than physical meeting with 5 in the room and 5 remote, it’s 10 remote.
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stoptothink
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by stoptothink »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:41 am Anecdotal, but I’ve heard that many employers have been surprised at how well wfh is working. These are obviously not public facing jobs. Many jobs involved meetings with geographically dispersed colleagues anyway, so now rather than physical meeting with 5 in the room and 5 remote, it’s 10 remote.
I think it is totally going to change how my wife's employer handles WFH. Previously it was "no way, no how", which is asinine considering they are in data security; there is nothing 90% of the employees can't do just as well laying in their bed. For me, we have had a mixed bag. There are clearly entire departments who are being far less productive. I believe (based on conversations with the owners) that some employees are going to be let go when this is all said and done and their positions not refilled. For the rest, I think there is going to be a lot more opportunity to WFH depending on each individual's situation.
tenkuky
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by tenkuky »

I would be curious how healthcare employers are handling this. For Bogleheads on the board in a mix of healthcare settings, what is the current trend?
Would some types of staff be permitted some WFH even after lockdowns eased?
megabad
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by megabad »

Yes. I think it will likely result in much less working from home in our company. Productivity has dropped dramatically and our IT infrastructure cost is soaring. Corporate is already planning on redesigning workspaces to distance people. Money spent on the offices will neccissitate employees work there to prove this was money well spent to executives. The few that are deemed work from home eligible will likely be replaced by someone in a lower cost of living area (Different state or country) or see a pay decrease so I wouldn’t want to be in that group anyway. My company has already done away with location adjustments next year for WFH folks so we are headed down that road. We still have a bunch of poor souls in CA and NY that are gleefully working from home unaware of this. I almost feel bad. I hope they like the idea of moving to the country....
srt7
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by srt7 »

I think it was a good exercise but not everyone (especially those with kids) are happy to continue WFH and are looking to get back to office routine. So while WFH got replies like "Oh! You're so lucky to have that perk!" before it is not guaranteed to be viewed as a perk anymore. :happy
goblue100
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by goblue100 »

Its an interesting question, and I can't say I know how my company is going to react. We are a tech company, and have been functioning pretty well working remotely. We already had probably 20% of our employees working from home. I could easily see them reducing the building size and just have some transient offices when people feel the need to come in.
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runner3081
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by runner3081 »

tenkuky wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:57 am I would be curious how healthcare employers are handling this. For Bogleheads on the board in a mix of healthcare settings, what is the current trend?
Would some types of staff be permitted some WFH even after lockdowns eased?
We are starting to receive emails in leadership about pockets of employees now working from home, long-term. This includes many of the non-clinical folks. Think admin assistants, revenue, HR, etc.

We had a major space crunch prior to COVID, this will be solution to this problem, more work from home.
arf30
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by arf30 »

IT had already been shifting towards WFH and that trend will only accelerate now. More traditional professions will probably go back to the office but include a few days from home here and there as a perk.

Most companies are seeing the advantages of reduced office space costs and the ability to remain operational during snowstorms, hurricanes, pandemics etc.
rustymutt
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by rustymutt »

If I was lazy, it'd be great. I'd never leave home. And I'd get so fat from lack of activity, I'd go nuts. No, I like going in to the office and sharing quality time with my co-workers. I learned far more than imagined from just listening to others and the mistakes we made got shared. Eye to eye face to face contact to me will never get replaced on a screen. It's like online dating. It might work out for some.
Even educators need education. And some can be hard headed to the point of needing time out.
sailaway
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by sailaway »

HawkeyePierce wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:13 am Already happening.

My employer was one of the first major tech companies to close their offices. Last week we were told that even in jurisdictions where restrictions are being lifted, our offices will remain closed. We likely won't re-open them for months and maybe not even till 2021.

And, when our offices do start to re-open, nobody will be required to go to the office.

For us, WFH is here to stay.
Megacorp muckity muck has gone on record saying how well it is going. DH's supervisor doesn't think anyone should feel pressured to return until the kids are back in school. On the other hand, it sounded like he himself would welcome the opportunity to return to the office at least until the kids are back in school...
WS1
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by WS1 »

megabad wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:02 am Yes. I think it will likely result in much less working from home in our company. Productivity has dropped dramatically and our IT infrastructure cost is soaring. Corporate is already planning on redesigning workspaces to distance people. Money spent on the offices will neccissitate employees work there to prove this was money well spent to executives. The few that are deemed work from home eligible will likely be replaced by someone in a lower cost of living area (Different state or country) or see a pay decrease so I wouldn’t want to be in that group anyway. My company has already done away with location adjustments next year for WFH folks so we are headed down that road. We still have a bunch of poor souls in CA and NY that are gleefully working from home unaware of this. I almost feel bad. I hope they like the idea of moving to the country....
Productivity has probably dropped because x% of your coworkers are attempting to homeschool children as well as do their jobs.
MotoTrojan
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by MotoTrojan »

After a vaccine is the norm? Not sure. I think we are looking at well over a year of WFH being the norm for anyone that can, even if that is a day-by-day determination.
megabad
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by megabad »

WS1 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:47 am
Productivity has probably dropped because x% of your coworkers are attempting to homeschool children as well as do their jobs.
Perhaps but I don’t think that will change the outcome. On the flip side, the company should have seen less commute time and maybe less lunch and break time. I’m not sure what the net is? Many of the folks I work with had very very long commutes.
MadHungarian
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by MadHungarian »

Well my local VHCOL city has pretty much shut down the commuting infrastructure, and i don't foresee it returning to anything close to its pre-C19 loading (which was much worse than the rushhour Tokyo subway), so we're going to have serious problems here if we don't continue at least 50-75% WFH here.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by stoptothink »

WS1 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:47 am
megabad wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:02 am Yes. I think it will likely result in much less working from home in our company. Productivity has dropped dramatically and our IT infrastructure cost is soaring. Corporate is already planning on redesigning workspaces to distance people. Money spent on the offices will neccissitate employees work there to prove this was money well spent to executives. The few that are deemed work from home eligible will likely be replaced by someone in a lower cost of living area (Different state or country) or see a pay decrease so I wouldn’t want to be in that group anyway. My company has already done away with location adjustments next year for WFH folks so we are headed down that road. We still have a bunch of poor souls in CA and NY that are gleefully working from home unaware of this. I almost feel bad. I hope they like the idea of moving to the country....
Productivity has probably dropped because x% of your coworkers are attempting to homeschool children as well as do their jobs.
Certainly, but that doesn't really change anything from the company's standpoint. If you are producing less, why should they continue to compensate you the same or provide you a job at all? I've heard this from a few employees, and I sympathize (my wife works full-time as well and we have 2 school-aged children), but it doesn't change how I am going to review them or consider their future requests to WFH. They either figure out how to take care of their work responsibilities or they don't. I have one colleague who has used this excuse (my 2 kids are a lot of work) constantly to miss deadlines and not even show up for conference calls over the last 2 months; it got really awkward when her boss (in a recent video chat, where she logged in an hour late) asked why this is an issue now considering her husband has been SAHD for several years. Some people simply need to be micromanaged and are not productive without someone physically checking up on them. WFH is pretty effective at identifying those employees. I have a pretty good idea which of my employees will not be allowed to WFH when this is all done (FWIW, none of them have kids).
anon3838
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by anon3838 »

I expect that my megacorp tech company will rely on line managers to make decisions on how to implement WFH policies for our teams. My line managers are extreme micromanagers. They seem very eager for "all this to just be over so we can get back into the office where we belong!"

I don't see WFH being a longterm option in my current role, even though there's no business reason to be in a a corporate office.

I'm ok with never setting foot back into the office.
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SD2SR
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by SD2SR »

Hard to say, and I've personally had three different experiences over the last 10+ years of my career.

First run was 6+ years working for a Big-3 bank almost exclusively from home, though toward the end of my time there they drastically pared it back. My dad is still there and says it's come back into vogue, even pre-COVID.

Second run was at an online-only small-cap bank, and not that old, so you would think they would have a somewhat progressive stance on WFH...couldn't be further from the truth. C-suite absolutely abhors staff working from home, and after near-mutiny following the outbreak of COVID finally relented, but for only like 50% of the workforce (or so I've heard).

Currently working at a nationally-known mid-size diversified financial institution with a long history, and I expected they too would be pretty stodgy about WFH...once again (pleasantly) surprised. Immediately mandated all folks (10,000+) start working from home in early March, if they could, with pledged support for laptops, equipment, etc. It's honestly been pretty amazing.

Anyway, TL;DR, you never know. I imagine larger, more recognized employers will increasingly accommodate. The pandemic has forced a lot of firms to show their true colors, and those who resisted will definitely get called out, internally and externally. Smaller, lesser-known firms will probably be able to dictate more to their liking--again, not without risk--but such risk will probably never get beyond Glassdoor.com.
Last edited by SD2SR on Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jason95357
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by Jason95357 »

It already has. All employees except those who are hands-on are WFH now. Are planned return on May 4th is going to be staggered with half the staff going in at a time. It's up to each department group to decide how they'll stagger, but my group is doing a split as follows for each half the team:
M-Tu work at office; W-F work from home
M-Tu work from home; W-F work at office

The thought here is we'll have half the staff at the office, making physical distancing easier. Also, if one portion of the team gets sick, the other portion shouldn't have had contact with them.

The fallacy I pointed out to my supervisor was that if not everyone is on the same schedule, and you have any "cross-over" staff, then all staff could become infected. But it's better than nothing, and gets us back into the office, where perhaps day-to-day we don't need hands on, there are a day or so a week where touching equipment (racking servers, firewalls, etc.) is needed.

My supervisor's family has a high-risk person, so he's going to remain WFH-only for some time.

But back to the original question: before we had a WFH policy that was by-exception-only. If there was a reason (such as a person going through chemo and high risk from any sickness) or needed to take care of family, etc., then WFH was requested and approved by the supervisor during that need.

Going forward, our team is going to try for a WFH at least 1 day per week as "normal behavior" and not requiring an exception. The goal of this is to both provide flexibility, but also make sure we maintain the ability to do so vs. the day or so it took everyone to get their "official" work environments setup with proper ergo and all that jazz. We won't be mandated to WFH after C-19, but it'll be highly-promoted within my team.

Long-term, I'd really like a WFH semi-permanent option. I'd like to relocate out of state. I would have the same video conference, telephone, always-available M-F 9-5 setup, the same as my office, so there is no reason not to allow it. I'd be willing to travel to the work office during audits for a 2-week period, and perhaps one week a month as-needed for physical hands-on stuff so other's don't have to pick up my slack and do my "dirty work". Is this realistic? I don't know, but right now I have a clause requiring my residence to be within a certain mile radius of the office. I'm not officially on-call, but am expected to pick up the phone during a "system down" situation if I'm available (if I'm with family on something special, I'm not available). 99% of the time these are resolved via the telephone and/or with on-site and/or on-call staff who are required to be physically available to go hands on.
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

stoptothink wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:05 pm
WS1 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:47 am
megabad wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:02 am Yes. I think it will likely result in much less working from home in our company. Productivity has dropped dramatically and our IT infrastructure cost is soaring. Corporate is already planning on redesigning workspaces to distance people. Money spent on the offices will neccissitate employees work there to prove this was money well spent to executives. The few that are deemed work from home eligible will likely be replaced by someone in a lower cost of living area (Different state or country) or see a pay decrease so I wouldn’t want to be in that group anyway. My company has already done away with location adjustments next year for WFH folks so we are headed down that road. We still have a bunch of poor souls in CA and NY that are gleefully working from home unaware of this. I almost feel bad. I hope they like the idea of moving to the country....
Productivity has probably dropped because x% of your coworkers are attempting to homeschool children as well as do their jobs.
Certainly, but that doesn't really change anything from the company's standpoint. If you are producing less, why should they continue to compensate you the same or provide you a job at all? I've heard this from a few employees, and I sympathize (my wife works full-time as well and we have 2 school-aged children), but it doesn't change how I am going to review them or consider their future requests to WFH. They either figure out how to take care of their work responsibilities or they don't. I have one colleague who has used this excuse (my 2 kids are a lot of work) constantly to miss deadlines and not even show up for conference calls over the last 2 months; it got really awkward when her boss (in a recent video chat, where she logged in an hour late) asked why this is an issue now considering her husband has been SAHD for several years. Some people simply need to be micromanaged and are not productive without someone physically checking up on them. WFH is pretty effective at identifying those employees. I have a pretty good idea which of my employees will not be allowed to WFH when this is all done (FWIW, none of them have kids).
Perhaps you should consider that we're in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic and have a little heart.

My employer is allowing people to work 20-30 hours a week during this while still receiving full pay and we've suspended performance reviews.
blackholescion
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by blackholescion »

HawkeyePierce wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:25 pm
stoptothink wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:05 pm
WS1 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:47 am
megabad wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:02 am Yes. I think it will likely result in much less working from home in our company. Productivity has dropped dramatically and our IT infrastructure cost is soaring. Corporate is already planning on redesigning workspaces to distance people. Money spent on the offices will neccissitate employees work there to prove this was money well spent to executives. The few that are deemed work from home eligible will likely be replaced by someone in a lower cost of living area (Different state or country) or see a pay decrease so I wouldn’t want to be in that group anyway. My company has already done away with location adjustments next year for WFH folks so we are headed down that road. We still have a bunch of poor souls in CA and NY that are gleefully working from home unaware of this. I almost feel bad. I hope they like the idea of moving to the country....
Productivity has probably dropped because x% of your coworkers are attempting to homeschool children as well as do their jobs.
Certainly, but that doesn't really change anything from the company's standpoint. If you are producing less, why should they continue to compensate you the same or provide you a job at all? I've heard this from a few employees, and I sympathize (my wife works full-time as well and we have 2 school-aged children), but it doesn't change how I am going to review them or consider their future requests to WFH. They either figure out how to take care of their work responsibilities or they don't. I have one colleague who has used this excuse (my 2 kids are a lot of work) constantly to miss deadlines and not even show up for conference calls over the last 2 months; it got really awkward when her boss (in a recent video chat, where she logged in an hour late) asked why this is an issue now considering her husband has been SAHD for several years. Some people simply need to be micromanaged and are not productive without someone physically checking up on them. WFH is pretty effective at identifying those employees. I have a pretty good idea which of my employees will not be allowed to WFH when this is all done (FWIW, none of them have kids).
Perhaps you should consider that we're in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic and have a little heart.

My employer is allowing people to work 20-30 hours a week during this while still receiving full pay and we've suspended performance reviews.
I agree. What about those with toddlers who cannot just let the kids “watch themselves”? They are now going to take care of the kids and work an 8 hour day for a total of 14-16 hours? Every day? For 3+ months? producing the same quality? A little grace is a good thing to have.

This approach of “you’re producing less” is a sledgehammer to a temporary problem. If they were a poor performer to begin with, I can see accelerating corrective action to keep your top performers. But if they are average, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

My employer is also doing the 20-30 based on your prior performance. As a top performer, I get the 20 hour side of the spectrum. Most of my critical deliverables have been moved to others and I’ve kept the ones I can do that don’t have tight timelines.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by WS1 »

stoptothink wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:05 pm
WS1 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:47 am
megabad wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:02 am Yes. I think it will likely result in much less working from home in our company. Productivity has dropped dramatically and our IT infrastructure cost is soaring. Corporate is already planning on redesigning workspaces to distance people. Money spent on the offices will neccissitate employees work there to prove this was money well spent to executives. The few that are deemed work from home eligible will likely be replaced by someone in a lower cost of living area (Different state or country) or see a pay decrease so I wouldn’t want to be in that group anyway. My company has already done away with location adjustments next year for WFH folks so we are headed down that road. We still have a bunch of poor souls in CA and NY that are gleefully working from home unaware of this. I almost feel bad. I hope they like the idea of moving to the country....
Productivity has probably dropped because x% of your coworkers are attempting to homeschool children as well as do their jobs.
Certainly, but that doesn't really change anything from the company's standpoint. If you are producing less, why should they continue to compensate you the same or provide you a job at all? I've heard this from a few employees, and I sympathize (my wife works full-time as well and we have 2 school-aged children), but it doesn't change how I am going to review them or consider their future requests to WFH. They either figure out how to take care of their work responsibilities or they don't. I have one colleague who has used this excuse (my 2 kids are a lot of work) constantly to miss deadlines and not even show up for conference calls over the last 2 months; it got really awkward when her boss (in a recent video chat, where she logged in an hour late) asked why this is an issue now considering her husband has been SAHD for several years. Some people simply need to be micromanaged and are not productive without someone physically checking up on them. WFH is pretty effective at identifying those employees. I have a pretty good idea which of my employees will not be allowed to WFH when this is all done (FWIW, none of them have kids).
Short answer yes

Long answer - What I should have wrote up thread was that this isn’t really a great work from home experiment because when I worked from home in “the before times” my kids were never home.
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marti038
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by marti038 »

They've already told us that they've seen an increase in productivity along with a decrease in costs. It doesn't sound like they're in a big rush to have us back as long as we keep the wheels turning.

We've had limited opportunity to work from home for years, but you needed a reason like a sick kid or having your plumbing repaired. Now it sounds like we're going to have the freedom to be at home whenever it doesn't limit our work.

I work in supply chain for a utility company.
Afty
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by Afty »

I have heard rumblings that our execs are still not convinced that WFH can work long term, despite things going relatively well right now.

As a first-level manager at a tech company, it's been interesting seeing how this has affected my team. Some people are just as productive or more productive, but a handful are struggling, and they're not always the people you would have expected to struggle. It's also difficult to separate the effect of WFH from the effect of being in the middle of a pandemic.
new2bogle
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by new2bogle »

At my tech MegaCorp, we already had a very generous WFH policy (including up to 2 days per week every week could be scheduled as WFH).

Word through the grapevine is that during this mandatory WFH period, productivity is actually way up. I've been telling my team to make sure they take weekends off and relax. I don't see how the execs wouldn't like this, unless a longer term experiment shows a lot of burn out from so much working. No word yet when normal desk job people will be allowed back to work (people in labs, etc, are already there with appropriate precautions including 2-3x daily temp checks!)
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by jrbdmb »

srt7 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:06 am I think it was a good exercise but not everyone (especially those with kids) are happy to continue WFH and are looking to get back to office routine. So while WFH got replies like "Oh! You're so lucky to have that perk!" before it is not guaranteed to be viewed as a perk anymore. :happy
It depends on the situation. In my case the distractions of WFH are significant, and I will return to the office at the earliest opportunity.
oldfort
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by oldfort »

Government and 0% chance of that for at least two reasons. It's not possible to access classified information from home, which is never going to change. Managers don't know how to verify employees are working 40 hours a week when they WFH.
Last edited by oldfort on Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Faith20879
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by Faith20879 »

totallynotsure wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:08 am ... WFH and potentially offering it as a benefit going forward?
I'm in the for-profit statistical research industry. I would say we'll probably go right back to 8-5 in office schedule the day our state opens up.

My employer's management is pretty conservative. Before the covid-19 shutdown, only less than 1 percent of the employees (mostly top tier statisticians which I am not one of) are allowed limited WFH.

Although my task (designing formulas into algorithms and pseudo codes) is much better suited for WFH, in the 30+ years I am here, I have never been able to convince my supervisor to grant me the waiver.

I am 30% to 40% more productive now WFH without the distractions.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Afty wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:51 pm It's also difficult to separate the effect of WFH from the effect of being in the middle of a pandemic.
+1

In normal times, kids can be in school or daycare. You’re not worried if you or your loved ones will be alive this time next month. You’re seeing friends and family when you’re not at work. And so many other new things.

Frankly, it’s a miracle that many people can be very productive.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Michael Patrick
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by Michael Patrick »

Allowing more remote work had come up again and again in employee suggestions and engagement surveys. But there was quite a lot of reluctance from managers, so nothing much happened. Until COVID happened...

Now we have close to 95% of employees working from home. I think it will be tough to put that genie back in the bottle once things return to some semblance of normal, whenever that is.

I actually prefer going in to the office, I miss the interaction with my colleagues. And at the office most of the food in the fridge has other people's names on it, so I'm not as tempted.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by mega317 »

Most or all of my nonclinical work can be done from home, and in fact my employer already has a robust Zoom infrastructure and at least half of participants in most meetings are at home. But something is definitely lost, at least for me, in seeing body language, how people are looking at each other, etc. I also really miss being able to just grab someone to chat a minute as a meeting lets out. This is much better than scheduling a one on one for weeks out if I need 5 minutes.
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Gufomel
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by Gufomel »

Michael Patrick wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:38 pm Allowing more remote work had come up again and again in employee suggestions and engagement surveys. But there was quite a lot of reluctance from managers, so nothing much happened. Until COVID happened...

Now we have close to 95% of employees working from home. I think it will be tough to put that genie back in the bottle once things return to some semblance of normal, whenever that is.

I actually prefer going in to the office, I miss the interaction with my colleagues. And at the office most of the food in the fridge has other people's names on it, so I'm not as tempted.
This is the first valid argument against WFH that I’ve seen. :P :P
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by mega317 »

blackholescion wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:38 pm I agree. What about those with toddlers who cannot just let the kids “watch themselves”? They are now going to take care of the kids and work an 8 hour day for a total of 14-16 hours?
I didn't understand this comment. How can working 8 plus taking care of kids add up to 16 hours? What happens with them the other 8 hours? Are you working overnight while they sleep? Because then that adds up to 24.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by srt7 »

new2bogle wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:16 pm At my tech MegaCorp, we already had a very generous WFH policy (including up to 2 days per week every week could be scheduled as WFH).

Word through the grapevine is that during this mandatory WFH period, productivity is actually way up. I've been telling my team to make sure they take weekends off and relax. I don't see how the execs wouldn't like this, unless a longer term experiment shows a lot of burn out from so much working. No word yet when normal desk job people will be allowed back to work (people in labs, etc, are already there with appropriate precautions including 2-3x daily temp checks!)
Since when do the run-of-the-mill execs/c-suite care about employee burnouts? Those who care are few and far in between.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by BeneIRA »

My wife's and my employer seem to be going in the other direction than other companies in this thread. Both are looking to slash real estate costs and promote WFH. Both of our employers have sold real estate or let leases expire and pushed people to WFH. They are very happy with the cost savings. For us at least, it will definitely continue and if anything, accelerate. My company was teetering on whether to let one lease expire and I bet this pushes them over the edge.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by TheDDC »

Not really. My workplace has been setup for telework for the last six years or so and our employees have been able to telework 2 times a week, with allowances for more. The deal is that if you telework 3+ times per week you lose your office.

It was not a huge leap for us, in fact we are most likely going to be assisting other entities of our type on how to redesign processes to allow for telework as our department is enterprise IT. There are only a few pesky paper processes at play (including mileage tracking). The biggest thing I see us (and other enterprises) wrestling with is real estate ramifications. One of many things we do is manage conference centers at our HQ site, and I don't see those coming back for a while.

Our "service" type employees cannot telework, but we are lean enough that I do not anticipate that will cause any problems for the bottom line. Front line service employees are going to take a huge hit from this universally, however, unless they can be retrained and sourced elsewhere.

-TheDDC
Last edited by TheDDC on Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by stoptothink »

HawkeyePierce wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:25 pm
stoptothink wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:05 pm
WS1 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:47 am
megabad wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:02 am Yes. I think it will likely result in much less working from home in our company. Productivity has dropped dramatically and our IT infrastructure cost is soaring. Corporate is already planning on redesigning workspaces to distance people. Money spent on the offices will neccissitate employees work there to prove this was money well spent to executives. The few that are deemed work from home eligible will likely be replaced by someone in a lower cost of living area (Different state or country) or see a pay decrease so I wouldn’t want to be in that group anyway. My company has already done away with location adjustments next year for WFH folks so we are headed down that road. We still have a bunch of poor souls in CA and NY that are gleefully working from home unaware of this. I almost feel bad. I hope they like the idea of moving to the country....
Productivity has probably dropped because x% of your coworkers are attempting to homeschool children as well as do their jobs.
Certainly, but that doesn't really change anything from the company's standpoint. If you are producing less, why should they continue to compensate you the same or provide you a job at all? I've heard this from a few employees, and I sympathize (my wife works full-time as well and we have 2 school-aged children), but it doesn't change how I am going to review them or consider their future requests to WFH. They either figure out how to take care of their work responsibilities or they don't. I have one colleague who has used this excuse (my 2 kids are a lot of work) constantly to miss deadlines and not even show up for conference calls over the last 2 months; it got really awkward when her boss (in a recent video chat, where she logged in an hour late) asked why this is an issue now considering her husband has been SAHD for several years. Some people simply need to be micromanaged and are not productive without someone physically checking up on them. WFH is pretty effective at identifying those employees. I have a pretty good idea which of my employees will not be allowed to WFH when this is all done (FWIW, none of them have kids).
Perhaps you should consider that we're in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic and have a little heart.

My employer is allowing people to work 20-30 hours a week during this while still receiving full pay and we've suspended performance reviews.
Not a single individual who I have had productivity issues with was a surprise, same individuals who need to be micromanaged when in the office. If there was any evidence that lack of productivity was related to unforeseen circumstances related to the pandemic, sure. I'm responsible for running a department, when someone doesn't do their job I am the fall person and I'm not keen on letting someone else's inability to work unsupervised put my own career (and ability to feed my family) at risk. That being said, it's not like I am laying off people, but I can relay that information to my boss (one of the owners) and decide how much autonomy those individuals have to work remotely when things get back to normal. Some of these individuals are great, when someone is looking over their shoulder. If that makes me heartless, then I am heartless.
Last edited by stoptothink on Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by sailaway »

DH and many of his colleagues log in out of boredom. One does it and sends an email, then the email pops up on DHs computer while he was on the internet, and that is more stimulating than what he was reading, so he works on the problem and sends another email, which pops up on someone else's computer...
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by GaryA505 »

Probably, if they figure out some of the WFH people really aren't working much, and those of us still at the office are having to do extra work and fix more errors in the work they actually do. For some of the WFH people it has just been paid time off that they spend with their families or whatever.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by McGilicutty »

srt7 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:51 pm
Since when do the run-of-the-mill execs/c-suite care about employee burnouts? Those who care are few and far in between.
You got that right. In my experience, most execs/managers are more worried about whether you filled out the TPS reports correctly than whether an employee is suffering from burnout.

I suspect that what most managers are worried about if everyone starts WFHing is what exactly it is they do all day and why they are even needed in the first place.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by Thegame14 »

I hope so, we had two people quit in 2019 because they had kids and requested to work from home and boss is 100% against it, he is a major micro manager/control freak. Now we are all working from home so I hope he changes his mind.

But, I doubt it. I had a recruiter call me about a job she said was "only" 42 minutes away, meaning no traffic, in a high traffic area, off of the parkway. I told her it is more likely 75-90 minutes each way with traffic and would they be open to me working from home Mondays and Friday's and she said no. I was surprised by this....
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by ddurrett896 »

I've worked from home for the last 5 years and I think this will push companies who are old school to at lest be open to the idea.

I talk to someone at my previous job there were hourly and had to be in office and they were scrambling to get them into a desktop so they could work from home. Moving forward, even if they are in the office I think there will be more flexibility to allow them to WFH.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by rich126 »

My company already stated something like they will continue WFH regardless of what the state decides. Unfortunately most of my work requires being in the office so I've only taken advantage of it a few days and it worked fine. I was surprised I had no tech issues with the Citrix app they used.

Too many managers are always fearful of people WFH don't actually do work but any half decent manager should be able to figure out who is and who isn't working pretty easily. And in my experience many companies have way too many useless meetings. I had a much older relative who said anytime his boss was on leave and he ended up in charge, the first thing he would do was to cancel most of the scheduled meetings.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by MDfan »

srt7 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:06 am I think it was a good exercise but not everyone (especially those with kids) are happy to continue WFH and are looking to get back to office routine. So while WFH got replies like "Oh! You're so lucky to have that perk!" before it is not guaranteed to be viewed as a perk anymore. :happy

It will always be a great perk for me. I worked from home 2 days a week prior to this and have been even more productive at home (I do a lot of writing and reviewing so my job is perfect for telework). I am definitely going to angle for close to 100% telework for my last year or so of work after this, especially since I'm getting close to 60. I expect we''l see a lot of Covid-19 PTSD in the next few years.
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Re: Do you expect your employer to change their stance on WFH after Coronavirus?

Post by stoptothink »

rich126 wrote: Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:59 pm And in my experience many companies have way too many useless meetings. I had a much older relative who said anytime his boss was on leave and he ended up in charge, the first thing he would do was to cancel most of the scheduled meetings.
At this point, a lot of the meetings (at least in my case) are for the mental health of the employees. We do a team video chat every morning at 9am. It is totally unnecessary from a productivity standpoint, but when I discussed switching it to once a week everybody balked at the idea. I can handle everything individually with email/TEAMS chats, but the employees really want that interaction.
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