Society/Culture Working from home vs forced back to the office

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Rotayjay

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 28, 2014
11,977
23,169
Adelaide, South Australia
AFL Club
Adelaide
The Advertiser, our local Murdoch propaganda paper, is waging a concerted campaign against working from home. They keep running the story.

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They're determined for the South Australian government not to follow the federal government in uncapping WFH.
 

Cap

TheBrownDog
Jul 27, 2004
54,437
46,120
Las Vegas
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Norwood
The Advertiser, our local Murdoch propaganda paper, is waging a concerted campaign against working from home. They keep running the story.

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View attachment 1747720

They're determined for the South Australian government not to follow the federal government in uncapping WFH.
It's focused on its main readers, boomers and uneducated people.
 

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peetoo

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 10, 2022
7,407
5,843
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Should trust the employee to make the best decision each day, but encourage them to make it overall around 50-50

I wonder if there are less sick days taken where there is WFH.

Down on energy but at least getting the essential stuff done
 

Better Loosen Up

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 2, 2009
12,754
20,440
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I spent the first year of Covid WFH.

After that, I told my boss I was coming back to the office, lockdowns or not.

Personally, after a while I grew tired of my home being my workplace as well. I prefer a divide between the two.
 

Frank Grimes

Premiership Player
May 8, 2007
4,935
9,813
between two bowling alley
AFL Club
Richmond
My work expects you to work at the office, but is flexible if you have a reasonable reason to work from home.

The examples of a reason for me to work from home are when one of my kids has an appointment with something, if one of my kids are sick, if I have cold symptoms but feel well enough to work, if I have an appointment for something, if there are works on the train line I take and therefore a very lengthy travel.
 

quotemokc

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 19, 2008
16,805
18,363
Perth
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Essendon
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How is this different to the IT department making sure employees don't access sites they shouldn't whilst at work?

In my view if workers are worried about being monitored (which realistically should happen in every workplace) then they probably should be monitored.
 

Gethelred

Moderator
May 1, 2016
28,038
54,795
AFL Club
Carlton
Within the last 5 or so years, I've worked a job as a cleaner in a mall and a service station attendant at a petrol station.

In the former, I was required to carry a tracker which pinged off buoys at locations around the centre, with the tracker informing me if I've stayed in a single location for too long. In theory, I was to receive please explains for staying in one place for too long; in practice, imagine the sheer number of please explains that would need to be issued across multiple workplaces a contract cleaning company across multiple sites would require as far as paying someone to monitor and check the surveillance logs and footage and check each employee's reasons for not leaving a single location for a while.

In the latter, the petrol station had 4 cameras in the public sections of the station and 12 behind the counter; 3 immediately above the cash registers, 4 looking at the face of the attendant at whatever register, and multiple scattered within the private parts of the site where only employees were allowed. I worked nights and I frequently received phone calls asking me why I was standing behind the console and not restocking shelves (most of the time, my answer was if you check the cameras on the forecourt you'll see people out there and I have to watch them) or asking me to restock a particular item my manager could see on cameras needed refilling. There were more cameras watching me than members of the public.

It's why listening to the media bitching about surveillance or whistleblower protection or the rights of media to privacy have always rung hollow to me: where the * were you when my boss decided that I was more likely to steal from them than a customer was? Where the * were you when the government decided putting a GPS in my pocket was an acceptable thing for my boss to do, when my boss decided an app needed to be installed on my phone which checked my location when I checked on to make sure I was onsite?

Where were you when the right to privacy died, and why are you only now complaining over a corpse you helped to murder?
 

Fire

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 12, 2003
11,355
5,941
New York
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I've been working from home since the start of the pandemic. Life is so much better; it lined up perfectly with us having kids. Before the pandemic I was going into the office every day; 9 hours there plus 2 hours commute. During the week, my interaction with my kids would have been to get them ready and drop them off at daycare int he morning, and come home after they were asleep in the evening. Pretty ******* grim.

Now I can see them several hours a day and spend proper time with them. I can also invest an hour or two on a side business. I'm saving money. I'm getting my work done.

My employer also embraced it on two fronts; they now rent out a tiny office space and have hired the best talent from all over the US and Canada, not needing to worry about wether they are local. Which of course, means they also save some money as the talent pool isn't as squeezed in other markets as it is in NY.

The technology is here to make it work. WFH isn't going away. The big boys might be calling people back now, but over time they simply wont be able to compete with new players that take advantage of the benefits WFH offers. It will take a while, but companies that bleed rent on large central office spaces, while limiting themselves to the talent that are both physically close to them AND willing to commute, will eventually have to evolve or die off like the dinosaurs they are. I'm not worried. There isn't even need for a debate really. It's just simply going to happen.
 

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darth_timon

Hakuna Matata!
Oct 24, 2011
7,208
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Personally, if your job can be done from home, without the stress and cost of commuting, then there's no valid reason for an employer to force you back to an office. In fact, it arguably makes life easier for an employer too, as studies have shown productivity is higher compared to office work, and employers don't have to pay rent on office space either.

No wonder the property moguls - via governments - are trying so desperately to get people back to offices. There are certain people who benefit from others doing the commute, paying out for office space etc. These people are never going to act in the interests of the working class.
 

Rotayjay

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 28, 2014
11,977
23,169
Adelaide, South Australia
AFL Club
Adelaide
How is this different to the IT department making sure employees don't access sites they shouldn't whilst at work?

In my view if workers are worried about being monitored (which realistically should happen in every workplace) then they probably should be monitored.
It's a question of degree. I don't give a damn if everything I do on work systems is recorded, but if I expect that it's monitored often and someone's going to bother micromanaging how I spend every minute, they can get stuffed.
 

the_interloper

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 1, 2006
26,270
26,598
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
I’ve started a new job and been in the office a lot. Would rather be at home, it’s good that everyone is helpful but I can’t get a ******* thing done ha ha (their version of Salesforce has a lot of quirks I need to learn)
 

peetoo

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 10, 2022
7,407
5,843
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I went into the office this week.

I need 6 months to recover.

A full 5 days seems daunting.

I like wfh with my set up everything I need to work solo ‘to hand’ I go into an office and usually forget a mouse or a cable.

I also like hybrid on ‘team days’ when the people I need to interact with are ‘to hand’ not on teams.
 

Fire

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 12, 2003
11,355
5,941
New York
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Would you rather compete for a smaller pool of jobs against locals only, or a much larger pool of jobs against candidates from all over the globe?
the latter means you are able to work for anyone all over the globe too, not just what is local. So it actually adds stability to yoru career if its niche and there aren't a lot of players.

However, the globalization of the workforce is easy to overstate. Timezones can really complicate and limit productions, and local laws can be expensive to navigate if you source yourself too widley. We can hire anyone we want from anywhere, but we are sticking to the US and Canada for both these reasons, even though we get cheap but qualified applicants from eastern Europe and the middle east all the time. Some big companies who require more general skills may look for cheaper labour elsewhere; but most won't and aren't likely to start any time soon.

Regardless, if you job can be outsourced, it eventually will be. WFH makes no difference, it just makes the reality more visible for workers.
 

Cap

TheBrownDog
Jul 27, 2004
54,437
46,120
Las Vegas
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Norwood
A full 5 days seems daunting.

I like wfh with my set up everything I need to work solo ‘to hand’ I go into an office and usually forget a mouse or a cable.

I also like hybrid on ‘team days’ when the people I need to interact with are ‘to hand’ not on teams.
I'm lucky, there is no real reason for me to ever go into the office, other than other people 'liking' to see me in.

But I did the same, left my headphones home, went and bought some, realised they were Apple only, bought a converter. Now im $35 down all because someone likes to see me in.
 

owen87

Hall of Famer
Apr 23, 2016
30,141
42,071
AFL Club
Essendon
Within the last 5 or so years, I've worked a job as a cleaner in a mall and a service station attendant at a petrol station.

In the former, I was required to carry a tracker which pinged off buoys at locations around the centre, with the tracker informing me if I've stayed in a single location for too long. In theory, I was to receive please explains for staying in one place for too long; in practice, imagine the sheer number of please explains that would need to be issued across multiple workplaces a contract cleaning company across multiple sites would require as far as paying someone to monitor and check the surveillance logs and footage and check each employee's reasons for not leaving a single location for a while.

In the latter, the petrol station had 4 cameras in the public sections of the station and 12 behind the counter; 3 immediately above the cash registers, 4 looking at the face of the attendant at whatever register, and multiple scattered within the private parts of the site where only employees were allowed. I worked nights and I frequently received phone calls asking me why I was standing behind the console and not restocking shelves (most of the time, my answer was if you check the cameras on the forecourt you'll see people out there and I have to watch them) or asking me to restock a particular item my manager could see on cameras needed refilling. There were more cameras watching me than members of the public.

It's why listening to the media bitching about surveillance or whistleblower protection or the rights of media to privacy have always rung hollow to me: where the * were you when my boss decided that I was more likely to steal from them than a customer was? Where the * were you when the government decided putting a GPS in my pocket was an acceptable thing for my boss to do, when my boss decided an app needed to be installed on my phone which checked my location when I checked on to make sure I was onsite?

Where were you when the right to privacy died, and why are you only now complaining over a corpse you helped to murder?

Yeah but you're a filthy liberal who just wants to get a free ride sponging off the hard work of upstanding conservative citizens.
 

owen87

Hall of Famer
Apr 23, 2016
30,141
42,071
AFL Club
Essendon
I think there's a level of social benefit that comes from seeing your work colleagues, such that you feel part of an organisation and not just an anonymous worker bee at home that could really be working for anyone.

Ideally I think for most people a 2 / 3 type split is probably the best, sustainable option where they spend some time in the office - I'd be wanting entire 'teams' or cohorts together in the office on the same days as much as possible to minimise online meetings etc.. on the WFH days, leaving the WFH days to go and be productive with more clearly defined outcomes.

Online meetings are a complete timesink, as there's usually about 5 minutes worth of actual stuff discussed and the rest is time filler because someone thinks using the full allocation of the time block means they've done a 'thing'. But I also feel that way about meetings in general, they're there to faciliate going away and producing an outcome. Attending a meeting isn't an outcome, despite some people thinking spending an entire day in meetings is being productive.
 

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