Employees Are Feeling Burned Over Broken Work-From-Home Promises As Employers Try To Bring Them Back To The Office

from the working-form-home dept

As vaccinations and relaxed health guidelines make returning to the office a reality for more companies, there seems to be a disconnect between managers and their workers over remote work.

A good example of this is a recent op-ed written by the CEO of a Washington, D.C. magazine that suggested workers could lose benefits like health care if they insist on continuing to work remotely as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes. The staff reacted by refusing to publish for a day.

While the CEO later apologized, she isn’t alone in appearing to bungle the transition back to the office after over a year in which tens of millions of employees were forced to work from home. A recent survey of full-time corporate or government employees found that two-thirds say their employers either have not communicated a post-pandemic office strategy or have only vaguely done so.

As workforce scholars, we are interested in teasing out how workers are dealing with this situation. Our recent research found that this failure to communicate clearly is hurting morale, culture and retention.

Workers relocating

We first began investigating workers’ pandemic experiences in July 2020 as shelter-in-place orders shuttered offices and remote work was widespread. At the time, we wanted to know how workers were using their newfound freedom to potentially work virtually from anywhere.

We analyzed a dataset that a business and technology newsletter attained from surveying its 585,000 active readers. It asked them whether they planned to relocate during the next six months and to share their story about why and where from and to.

After a review, we had just under 3,000 responses, including 1,361 people who were planning to relocate or had recently done so. We systematically coded these responses to understand their motives and, based on distances moved, the degree of ongoing remote-work policy they would likely need.

We found that a segment of these employees would require a full remote-work arrangement based on the distance moved from their office, and another portion would face a longer commute. Woven throughout this was the explicit or implicit expectation of some degree of ongoing remote work among many of the workers who moved during the pandemic.

In other words, many of these workers were moving on the assumption – or promise – that they’d be able to keep working remotely at least some of the time after the pandemic ended. Or they seemed willing to quit if their employer didn’t oblige.

One of authors explains the research.

We wanted to see how these expectations were being met as the pandemic started to wind down in March 2021. So we searched online communities in Reddit to see what workers were saying. One forum proved particularly useful. A member asked, “Has your employer made remote work permanent yet or is it still in the air?” and went on to share his own experience. This post generated 101 responses with a good amount of detail on what their respective individual companies were doing.

While this qualitative data is only a small sample that is not necessarily representative of the U.S. population at large, these posts allowed us to delve into a richer understanding of how workers feel, which a simple stat can’t provide.

We found a disconnect between workers and management that starts with but goes beyond the issue of the remote-work policy itself. Broadly speaking, we found three recurring themes in these anonymous posts.

1. Broken remote-work promises

Others have also found that people are taking advantage of pandemic-related remote work to relocate to a city at a distance large enough that it would require partial or full-time remote work after people return to the office.

A recent survey by consulting firm PwC found that almost a quarter of workers were considering or planning to move more than 50 miles from one of their employer’s main offices. The survey also found 12% have already made such a move during the pandemic without getting a new job.

Our early findings suggested some workers would quit their current job rather than give up their new location if required by their employer, and we saw this actually start to occur in March.

One worker planned a move from Phoenix to Tulsa with her fiancé to get a bigger place with cheaper rent after her company went remote. She later had to leave her job for the move, even though “they told me they would allow me to work from home, then said never mind about it.”

Another worker indicated the promise to work remotely was only implicit, but he still had his hopes up when leaders “gassed us up for months saying we’d likely be able to keep working from home and come in occasionally” and then changed their minds and demanded employees return to the office once vaccinated.

2. Confused remote-work policies

Another constant refrain we read in the worker comments was disappointment in their company’s remote-work policy – or lack thereof.

Whether workers said they were staying remote for now, returning to the office or still unsure, we found that nearly a quarter of the people in our sample said their leaders were not giving them meaningful explanations of what was driving the policy. Even worse, the explanations sometimes felt confusing or insulting.

One worker complained that the manager “wanted butts in seats because we couldn’t be trusted to [work from home] even though we’d been doing it since last March,” adding: “I’m giving my notice on Monday.”

Another, whose company issued a two-week timeline for all to return to the office, griped: “Our leadership felt people weren’t as productive at home. While as a company we’ve hit most of our goals for the year. … Makes no sense.”

After a long period of office shutterings, it stands to reason workers would need time to readjust to office life, a point expressed in recent survey results. Employers that quickly flip the switch in calling workers back and do so with poor clarifying rationale risk appearing tone-deaf.

It suggests a lack of trust in productivity at a time when many workers report putting in more effort than ever and being strained by the increased digital intensity of their job – that is, the growing number of online meetings and chats.

And even when companies said they wouldn’t require a return to the office, workers still faulted them for their motives, which many employees described as financially motivated.

“We are going hybrid,” one worker wrote. “I personally don’t think the company is doing it for us. … I think they realized how efficient and how much money they are saving.”

Only a small minority of workers in our sample said their company asked for input on what employees actually want from a future remote work policy. Given that leaders are rightly concerned about company culture, we believe they are missing a key opportunity to engage with workers on the issue and show their policy rationales aren’t only about dollars and cents.

3. Corporate culture ‘BS’

Management gurus such as Peter Drucker and other scholars have found that corporate culture is very important to binding together workers in an organization, especially in times of stress.

A company’s culture is essentially its values and beliefs shared among its members. That’s harder to foster when everyone is working remotely.

That’s likely why corporate human resource executives rank maintaining organizational culture as their top workforce priority for 2021.

But many of the forum posts we reviewed suggested that employer efforts to do that during the pandemic by orchestrating team outings and other get-togethers were actually pushing workers away, and that this type of “culture building” was not welcome.

[Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter.]

One worker’s company “had everyone come into the office for an outdoor luncheon a week ago,” according to a post, adding: “Idiots.”

Surveys have found that what workers want most from management, on the issue of corporate culture, are more remote-work resources, updated policies on flexibility and more communication from leadership.

As another worker put it, “I can tell you, most people really don’t give 2 flips about ‘company culture’ and think it’s BS.”The Conversation

Kimberly Merriman, Professor of Management, Manning School of Business, University of Massachusetts Lowell; David Greenway, Doctoral Candidate in Leadership/Organization Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Tamara Montag-Smit, Assistant Professor of Business, University of Massachusetts Lowell

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Filed Under: covid, employers, promises, remote working, work from home


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 May 2021 @ 4:07pm

    But but but we've always done it this way & it is set in stone tablets and we can't possibly change now! How else can we get our bonuses unless we make everyone miserable.

    A company is not a family, you can't force them to like each other.
    If you try to force these things they will unite, but it will be to find a way to get rid of you or screw you.

    The pandemic made everyone change plans really really fast & how the fsck is it during the lockdown not a single company seems to have considered how to bring everyone back without causing even more chaos?

    Vaccination rates are not uniform among staff so you can't just set a day everyone has to be back.

    Schools/Day Cares aren't quite back yet, demanding they come back without considering they exist outside your culture of corporations is how you lose talented people.

    Maybe shred the revered MBA handbook about how things are supposed to be & look at the results you got during the lockdown. Perhaps some people staying remote is the best option for that position, perhaps 25 zoom meetings a day might be 24.5 to many.

    If you feel you have to see the people working & thats the only way to be sure they aren't all slackers (ignoring what they've been doing remotely all this time) great news!! You are going to end up having to hire a bunch of new staff to replace those who are fed up with your crap.
    They are adults, not naughty children you have to monitor at all times.
    If they aren't getting the job done, replace them.
    If they are getting the job done while at home, with the 10K distractions and life happening around them ask if they like being remote? Find a way to make it work.

    You might be masters of the corporate universe, but you can't make covid or the rest of their lives stop just to please you. Your competitor will love to offer them remote friendly options that will sound better as you're screaming get back in the office and put your butt in the seat who cares if your kid ends up home alone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 25 May 2021 @ 4:44pm

    It seems like most companies would be smart to create a post Covid plan and let the workforce have some input on it. Ease them in with some foreplay before sticking it in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      That's exactly what my company did, but - surprise! - management decided we all have to come back to the office full time next week anyway.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2021 @ 5:25pm

    Harassment is a problem

    It seems that since I've been working at home, I've been getting harassed more. And that's just the spouse and kids!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2021 @ 5:59pm

    I've flat out told them I'm leaving over this

    I'm an analyst in a casino, I interact with no customer, ever. But the industry is so antiquated on anything but gambling that they can't comprehend that an analyst with zero interaction with others can work from home.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MC, 25 May 2021 @ 6:11pm

    WFH Analytics

    As an Analytics manager in a large corporation, one of the first things we did after we shifted to remote work last year was conduct several reviews on potential loss of productivity.

    We reviewed our largest populations and were able to statistically conclude there was loss of productivity that varied by department. Our largest groups ranged from a 5-15% loss in productivity.

    As we began discussing return to work scenarios, I reviewed cost savings (and potential savings) from not actually having staff in the office. Our power bills and security costs covered more than a third of the loss. We then began reviewing scenarios of reduced rents, facility costs/maintenance, etc and discovered we could hire additional staff to make up for the loss in productivity and still save on what we were spending before. We haven't even explored potential savings with regards to insurance costs.

    I think in most of the largest companies, it's coming down to the perception that leaders lose visibility with a remote workforce. That perception is driving the "return to work" directions most groups are implementing. It's not being based on actual costs or employee engagement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 May 2021 @ 6:26pm

      Re: WFH Analytics

      One does wonder what will happen to productivity once the workers home lives get back to normal.

      It is hard to quantify what each persons struggles are, its not like there were any zoom meetings where the bosses really want the workers to unload whats stressing them out & work out plans on how to cope.

      It is one thing to throw together a home office on short notice & keep working as the rest of the world is locking down vs. being able to go out and find a nice chair and desk to make a real work space that you can focus in b/c the entire family isn't home getting on each others nerves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 26 May 2021 @ 8:27am

        Re: Re: WFH Analytics

        My wife liked me being home. She said it just made her feel more at ease.
        I guess we are an exception but we liked it better for me to be home.

        I liked being home because it cut my commute down to zero.
        No gas, no wear/tear on my car.

        Downside would be ensuring the remote systems are secure. It's another vector of possible breach if malware hits the remote workers' systems that we have no control over.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: Re: WFH Analytics

          "Downside would be ensuring the remote systems are secure. It's another vector of possible breach if malware hits the remote workers' systems that we have no control over."

          It depends on your systems, but in my experience if anyone with any competence has designed and built your network, people logging into it via VPN should not endanger it to any meaningful degree. If people can easily spread malware to production systems from their desktops, you have other problems than where those desktops happen to be located.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 10:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: WFH Analytics

            If people can easily spread malware to production systems from their desktops, you have other problems than where those desktops happen to be located.

            It doesn't have to be production systems to cause serious issues.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        TaboToka (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re: WFH Analytics

        One does wonder what will happen to productivity once the workers home lives get back to normal.

        I expect it to go down.

        Our upper management is chomping at the bit to pack us all back into the big, loud bullpen so they can parade clients through and show off how cool everything looks.

        Anyone who knows anything about developing software knows developers need a quiet, distractionless environment for maximum productivity (see #8). I had this at home, but never at the office.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Michael Brian Bentley (profile), 25 May 2021 @ 7:00pm

    What managers want to avoid: Zoom meetings

    Management would rather poke their eyes out with ice picks than do more Zoom.

    Development staff could have one or two Zoom meetings a day, but managers spent all their waking hours in Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

    Everyone must return to the office to work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2021 @ 8:47pm

      Re: What managers want to avoid: Zoom meetings

      Short answer: no

      Long answer: no, because that’s your problem not ours

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 2:06am

      Re: What managers want to avoid: Zoom meetings

      "Management would rather poke their eyes out with ice picks than do more Zoom."

      This is true in the company I work for as well. It's just that our management apparently consists of mature individuals who came to the conclusion of "Huh. This seems to be an 'us' problem" and found a way to deal with it.

      But YMMV. Some companies don't have a culture which relies on staff being independently useful outside of the cubicle farm and those companies do have a problem now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Flakbait (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 8:21am

      Re: What managers want to avoid: Zoom meetings

      "Management would rather poke their eyes out with ice picks than do more Zoom."

      Sounds like your company needs better, more flexible managers. You know, ones who inherently know that it's not about them, it's about the people they are supervising and who are the ones doing the actual work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 3:24am

        Re: Re: What managers want to avoid: Zoom meetings

        "You know, ones who inherently know that it's not about them, it's about the people they are supervising and who are the ones doing the actual work."

        I was once asked to describe what a "line manager" was, in my opinion. My reponse was "He or She is the person we point in the right direction and pull the trigger so a foot emerges and kicks a problem we've found to the proper address". This was found to be an acceptable definition, which speaks volumes about the maturity of the company I was lucky enough to find myself in.

        In all too many companies instead all of middle-management fulfills no obvious purpose other than micro-managing the time of employees they don't trust to do their job because the company believes the people they pay to do the work aren't competent to do the work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mikey A. Velli, 4 Jun 2021 @ 7:46pm

      Re: What managers want to avoid: Zoom meetings

      Returning after FIVE years for second comment = ZOMBIE!

      Michael Brian Bentley: 2 (<1), 5 year 2 month gap; https://www.techdirt.com/user/crenelle

      Oh, sure, this one puts on good front w long comment, but FIVE YEAR GAP is inexplicable: so interested that kept track of password (doesn't mention having to reset it as site did in 2017), and yet TWO comments total!

      Also a key indicator is that HELPS the site. The Zombies NEVER dissent. And the fanboys -- who are suspect as more astro-turfing too -- usually pick up to help give the appearance of active and open discussion, when in fact it's the most uniformly orthodox corporatist / globalist "tech" site on the net, and mostly furriners who appear to be vitally interested in every American anomaly Maz can scrape up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 May 2021 @ 7:36pm

    About 2 years ago our organization rejected a project because of the CO2 cost to the community. Honestly, it was kind of dumb but they did it on the rationale of CO2 emissions.

    Fast Forward, 2 years, and my first day back in the office, I drive 50 miles round trip, call into a meeting and talk to no one in person the rest of the day.

    I can’t say this in person but 2020 was one of the best years of my life. Now it’s back to all the bullshit that I hated in the office, plus a commute, massive weekend traffic where I live and I’ve gained 5 pounds since they started making us come into the office.

    But obviously I was goofing off all day at home the last year so gotta fix that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tin-Foil-Hat, 25 May 2021 @ 10:17pm

    Indeed

    I noticed there were many companies offering permanent remote arrangements. It's a good time to steal staff from companies where employees and employees don't agree on the ideal work arrangements.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 12:00am

    It does look like more than a few people are looking to leave the big city for smaller centres lately. COVID is only part of the equation; while I can understand not wanting to ride crowded subways in some of the worst hotspots just to get to a big-city job, issues like bottlenecked roads and overpriced housing (which existed before the current pandemic, but which are only getting worse) are also big factors. I left the largest city in the nation in 1990 for a job in a smaller community at 10% less money, just because the housing costs were so excessive and the travel times so ridiculous. I never looked back. Now, with the COVID panic running full tilt, I look at the infection rates for some of the communities where I used to work and I thank the Lord, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or anyone else who might give a darn that I no longer work in these places.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 12:20am

    ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

    'We need people back in the office because we can't trust them to be productive at home' strikes me as a self-defeating argument, because if you believe that and it's true then that means you've been paying someone who hasn't been working for months, and if it's not true then you're basically saying that you don't trust your own employees to do their jobs despite the fact that they have been, which again raises the question of why you're still employing them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 1:51am

      Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

      There a couple of types of employer in my experience. One is the type that looks at results and gives employees a fairly free reign in getting those results, which tends to include a lot of flexibility. The other loves to micromanage, and will expect rigid targets and cultural ideas to be met, even when they're not needed or are even counterproductive to the end results.

      So, one employer might allow you to roll in to the office any time between 8 and 10, doesn't mind how long you take for lunch as long as you do the full 8 hour shift, and will judge performance based on what you've produced. The other will expect you to be in your seat at 8am sharp, preferably before, not take longer than 30 minutes for any break (which will be mandated at a certain time) and you'll be judged as lazy if you only complete your 8 hours with no overtime (unpaid, of course) even if you've exceeded your performance targets.

      It's not hard to imagine which kind of company has adapted to remote working, and which is desperate to claw back employees to a physical office, where they may be reluctant to return after having experienced a less stressful work environment.

      Remote working is not for everyone and I do know some people who are eager to return to "normal". But, for some people it's a way better option, and it's hard to convince them otherwise now that they have had a taste.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 2:21am

        Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

        "The other will expect you to be in your seat at 8am sharp, preferably before, not take longer than 30 minutes for any break (which will be mandated at a certain time) and you'll be judged as lazy if you only complete your 8 hours with no overtime (unpaid, of course) even if you've exceeded your performance targets."

        And despite this having been pointed out and parodied in everything from scientific studies, to comics and to games there are still workplaces around who believe that the sky will fall if the job revolves around flexibility, because you can't trust the people you pay money to do a job to actually do their job unless monitored.

        I still recall finding, in Fallout 4, an old terminal where management had issued a stern warning about people wasting too much time on the toilet, hence a mechanism had been installed which would log the weight contents in the bowl after a visit and correlate it with the time spent sitting to see whether there administrative actions had to be taken.

        "Remote working is not for everyone and I do know some people who are eager to return to "normal". But, for some people it's a way better option"

        Not to mention that hybrid solutions exist. If my work currently revolves around contracts then the time I actually need to spend in the office is restricted to when i really need a dual monitor to work or physical access to a hardcopy of a document.

        The main bottleneck here is bandwidth and stable linkage. But to be fair that issue remains the same no matter where you work from, because when the intranet is down the pentry gets crowded.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 5:42am

          Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

          "I still recall finding, in Fallout 4, an old terminal where management had issued a stern warning about people wasting too much time on the toilet"

          I once worked in a call centre where you were timed by the second for toilet breaks and penalised for every second you spent over that time. Weirdly, that was the most depressing place I ever worked, with a massive staff turnover (averaging 6 weeks) and zero loyalty from staff. I can't imagine why.

          "Not to mention that hybrid solutions exist."

          Which are almost always the best solutions, no matter the situation. Why would you want someone who has to exhaust themselves 2-3 hours a day to commute every single day, when you can have someone rested and happy who comes in a couple of times a week for meetings if necessary? There are people who prefer the daily grind, but there's no advantage to forcing it on those who expressly hate it.

          "The main bottleneck here is bandwidth and stable linkage"

          I'd argue the main bottleneck is the kind of middle manager who failed upwards and is concerned they can no longer micromanage or drop crap on you to do verbally without a recording of the request. True, I work mainly with Linux shells so apart from the occasional video meeting my bandwidth isn't challenged, but I don't see a massive difference between my office time at home and when I commuted, other than I'm less tired and more willing to put in extra time if needed.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 8:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

            screams in agony as the mental driftnet recalls an innovation at an Intel conference in (ponders) Tel Aviv (iirc) where someone had setup a camera in the bowl to run analysis on peoples poop

            I hate you all for bringing this memory back.
            Oh did I mention the entire toilet was see through?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 3:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

            "I once worked in a call centre where you were timed by the second for toilet breaks and penalised for every second you spent over that time."

            ...and coming in the wake of revelations that Amazon warehouse staff bring empty PET bottles to their job to use in lieu of actual toilet visits...sometimes, just sometimes, words fail even me when it comes to accurately describing levels of fail in society.

            "I don't see a massive difference between my office time at home and when I commuted, other than I'm less tired and more willing to put in extra time if needed."

            This, right there. Part of me doing process-building and development not rarely results in me having to sit in on calls from all possible timezones. It's nice to be able to tell the nice american colleague who just called that "Yes, I can give you some time" rather than *"I really need to catch the bus".

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 6:51am

          Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

          If my work currently revolves around contracts then the time I actually need to spend in the office is restricted to when i really need a dual monitor to work

          If that's why you're going in to the office... monitors are pretty cheap.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 7:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

            Also, a decent employer would provide one if needed. I can understand wanting a decent office setup including desk, space, coffee and snack machines and the feeling of being out of the house if you don't have much of a commute, but a single extra monitor? Get them to supply it, or spend a couple of hundred so you don't have to waste the money on commuting.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 12:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

              Also, a decent employer would provide one if needed. I can understand wanting a decent office setup including desk

              A good employer would provide desks, chairs, etc. too. Some will send a person to your home to do an ergonomic assessment—a bad work-from-home setup can cost them money on medical/disability insurance later.

              They likely won't pay for home coffee and snacks, but will sometimes pay for home telecommunications services/upgrades. If your local ISP wants a couple of thousand dollars to run fiber, this would be a good time to ask an employer to cover it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 6:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

              "Get them to supply it, or spend a couple of hundred so you don't have to waste the money on commuting."

              In the office there's an adjustable desk with a dual set of 26" side by side. It's space that's an issue. Most decent companies these days have extra monitors and peripherals in the budget.

              No, it's usually the fact that I set up in the kitchen - coffee maker within arms length and seclusion for teams meetings - which puts me under space constraints.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 7:50am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payro

                That's something I understand for sure. I don't get why someone would volunteer to sit in traffic wasting hours of their day to go in and sit around people they don't need to physically deal with. But, if you got your living space pre-pandemic and the space or company don't lend themselves to work, why not if it's worth the effort? The main thing is that you have the choice, not being ordered to waste 2 hours a day by some middle manager who can't justify his job if he can't physically harass you on a whim.

                I got lucky in that I got a better paying job that allowed me to move to a bigger apartment during lockdown, even though I technically work in a city 3 hours away from my home office. The fact that I had to pay for my own desk and chair is secondary to the benefits (I did have the option of picking those up from the company office, but the round trip was not worth it for me or the company, and they pay me enough to be able to drop a bit extra down to customise my home space).

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 9:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

            The living situation to fit them may not be. "An adequate full time work office" wasn't a common demand or goal with housing prepandemic.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 6:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

            "If that's why you're going in to the office... monitors are pretty cheap."

            Yeah, and it's in the budget if i need one for home. The main issue being that I don't really have a good secluded place at home to sit and work which is wide enough to accommodate a pair of 26" 16/10's.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2021 @ 3:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

              Well stack them vertically.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Jun 2021 @ 7:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payro

                "Well stack them vertically."

                Rebuilding my home office environment into the lair of a James Bond Villain is in my little black book. It's the bullet point right before "Global Domination".

                It has to be noted that the only bullet point in that book I've come around to checking off is the "Learn properly deranged laughter" which i got under my belt in my years as the company DBA.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 2:45am

        Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

        The other will expect you to be in your seat at 8am sharp, preferably before, not take longer than 30 minutes for any break (which will be mandated at a certain time) and you'll be judged as lazy if you only complete your 8 hours with no overtime (unpaid, of course) even if you've exceeded your performance targets.

        When long hours are expected, many people just take longer to do the work, rather than doing more work.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 5:44am

          Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

          Exactly! It's annoying when you have the kind of management culture that actually encourages mediocrity over creativity, because the people who don't know what they're doing sit in a chair for more hours.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            bobob, 26 May 2021 @ 5:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

            Yes, I briefly worked for a company like that. Their philosophy was, don't spend time thinking about how to do it right, but we have plenty of time to do it wrong three or four times. I ended up doing things in parallel. At work, I wrote code to keep the management happy and at home, I wrote the code I'd eventually replace it with when the shortcuts the management wanted to take to get it out the door turned out to be fucked up.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 26 May 2021 @ 6:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

              Basically, if the company's method of measuring productivity for an individual employee is how many targets are hit, the rise in profits, whatever, and they don't care how they're achieved then they will think one way. If the company's measure is number of hours worked, number of minutes taken on breaks, etc., it will be another.

              The problem being experienced now is that there's too many middle managers who failed upwards trying to justify their existence, while the people who used to hate them are not eager to return to being near them.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 5:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

          When long hours are expected, many people just take longer to do the work, rather than doing more work.

          The reward for finishing work is more work.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bobob, 26 May 2021 @ 6:22am

      Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

      Yep, it is self defeating. The only measure of productivity is -- productivity! If having to show up to work in a noisy cubicle creates an environment that some (many) people find difficult to work in, measuring their productivity by time spent in their cubicles is most certainly self-defeating.

      When I was in grad school, no one, not grad students, not post docs, not faculty members had anyone tracking them or even regularly checking up on them, yet everyone did whatever it took to get done whatever needed done, even if that meant working some 24 hour days. Management mostly consisted of describing what we needed for an experiment and leaving everyone alone to do whatever parts of it they did best.

      When I first went out into the "real world" I was actully shocked that anything even got done badly and slowly, given the way everything was micromanaged. Most people straggled in and were counting down the minutes before time to go home. But hey, when being hired in most cases means satisfying (or gaming) an algorithm, who expects more than the lowest common denominator?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 8:48am

      Re: ... Then why are they still on the payroll?

      They're hot and a sexual harasser needs proximity.

      Why'd these women think they were hired again?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 26 May 2021 @ 5:34am

    Corporate culture is a euphemism for agreement to be micromanaged.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 6:52am

      Re:

      Depends on which corporation. Some are positively dilbertesque drone-hives where the delivered product appears to mainly consist of finely powdered souls, painstakingly ground right out of the creative young hopefuls who made the mistake of taking their first job there. If you work for one of these it's pretty clear you aren't going to be motivated because no matter what you do the only thing that matters is punching the clock on time.

      Other corporations issue mission statements, deadlines, then leave you to it and occasionally accept feedback when it comes to unreasonable assumptions. If you're lucky enough to work for one of those it's pretty much given that you'll put in the extra mile.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 27 May 2021 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re:

        "Depends on which corporation"

        This is true. My current employer takes in several hundred million Euros in revenue, and I've never felt freer in many ways. Whether that's due to the real company culture or a quirk introduced by the COVID changes remains to be seen, but so far it seems great, despite the fact that I've never met virtually anyone I work with physically (spread between various locations in Spain and Germany).

        I've worked for startups where the boss is a domineering ass who assumes that his 4 employees are not doing any work if they dare go home before midnight, or whatever time he decides to quit. Fortunately, people like the latter can be shut down in Europe.

        "you aren't going to be motivated because no matter what you do the only thing that matters is punching the clock on time"

        This is where so many places fall down, especially in the US in my experience. You can have 2 people, one who is highly productive but likes flexible start times and will get all their work done (and sometimes much more) before clocking off after their contracted hours, and loves spending valuable time to wind down outside of work. Then you have another who basically does no productive work, but makes sure they're at their desk at 9am sharp, always stays late to do at least 60-80 hours and never takes a vacation. The US corporate drone will punish the former and reward the latter, then wonder why their company productivity is dropping...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 May 2021 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The US corporate drone will punish the former and reward the latter, then wonder why their company productivity is dropping..."

          ...and it's usually a vicious circle which ends in a reorganization where they sack almost everyone, shake the remainder up, and hope that the corporate version of the magic 8-ball will end up producing a more positive outcome.

          I mean, sure, slackers exist, but in my experience there are always plenty of people who often do not appear to do any obvious work but always come through with the data you need or the job you need done. Mainly because working smarter instead of harder often means you get the results you want in 15 minutes without having to spend 8 hours punching numbers through the five year old template Finance or Marketing suggested you use.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2021 @ 8:44am

    You can't sexually coerce overpaid, unqualified hotties over Zoom.

    What's the point of hiring a former sex worker remotely?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PHB, 26 May 2021 @ 9:55am

    Working from home is like stealing from the company!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bagla Group (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 2:34am

    Good or Bad

    Why WFH is Good or Bad?

    Some of the employees are dedicated towards their work, it doesn't matter whether they work from the office, home or outsations. They always keep their work up to date. But due to some employees, who started using advantage of this situation or freedom due to which company started suffering loss.

    I am an IT person and Polyolefin Shrink Film Manufacturers both at Bagla Group, last year during the first pandemic after seeing the loss of work efficiencies in employees we used Hubstaff to monitor their work but they even enhancing their performance they started using some automated software to crack the software efficiency.

    For this kind of employee, the company needs to track them individually and randomly and need to replace them on an immediate basis. Yes, I know this is a long term process but a good initiative for the growth of business in future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2021 @ 4:58am

      Re: Good or Bad

      "Why WFH is Good or Bad?"

      Depends on the worker and the environment. Some people work harder for longer if they don't have to commute or be constantly interrupted by people wandering around their desks. Others prefer to clear their head away from the wife and kids rather than struggle to find a constant workflow. This all depends on the individual.

      As for the rest of your comment, the problem with what you're saying is that by going out of your way to try and track the "bad" workers, you're creating a toxic work environment that even the "good" workers will find offensive. If you want to demotivate and encourage a good employee to leave, the first thing you do is micromanage them and make it clear you don't think they're trustworthy.

      I don't know what metrics you're using to track people and what criteria you're using to decide who gets fired, but I think that if those metrics need you to track people with software, you're focussing on the wrong metrics. That software can help, but if you're not taking into account the different ways people manage time in order to get the same productivity, you're probably chasing away good employees.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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