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Mon Oct 26, 2020, 11:51 PM

WFH, Work From Home Is Proving To Be A Revolution In Our Way of Life

'Working from home is proving to be a revolution in our way of life.' The repercussions are everywhere, from reduced retail footfall to losses at train companies. The Guardian, Oct. 26, 2020.

It took time, but the Industrial Revolution profoundly changed the way people worked. Out went cottage industries and in came giant factories. People migrated from rural areas to the cities. Gradually, as economies became more service-sector driven, the big factory was replaced by the big office, but the principle remained the same: employees left their home in the morning for their place of work and returned in the evening.

That wasn’t true for everybody, clearly. Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the now ubiquitous term “working from home” already applied to about 5% of us. In the past seven months, though, the picture has been transformed. As the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, has said, that number rose to 50% when the lockdown was at its severest. Even now, one in three people are WFH.

The implications of this shift are everywhere: from the reduced footfalls at city centre shopping malls to the losses being racked up by train operating companies. But there is more to the WFH revolution than that. As Haldane notes, there is no evidence that WFH has boosted the UK’s notoriously poor productivity, in part because the change happened suddenly and many people were not geared up to operate in cramped flats with small children demanding their attention.

Output per worker does not seem to have suffered, because those WFH are prepared to work longer hours – in effect giving back some of the time they are saving from the daily commute to their employers. Happiness levels appear to have risen, in part because workers don’t much care for beginning and ending the day on crowded trains, tubes and buses, and in part because they feel they have more control over their working lives. On the other hand, as the months roll by, the novelty will wear off. Workers will find that they miss human contact, bouncing ideas off colleagues, the feeling of being part of a team.

Haldane thinks there is a balance to be struck: some days at home for the peace and quiet; some days in the office to fire the imagination. That sounds right, but it will still represent a sea change in the way we work. - End.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/26/working-from-home-is-proving-to-be-a-revolution-in-our-way-of-life

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Reply WFH, Work From Home Is Proving To Be A Revolution In Our Way of Life (Original post)
appalachiablue Oct 2020 OP
Blue Owl Oct 2020 #1
drray23 Oct 2020 #2
appalachiablue Oct 2020 #4
PoindexterOglethorpe Oct 2020 #3
murielm99 Oct 2020 #5
Thyla Oct 2020 #6
drray23 Oct 2020 #7
Thyla Oct 2020 #8
drray23 Oct 2020 #9
Thyla Oct 2020 #10
pfitz59 Oct 2020 #11
appalachiablue Oct 2020 #12
Skittles Oct 2020 #13

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Oct 26, 2020, 11:52 PM

1. K&R

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 12:14 AM

2. It is certainly true.

My quality of life has improved drastically since I do not have to do 1h30 each way commute anymore. Working comfortably from home reduced the stress and did not affect my productivity or that of my employees negatively. As a matter of fact, it raised it. I dont get interrupted by people stopping by in my office , meetings are easier to moderate.
I love that mute function on bluejeans (the software we are using). People click "raise hand" and I can unmute them then. No talking over each other and meetings spiraling into chaos.
Financially, I save money too. Eating at home, with home cooked food rather than grabbing a lunch at a local food joint.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 12:32 AM

4. In my heavy career years it was heaven to get a day off

for a rare weather event like a major snowstorm. To be in my own home & not the crush of rush hr traffic twice a day.

For a decade & a half I drove 2 hrs a day in the height of rush hour traffic in a lg. metro area, time I'll never get back.

WFH does save on lunch costs and also office clothes. The clear downsides of the transformation are the service workers who must go to work, through hell and high water...

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 12:23 AM

3. Except, of course, for those who don't have that option.

I shouldn't have to constantly remind people that not every worker in this country is an office worker who has weekends and holidays off.

Think about it every time you got to a restaurant or store outside of 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 03:55 AM

5. For the most part,

you are correct. However, there are people who prefer to work evenings, overnights and weekends. There are night people and people who like odd shifts.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 04:06 AM

6. I wouldn't get used to it sadly

We have benefited greatly from this but it's coming to an end now.
Back to normal, no lessons learned or meaningful change.

Wasted the best opportunity for change we have had in at least 3 generations.

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Response to Thyla (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 09:28 AM

7. im not so sure.

companies are realizing they can save money doing that. The cost of office space is huge. As a matter of fact, many are dropping long term leases in san francisco because they found out they can shift the cost on workers by letting them work remotely.
Some jobs will always require onsite presence but many wont. I think COVID has initiated a paradigm shift for many companies. They now have in place the mechanisms to be efficient while wfh and some at least are going to capitalize on it post COVID.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 12:02 PM

8. Well my wifes workplace must have missed that memo

It´s been business as usual since September there and they wear it as badge of honour. She has been using her normal teleworking days since then but now has to start going in a couple of days a week so she can have enough days left to work from home over the Christmas period. From Januarary she will have to take parental leave at a much reduced wage if she wants any time off and probably will because that winter period is going to be bad numbers wise.

Unless the government here(Spain) mandate teleworking for those who can again then they will just pretend everything is ok and push on. Really disappointed by this as I figured, naievely, that her institution would of been the adult in the room and lead by example.
It´s absolutely not necessary to be there, they just sit in their offices having zoom meetings still.

While I agree that this year should have taught many companies a lesson and would even further agree things should change I sadly am not seeing any evidence of it. Even if it would save money there just is not that level of logic here.

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Response to Thyla (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 12:21 PM

9. Oh yes not everbody gets it.

I have seen that companies that are making the transition are typically in high-tech or have connections to academia (like mine). Sadly, there are still places with an older mindset where they associate having your employees in the building give them a sense that they are in control of the situation and that they would goof off otherwise. This mindset however is starting to disappear.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 12:52 PM

10. Yeah it is much closer to old world thinking over here

Very macho too even today.

This whole COVID situation has certainly changed our personal mindset. I think the days of being an actual employee are quite numbered now. We´ve been discussing it quite a bit and frankly would rather go live the life we want even if it means sacrificing some dollars. Feel like we are trapped over here and to be fair we pretty much are for the forseeable future so just need to ride covid out safely first.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 06:38 PM

11. WFH and Home-schooling suffer from the same disease, lack of Socialization.

Our daily physical interactions 'humanize' us. We stink, we swear, we make mistakes. We share victories, failures, heat-aches and joys. We eat lunch together and gossip about absent co-workers. We are tribal. Zoom cannot make up for smelling the sweat rolling down someone's face as they bite into the hot chili hidden in the lunch buffet. I do not want to live my life in isolation. Might as well be living in "The Matrix".

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Response to pfitz59 (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 07:20 PM

12. Loud and clear, got it but things seem to be moving steadily

away from human interaction, esp. due to the internet and automation. Less and less we have real flesh and blood contact from shopping online, and working and playing online.

Several years ago I recall reading a post about how in the US, Girl Scout cookies would be available to order online; the writer was elated. He would never have to get up off his a*s to go out, meet kids at a library or shopping ctr., just order the yummy treats online.

The major point of the effort is for young girl scouts to inteact and learn from meeting people outside stores and community places, handling the financial transaction of purchases, taking down additional orders and of course socializing.

The financial advantages of employers having people work from home are ample-- passing costs onto employees- avoid rent by using people's home space, utilities and more.

I dislike the trends but can see where it's heading.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 07:21 PM

13. prior to the pandemic I did both

I went into work but once a week I WFH. I very much prefer separating work from home.

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