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TTailedTiger
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Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:53 pm

I've always thought it was silly to make employees who don't have to interact with customers come into an office building every day. With most businesses switching to work from home during this coronavirus crisis, why not make it permanent? It would significantly cut down on costs for the business and the employees. It would also make environmental improvements with people no longer having to drive or take other transportation to their job every day.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:59 pm

There are a lot of pluses - the obvious losers would be lunch places and commercial real estate. But yeah, major savings all around.
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casinterest
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:00 pm

It's always easier to lay off the employees that work from home, unless they are really good :). On the plus side hiring employees doesn't cost as much when you don't have to pay for a place for them to work,
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trpmb6
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:09 pm

There is intrinsic value in having a common work place when you are training new employees. Whenever I work from home I typically have a noticeable increase in productivity. Mainly because I'm able to focus more on my work and less on helping younger engineers. Conversely, those engineers are likely less productive by not having me around as they are less likely to stand up and come ask me a question.

I will note that each new batch of college grads coming in are a lot better at online communication - for better or worse - making face to face communication less necessary in that regard. But there is still some things - particularly in engineering - that having face to face time is important.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:05 pm

There's still value added in face to face communication, especially in terms of decision making.

And not all jobs are suitable for remote work. I would know...I wish mine were so I could stay home more often.
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Aesma
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:19 pm

I hope I would at least get 1-2 days telecommuting per week.

Today was my first day teleworking ever, I had so much done I almost regretted not having been at my office doing less ah ah !

I was looking for a house to buy, and what I want in a house means it must be quite far away (large garden), so not having to commute everyday would make a big difference.

On the other hand my company gives company cars to every senior employee so what would happen with that if everyone is telecommuting, I don't know.
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Revelation
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:29 pm

Like everything, telecommuting is not a panacea.

Done well, employees are given the right tools to maintain needed interactions with team members and the right training and the right policies so everyone is clear on the new rules of the game.

Done poorly, employees become less and less responsible to the needs of the team, and more responsive to their own needs, either for work or non-work items.
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ER757
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:13 pm

I've been working at home 2 days a week for over ten years and now it's five days a week until further notice. I have everything I need to be fully functional - even have phone software that routes my work phone to my home phone while I am on line, so it's utterly transparent to my customers are our other offices as to where I am. I find I am more productive working off-site. That being said, I will look forward to heading back in for at least one day a week when this all blows over. There are some things that maybe are better dealt with face to face with fellow employees
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:16 pm

I sometimes worked from home if I really needed to dig into something in fine detail, or had something where concentration was the highest priority. I also told my team that if they wanted to work from home, the only requirements I had were: your office phone is forwarded to a phone where you will be, and, you get your work done on- or before-time. Those were it.

I went to the office as often as possible, because our team was a cohesive one, and we got a lot done AS that team when we were all there. They seemed to feel the same way as the only times they worked from home was illness in the family; needing to wait for someone like an appliance repairman or the like, or, just needing a breather.
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ACDC8
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:31 pm

Erode human interaction even more, good plan :sarcastic:
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VSMUT
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:43 pm

I would never be able to do it. Wouldn't be more than 5 minutes before I got distracted by something else.
I know others who refuse to do it because they inevitably end up working overtime because they can't stop, or get called up after hours to "just quickly look something up".
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:49 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
Erode human interaction even more, good plan :sarcastic:


You mean you don't socialize outside of work?
 
ACDC8
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:12 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
ACDC8 wrote:
Erode human interaction even more, good plan :sarcastic:


You mean you don't socialize outside of work?

We're not talking about outside of work or socializing, we're talking about at work and interaction between fellow humans.
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dtw2hyd
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:02 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
ACDC8 wrote:
Erode human interaction even more, good plan :sarcastic:


You mean you don't socialize outside of work?


If you want to remain employed, socializing with your colleagues is the most important thing for people who work from home. Unfortunately, office politics don't telecommute.
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seat64k
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:18 am

I depends greatly on the work. There's a lot of work that can be done remotely but that greatly benefits from face to face cooperation. I work in an (IT) infrastructure team in a very large company (tens of thousands of employees). We're about 20 people in region who take care of all underlyhing hardware and networking. We are all able to work from home, and the company was pretty flexible on it even before Covid-19 came around.

However, a lot of what makes us efficient and able to deal with a very large estate despite a very small team, is the ability to quickly grab five people and huddle around a whiteboard to solve a problem that just came up. The ability to throw hand signals at each other while on a conference call with a vendor. Overhearing each other's conversations or phone calls and recognise that you are aware of something that might impact the thing they're talking about and that they clearly don't know about. The ability for someone to walk up and ask a question, and to grab a pen and paper and draw a diagram on the spot to explain.

Yes, it's possible to work around this while we're all remote. But by now we've all recognised that, although each of us are working full-steam at home, as a team we're simply less productive.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:03 am

Revelation wrote:
Like everything, telecommuting is not a panacea.

Done well, employees are given the right tools to maintain needed interactions with team members and the right training and the right policies so everyone is clear on the new rules of the game.

Done poorly, employees become less and less responsible to the needs of the team, and more responsive to their own needs, either for work or non-work items.


:checkmark:
We started doing home office for all non-hands on employees yesterday, with working hours being spread over more hours for the rest to reduce density, but we are used to working with people that we sometimes never even met. So, phone and video conferencing is well practices, the collaborations tools are already there, phone is IP based anyways. The only things we had to do was setting up an VPN connections for those that usually don´t work off site, some people took some extra screens home..... done, dusted.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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DL717
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:05 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
I've always thought it was silly to make employees who don't have to interact with customers come into an office building every day. With most businesses switching to work from home during this coronavirus crisis, why not make it permanent? It would significantly cut down on costs for the business and the employees. It would also make environmental improvements with people no longer having to drive or take other transportation to their job every day.


The only problem with telecommuting is that one can get disconnected from the organization. I think it’s fine over short periods of time for situations like this, but if you’re working for a company you need to be around. You aren’t a private contractor picking up odd jobs.
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Kiwirob
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:49 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
I've always thought it was silly to make employees who don't have to interact with customers come into an office building every day. With most businesses switching to work from home during this coronavirus crisis, why not make it permanent? It would significantly cut down on costs for the business and the employees. It would also make environmental improvements with people no longer having to drive or take other transportation to their job every day.


As a person who has a home office its not cheaper, in Norway my home office has to comply to all the same safety standards as a regular office, it cost quite a lot to bring my home office up to code.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:16 am

Kiwirob wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
I've always thought it was silly to make employees who don't have to interact with customers come into an office building every day. With most businesses switching to work from home during this coronavirus crisis, why not make it permanent? It would significantly cut down on costs for the business and the employees. It would also make environmental improvements with people no longer having to drive or take other transportation to their job every day.


As a person who has a home office its not cheaper, in Norway my home office has to comply to all the same safety standards as a regular office, it cost quite a lot to bring my home office up to code.


That's insane.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:28 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
I've always thought it was silly to make employees who don't have to interact with customers come into an office building every day. With most businesses switching to work from home during this coronavirus crisis, why not make it permanent? It would significantly cut down on costs for the business and the employees. It would also make environmental improvements with people no longer having to drive or take other transportation to their job every day.


As a person who has a home office its not cheaper, in Norway my home office has to comply to all the same safety standards as a regular office, it cost quite a lot to bring my home office up to code.


That's insane.


Why? Workplace safety is workplace safety.... i don´t think he needs to have separate bathrooms for man and women in his home office, but why would anything with regards to room, desk, equipment and so on be any different than in the office?

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:42 am

tommy1808 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:

As a person who has a home office its not cheaper, in Norway my home office has to comply to all the same safety standards as a regular office, it cost quite a lot to bring my home office up to code.


That's insane.


Why? Workplace safety is workplace safety.... i don´t think he needs to have separate bathrooms for man and women in his home office, but why would anything with regards to room, desk, equipment and so on be any different than in the office?

best regards
Thomas


I've been working from my recliner the past week. And that's if I feel like getting out of bed. Wherever I have a WiFi signal, I can work. I don't need exit signs, handicap ramps, or an evacuation plan to get out of my own house. That is regulation run amok.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:45 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

That's insane.


Why? Workplace safety is workplace safety.... i don´t think he needs to have separate bathrooms for man and women in his home office, but why would anything with regards to room, desk, equipment and so on be any different than in the office?

best regards
Thomas


I've been working from my recliner the past week. And that's if I feel like getting out of bed. Wherever I have a WiFi signal, I can work. I don't need exit signs, handicap ramps, or an evacuation plan to get out of my own house. That is regulation run amok.


Understood but there is a large welfare state in those countries - regs like that may be in place to protect employers from workers’ comp claims sustained by staff working from home.
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marcelh
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:51 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
I've always thought it was silly to make employees who don't have to interact with customers come into an office building every day. With most businesses switching to work from home during this coronavirus crisis, why not make it permanent? It would significantly cut down on costs for the business and the employees. It would also make environmental improvements with people no longer having to drive or take other transportation to their job every day.


Working at home can be benificial when you have to concentrate. But interaction with the team you work together (projects) is way more efficient. And a workplace at home has to comply with the required standards. And working at the kitchen table with a 13,3” laptop isn’t quite the standard.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:14 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:

That's insane.


Why? Workplace safety is workplace safety.... i don´t think he needs to have separate bathrooms for man and women in his home office, but why would anything with regards to room, desk, equipment and so on be any different than in the office?

best regards
Thomas


I've been working from my recliner the past week.


That is great. Do that your whole career and you at least know where your f*cked up back comes from....

I can work from everywhere i have network, but that is no viable in the long run.

Not having proper workplace standards is simply subsidizing companies via the health care system. So...no.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
marcelh
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:19 am

tommy1808 wrote:
Not having proper workplace standards is simply subsidizing companies via the health care system. So...no.


Who cares in the USA?
 
tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 8:36 am

marcelh wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Not having proper workplace standards is simply subsidizing companies via the health care system. So...no.


Who cares in the USA?


smart people.

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
olle
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:02 am

I have been working very international as informatic security expert during close 25 years. Compared the infrastructure model 1995 or 2005 we have infrastructure today that makes it possible to mix people and expertice from different part of the organisation for a very low cost.

In my company stockholm based and this is the general rekommendation from the swedish government means that everybody that can works from home.

This means that Stockholm is deserted.

We have meeting within my group every day at 08.00 and 15.30 to plan and present daily activities.

This will change forever how we looks at business trips, precense at office etc. The time when we have a dedicated office chair is over.

In sweden schools is still open with the motivation that older people shall not take care of kids while the parents works. The people below 70 have deasent chance to survive the people over 70 do not and shall not meet people.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:20 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
As a person who has a home office its not cheaper, in Norway my home office has to comply to all the same safety standards as a regular office, it cost quite a lot to bring my home office up to code.

Sorry, what expensive stuff are you talking about?

marcelh wrote:
And a workplace at home has to comply with the required standards. And working at the kitchen table with a 13,3” laptop isn’t quite the standard.

Are you saying there is a safety standard about how big a laptop an employer must provide?

olle wrote:
Compared the infrastructure model 1995 or 2005 we have infrastructure today that makes it possible to mix people and expertice from different part of the organisation for a very low cost.

I agree, the infrastructure largely exists. I'm pretty curious if the policies and practices do as well. As I wrote, without such, remote work can really cause problems.

olle wrote:
This will change forever how we looks at business trips, precense at office etc. The time when we have a dedicated office chair is over.

I'm very interested to see if this indeed is the case in general. A lot of this stuff has been coming, maybe covid-19 is the tipping point. Yet a lot of it has pitfalls.

One of my employers was already going to this model around 10 years ago. First it was for sales and support, those people weren't in their offices much anyhow. Then around five years ago they remodeled their offices so each employee who still had a desk was given very little room (enough for two computer screens but not much more) and remote work was encouraged. Again, the problem was that procedures and policies around remote work were not well thought out, and once the bad practices started, they were hard to reign in.

My previous employer was the opposite. We had old-school 1980s style furry cubicles. Management wanted to have seats in butts. There was almost no allowance for remote work. It kind of made things too inflexible, but it was part of the terms and conditions so people just did what they needed to do to get a paycheck. I think they just were old school and wanted to be able to walk into people's cubes and change what they were doing in an instant. The place was pretty chaotic, it was part of their culture.

The problem for management is that one size does not fit all.
  • Some people have a busy home with lots of sources of interruptions, they'll never be able to be productive there
  • Some people simply can't concentrate when left to their own devices and will gravitate towards goofing off
  • Some people are social animals and feel isolated and unhappy when working from home
  • Some tasks need free form collaboration which is hard to schedule and much more productive face to face
  • Some alternate between some or all of the above so no one solution fits on an ongoing basis.

Management tends to think most people are a lot like them in that they have good salaries so nice homes in good locations and are older so kids are mature enough to be left alone or have moved out already. They don't tend to consider other people who are sharing apartments with random roommates and/or are raising young children and actually need a place to get away from their out of work life to be productive.

On the tech side, a given organization may have a chosen conferencing tool (Skype for Business, WebEx, TeamViewer, Zoom, Hangouts, etc) but they often don't work well across organizational boundaries. We don't really have a good international standard protocol, each vendor has invented their own and they don't interoperate. The solution ends up being myriad apps all with different vulnerabilities to monitor.
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tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:54 pm

Revelation wrote:
Are you saying there is a safety standard about how big a laptop an employer must provide?


na, a Laptop is simply a no go for any prolonged work and not acceptable in either the office, or the home office. You need to provide a docking station, display, mouse, keyboard....

and desk of the appropriate hight, bright enough, glare free, lights in the room where you are working, no draft, and a bunch of other things before "home office" is permitted. No "nice easy not paying for office space"...

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
marcelh
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:12 pm

Revelation wrote:
marcelh wrote:
And a workplace at home has to comply with the required standards. And working at the kitchen table with a 13,3” laptop isn’t quite the standard.

Are you saying there is a safety standard about how big a laptop an employer must provide?


No, but at our offices all desks have a docking station with a full sized keyboard, mouse and monitor. And we can create a workplace at home (tax benefits).
 
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Revelation
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:18 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Are you saying there is a safety standard about how big a laptop an employer must provide?

na, a Laptop is simply a no go for any prolonged work and not acceptable in either the office, or the home office. You need to provide a docking station, display, mouse, keyboard....

and desk of the appropriate hight, bright enough, glare free, lights in the room where you are working, no draft, and a bunch of other things before "home office" is permitted. No "nice easy not paying for office space"...

marcelh wrote:
No, but at our offices all desks have a docking station with a full sized keyboard, mouse and monitor. And we can create a workplace at home (tax benefits).

Strange. I've done prolonged work on laptops going back 20 years now. Granted it's been a mix of high end Thinkpads and Apple laptops, but still. I've even bought my own laptop for personal use based on being comfortable with the work ones. Some management types are happy with tablets that they attach to mobile keyboards when they need to type a lot of stuff. It just seems strange that their is such a standardized approach and that people are put off if it is not met. Can the employee cause trouble for the employer if they were handed a laptop and told to work from home?

And it also seems strange that one's home is perfectly acceptable till it becomes a workplace then other standards must be met. Given a reasonable salary, why would I not make my personal space have an appropriate desk with proper lighting and be draft free so I can have a place for my own home office needs? Are there standards on what size of desk and chair the employer needs to provide?

The "not paying for office space" is surely an employer benefit, but not having to pay whatever it costs to commute to the office is an employee benefit, along with getting back the time one spends commuting. Seems like a fair trade off to me.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Tugger
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:22 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Short answer? No.

Longer answer: it should be an available option at least for short term situations like being sick or needing to care for someone at home for short periods. But otherwise is not a needed thing and employee interaction, even across disparate groups and functions, has been proven beneficial to a company's workforce productivity.

Of course telecommuting not being "standard" in no way means there aren't a lot of jobs and situations where it is as good if not preferred,especially where a job does not conform to "worksite office space" situations.

Tugg
Last edited by Tugger on Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:37 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Are you saying there is a safety standard about how big a laptop an employer must provide?


na, a Laptop is simply a no go for any prolonged work and not acceptable in either the office, or the home office. You need to provide a docking station, display, mouse, keyboard....

and desk of the appropriate hight, bright enough, glare free, lights in the room where you are working, no draft, and a bunch of other things before "home office" is permitted. No "nice easy not paying for office space"...

best regards
Thomas


In Sweden all workplace deskw have to have adjustable height as well.
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tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:03 pm

Revelation wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Are you saying there is a safety standard about how big a laptop an employer must provide?

na, a Laptop is simply a no go for any prolonged work and not acceptable in either the office, or the home office. You need to provide a docking station, display, mouse, keyboard....

and desk of the appropriate hight, bright enough, glare free, lights in the room where you are working, no draft, and a bunch of other things before "home office" is permitted. No "nice easy not paying for office space"...

marcelh wrote:
No, but at our offices all desks have a docking station with a full sized keyboard, mouse and monitor. And we can create a workplace at home (tax benefits).

Strange. I've done prolonged work on laptops going back 20 years now. Granted it's been a mix of high end Thinkpads and Apple laptops, but still. I've even bought my own laptop for personal use based on being comfortable with the work ones. Some management types are happy with tablets that they attach to mobile keyboards when they need to type a lot of stuff. It just seems strange that their is such a standardized approach and that people are put off if it is not met. Can the employee cause trouble for the employer if they were handed a laptop and told to work from home?


Yup, he can, and as an employer you rather deal with a tax audit than the Berufsgenossenschaft. If you develop any problem associated with what's your work environment is lacking, they also gladly stick all treatment costs onto you, and if they decide that effects your ability to do your job, you get a pension, and guess who's paying that for the rest of that employees life..... (unless they get well again). Oh, they also hike your insurance premiums for all your employees if you fuck up.

And it also seems strange that one's home is perfectly acceptable till it becomes a workplace then other standards must be met.


You can screw with your health in your free time that no one pays you for. If someone makes money with your time, they are responsible to do.everything reasonable to keep you healthy.

Given a reasonable salary, why would I not make my personal space have an appropriate desk with proper lighting and be draft free so I can have a place for my own home office needs?


If your contract says so, and your employer enforces that you really do have all that at home, that's fine.

Are there standards on what size of desk and chair the employer needs to provide?


1600 mm x 800 mm, unless the Kind of work required more, no less than 0.96m2 regardless of actual Station workload.

Chair? Of course

court ruling to clarify wrote:
Criteria for an ergonomic office chair
An office chair should be height-adjustable and non-tilting, and should have a flexible backrest that adapts to the movements of its owner. However, in order to receive the label "ergonomic", it must meet numerous other criteria. The BAUA (Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) summarises the requirements for an ergonomic office chair as follows:

The office chair must be stable and non-tilting, i.e. it must be equipped with at least five castors and secured against rolling away unintentionally (e.g. by braked castors).
The rolling resistance must be adapted to the nature of the floor covering (braked castors for smooth floors, unbraked castors only for textile floor coverings)
The office chair should cushion slightly when sitting down to keep the impact on the spine as low as possible.
The office chair must not have any sharp edges and should have upholstered, breathable seat and backrests. The upholstery should be firm but comfortable.
The height of the seat must be adjustable within a range of at least 42 to 50 cm.
The seat depth should be at least 38 to 44 cm and the seat width at least 40 to 48 cm.
The backrest is horizontally concave and has a width of at least 36 to 48 cm. Vertically, the curvature is convex.
The backrest should support or relieve the back as much as possible in various working positions. For this purpose, sufficient height and/or adjustability must be ensured. The use of a coupled seat/backrest tilt adjustment (so-called synchronous mechanism) is recommended, because this enables the dynamic change of postures and thus the supply of the intervertebral discs.
Armrests are useful for relieving the shoulder and neck area, but they must not hinder the performance of the activity.
Armrests should be adjustable in height (height above the seat at least in the range of 20 to 25 cm), at least 20 cm long and 4 cm wide.
Alternative seating furniture can be useful additions in individual cases, but not replacements for office swivel chairs. Alternative seating furniture must also meet the requirements for stability and tilt resistance and offer adequate protection against rolling away


The "not paying for office space" is surely an employer benefit, but not having to pay whatever it costs to commute to the office is an employee benefit, along with getting back the time one spends commuting. Seems like a fair trade off to me.


Here your employer is responsible for your health, violations are probably the majority of white collar prison convictions, even when you work from home.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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Revelation
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:12 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Here your employer is responsible for your health, violations are probably the majority of white collar prison convictions, even when you work from home.

Thanks for the informative post. It suggest to me at least why companies find off-shoring so attractive. Who would want to employ someone if doing so made them responsible for their health? Off shore wages are cheaper to begin with, and such a work force does not bring all these worries about their health. As you suggest, one slip up and that person lives for the rest of their life off you. It's an amazingly high standard to meet.
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tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:27 pm

Revelation wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Here your employer is responsible for your health, violations are probably the majority of white collar prison convictions, even when you work from home.

Thanks for the informative post. It suggest to me at least why companies find off-shoring so attractive. Who would want to employ someone if doing so made them responsible for their health? Off shore wages are cheaper to begin with, and such a work force does not bring all these worries about their health. As you suggest, one slip up and that person lives for the rest of their life off you. It's an amazingly high standard to meet.


Yup, it is. So is GDP per hour worked....

And it is really slipping up... my favorite example from university:
Large construction company, HQ in Hamburg. On a construction site in Frankfurt a worker dies, crushed by a concrete part that fell from a crane. Of course no one survives that..turns out he didn't wear his helmet though. He has to wear one! The chief of workplace safety of that company did, of course, send the appropriate directions down the line, but didn't sufficiently monitor they are followed. He has never personally been at that site. This accident was the result of a lack in workplace safety culture, he is in charge of that safety culture, and hence he went to prison for negligent manslaughter......

As you suggest, one slip up and that person lives for the rest of their life off you. It's an amazingly high standard to meet.


Just like one slip up behind the wheel can do.

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Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:05 pm

Meanwhile, in the USA:

A Charter Communications engineer called the company's rules against working from home during the coronavirus pandemic "pointlessly reckless" and "socially irresponsible" before subsequently resigning instead of continuing to work in the office, according to a TechCrunch article published yesterday.

Charter CEO Tom Rutledge last week told employees in a memo to keep coming to the office even if their jobs can be performed from home, because people "are more effective from the office." Employees should only stay home if they "are sick, or caring for someone who is sick," Rutledge wrote.

Ref: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/202 ... -pandemic/

This is ugly enough that a CEO is requiring people who could work from home to work from the office during a pandemic, but the uglier thing is his company is a COMMUNICATIONS company that supports telecommuters so he's basically saying his company's services aren't very effective.

Charter is kind of known as a joke in the telcom industry in the US, this just nails the point home.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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JJJ
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:36 am

Revelation wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Here your employer is responsible for your health, violations are probably the majority of white collar prison convictions, even when you work from home.

Thanks for the informative post. It suggest to me at least why companies find off-shoring so attractive. Who would want to employ someone if doing so made them responsible for their health?


That's where the contractor route applies. The company is no longer liable because you're an external professional.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:46 am

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/202 ... -pandemic/

I didn't know you had data caps in the US, what are they as an example ?
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:54 pm

Aesma wrote:
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/03/after-deregulatory-blitz-fcc-scrambles-to-prevent-isp-abuse-during-pandemic/

I didn't know you had data caps in the US, what are they as an example ?

It used to not be a thing, but:

Led by Pai, the Republican-majority Federal Communications Commission gave up its authority to restrict data caps and other anti-consumer practices in late 2017 when it repealed net neutrality rules and deregulated the broadband industry. That vote also eliminated requirements for ISPs to be more transparent with customers about hidden fees and the consequences of exceeding data caps, and it lifted a ban on "unjust or unreasonable discrimination" in broadband rates, practices, and services. Stripping away these regulations made it harder for the FCC to guarantee affordable broadband.

Some more info:

Comcast announced late Friday that it is suspending enforcement of its data cap and overage fees for 60 days during the coronavirus pandemic.

"With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the Internet without thinking about data plans," Comcast's announcement said. "While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge."

Normally, Comcast charges an extra $50 per month for unlimited data, or $10 for each additional block of 50GB after customers exceed 1TB.


Ref: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/202 ... -everyone/

I'm not sure why the two sources don't agree.

I'm a pretty avid YouTube viewer and a Comcast customer and have never hit the 1TB cap.

TBH the epidemic really hasn't changed my usage pattern much and so far I have not sensed any slow downs due to other people binge streaming during the epidemic.

Mostly I have been reading old school paper books and/or using Kindle more, and have not upped my streaming much at all.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Aesma
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 3:39 pm

Sometimes I pass the 1TB in less than a day. And I pay way less. 40€/month for ADSL (or fiber when it will come here), unlimited data, unlimited phone calls to landlines and mobiles, including to plenty of countries. 16€ more for a SIM card from the same provider, with everything unlimited too. It's with the 4G+ of that SIM card than I can download more than 1TB per day, with ADSL it's not possible.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
cpd
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:02 pm

casinterest wrote:
It's always easier to lay off the employees that work from home, unless they are really good :). On the plus side hiring employees doesn't cost as much when you don't have to pay for a place for them to work,


You are forgetting that it can take time to find the right new people and then to get them up to speed with processes, etc.

We are considering work from home at the moment not as an optional thing, but potentially mandatory for the near future. I already do work from home at some times.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:07 pm

cpd wrote:
casinterest wrote:
It's always easier to lay off the employees that work from home, unless they are really good :). On the plus side hiring employees doesn't cost as much when you don't have to pay for a place for them to work,


You are forgetting that it can take time to find the right new people and then to get them up to speed with processes, etc.

We are considering work from home at the moment not as an optional thing, but potentially mandatory for the near future. I already do work from home at some times.


My company has told us not to go to the office. It kind of bites since my kids and wife are home as well, but in my job, I need lab equipment, so things are going to slow down.
Work from home also takes our some of the fun of getting to know people.
Hiring can be a pain, and some people that feel detached from the office find it easier to leave.

.
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anrec80
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:48 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
There are a lot of pluses - the obvious losers would be lunch places and commercial real estate. But yeah, major savings all around.


Other obvious losers - high-tax states, since remotely you can work from a lower tax jurisdiction. I.e. live in FL or TX and work for a NYC company. Ample of people do that.
 
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:51 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
As a person who has a home office its not cheaper, in Norway my home office has to comply to all the same safety standards as a regular office, it cost quite a lot to bring my home office up to code.


Does someone actually walk around people's houses and checks what's going on there?
 
Kiwirob
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:28 am

anrec80 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
As a person who has a home office its not cheaper, in Norway my home office has to comply to all the same safety standards as a regular office, it cost quite a lot to bring my home office up to code.


Does someone actually walk around people's houses and checks what's going on there?


If your home is your official place of work it's checked.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:35 am

To echo what other people have said here a little bit I think that many will find the efficiency of work will go up when they work at home for the first time as you end up being more selfish and task focused to a certain degree. When you aren't getting those subtle social cues one often gets during social interactions then objectives become less personalised and more transactional in nature. You rattle through a lot of tasks but miss the rather meaningful things that help direct those tasks in the right direction. Networking suffers.

I am basically allowed to work from home whenever I see fit ( I am a research project Engineer/manager in the food industry) but very rarely do so (once per month) but last year my wife had emergency spinal surgery (a lot more scary than covid-19, I can tell you) and I basically had to work from home for the best part of 3 months as should couldn't take care of herself, I learned how to cope and my main thing that helped was that picking up the phone to a colleague simply for "a chat" was totally fine, gossip and jokes remotely are harder but important.

Should we work at home more regularly? I don't think it will hurt too much but should we set it as a default? No, the common workplace is as much of a social setting for many and allows more subtle and important interaction than we can get remotely.

Fred
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tommy1808
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:45 am

[photoid][/photoid]
anrec80 wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
There are a lot of pluses - the obvious losers would be lunch places and commercial real estate. But yeah, major savings all around.


Other obvious losers - high-tax states, since remotely you can work from a lower tax jurisdiction. I.e. live in FL or TX and work for a NYC company. Ample of people do that.


Doesnt work here.

Best regards
Thomas
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ltbewr
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:14 am

Many of us are working from home who never did. I work for the law department of a government agency. I am limited what work I can do but due to my age (65) and working in NYC/live in NJ, since Monday I chose to work from home. My supervisor is supportive of that decision. On Friday, March 6th, a key person of our agency was diagnosed with COVID-19, others who were close contact with him had to go into self-quarantine. I have had buggy problems with the work assigned computer and access to their servers, but it seemed to be getting much better by the 3rd day. I still have to rely on someone in the office to deal with the physical paper, postal mail processing my job involves. It may be 4-6 weeks or more before I can consider safely returning to the office.

While I miss the human connections at my workplace under this crises, I also don't waste time with interruptions, jerks and dumb gossip. I like getting 2 1/2 to 3 hours in my life not commuting on full buses and subways to/from work. I like only a few steps to go to the bathroom, instead of walk to a hallway one. I want to work at my job until later this year, although due to the losses in my retirement account, I may have to work into next year to recover some of them and perhaps the need to help others in my family who may be under severe financial distress from the crises.

I think from this current crises, we may see some people take a split days of being in-office and work from home. In parts that will be due to the long and expensive commuting many have to do in many urban areas so can have affordable housing, the need to reduce air pollution, the reality and costs of child care, the need to be flexible to attract workers.
 
anrec80
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Re: Should Telecommuting Be Standard Now?

Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:18 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
If your home is your official place of work it's checked.


OK... Can these "checkers" just be told to get lost? I am just admiring how in the very same countries that market themselves as "free", "democratic" and "respect privacy" the officials are walking around people's houses and teach residents how to live properly.

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