Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

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AnEngineer
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by AnEngineer »

KyleAAA wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:52 pm
stoptothink wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:05 pm
N10sive wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:50 pm
Yes sunk cost in real estate sucks, but there are other overhead costs with people WFH. VPN issues, crappy internet means more IT support needed, needing to have multiple expensive items at people's home instead of time sharing in the office. My company gave money for new monitors etc(that ultimately need to go back in the office). Apple for example isn't primarily a software company. They have tons of hardware needing to be developed. You can only simulate so much at home before you need to actually do stuff hands on. We've ordered millions of dollars of equipment we wouldn't have to support WFH employees. (I don't work at apple but the other FAANG).
My office furniture alone was 5-figures, I know how our cubicles on my floor were set up costs in the ~$12k/each range, not to mention everybody had a laptop and multiple monitors (mine were returned when I began WFH) and the random office supplies that were used daily. On the other hand, pretty certain it costed my company $0 in overhead costs to have me WFH over the past 14+ months. The only cost I can think of is VPN, but I already had one because I (previously) traveled quite a bit with work. Same thing for my wife. I don't think your situation is necessarily relevant to all industries and employees.
Large companies absolutely had to invest in millions of dollars (tens of millions for the largest) in additional IT infrastructure. There's a huge difference between supporting 15% of your workforce WFH part of the time to 95%+ of your workforce WFH 100% of the time. There's also additional tooling needed to support a remote workforce than an office-based workforce. If we needed IT support, we used to just go to the help desk. Now it's all remote, so additional scheduling and remote diagnostic tooling solutions were needed. And then there's managing workforce morale and the tooling that comes along with that. There's a reason software stocks shot through the roof.
With the push to move everything into the "cloud", at some companies a lot of this happened before the pandemic and was probably inevitable for a lot of other companies.
Frank the Tank
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:24 am

Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by Frank the Tank »

N10sive wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:50 pm There are some interesting takes on this and surprised by so many people expecting return to work to be more slowly integrated after WFH for so long.

I have been going into my office everyday for the last year(I worked 2 months WFH). Main reason I work with hardware and need access to hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment. This same fact goes for a majority of the campus I work at however its only been 10% back to work over that year. 25% starting mid july.

Yes sunk cost in real estate sucks, but there are other overhead costs with people WFH. VPN issues, crappy internet means more IT support needed, needing to have multiple expensive items at people's home instead of time sharing in the office. My company gave money for new monitors etc(that ultimately need to go back in the office). Apple for example isn't primarily a software company. They have tons of hardware needing to be developed. You can only simulate so much at home before you need to actually do stuff hands on. We've ordered millions of dollars of equipment we wouldn't have to support WFH employees. (I don't work at apple but the other FAANG).

Development has really slowed compared to if people were in the office. Though development is slowed down also because of issues in other countries that supply the hardware etc.
I can understand the need for people working in hardware development - that seems to be the type of position where in-person teams make sense for maximum productivity. There are definitely many jobs that require being in a specific physical location, so those obviously can't be remote. However, the main pushback (at least in my mind) would be forcing positions where it's truly irrelevant where a person might be located in order to perform a job back in the office for the sake of "culture" or other intangibles that companies argue (which of course all the "culture" talk goes out the window when the companies have a bad quarter and then have a RIF).

You also stated you work for a FAANG company. Getting a position at one of those firms is so coveted that they may be able to insist upon more in-office work since they have more marketplace leverage over employees. In contrast, the vast majority of other companies that want high demand knowledge workers (especially in tech) don't have that same type of leverage, which means that they may (and I firmly believe *will*) need to be much more flexible about WFH in order to attract/retain talent.
Last edited by Frank the Tank on Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Frank the Tank
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by Frank the Tank »

Deleted - double post
KineticSync
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by KineticSync »

Some new info from my small megacorp employer (semiconductor): they're setting up a system to capture our vaccination info, and it'll be up next week. Once we show we're vaccinated we'll get a badge sticker allowing us to not wear a mask. Still nothing about exactly when we return to the office, but earlier info indicated they were doing it based on each locality's childcare availability, so I'm assuming it's around the back to school date. No indication about work from home or a hybrid work/work from home plan. We're also getting acquired which further complicates things.
Gus Chiggins
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by Gus Chiggins »

Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:33 amI can understand the need for people working in hardware development - that seems to be the type of position where in-person teams make sense for maximum productivity. There are definitely many jobs that require being in a specific physical location, so those obviously can't be remote. However, the main pushback (at least in my mind) would be forcing positions where it's truly irrelevant where a person might be located in order to perform a job back in the office for the sake of "culture" or other intangibles that companies argue (which of course all the "culture" talk goes out the window when the companies have a bad quarter and then have a RIF).

You also stated you work for a FAANG company. Getting a position at one of those firms is so coveted that they may be able to insist upon more in-office work since they have more marketplace leverage over employees. In contrast, the vast majority of other companies that want high demand knowledge workers (especially in tech) don't have that same type of leverage, which means that they may (and I firmly believe *will*) need to be much more flexible about WFH in order to attract/retain talent.
I’d actually argue it’s the opposite. The employees at very successful tech companies have more leverage because they employ top level talent. These tech companies are very aware that their employees are in very high demand and can often easily join a competitor in a similar role or level up at a smaller company. They’re also very aware how they are perceived by outside talent as they need to continue attracting top talent to compete. The reason these employees command such high salaries, strong benefit packages and equity is the same reason they can often leverage better working arrangements. That’s not to say there isn’t some back-and-forth (or that it isn’t role specific), but these companies—Apple aside—are the ones that I’m seeing as the most willing to allow more flexible arrangements. They’re smart enough to realize their continued success depends upon employing happy top talent, which post-COVID means flexible work arrangements.
stocknoob4111
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Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:52 pm

Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by stocknoob4111 »

Facebook is allowing all employees to choose to work remote permanently if they wish.

https://www.linkedin.com/news/story/fac ... e-5080308/

I am thinking more companies will be pressured to offer this as a perk to stand out against the competition in order to attract and retain talent. It's also a change for the better if traffic in our cities and all the negatives that go with gridlock (pollution, wasted productivity etc.) are alleviated. This is certainly a win-win situation for employees, employers, society and the planet, not quite sure why employers are still showing hesitancy after it's been proved that this model works.
AnEngineer
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by AnEngineer »

Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:33 am I can understand the need for people working in hardware development - that seems to be the type of position where in-person teams make sense for maximum productivity. There are definitely many jobs that require being in a specific physical location, so those obviously can't be remote. However, the main pushback (at least in my mind) would be forcing positions where it's truly irrelevant where a person might be located in order to perform a job back in the office for the sake of "culture" or other intangibles that companies argue (which of course all the "culture" talk goes out the window when the companies have a bad quarter and then have a RIF).
Even after a more than a year of remote work, we haven't figured out how to get the benefits of being physically around each other while on-line. There's the camaraderie, which we've been relying on what we build pre-pandemic, but there's also real business benefit to chatting with coworkers in the lunchroom who are on other projects, or hearing senior workers disagree about techniques while on a walk (or even complain about management!). Until we know how to get those benefits while 100% remote, I still see the benefit to showing up at least some time at the office with everyone.
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sunny_socal
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by sunny_socal »

AnEngineer wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:42 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:33 am I can understand the need for people working in hardware development - that seems to be the type of position where in-person teams make sense for maximum productivity. There are definitely many jobs that require being in a specific physical location, so those obviously can't be remote. However, the main pushback (at least in my mind) would be forcing positions where it's truly irrelevant where a person might be located in order to perform a job back in the office for the sake of "culture" or other intangibles that companies argue (which of course all the "culture" talk goes out the window when the companies have a bad quarter and then have a RIF).

Even after a more than a year of remote work, we haven't figured out how to get the benefits of being physically around each other while on-line. There's the camaraderie, which we've been relying on what we build pre-pandemic, but there's also real business benefit to chatting with coworkers in the lunchroom who are on other projects, or hearing senior workers disagree about techniques while on a walk (or even complain about management!). Until we know how to get those benefits while 100% remote, I still see the benefit to showing up at least some time at the office with everyone.
There's no such thing as 'camraderie' any more, post-covid
- Must 'social distance' at work
- Max capacity for conference rooms (ie. 25% of normal)
- Must stand around wearing masks

I can meet colleagues for lunch and not have to observe any such guidelines. Much better for camaraderie. Then we all go WFH for the rest of the day.
AnEngineer
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by AnEngineer »

sunny_socal wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:42 pm
AnEngineer wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:42 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:33 am I can understand the need for people working in hardware development - that seems to be the type of position where in-person teams make sense for maximum productivity. There are definitely many jobs that require being in a specific physical location, so those obviously can't be remote. However, the main pushback (at least in my mind) would be forcing positions where it's truly irrelevant where a person might be located in order to perform a job back in the office for the sake of "culture" or other intangibles that companies argue (which of course all the "culture" talk goes out the window when the companies have a bad quarter and then have a RIF).

Even after a more than a year of remote work, we haven't figured out how to get the benefits of being physically around each other while on-line. There's the camaraderie, which we've been relying on what we build pre-pandemic, but there's also real business benefit to chatting with coworkers in the lunchroom who are on other projects, or hearing senior workers disagree about techniques while on a walk (or even complain about management!). Until we know how to get those benefits while 100% remote, I still see the benefit to showing up at least some time at the office with everyone.
There's no such thing as 'camraderie' any more, post-covid
- Must 'social distance' at work
- Max capacity for conference rooms (ie. 25% of normal)
- Must stand around wearing masks

I can meet colleagues for lunch and not have to observe any such guidelines. Much better for camaraderie. Then we all go WFH for the rest of the day.
What you're describing is not post-covid. I'm talking about long term.
MAKsdad
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Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by MAKsdad »

AnEngineer wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:42 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:33 am I can understand the need for people working in hardware development - that seems to be the type of position where in-person teams make sense for maximum productivity. There are definitely many jobs that require being in a specific physical location, so those obviously can't be remote. However, the main pushback (at least in my mind) would be forcing positions where it's truly irrelevant where a person might be located in order to perform a job back in the office for the sake of "culture" or other intangibles that companies argue (which of course all the "culture" talk goes out the window when the companies have a bad quarter and then have a RIF).
Even after a more than a year of remote work, we haven't figured out how to get the benefits of being physically around each other while on-line. There's the camaraderie, which we've been relying on what we build pre-pandemic, but there's also real business benefit to chatting with coworkers in the lunchroom who are on other projects, or hearing senior workers disagree about techniques while on a walk (or even complain about management!). Until we know how to get those benefits while 100% remote, I still see the benefit to showing up at least some time at the office with everyone.
Some of us love the fact that we don't have to deal with BS small talk with co-workers anymore.
MAKsdad
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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:43 am

Re: Return to Work - How is your company dealing with it?

Post by MAKsdad »

AnEngineer wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:42 pm
Frank the Tank wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:33 am I can understand the need for people working in hardware development - that seems to be the type of position where in-person teams make sense for maximum productivity. There are definitely many jobs that require being in a specific physical location, so those obviously can't be remote. However, the main pushback (at least in my mind) would be forcing positions where it's truly irrelevant where a person might be located in order to perform a job back in the office for the sake of "culture" or other intangibles that companies argue (which of course all the "culture" talk goes out the window when the companies have a bad quarter and then have a RIF).
Even after a more than a year of remote work, we haven't figured out how to get the benefits of being physically around each other while on-line. There's the camaraderie, which we've been relying on what we build pre-pandemic, but there's also real business benefit to chatting with coworkers in the lunchroom who are on other projects, or hearing senior workers disagree about techniques while on a walk (or even complain about management!). Until we know how to get those benefits while 100% remote, I still see the benefit to showing up at least some time at the office with everyone.
Some of us love the fact that we don't have to deal with BS small talk with co-workers anymore.
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