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Back to work and play from the COVID period
Old 04-06-2021, 10:50 AM   #1
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Back to work and play from the COVID period

I talked to two ex-colleagues at my institution this week. One is dreading a possible return to on-site work likely in late summer; the other is ready to go in now. (Both are fully vaccinated.) I'm starting to see a lot of articles on this subject as well as returning to a more active social life.

I wonder if some of the dread of returning to work among office workers is related to the changes that were overtaking work life before the epidemic. I managed to retire before most of the changes (had a private office to the end), but the pretty much loathed open office was taking hold, and now people are used to working from home, with a radio playing their preferred station, etc. The commute must be looming for those with a long one.

I wonder if we'll see some kind of major shift in working patterns? I am already seeing automated checkouts even in quite small places.

And people are out of practice in getting out and socializing late hours. I wonder if focus will turn to earlier eveing activities, except among the young.

Are you all hearing speculation and planning from your colleagues, ex-colleagues, and family members? When will we start seeing changes, if there are any?
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:22 PM   #2
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Most of the people I know say or have been told by their companies they will not go back full time in office. I am still waiting to hear from my MC.

It is nice not to have to think of things like commuting, active shooters, open offices. . .
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Old 04-06-2021, 05:05 PM   #3
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Super happy to be retiring this year and never have to consider working in an office again. Although I've been WFH since 2013 prior to that we went from lots of private offices, to a cube farm with high walls. to finally tiny cubes with 1/2 walls and some completely open work areas. If I wanted to discuss an HR matter I had to sign up to use a private office for my call. Now our office is studying if people will go back at all, go back just one day every two weeks, etc. Also they are discussing re-configuring the workspace - hopefully walls will return!
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by badatmath View Post
Most of the people I know say or have been told by their companies they will not go back full time in office. I am still waiting to hear from my MC.

It is nice not to have to think of things like commuting, active shooters, open offices. . .

Agree on all the above. But how are companies going to effectively develop a unique culture with all remote workers. Then there's the question of loyalty - survey after survey says that people will stay in a tough job if they have a "best friend" at work. On the other side of the loyalty coin: if people no longer need to be in offices, they no longer need to be in the US, receiving a US salary etc. Offshoring will reign!
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:43 AM   #5
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I took a poll of our division, and the only people who said they wanted to come in more than 2 days a week were warehouse staff who have to be there, except for one (out of about 70 people). I suggested we have lockers for people so they can keep some stuff (a photo, a mug, phone charger) to use when they do need to come in. Before this I was working in the office 3 days a week, and I'll probably come in one day every 2 weeks once we reopen. I think of those 70 about a dozen were already remote, the rest were not teleworking or teleworking no more than 1-2 days a week.

The one non-work thing (for me) that I hope persists is online takeout ordering. A few restaurants around here added online ordering, and I'm loving it. I hate worrying about whether I relayed my order correctly, it's much easier for me to enter it online and visually confirm it. I hate using the phone in general, but especially in situations like that.
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