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Cover image for Is your company making any permanent changes after "temporary" pandemic-driven changes?

Is your company making any permanent changes after "temporary" pandemic-driven changes?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

Anybody whose organization shifted to remote-first during the COVID-19 pandemic or who made other changes... Are things going to revert to "normal" once we're through this or are some things going to stay in place?

Discussion

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How does the saying go? "There's nothing as permanent as a temporary solution"

 

Now that dust has settled we're to remain remote but the company would like to point out that it is our choice so we're not going to get any assistance for home offices or electric/phone/internet.

They're subletting office space out and moving the remaining cubes and offices to hotelling. As there is still a theoretical spot we could be working from, that is the office, not our houses, so no business expenses for our houses, just the office. But we're still to work remotely at least until the end of 2020 if not forever (it's on individual team management to decide -- mine has switched due to layoffs, but they're leaning forever).

 

I've to pay my gas and my lunch where working at the office, and I pay internet and phone anyways, this will remain the same.

Working from home gives more time to yourself as your commitment is removed from the equation and also you can eat at home; The electricity extra-cost is much less than the cost of gas only so I was pleased about remote working. Sadly our company make us come back to the office with "security measures". on July so here we are :v

 

Ouch, yeah my saltiness is from the company (exceedingly large company, at that) saying that the cost of doing business at home doesn't apply while telling us to stay home indefinitely just seems money-grubbing.

I don't know how to drive, packed my lunch, and only had a 7min walk into the office, so my day-to-day life didn't improve that much other than the extra 15min of sleep. I already had solid internet from gaming, but I can easily see an extra $100+ a month in electricity that directly is because of work. They want the benefit of having people work outside of the costly office without reimbursing us for taking on those costs. My project is a weird one where it's treated like another company, too, so the project budget no longer includes "rent" in the office. So I can't go back with the extra measures in place even if I wanted.

I understand your point and of course my case even when being the most common does not apply to others.
My only point was about Where really is the limit of responsibilities from a company? Why they doesn't pay me the gas, or why they doesn't pay the electricity costs of remote working?

The best point may be a shared cost, if they pay me 50€/month being the extra-cost around 100€ for that's fine, i can also re-invest this money in some ways for being more electric-efficient and then save more money.

Hmmm thinking about it, I think the problem I have is that if I were vetting the situation like a job seeker, I'd negotiate to cover my costs. A remote-first company saying they only provide a laptop is well and good, but I'd choose to try to get more salary to offset my taking on the costs of having an office. By my company switching to that model after I've been here for years, I effectively am taking a pay cut. But they are pitching it as my choice. Had the company said times are tight so thanks for sticking it out I wouldn't be this annoyed.
While it isn't the responsibility of an in-person company to cover commutes, job hunters still negotiate thinking of the time of the commute or the costs of a bus pass or gas. Which is why at the end of the day I tie the idea of salary to those kinds of costs.
In the perfect case of paying 50/month even if some people are 0/month or others 100/month, at least that 50/month would show the company thought of it. Not just, well, this is how it is now, deal. Being in the US, my employment can change going forward on a whim, but that doesn't mean it's right, so showing some kind of humility about the costs being shifted would be nice.

 

We seem to be keeping and moving further into remote-first mindsets. The current debate for the engineering team is whether to widen our hiring net, geographically. The rest of the company has already done so. I can't imagine we'll be far behind.

 

I hope they will make WFH forever🤞

 

Me too, the pandemic made me connect with the nature bit more :)

 

Nature and family too.

 

For me, the remote-first approach went natural as I was also working mainly remotely before the pandemic.
I wrote an article some time ago about this:

 

My company didn't fall for the hype of the "WFH" and instead slowly making batch of the developer and ops team to handle such pandemic or war or other critical situations. We moved from Alibaba Cloud to AWS recently. Also a lot of china dependent services we removed from our company. And in near future we wont be choosing options from china considering in pandemic, war or other global tension like situations, chinese brands wont be keeping our company hostage to their platforms.

A lot of changes coming up like if the team who works remote adds low value than batch of outsourced team, I think those folks would be losing the job, regardless of the dept.

 

Before the lockdown (hard lockdown for 6 weeks here in France), we had the possibility to work one day of the week remote.
We currently have 2 mandatory on-site days a week (rest of the week can be remote or on-site, our choice), and we've been promised that we could have more than one day a week remote when everything is over.

 

Not only has my company demanded employees return to the office. No matter what. If an employee tests positive, business as usual.

I can not, for the life of me, understand the motivation.

The thing about normal is that it's gone. Returning to the office/"normal" now carries with it a significantly higher risk of danger which brings with it anxiety and an unknown number of new factors that I'd think should not be a part of any kind of normal.

I am happy to see so many of you being given the chance of working remotely or keeping yourselves safe. It gives me hope that my situation is somewhat of an outlier.

 

Time to find next job

 

The writing is on the wall that fewer people will work in offices. What Uclusion is hoping for, and selling into, is that traditional "office culture" with its butts in seats meetings, synchronous chat, etc. will start to become a thing of the past also.

 

No final decision has been made about permanent 100% WFH but they've started making shifts in that direction. We're getting a stipend to shape up our home offices, and they're exploring the possibility of losing our local office classifications so we can live anywhere and keep working with the same teams.

 

My employer seem to be the only one going against the grain.

Laptops were normal before the lockdown. They have started issuing iMacs so we can't work for home as we don't have the equipment...

 

Yes, but these changes were on the cards anyway. It just seems like a good time to do it!

 

I'm now a fulltime homeworker, my office has been closed indefinitely. Bitter-sweet, I'll miss the people but have gained an extra couple hours a day from not having to commute!

 

I think stuff will stay remote, it will takes us maybe 3 to 5 more years to fully control the virus spread, except the people living in China, looks like the virus is eliminated there (in most of the country) and it is back to almost normal.

We could have made comfortable air powered masks like this one widely available, and all businesses would have reopened faster, but it takes time for the majority of the population to grow a better brain :-(

 

That head outfit doesn't seem sustainable for 8 hours a day :D

 

Why? Looks very light, and connected with air pipe, the battery works for 6 hours so people will need 2 batteries for a full day, it does not cover the face, you don’t feel hot wearing it, and people can see your facial expressions.

If I was working at any location that required facemask, and I had the choice between the very basic one that provides me with basic protection and covers my face for the entire day, or the above one that provides with full protection, which one should I choose?

This is all not ideal, in an ideal world, an advance civilization / country will temporary lockdown infected areas until the infection is over in that area, temporary restrict movements when needed, and test all people coming to the country.

The only one that did this so far is China, and things went back to normal in less than 4 months, for the rest of us (the world) will have to go in circles for a bit until we get tired, then implement proper restrictions, and for now, we are not tired yet!, more circles!, more circles! :-)