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Cover image for What is your work environment (Office, remote, or hybrid)?

What is your work environment (Office, remote, or hybrid)?

saracunn profile image Sara Cunningham ・1 min read

As COVID progresses and cases surge, what is your current and future work environment? Will you be going back to work in an office, staying remote, or trying a mix/hybrid? No matter what you do for a living, COVID has affected our lives and especially our careers, so I would love to hear about what you do and learn about your experience.

Additionally, what struggles have impeded your job when working remotely? What tools, resources, and technologies will you be utilizing to get your work done?

Discussion

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We work at a giant table at one of our houses for anything practical. We map our projects there - or take photos on the table. If we're not there - we're at what we call "the music room" where we play music and record the videos for our school. It's technically a "rehearsal space" so, the neighbors can get really loud - which determines our schedule! ha. It gets messy! But - there are only a few of us - and we also work remotely whenever there isn't a reason to be face to face.

 

That's really cool that you have a music room! I always wanted a little music studio, and it seems you use it for a bunch of different things.

 

We are always scouting out places as we drive around town. "OOhh... look at that one! there's not shared wall... and the businesses next door aren't open at night!" haha. In theory you could probably be super loud in most offices (at night). But - yeah. Having a music room is really fun. Highly suggested! : )

 

Currently I work at my desk at home. I have a laptop and a desktop computer so I actually have two desks right now. My laptop is for everyday stuff while my desktop I save for big projects since I built it for that. It handles any large data, 3D modeling, videography, and other tech stuff I experiment. Along with gaming of course!!

 

Nice!! Two setups are really nice depending on what you want to do.

 

Initially I was working in an office space. Then with the pandemic, it switched to fully remote. Right now since the active case count is very low, they allow people to come back but not at fully capacity. So my job is asking who needs to be/want to be on-site and who still want to stay home. I aim to work from home as long as I can and I plan to exclusively work remote for the rest of my career.

 

Oh wow working remotely completely changed your work style. Will you be working from home because of COVID risk or just because you enjoy it better?

 

Despite very low number of active case here, I'm still very careful and wouldn't want to return. More important, I really enjoy working. I love my home office space and my schedule is really more flexible than ever before.

 

Before COVID-19 was break out, my work environment is always office.

During the pandemic COVID-19, my work environment is hybrid and it includes remote and office.

After our government control this situation, my work environment goes back to office.

 

You've kind of done a little bit of everything! Out of the three, which one do you prefer?

 

I prefer remote style because it can save my commuted time :).

 

I bounce around with my work laptop from room-to-room or the backyard.

This is not because I want variety. This is because I work and take meetings wherever my 1-year-old will let me 😂

Sometimes he wants to pull me outside and play. I stand out there with my laptop

Sometimes I'm in a meeting where I am 90% sure I won't say a single word, so I just stick around the living room.

Sometimes I have a meeting where I know I WILL have to talk, so I sneak into another room and shut the door. If he sees me leave, he will cry and hit the door until I come out. If he doesn't see me he doesn't care at all.

 

Wow a 1-year-old AND working?? That's a lot but good for you! Do you see yourself working from home in the future?

 

I like going into the office occasionally, but I really wouldn't mind 100% WFH. I would have missed my son's first steps if I wasn't working from home. Plus, pajamas all day.

 

I’ve been fully remote (product marketing for a Bay Area tech company) since November 2018. I’ll be remote following COVID and probably for the rest of my career, unless My wife and I move up to SF in the future (probably won’t).

It took ~12 months to fully adjust, but I like it so much more now. More free time, less commuting, less money wasted on things like dog walkers. The hardest transition for me was not talking to people face to face and building working relationships remotely.

 

Oh wow, you've been working remotely for a bit longer than everyone else. Did other people at the company have difficulty switching, and did they ask you for tips or advice on working remotely?

That's true working remotely does give you more time to do other things and can free up money but also comes with some disadvantages.

 

I started working remotely when I started at my company (New Relic), before COVID and the whole company going remote (back in February I think). New Relic has been very remote-friendly since before I started, so, when we went all remote, it wasn't that big of a deal. Some people struggled adjusting to WFH, mostly around not having a good place to work (small SF apartments will do that) and childcare.

Advice on working remotely:

  • Get a desk, a 2nd monitor, and a good chair.
  • Make your meetings video calls. It helps a lot.
  • Stock your own snacks and coffee.
  • Take time mid-day to get out of the house. It's a nice benefit that is way easier WFH.
  • Some days are just not productive. It's way more noticeable than in the office. That's okay. Don't sweat unproductive days.

Ergonomics has been more apparent than ever going full WFH. I started in a new role right as the SIP orders in SF began (end of March). Bumped my mouse from a cheapo vertical to an Evoluent and it's made such a huge difference, but you nailed an oft-forgotten crucial crucial bit! Stocked snacks and coffee! LOL. I got an Aeropress at the beginning of the year and my gosh! What was I doing all this time paying $4/$5 for Philz? I'm very ashamed

 

I really enjoy the company of coworkers and the bonds that are built in those off-shoot moments when not heads down in work -- going to lunch, happy hours, fun meetings typically fostered in an office space, but I'm all for blended (mixed). It'll be interesting to actually try working close to 100% remote when the dust settles (doesn't look like it's any time soon)

It's much more difficult to "hang out" and get help (I started a new role in April as the shelter-in-place orders began here in California). I'm certain it's much more of a challenge for others, especially software engineers/programmers just starting their careers. I'm pretty social, so it's easier, but still a challenge. Typically, I would glance over at a team member, see if they're in the middle of something, and tap them on the shoulder. This doesn't work over Slack even if their green dot is signaling their availability. Google Meet and Slack with screen-share have been vital. I can't imagine this working out a decade ago unfortunately.

Upgrading some of my equipment has also been crucial -- like a better dock and mouse. A good coffee-making process has also been essential. I'm an evangelist for Aeropress now ☕️

 

I agree! With the social aspect of work, it's a lot harder to create relationships and bonds with co-workers. Especially for those just getting started in a career and want to get to know their co-workers, it can be tough.

Same, if this happened a decade ago, I really wonder what would have happened. Now, even with Zoom and other technologies, it still has been difficult at times.

Yes, equipment like a coffee maker, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. have been very important. I also got a bunch of new stuff to improve my work!

 

For now remote, covid is getting worse in my country after that a mix but my ultimate goal is to work 100% remote I love the freedom and the comfort of my home.

I bought an Ikea worktop (karlby) and some legs and the table is an amazing desk for me and my SO.

The energy infrastructure in my country is like playing bingo, you'll never know when the lights will go out.

I should buy an air conditioner and some blackouts curtains, so the sun stops it's murder attempts.

 

Working from home does give you more freedom! That's great that you got a new desk, I bet it has really become an essential now that you both are working from home. Yes, definitely invest in an air conditioner!!

 

Before the apocalypse, I could work from home pretty much whenever I felt like it, but officially it was at the physical offices. Since March 16 everyone (except a few whose work cannot be done remotely) has been working from home. They do not expect to start bringing people back in until sometime in the fall (assuming things don't get worse). It looks like the buildings won't be filled at full capacity because of the open space nature of many floors, plus other challenges with distancing (washrooms don't have much space to move around, for instance). If I'm allowed to, I'll keep working from home.

At home, before all this my work laptop was set up on my dining room table with two external monitors, keyboard and mouse. That was OK for the occasional use. When it was confirmed that we'd be working from home for several months, I rearranged the small bedroom where my personal computer is located so there would be room for the work setup as well. That also involved putting an old home theater receiver with phono input and a turntable back on duty. :)

At the best of times, I don't like the hybrid approach with "floating desks" where multiple people may use the same docking station - I always saw those as cold and flu propagators. Even working at my own desk, in the open space setting contamination was a real thing. You were lucky if you got away with just a cold. I haven't been sick since I started working from home, whereas I often caught something at the office. I don't miss that at all!

 

Working from home has changed my setup as well! Using other rooms that I never really used before has been great to maximize space. True, working in an office is riskier for catching something. Working from home seems to be a lot safer and people are getting more and more used to it!

 

I've worked in an office for the past twenty years, but that office is at my home, and not the company one. Because everyone else is now working from home, my work life has improved dramatically...

 

That's great that your work life has improved! Will everyone else in the company be working from home from now on?

 

Yes! (Which is awesome!)

We're a small startup doing healthcare messaging in the UK's National health Service (and elsewhere), so we've not only had to transition abruptly into being a full-remote company, but at the same time deal with a surge in our usage (of around 5x at peak).

We've started to look at returning to the office, but many people are quite happy working mostly remote - the most popular option in a company survey was just 2 days a week in the office. And it's a nice office, too!

 

I'll be staying remote, as that was the case for me before the pandemic, but I've definitely gotten pretty stir crazy, so when this is all said and done, I think I'll want to try out a part-time co-working space to add some variety to my flow. Still remote as it pertains to the company ops.

 

Ya a co-working space would be a good variety! Sometimes working at home can be lonely or boring so having an outside place to go to will be great!

 

Was fully office, now fully remote. It also looks like my company might be moving to hotelling for the future, so functionally we'll be fully remote with an office available if need be.

The work hasn't changed at all. I get to pet my cat regularly. I moved my desk in my apartment around so I can look out the window and the cats have more spots to hang out around me if they want. Only downside is I bought a fancy new chair since I'll be sitting here pretty much all day between work and gaming. Should be here in a week or two :)

 

I work from home almost 100% of the time (going into the office it's optional but I sometimes go to see some of the colleagues) and I love it. I'm working on a laptop and I miss my two screen most of the time but there are other aspects which compensate for that :).

 

I work at office. Work atmosphere is important for me. I was trying to get same at home but failed.

 

Ya working at home compared to an office isn't quite the same. I think the environment and the people have a lot to do with it that you can't really replicate anywhere else. I hope it can go back to normal soon so we can get that back!

 

remote fosho in a cave if i can so i can focus on my project

 

Offline alone ...working with Svelte these days