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Which Tyler

COVID19/4 Keep calm and wash your hands

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Posted (edited)

From my business twitter - not posting for advertising, but in case anyone want to use the photos themselves (I know I'm far from the only small business owner on here, for example). Besides, it's time for a new thread

Edited by Which Tyler

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COVID19/4 Keep clam and wash your hands

Is "clam" in this case a typo or British English slang? :)

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Tywin Manderly said:

Is "clam" in this case a typo or British English slang? :)

I don't know what you mean <whilstlesinnocently>

Edited by Which Tyler

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Posted (edited)

To continue the workplace discussion from the previous thread...

Yes, I think this is going to be the catalyst to really change the workplace for good. A lot of firms are going to realise that working from home is a generally acceptable practice, and an economically viable one as they won't have to worry about renting office space and paying for all of the accompanying overheads. This is probably going to be the case for a lot of consulting firms, financial institutions and technology companies.

Online learning for universities was already happening a fair bit but this will just accelerate the process. Most tertiary institutions don't get the funding they need from the government and are forced to explore cost-cutting options, this will be one of them.

Commercial real estate will crater. We might even move from hot-desking to hot-building...where an office space is rented out by multiple companies and just used as a place to meet clients on an ad hoc basis.

On the plus side, it will relieve some of the real estate problems as people won't need to live in certain geographic areas for work, and it might end up cutting down traffic. Innercity types will squeal about their house prices going down but everyone else will probably cheer.

Looking at the silver linings of COVID-19, I guess.

Edited by Jeor

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If we all end up in guarantine for any length of time - will the option of Universal Basic Income raise it's head properly?

If a huge number of people HAVE to sit at home, paying their bills, whilst no income is coming in - something will have to happen

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On the workplace stuff,

My company, which I joined in 2012, has been entirely virtual since it was founded in 2001. My understanding is that were some logistical issues in those early days, but the company paid to ensure everyone had home internet access and phones (and still does). Even when I started there were occasional hitches, though the benefits vastly outweighed them. But at this point, with so many workplace collaboration tools out there, there's absolutely no good reason for white collar office jobs to not be virtual. As people are getting forced into this position from the virus, it's been interesting to see them finally understand the benefits of the situation I've been in for 8 years.

Just the part about not having a daily commute means I have so much more time in my day than people who do (at least prior to current events).

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1 minute ago, Fez said:

Just the part about not having a daily commute means I have so much more time in my day than people who do (at least prior to current events).

Yes, cutting down commuting time and transport costs overall (whether it's public transport, car or parking) has to be a major selling point and will have big implications for transport and, in time, real estate and urbanisation in general.

I'm pretty sure this remote working culture shift is going to happen on a fairly large-scale basis. Employees like it for its flexibility, and businesses will see it as a surefire way to lower costs. There's really no incentive to keep working in the old-school ways.

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I actually think that if we go to a world of remote work that will be a huge loss.  I’m not saying it shouldn’t be an option, but for people entering the workforce it is a huge loss for anything involving apprenticeship or client service.  Also, it’s amazing how many “internet fights” I have to resolve that start because people are unwilling to even lift the phone, not to mention meet in person.  So I completely disagree that there is no incentive to meet and collaborate in person.  Also, as an extrovert, this is a horrifying and sad vision of the future.  We are a social species.  Limiting our interactions, while good for the moment, is overall very bad for us.

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I had trips to Spain for a few days at the end of March and then Canada and the US April booked over the next few weeks. The trip to Spain is already off since everything there is closed and I'm not feeling too confident about going to Canada or the US given all the talk of potential travel restrictions.

Given all that I've spent my morning reading the cancellation policies of various airlines. Jet2 cancelling all their flights to Spain is a bit of a bonus so hopefully I'll get a refund. As it stands British Airways and Air Canada will let me cancel the flights and give me credit to book another flight at a later date (probably useful with British Airways, less so with Air Canada) but I'll probably hold off on that. :frown5:

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1 minute ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I actually think that if we go to a world of remote work that will be a huge loss.  I’m not saying it shouldn’t be an option, but for people entering the workforce it is a huge loss for anything involving apprenticeship or client service.  Also, it’s amazing how many “internet fights” I have to resolve that start because people are unwilling to even lift the phone, not to mention meet in person.  So I completely disagree that there is no incentive to meet and collaborate in person.  Also, as an extrovert, this is a horrifying and sad vision of the future.  We are a social species.  Limiting our interactions, while good for the moment, is overall very bad for us.

Even though personally I am an extreme introvert, I completely agree with the above. Social isolation is a major negative influence on both mental and physical health. And just communicating through text, whether on a phone or a board like this, is not a substitute for face to face interaction. 

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4 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

 So I completely disagree that there is no incentive to meet and collaborate in person.  Also, as an extrovert, this is a horrifying and sad vision of the future.  We are a social species.  Limiting our interactions, while good for the moment, is overall very bad for us.

Yeah, I wouldn't want to work from home over the long term. I'd miss interacting with my coworkers and I don't think I'd be that good at it. I spend a bit too much time at work focusing on my fantasy team as it is.

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For a lot of people their workplace is the one area they get to socialise. It’s very difficult to do that when you only talk to people online in a work capacity. I know I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that was entirely remote.

I’ve done it in the past and while it was great for a while I didn’t get to know anyone I worked with in quite the same way, plus there is the cabin fever aspect. Working from home I find it very hard to relax, as feel under pressure to be seen to  not be taking the piss 

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15 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I actually think that if we go to a world of remote work that will be a huge loss.  I’m not saying it shouldn’t be an option, but for people entering the workforce it is a huge loss for anything involving apprenticeship or client service.  Also, it’s amazing how many “internet fights” I have to resolve that start because people are unwilling to even lift the phone, not to mention meet in person.  So I completely disagree that there is no incentive to meet and collaborate in person.  Also, as an extrovert, this is a horrifying and sad vision of the future.  We are a social species.  Limiting our interactions, while good for the moment, is overall very bad for us.

So for my company, we do (though not right now obviously) have plenty of face-to-face interactions with clients (depending on the contract); at their offices. It's just internally that we are entirely virtual. And, because every new hire knows that going in and we know what to looks for in a hire (because there have been a couple failures in the past), we only hire people who understand the responsibilities of working from home. Stuff like always needing to be available during regular work hours (unless you've informed everyone you're taking time off or are shifting your hours in some way) and needing to respond promptly to emails.

Also, I was a brand new hire out of grad school in 2012, and, while I don't know if I got a ton of direct career advice from the people above me at the company, I still learned a lot about workplace skills, doing-the-job skills, networking skills (lotta annual conferences I go to), etc. For me at least, it worked out pretty well; and I feel like it does for most people in our company.

At the end of the day, outside of viral quarantines, being a virtual office doesn't mean having no face-to-face interactions; it just means the parts of the job that would be at the company's office happen at home. Also, you need to make sure (though again, not right now) that you are getting out of the house/apartment a lot for social events; since otherwise you can start getting isolated. But the good thing there is, because of the extra time in the day from no commute, and because its no big deal if you take 5-10 minutes in the middle of the day to do something else; it's much easier to find the time to find things you want to do.

Recently, I took the initiative of organizing a week long getaway this summer (hopefully it can still happen) for myself and 8 friends, who collectively have 3 small children. It took a lot of effort, and if I didn't organize it, it'd wouldn't have happened; even though everyone wants to go. But because I didn't have a commute, I was able to get it done quickly and without sacrificing other things (literally; I did my research on places to go and sending out it emails to people in the time between when I finished work each day and before I started on dinner).

11 minutes ago, Ormond said:

Even though personally I am an extreme introvert, I completely agree with the above. Social isolation is a major negative influence on both mental and physical health. And just communicating through text, whether on a phone or a board like this, is not a substitute for face to face interaction. 

In addition to what I said above; that's what video conferencing software is for.

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Posted (edited)

I could work from home probably 3 days a week without it impacting my work. As could a lot of others, I bet the fucking train companies still expect a 5 day a week fee though (doesn't affect me as i get subsidised travel).

UK deaths up from 11 to 21 in a day. Still massively below most other places. 

Edited by BigFatCoward

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5 minutes ago, Fez said:

So for my company, we do (though not right now obviously) have plenty of face-to-face interactions with clients (depending on the contract); at their offices. It's just internally that we are entirely virtual. And, because every new hire knows that going in and we know what to looks for in a hire (because there have been a couple failures in the past), we only hire people who understand the responsibilities of working from home. Stuff like always needing to be available during regular work hours (unless you've informed everyone you're taking time off or are shifting your hours in some way) and needing to respond promptly to emails.

Also, I was a brand new hire out of grad school in 2012, and, while I don't know if I got a ton of direct career advice from the people above me at the company, I still learned a lot about workplace skills, doing-the-job skills, networking skills (lotta annual conferences I go to), etc. For me at least, it worked out pretty well; and I feel like it does for most people in our company.

At the end of the day, outside of viral quarantines, being a virtual office doesn't mean having no face-to-face interactions; it just means the parts of the job that would be at the company's office happen at home. Also, you need to make sure (though again, not right now) that you are getting out of the house/apartment a lot for social events; since otherwise you can start getting isolated. But the good thing there is, because of the extra time in the day from no commute, and because its no big deal if you take 5-10 minutes in the middle of the day to do something else; it's much easier to find the time to find things you want to do.

Recently, I took the initiative of organizing a week long getaway this summer (hopefully it can still happen) for myself and 8 friends, who collectively have 3 small children. It took a lot of effort, and if I didn't organize it, it'd wouldn't have happened; even though everyone wants to go. But because I didn't have a commute, I was able to get it done quickly and without sacrificing other things (literally; I did my research on places to go and sending out it emails to people in the time between when I finished work each day and before I started on dinner).

In addition to what I said above; that's what video conferencing software is for.

I gotta say, we have all the things, including video conferencing, skype, etc. etc.  But at least in my business, there really isn’t a substitute.  When I’m on a call negotiating with an associate in my office, I can put the phone on mute and we can discuss real time what’s going on (I’ve tried through skype, but it doesn’t work as well if for no other reason than there is a delay and its hard to type and listen - different parts of the brain).  Also, if, e.g., I get a call from the GC of a fortune 50 company, I can’t say “Hey [. ], hold on just a second while I patch in the first year.”  I can IM them and ask them to come to my office.  There is a lot of value in watching people interact with clients of all kinds.  We had to pull back our WFH guidance because it wasn’t working out for our junior people.  Finally, my business is already 24/7, but a full WFH would, I think be even more detrimental to mental health.  There’s already a HUGE blur between working and personal hours.  If we go virtual entirely that completely ceases to exist.  It’s honestly not ok and something that my industry really struggles with.  We will see what happens here, but I don’t think a full virtual model will work (mind you, as a partner, I would LOVE to decrease our rent expense, but at the end of the day, don’t think it is going to happen at scale).

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1 hour ago, Fez said:

In addition to what I said above; that's what video conferencing software is for.

I'm sure that's better than just text but still wouldn't be as good as face to face contact in terms of the health issues. 

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Oh guess what? A child got an autograph from a Utah Jazz player and has now tested positive for Covid-19. Might not be connected, but the player has tested positive.

And meanwhile, Steph Curry and his wife have pledged meals for children who will no longer be at school, and several NBA players have now pledged to pay the wages of the concession stand workers who have been laid off at the arenas they play in, for the 30 days games have been suspended.

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2 hours ago, Heartofice said:

For a lot of people their workplace is the one area they get to socialise. It’s very difficult to do that when you only talk to people online in a work capacity. I know I wouldn’t want to work somewhere that was entirely remote.

I agree, the company I work for have strongly encouraged all employees worldwide to work from home for the next couple of weeks (and I'm sure the period will be extended) and I think that absolutely makes sense in the circumstances but I'll be happy when it's no longer necessary.

I think there's a danger that if I was working from home all the time then I could easily not see anyone in person during the working week. We do already work a lot with people in other offices and while it does work it's noticeable when they've visited us or we've visited them that we're more productive.

I'll admit I might feel differently if I had a long commute, but I walk to work so I would only save a bit of time by working from home.

Having said all that, if people want to work from home and are able to then I think they should be supported.

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Personally, I feel its not so much the face to face aspect, but being able to look at the same thing instead of describing or referencing something makes things much easier. I guess there's always remote access, but my experience with it is that it is painfully slow and it is still not quite the same.

Also, I've had to bring work home. I don't appreciate having to clear my table every time as I don't have the space for a separate workstation at home. I've always stayed late rather than bring work home whenever possible.

I'll be very happy to use WFH as a reason to get rid of paper documents as much as possible though.

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Remote working has so many tools that in many ways I do find it’s easier to collaborate online than in person sometimes.

In my industry there are so many collaboration tools which means that  documents can be viewed at the same time, commented on, pointed at, highlighted etc. You have screen sharing and web chats.

I prefer it actually to having to get someone to come to my desk and look at something or book a meeting room. Pain in the ass.

Plus in big companies in the same building I would often be working with people two floors up who I’d never actually meet, it was as if we were remote anyway.

You just lose the social aspect I think sometimes, harder to joke with people or just generally chit chat when you don’t meet them. 

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