Transitioning from Work-From-Home to Back-To-Work

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Mark Holtz, May 8, 2021.

  1. May 8, 2021 #1 of 10
    Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz New Texan

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    This Dilbert got me thinking.... for those of us who transitioned from working in a office to working from home, how many of you are looking forward to going back to the office?

    For me.... PLEASE! When I was job relocated to Texas, I paid a price premium to have a home within walking distance from my workplace with the bonus being that I'm a five minute drive from a Dart light rail station which can take me downtown. There are additional financial benefits including lower cost of operating my car and low car insurance premiums.

    That's what bothers me about this whole Covid work-from-home. From February, 2019 to mid-March, 2020 (13½ months), I enjoyed my short commute including listening to an audiobook on my walk. The earliest we can go back to the office is the end-of-June, although realistically, we're not expecting to be back in the office until early September. That's at least 17½ months. I have a dedicated bedroom which I converted over to a home office for occasional work from it. For the past year, the only difference between work and home mode was switching my display from HDMI to DisplayPort mode and plugging my keyboard and mouse from my home computer to my office laptop.

    Of course, the flip side is that this Covid thing provided me with some career-enhancing opportunities (along with some long hours) that will be very unique on my team's resume.
     
  2. May 8, 2021 #2 of 10
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    I keep my home PC and work PC separate. Pre COVID I would occasionally log in using my personal home PC from home. When sent home for COVID I was provided a laptop ... I hooked it up to a couple of monitors and never looked back. In December I replaced the folding card table that I was using with a permanent desk and a better monitor setup. I like having separate setups for home and work - even if they are less than 6 feet apart.

    My wife has been back for several months ... Perhaps the synergies of being in the office together were more important to her employer than employee health? At my work there are people who will never come back. Still working, just now permanently at home.

    As for me ... my wife keeps asking when I am going back to work at work. I'm not. I am on a permanent hybrid model where work at home is fine and work at work is fine. Just get the work done. There is a physical element to my work (I have to touch equipment and do walk through meetings occasionally) but for the most part I could be anywhere with decent Internet and no one would know the difference.
     
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  3. May 9, 2021 #3 of 10
    scooper

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    My wife has mostly returned to the office, although she still has a work computer her at home as well for OT and some regular work when circumstances require. There has been a marked downturn in how people are dealing with COVID in our area - much more relaxed as more people get vaccinated. Her employer has consolidated their offices into one central location, that is much closer to us.
     
  4. May 9, 2021 #4 of 10
    SledgeHammer

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    At my old "abusers" :D (lol -- been hearing new crazy stories of abuse from my old co-vict^B^B^B^Bworkers), it was a Windows / C# shop and I had a killer developer desktop PC in the office. I never had a company laptop. For the once a month evening deployment, or for the once in a blue moon when they called me (my system was pretty stable), I would VPN in from my personal PC and remote in to the office machine. When we got sent home for Covid, we were given light weight laptops with the intention of remoting in from those instead because they were going to lock down the VPN so you couldn't use your personal PC anymore. Luckily that never happened, and for the entire time I was WFHing for the abusers, the laptop sat on the shelf unused (except for using the Webcam for interviewing lol) and I VPNed in from my personal PC and had my big monitor and big keyboard and mouse. The downside to that set up is that during work hours, my only PC was on the company VPN, so I had to be careful about my "multi-tasking activities" since that could theoretically be monitored while connected to the VPN.

    At the new place, I switched over to Java, so I was given a Mac laptop. I'm not thrilled about the Mac part, but not as big a deal as I thought it would be. But happy to have switched to Java and using a bunch of cooler tech. And this company treats us money makers really well.

    The downside with that is that my personal PC setup takes up 70% of my desk, so for the Mac I have to use the small laptop screen and a mini keyboard and mouse which is annoying.

    Won't be going back to an office though since this is perm remote unless I relocate.

    I *would* rather be in an office with human interaction lol... but not at half the salary at an abusive company.
     
  5. May 9, 2021 #5 of 10
    scooper

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    My brother does Java development from home and as far as I know he uses a Windows laptop.
     
  6. May 9, 2021 #6 of 10
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    We have VPN available but I prefer the Citrix remote desktop. All the computing power and fast network needs stay at work. I only need a remote terminal to control the work PC.

    The VPN is split tunnel so internet does not pass through work. But the work DNS is used so there is still some tracking.
    Yes, I know how to work around that ... and have the admin privilege to do so.
     
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  7. May 9, 2021 #7 of 10
    SledgeHammer

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    I learned Java (and make sure you aren't talking about JavaScript since that's different from Java) on a Windows PC. When I was interviewing I was asking the companies if they were Mac or PC and I think it was universally Mac except a few places like Facebook and Netflix and Amazon that let you pick, although you were strongly encouraged to use a Mac.

    Now that I am using a Mac at work, well, I don't think I would have been able to use a Windows machine here. The build scripts & build tools are Linux / Mac centric. Do they have to be? Nope. I think the folks here are making their lives more difficult then they have to be by the way they have the builds set up. But that's Linux folks for ya :). Why have a one button UI solution when you can have a 5000 line build script that nobody understands?
     
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  8. May 9, 2021 #8 of 10
    scooper

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    I'm positive about my brother does Java development - He's usually brought in at an Archetect level job - the one that runs the build script at the end.
     
  9. Getteau

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    I think it really depends on each company and how many companies really embraced WFH vs just tolerated it for what they thought would be a very short term interruption. If you were at a place that really embraced the concept of WFH or a place that was already doing lots of remote collaboration, there may not be that big of a rush to get the people back in the door. If anything, a lot of companies took the opportunity of COVID to close empty, unnecessary offices that had been sitting idle or half vacant already. One of my former employers had a bunch of offices that were pretty much empty because most of the staff were developers that gradually drifted away from the office. They also had a bunch of smaller sales offices that people seemed to think they absolutely had to have. After COVID shut the doors, the facilities folks were finally able to get management to realize how much money they had been wasting on those spaces and were able to reduce overhead costs by shutting a lot of them down.
     
  10. SledgeHammer

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    B.C. (before Covid) good luck getting a remote software engineering job. My new company was trying to get me to do 2 days a week in the office, but I pointed out they're 1.5 hrs each way during rush hour, and I guess I got approval to do perm WFH.

    I did interview at Netflix too and B.C. they would have never talked to perm people who weren't willing to relocate.
     

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