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hepcat

How has the pandemic impacted your work/life balance?

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Have you been working from home? Did you lose your job? 

I've been working from home full time. My company switched the entire company to a fully remote situation in mid March. We make software for banks so it was an easy switch and business wasn't really impacted since we serve financial institutions. In fact business has even increased.

My workload has gone down since I support a lot of the in-office infrastructure but it's shifted to supporting our communication systems and users more. 

Overall I feel less stress not having to commute every day and I could work like this a few days a week. I do miss going into the office and the camaraderie of my coworkers. 

How have y'all been handling it?

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i'm in the exact same industry, but have been working from home since 2012.  my work life has not changed a bit.  business has been slightly slower as our bank customers figure out how to do their jobs with new rules in place, but we're consistently busy and projects have hardly been impacted, so that side of things has been business as usual

my wife has also worked from home since 2014, and her full-time hours have changed to 16 hours/week, so her three days/week when she's not working has been felt.  she's in and out running errands, doing things around the house more while I'm working, etc. but this is still pretty much life as usual for the household

the biggest change is that i would drive for uber/lyft 2-3 nights a week just to get out of the house/socialize myself/etc and i stopped doing that nearly as soon as things started getting weird here in the states.  driving was never a money thing, and more a sanity thing, so quitting that wasn't a big deal... but i do now feel completely out of the loop.  still having my job with basically no change while watching much of the country go into shambles makes me feel like i live in a completely different world.  especially living in asheville, where the vast majority of "normal" people are working the types of service industry jobs that have pretty much been wiped off the map.  getting to drive those folks around on a regular basis and getting a grasp of what's going on for the locals in this town was great for me, and that's just gone now

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I'm working on-site in my office three days a week, and from home two days. The commute on the days I am in-office has been way better, at least. Also, lots of other people in my building are working an on-site-as-needed schedule as well, so there are way less people in our building, which makes it quieter/easy to get stuff done most days.

My wife is working from home right now.

Our biggest change is having to help our two kids with school work during the day and balance that with work life. It drives my wife crazy some of the days that I'm not there because her telework environment is higher-stress.

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I work for a municipality and am in the office everyday. My staff is working limited hours (come in, do what you need to do and go home) and I'm the last one out everyday. Aside from getting home an hour or so early everyday, nothing much has changed except my phone and email are much quieter and I'm catching up on a lot of tedious, detailed projects without interruption.

My wife, who is the COO of a 501(c)7 and not eligible for any paycheck protection program, had to lay off 44% of her employees and she's not taking it well. It's the nature of the business and she has the full support of the board of directors, but she really puts herself out there and takes things like this very hard.

We don't have kids, but I can only imagine what it's like for those who are having to juggle the child care mess while trying to work, no school, etc.

We delivered box lunches to the local hospital ER a couple of times, the PD and fire departments as well as a couple of rehab and assisted living facilities. I think we're delivering 120 tomorrow to a couple different locations.  

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Honestly...I have been able to spend much more time with my kids and they are much happier now without the grind.  

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I'm a construction manager and our entire office got shifted to working from home in late March.  My workload hasn't changed much.  Some clients have cancelled projects while some have called to get them done now (for various reasons).  I have been going into the office a few times a week for a few hours, and that's about it.  On the weekends I've been able to sneak off to go see my parents in Myrtle Beach, so its been really great from that standpoint.  My wife had an accident at work back in early February and has been on worker's comp, so as messed up as it sounds its actually been a relief not having to worry about her losing her job or contracting the virus from a customer at work.  Starting around mid March the commute to work became super easy.  It usually takes me about 45 minutes to get home due to traffic, but it was only taking around 20 minutes because it was smooth sailing.  It was that way for nearly all of April.  Towards the end of April/early May I started noticing traffic picking back up a bit, but not as bad as it normally is during rush hour.

All of the managers and executives have to go back into the office this coming Monday, and the support staff is scheduled to go back into the office the Tuesday after the holiday.  My boss called it the "phase 1" portion of getting back to normal.  We will be in our own private offices and forbidden from visiting other people's offices.  There will be no meetings in the conference room, and we are to wear a mask any time we are outside of our own office.  I miss going to the office and I'm going to be happy when things get back to normal.  But I enjoyed my time working from home.

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I'm a Personal Chef, (Food Service/Restaurant business in California) I've been out of work since end of March when my contract expired, but might start cooking for clients again end of June. ( I was overworked and stressed out anyway so I'm enjoying the break)

My kids were already in a private virtual school classroom, before this hit so they have not been affected, in fact I use to facilitate that in between cooking nights, so now that I'm not cooking I have more time to devote to their school.

My wife is in IT for a Biotech company she is considered "Essential" in this state she still has to drive to work each day, her hours & stress have gone up but also her salary, and  with me having more time to take care of the home life she is able to solely focus on work. 

So in a way its all balanced out for us, and financially we are better off now because her salary took a major bump up despite me not having a cooking contract. 

So we have already been talking when things go back to normal, I will probably have the option to cook less and spend more time at home with the kids, while she can focus on her job and its new responsibilities. 

+ we have been talking for a while on how we wanted to adjust our schedules and make some life changes we never thought it would be a global pandemic sparking that change for us. 

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Posted (edited)

I put a lot of this in the thread on the main board.

We provide software and consulting services so our work can be done anywhere and the types of orgs we serve are still doing most of their business.

Im personally struggling with the WFH arrangement.  I was diagnosed ADD 40+ years ago and Ive had times when I needed medication and there have been decades when I didn't.  This permanent WFH thing is good for my company and our team but its testing me on the daily.  I developed ways to deal with the distractions in the office but its a whole different monster at home.

Our timeline...

March 13 was our last day in the office.  The CEO, CRO HR manager, and I (CTO) decided to give everyone permission to take anything they needed from their workstations (monitors, docking stations, anything, hell even their chairs) and locked the doors.

On April 27 we cut everyone to 6 hour days because we were being so efficient and it just opened up the day for our folks with kids at home and helped reduce stress.

Now we are discussing making this permanent and only maintain a fraction of the office space we used to as well as moving away from the idea that people need to all be at their computer during a standard time frame.

 

I mean while this thing has been pretty tragic its going to work out pretty well for our folks.  Ive just got to find a way to get myself to a place where I can do this.

Edited by Inimicus

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Posted (edited)
On 5/15/2020 at 10:06 PM, Inimicus said:

I put a lot of this in the thread on the main board.

We provide software and consulting services so our work can be done anywhere and the types of orgs we serve are still doing most of their business.

Im personally struggling with the WFH arrangement.  I was diagnosed ADD 40+ years ago and Ive had times when I needed medication and there have been decades when I didn't.  This permanent WFH thing is good for my company and our team but its testing me on the daily.  I developed ways to deal with the distractions in the office but its a whole different monster at home.

Our timeline...

March 13 was our last day in the office.  The CEO, CRO HR manager, and I (CTO) decided to give everyone permission to take anything they needed from their workstations (monitors, docking stations, anything, hell even their chairs) and locked the doors.

On April 27 we cut everyone to 6 hour days because we were being so efficient and it just opened up the day for our folks with kids at home and helped reduce stress.

Now we are discussing making this permanent and only maintain a fraction of the office space we used to as well as moving away from the idea that people need to all be at their computer during a standard time frame.

 

I mean while this thing has been pretty tragic its going to work out pretty well for our folks.  Ive just got to find a way to get myself to a place where I can do this.

That thread is huge haha, and I really didn’t want to talk about the virus more so just changes to everyone’s work life.

How big is your company? Mine had a similar situation with letting employees take home equipment when everything went down to WFH, but we have 1500+ employees worldwide. So impossible to track and there’s going to be a ton of equipment that never comes back. We also had maybe a dozen people break some expensive Dell ultra wide monitors that we ended up having to replace to we moved to a shipping model for any equipment going out. At the start of it all, out old director of IT tried to start a survey to track inventory and wasn’t going to allow certain items to be taken home (like those top of the line monitors and desk chairs), but he got fired in early March and then it was the Wild West. We hired a new guy to take his place but he’s in over his head. Tough to start a new job not even getting to meet your employees in person and work in office.

We’ve been told by HR were not even looking at letting employees go back into the offices until after Labor Day. Seems like a good chunk of the workforce might be remote forever. Good and bad for my job as I will still have a lot of things to support but bad in that a large chunk of my job was supporting our 100+ conference rooms in office, internal network infrastructure, digital signage, blah blah. None of that translates to WFH

Edited by hepcat

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I was sick before all this started and I'm immunocompromised, so I've been in lockdown since late February, other than going to the hospital, a few drive thrus, and my ex fathers in laws house who passed away, and I have to get his car ready to sell. I was placed on the transplant list in March for a kidney but living donor testing is suspended so I am in a holding pattern there. I have recovered enough after the doctors figured out what was wrong with me to get back to work, and we all are working remotely (another IT guy here). Wife has been working remotely as a school secretary answering the phone. Kids are teens and one is 18 so they are doing some PostMates stuff.

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On 5/17/2020 at 7:48 AM, hepcat said:

That thread is huge haha, and I really didn’t want to talk about the virus more so just changes to everyone’s work life.

How big is your company? Mine had a similar situation with letting employees take home equipment when everything went down to WFH, but we have 1500+ employees worldwide. So impossible to track and there’s going to be a ton of equipment that never comes back. We also had maybe a dozen people break some expensive Dell ultra wide monitors that we ended up having to replace to we moved to a shipping model for any equipment going out. At the start of it all, out old director of IT tried to start a survey to track inventory and wasn’t going to allow certain items to be taken home (like those top of the line monitors and desk chairs), but he got fired in early March and then it was the Wild West. We hired a new guy to take his place but he’s in over his head. Tough to start a new job not even getting to meet your employees in person and work in office.

We’ve been told by HR were not even looking at letting employees go back into the offices until after Labor Day. Seems like a good chunk of the workforce might be remote forever. Good and bad for my job as I will still have a lot of things to support but bad in that a large chunk of my job was supporting our 100+ conference rooms in office, internal network infrastructure, digital signage, blah blah. None of that translates to WFH

Yeah we are no where near that big, at our largest we were 30 but currently in the lower 20s.

However your comments got me thinking about what a long term policy would look like since every subsequent convo the leadership team has is taking us to a more and more flexible and distant schedule.  Things like moving away from owning anything but the laptops and then providing an annual office stipend so people can upgrade/replace things in their own home office.  This avoids us owning the gear and having to keep track of it or store it when its not in use.

Yesterday the CEO said he wants us to stop referring to our office as such and prefers we call it a "lab" to emphasize that its a place to go if folks need to do some group work or need to get out of the house, but the expectation is you primary workstation is at home.

I was in a salary discussion on another board and it turned to how will this affect salaries for office based employees when the stay at home becomes the norm and things like commuting, parking, and in some instances attire costs are removed.  In Denver if you work downtown and drive in every day those costs could be north of 500/month.

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1 hour ago, Inimicus said:

Yeah we are no where near that big, at our largest we were 30 but currently in the lower 20s.

However your comments got me thinking about what a long term policy would look like since every subsequent convo the leadership team has is taking us to a more and more flexible and distant schedule.  Things like moving away from owning anything but the laptops and then providing an annual office stipend so people can upgrade/replace things in their own home office.  This avoids us owning the gear and having to keep track of it or store it when its not in use.

Yesterday the CEO said he wants us to stop referring to our office as such and prefers we call it a "lab" to emphasize that its a place to go if folks need to do some group work or need to get out of the house, but the expectation is you primary workstation is at home.

I was in a salary discussion on another board and it turned to how will this affect salaries for office based employees when the stay at home becomes the norm and things like commuting, parking, and in some instances attire costs are removed.  In Denver if you work downtown and drive in every day those costs could be north of 500/month.

Being "based" at home with the ability to go into the "lab" when I feel I need to would be my dream scenario.  As far as saving money, I've been taking some of the money I've saved on gas, food, etc and pulling it out in cash each week and socking it away.  Me and my wife are going to do something fun with it later, we just don't know what its going to be right now.  Between us there is over $700 in there right now.  On the last note about the equipment, my company just made a similar move with work trucks.  They got rid of all of the Project Manager's work trucks in favor of a monthly allowance, and all of the new hires for the field are being given an allowance instead of a truck.  They are going to maintain the current fleet in the field the best they can in the near term, with the intention of eventually weeding them out completely as each truck gets retired out of service.

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Posted (edited)

I have been working from home and it has stressed me out big time for some many reasons. Type A personality I get anxious when there’s nothing to do. My boss is very supportive and is one of the best people I’ve ever met, very relaxed and understanding about very little to do and that just stresses me out more and I don’t know why. Only thing he doesn’t like is if I go into the office, he has kicked me out twice he jokes around and says it’s not Disneyland and doesn’t know why I’d rather be there.

I think I have serious issues. I like routine. I like going into the office, I like getting work done and doing a good job. I like going to the gym everyday. All this has been awful for me. 
 

The pandemic has made me take a good look in the mirror. I’m 35 and since 18 it’s been go go go. College, learning the job, being fast and efficient, strive for the best, never off the clock or slow down. No kids or wife, they’d only slow me down.

Now when everything slows down what happens? I’m so restless...feeling useless and so hard to sleep. Maybe learning how to slow down is just as important as working hard. And it’s always been intrinsic motivation, I’ve had great bosses and support.

I need to seriously learn to balance myself, I don’t want to be one of those people who can’t enjoy retirement or fall into a deep depression if I were to become disabled one day. 

Edited by onmyown

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On 5/19/2020 at 10:03 AM, Inimicus said:

Yeah we are no where near that big, at our largest we were 30 but currently in the lower 20s.

However your comments got me thinking about what a long term policy would look like since every subsequent convo the leadership team has is taking us to a more and more flexible and distant schedule.  Things like moving away from owning anything but the laptops and then providing an annual office stipend so people can upgrade/replace things in their own home office.  This avoids us owning the gear and having to keep track of it or store it when its not in use.

Yesterday the CEO said he wants us to stop referring to our office as such and prefers we call it a "lab" to emphasize that its a place to go if folks need to do some group work or need to get out of the house, but the expectation is you primary workstation is at home.

I was in a salary discussion on another board and it turned to how will this affect salaries for office based employees when the stay at home becomes the norm and things like commuting, parking, and in some instances attire costs are removed.  In Denver if you work downtown and drive in every day those costs could be north of 500/month.

I think a lot of companies are having those discussions. Some like yours might have more flexible office arrangements and can achieve that easier and faster. Unfortunately for my company, we just signed the lease to build for a new 4 story building next to our current one in January. Construction just began this week. I think if they could go back and not sign that lease....they would. 

So here's my team prepping to build out 40+ new conference rooms, a $1m+ executive briefing with video wall, and a new network operations center....and the company has successfully been operating fully remote for 2 months. 

As far as equipment for end users, I think the BYOD model is becoming more and more sustainable. Issuing a laptop can still make sense depending on the level of security needed, but letting employees expense their home office and never have a true office space saves the company thousands. 

 

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