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Working from home: How are you finding Zoom, virtual business meetings, etc.?

Hvr

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All of our Victorian offices must WFH until 30 Sept.

Even those not in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area are required to WFH.

My colleagues and I are in total support.
 

jakeseven7

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Our Melb office is fully kitted out with sanitisers, temp checks, social distancing. room caps, entry/exit protocols etc so people are able to work there if they have to.

We were very well prepared having moved early - because we happen to operate in an industry that was ahead of the curve in recognising the wave that was coming...
 

33kft

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My last 5 years have been in a consultancy which has very few people in Australia, let alone in VIC. As a result, whilst we do have sales offices throughout the country, I make it a rule not to go to those offices unless there's a productive reason - I tend to get shoehorned into things that are not mine to worry about, and at a cost of billable days which means lost revenue.

The current situation means on top of not getting pressured to waste my time in sales meetings that aren't mine to navigate, I also get to do the consultancy work remotely, meaning no having to drive or fly all over the place. That again means more revenue, more productivity, and my half year results suggest I'll be done and dusted target-wise by Q3 and can take the rest of the year off (not really...), and that's with taking most of my annual leave at the start of the year for a family trip, which normally means a lot of explaining to do end of June in terms of numbers.

I do wonder what exactly this will translate to in future. I certainly won't be able to achieve these sorts of efficiency levels when things go back to normal - better hope that this doesn't lead to a target increase for next year. Maybe we should just ban work travel altogether? It certainly has been better for business.

In terms of tools, I use the lot. Zoom, Teams and WebEx. There's reasons for each (mainly due to policies on customer sides) but I think all have their pros and cons. Zoom does make VC easy, doesn't have many bells and whistles. WebEx is way past it's prime and consistently the worst user interface IMHO. Teams is okay - I like the collaboration tools, but the VC part itself doesn't offer much. What I do find incredibly annoying is when I come across other companies solutions and they have features like join with computer audio disabled - I hate that. I don't want to call from my phone, I want to dial in with my laptop and put you in the background while I work - to get around this I dial into them with skype, but then have to navigate two sets of meeting controls - skype for audio and the VC platform for video/sharing/control. That is 100% my pet peeve, if I can't join by computer, in my opinion it's not worth whatever was paid for it.
 
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Denali

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Had to go into the office 4 days this week, instead of the usual 2 days, and barely got anything done due to interruptions. I'm much more productive at home.
 

Hvr

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For those of us who are currently WFH and want to ensure there is a record of your success, here is a phrase I put into my latest performance appraisal about the previous period after noting specific outcomes and achievements:

Since working from home I have developed a productive routine and have met all KPIs and required outcomes whilst maintaining and enhancing relationships with peers, and internal and external clients. I have ensured that where appropriate, on-line developmental activities have been completed.

My manager loved it, signed off on it and may well amend it for her own performance appraisal. :)

It ensures there is an ongoing record on my success whilst WFH and builds a case for continuing to WFH when the pandemic is finally over. Now is the time to start thinking of the future and getting detailed records to prove you did it well.
 

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I've already told my HR I won't be back in the office full time plus I want to move to 4 days working week. I'm more productive at home.

Mrs FB already moved to a 4 day working week before the whole rigmarole. She does 4 days one week, 3 the next. Compressed hours works well. She's happy. For me, happy wife happy life :)
 

Denali

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Had a meeting during the week, coworker set up a fan with a beach background so her very long, straight hair was blowing in the wind and every now and then would use a water sprayer bottle and spray her face 🤣

Shes been having fun, one day she made herself comfortable on the GMs desk with house plants for a meeting and photo shoot with life size cutouts of other Directors that we had around the office (theyre from a conference event we did a while back).
 
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Hvr

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So how goes your home office chair?

Mine is showing the strain and I'm looking on line.

I want to sort by weight (mine), size, adjustability (new word I made up but you know what I mean) etc and it's amazing how few websites offer this functionality.

Or you see one advertised that's online only in bright text and underneath in grey text, 'not available on line'. Gee thanks Office Works!

So any good chairs you've seen, heard of, or even use that are suitable for the ahem, 'larger gentleman'?
 

Flashback

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So how goes your home office chair?

Mine is showing the strain and I'm looking on line.

I want to sort by weight (mine), size, adjustability (new word I made up but you know what I mean) etc and it's amazing how few websites offer this functionality.

Or you see one advertised that's online only in bright text and underneath in grey text, 'not available on line'. Gee thanks Office Works!

So any good chairs you've seen, heard of, or even use that are suitable for the ahem, 'larger gentleman'?

The Herman Miller Aeron and Humanscale Freedom are good but they are $$$$$. Worthwhile investment, though.
 

TheRealTMA

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So how goes your home office chair?

Mine is showing the strain and I'm looking on line.

I want to sort by weight (mine), size, adjustability (new word I made up but you know what I mean) etc and it's amazing how few websites offer this functionality.

Or you see one advertised that's online only in bright text and underneath in grey text, 'not available on line'. Gee thanks Office Works!

So any good chairs you've seen, heard of, or even use that are suitable for the ahem, 'larger gentleman'?
Herman Miller Aeron.
 

Flashback

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They look great but...
:(

I'm in Melbourne.

A large multinational I worked for back in Australia, had them in their Melbourne based office so must be a way to get them in. Any other companies selling them rather than acquiring direct?
 

deejo77

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I know it’s not the right thread but couldn’t find a better place.

Any tips on discussion points to raise with management when we are directed back into the office? I have a feeling the Brisbane office I am in will be directed to return to the office possibly as early as 1 November. They are doing a trial with an office in another state that you can work from home 40% (2 days) a week which is just a tick and flick exercise (apparently) but anything above is up to each individual manager. I have been working for another manager for the last 12 months but am due to return to a different manager very shortly and let’s just say they are not very accommodating. I would love 100% but know this isn’t going to be realistic. I would be happy with 80% (4 days a week), not so happy with 60% and really annoyed if only given the base 40%.

I am in a client contact role via phone/email and can do the job from home as evident by the last 8mths. I am in a very senior position and don’t require assistance or hand holding. If I need help I am very good at using my network to resolve issues.

negotiation wise - should I go in at 100? Am very flexible with going in for the monthly team meeting or any onsite required training.

If I can do 80% would pick Monday as my day in the office, most public holidays fall on this (4) and when I can will take that as my day off (time off in lieu - probably 1 per month). With annual leave, xmas close ect i will only need to work 30 Monday’s.

I love working in my PJ’s, having a very clean bathroom/kitchen to use. I love the quiet and not having to wear my noise cancelling headphones at work to block the inappropriat/non work related conversations. I do not miss the gossip, backstabbing, career climbing. I love the commute (currently 15 seconds) and the extra family time we are getting.
 

33kft

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negotiation wise - should I go in at 100? Am very flexible with going in for the monthly team meeting or any onsite required training.

I think it's very context-sensitive. I worked for a while in a financial institution in Asia where we used to have an old curmudgeon of a director, who would quite honestly look for reasons to make life difficult for others to satisfy his own shortcomings. I had a colleague who had family in the Philippines and wanted to relocate there to take on a project. Our strategy was to loudly proclaim that whoever ended up with the gig must have crossed someone senior, until my colleague was "reluctantly" sent there to take it on.

I am sure most workplaces are not nearly as toxic as that one was, but ever since I have always been weary of showing my hand unnecessarily. That said, my current director is the complete opposite and would let me dictate anything if I could spin it slightly as a good idea. So, you'd know best the context that your workplace operates in, and the best answer could range from:
  • Straight to the point, this is better, I am more productive, 100% WFH
  • Somewhere near 100%, and edge towards it, perhaps frame it as a deal - transition to 100% after a year if a certain baseline is met
  • Somewhere less near 100%, and then make a show of the lower productivity during office hours (my favourite is: sorry for the late reply/missed call/late update, I got roped into a situation with the sales team when they spied me in the office, substitute for your own office "time sinks")
 
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jakeseven7

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I think it's very context-sensitive. I worked for a while in a financial institution in Asia where we used to have an old curmudgeon of a director, who would quite honestly look for reasons to make life difficult for others to satisfy his own shortcomings. I had a colleague who had family in the Philippines and wanted to relocate there to take on a project. Our strategy was to loudly proclaim that whoever ended up with the gig must have crossed someone senior, until my colleague was "reluctantly" sent there to take it on.

I am sure most workplaces are not nearly as toxic as that one was, but ever since I have always been weary of showing my hand unnecessarily. That said, my current director is the complete opposite and would let me dictate anything if I could spin it slightly as a good idea. So, you'd know best the context that your workplace operates in, and the best answer could range from:
  • Straight to the point, this is better, I am more productive, 100% WFH
  • Somewhere near 100%, and edge towards it, perhaps frame it as a deal - transition to 100% after a year if a certain baseline is met
  • Somewhere less near 100%, and then make a show of the lower productivity during office hours (my favourite is: sorry for the late reply/missed call/late update, I got roped into a situation with the sales team when they spied me in the office, substitute for your own office "time sinks")

Its a hard one. Essentially a workplace can be run any way management deem fit so unless you have flexibility requirements that are provided for by law that are seemed unreasonable for them not to accept they can require you to work from their premises as much as they want.

Has anyone gone before you that you can get some intelligence from? How receptive they will be to trying to work remotely that much?
 

Hvr

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I am in a client contact role via phone/email and can do the job from home as evident by the last 8mths. I am in a very senior position and don’t require assistance or hand holding. If I need help I am very good at using my network to resolve issues.

Ask for 100% WFH and settle for what you can live with. You've shown you can do it so the runs are on the board. Will your second level manager support you?

Noting you're returning from secondment then your performance appraisal from that role should explicitly state how well you performed whilst WFH. As you would know, make sure you have documented all of the really tricky situations you have resolved and how you did that whilst WFH.

Basically build a business case and highlight your worth to the company in your current location, and remind them of all the successes and the value you add to the company.

Good luck and let us know how you go.
 

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