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

Just one zoom call in the middle of this week.
Have run up about 500,000 Qantas points last month for our staff travel as we don’t need those points personally.Our Platinum Corporate Amex has started running.
The zoom call is a once a month and is reasonably informative for all participants.
I work part time and do 2.5 days at the office and go laptop and large screen when i am at home in Perth.
Yes we can leave Perth but getting back can be a big problem as our G2G passes can get cancelled. We expect this to change in March,2022
 
When we go back in with more structure that person will just be on the teleconference / laptop in the bigger meeting room and if they can’t participate as easily it’s not the priority anymore to compensate.

We have a manager with that attitude as well. Trouble is we're spread across three states and can't all be in the same room even without COVID. Including someone in a business meeting is not compensating, it is part of being inclusive and valuing your employees.

They had to be gently reminded that exclusion from work activities is a form of bullying. We also have to deal with lots of snide comments about 'not really working' even though we have (and meet) exactly the same KPIs, When their office had to WFH due to COVID for a short period they demanded that their KPIs be lowered because WFH was so hard for them, whereas we were used to it. We laughed at them.

The attitude expressed above seems to be that failure to attend the office mean's you're not really working. As someone who has worked very hard on the road I totally reject the argument that not being in the office is having a bludge on company time. There are very legitimate reasons for WFH and talking about 'not the priority anymore to compensate' means that the work people do from home is not valued.

As a general return to office is being planned in Melbourne the talk from media commentators who rely on business advertising is basically, get back to the office and spend money in city businesses, the good times are over for you slackers. The hard work we've done, the additional expenses we've incurred etc are all ignored so that managers can stand over our shoulders and tell us to work harder. Whilst our EA allows for 2 days per week WFH it is rarely granted without a fight.

Any complaints about returning to the office are met with the comment, 'you're lucky to have a job'. Oh and we're short of seats so we'll have to hot desk as well,
 
We have a manager with that attitude as well. Trouble is we're spread across three states and can't all be in the same room even without COVID. Including someone in a business meeting is not compensating, it is part of being inclusive and valuing your employees.

They had to be gently reminded that exclusion from work activities is a form of bullying. We also have to deal with lots of snide comments about 'not really working' even though we have (and meet) exactly the same KPIs, When their office had to WFH due to COVID for a short period they demanded that their KPIs be lowered because WFH was so hard for them, whereas we were used to it. We laughed at them.

The attitude expressed above seems to be that failure to attend the office mean's you're not really working. As someone who has worked very hard on the road I totally reject the argument that not being in the office is having a bludge on company time. There are very legitimate reasons for WFH and talking about 'not the priority anymore to compensate' means that the work people do from home is not valued.

As a general return to office is being planned in Melbourne the talk from media commentators who rely on business advertising is basically, get back to the office and spend money in city businesses, the good times are over for you slackers. The hard work we've done, the additional expenses we've incurred etc are all ignored so that managers can stand over our shoulders and tell us to work harder. Whilst our EA allows for 2 days per week WFH it is rarely granted without a fight.

Any complaints about returning to the office are met with the comment, 'you're lucky to have a job'. Oh and we're short of seats so we'll have to hot desk as well,
The main struggle for me, having worked remotely for 2.5 years now (in a mixture of interstate office / WFH), is dialing into a meeting when the in-room tech isn't ideal, or the meeting isn't chaired appropriately i.e. multiple side conversations, making it impossible for those on the screen to connect effectively.

Of course those on the screen need to support those in the office too, such as remembering to book a meeting room for them to dial in, allowing them to participate in text chat if necessary, etc.

Having effective hybrid workforce policies and practices brings so many benefits to a company, from accessing a broader talent pool to being able to split customer service across time zones etc. And that's before you think about the benefits and choice it brings to the employees.

But it does require intention and investment, both in effective zoom room systems, and policies / training so that people on both sides (wfh/remote or in person) remember to be inclusive.
 
We have a manager with that attitude as well.

I think you’ve missed the point slightly for my circumstance at least - but it does sound like your company had some passive bullying problems!

We were just all sick of being banished to our individual offices for zoom meeting after zoom meeting, so the policy is (will be) now that physical attendees can all sit in the room together. It makes for a much more conducive and organic meeting. People who don’t happen to be there including interstate teams can still dial in but we are all now in the boardrooms together rather than all on zoom in our seperate offices - which everyone universally hated - what’s the point of coming in then?
 
Well as life moves on and the talk in Melbourne is to return to the office. However, the word from the national office is to continue to WFH if possible. :)

I see there is chatter about workers forced back to the office resenting it because they feel that it is done to prop up failing CBD businesses.
 
We've been back at the office since late October.
Has been great on everyone's mental health.
Now it's really the ones with kids who do the 2 days from home and 3 from office.

I'm back to the office too 9 days a fortnight. 1 day to catch up while WFH..

We're no where near the CBD though. Sydney CBD would be 40KM, Parra CBD 10KM
 
Most of my company has been back at work for quite some time with 3 days office and 2 days work from home.

We were asked to work from home in March 2020 and then sometime last year my old manager negotiated what I thought was permanent work from home while everyone was returning back to office. Halfway through this year I was asked to go back to office as they were pushing back on work from home. Why? Justify the high office rents?

I didn't want to go back as I'm in extreme pain and discomfort. I don't want to see an office. No need for me to be there. Im more productive at home and don't need to torture myself getting ready for work and then pretend I enjoy being in office. I've got letter from specialist and they are now approving my work from home at 6 monthly intervals.

I've been at this company for 14+ years and the plan is to try and get to 20 years service and evaluate the situation again. Daughter will be in Grade 1 next year so long time to go.

I'm not in high demand for meetings. Probably 4-6 hours a week at most and what I found is using Google meets (company standard) was using a fair amount of data. We don't have broadband or NBN at home.

I've been on 100G monthly plan on Circle. Life but thinking of switching to Felix unlimited monthly plan but limited to 20mbps. Is that speed enough? Can't gauge what sort of speed I get with circle.life to accurately compare.
 
Most of my company has been back at work for quite some time with 3 days office and 2 days work from home.

We were asked to work from home in March 2020 and then sometime last year my old manager negotiated what I thought was permanent work from home while everyone was returning back to office. Halfway through this year I was asked to go back to office as they were pushing back on work from home. Why? Justify the high office rents?

I didn't want to go back as I'm in extreme pain and discomfort. I don't want to see an office. No need for me to be there. Im more productive at home and don't need to torture myself getting ready for work and then pretend I enjoy being in office. I've got letter from specialist and they are now approving my work from home at 6 monthly intervals.

I've been at this company for 14+ years and the plan is to try and get to 20 years service and evaluate the situation again. Daughter will be in Grade 1 next year so long time to go.

I'm not in high demand for meetings. Probably 4-6 hours a week at most and what I found is using Google meets (company standard) was using a fair amount of data. We don't have broadband or NBN at home.

I've been on 100G monthly plan on Circle. Life but thinking of switching to Felix unlimited monthly plan but limited to 20mbps. Is that speed enough? Can't gauge what sort of speed I get with circle.life to accurately compare.
The bigger issue is upload speeds for video conferencing tbh. Is that capped at 20 as well with Felix?
 
The bigger issue is upload speeds for video conferencing tbh. Is that capped at 20 as well with Felix?
Good question. I'm not sure.

Note I do not usually upload video of myself unless it is a 1-on-1 meeting or very small meetings. I usually turn off video and just have audio for bigger meetings as I cannot sit in the one spot without moving around for too long.

In Thailand I had the 0.5Mbps and then the 1Mbps package and I could use Line OK but at times it was inconsistent.
 
Interesting to see how it is all slowly moving back…

We are currently at 3 days in office (Monday and Wednesday are mandated in office days and you pick the third). Most people coming in Mon-Thurs though.

From Jan 1 we are moving to 4 days in office (Mon & Wed remain mandatory, you pick the other two).

What we are finding (in general) the people who want to drive their careers harder, progress are in the office the most and bluntly the more replaceable ones are the ones who WFH as much as they possibly can.

Given what is happening in the US where the mass layoffs have targeted the people sitting at home and things getting a little bumpy here too, I would make sure I’m pressing flesh a lot….

Slightly related, our travel budget is now fully restored and the whole team is travelling at pre-covid levels again, probably more.

Just a data point to share :)
 
Similar at my workplace, we are in office 3 days a week. Whole company on a Wed, my divisions team day is Tues. So I do Tues - Thurs, as Mondays are always a struggle and being at home on a Friday means my weekend starts as soon as I switch off the laptop.

Company has data on who is and isnt coming in, we hot desk and often sit with our project teams not necessarily near manager, but they know if you swipped your car to get in, have checked into a desk. Lots of incentives such as free bus and cheap parking $5/day or $14 on Wed when there is more competition.

A number of permies who have consitently failed to be on site at least 2 days, with no excuse (obviously its ok if you are unwell or make prior arrangement here or there) are about to find out they just nullified their eligiblity for a bonus this year.

I concurr with view that those you never see in the office are the most expendable. People who are coming in regularly are building superior business relationships; when people can see you more likley to think of you when opportunities come up or they want to recognise achievements.
 
What we are finding (in general) the people who want to drive their careers harder, progress are in the office the most and bluntly the more replaceable ones are the ones who WFH as much as they possibly can.
I mean, that's a one dimensional view of it. I've got an infant at home and I definitely appreciate the days I have at home to be with her - I'd WFH 5 days a week if I could for now to help out, I'm sure there's a bucket of people who have good reasons to want a bit of flexibility outside of being dead weight. They might have unique circumstances but still be assets to the company.

It's frustrating to go in and spin wheels doing things that could have been done remotely. It's easy to justify by saying that we're being paid to do it and that's true, but we could also be asked to stand up all day by our employers like retail workers often are - it might be fair and equitable to make others do it, but it is also totally inefficient and unnecessary for office workers.

Case in point, I went into the office yesterday just to interact with people around me for 15 minutes for the entire day as I was packed out with teams calls with interstate colleagues or larger audiences all day. It's great to say that it shows commitment but for me it was a dead 3 hours of travel time for zero benefit. I will be blunt, I did it because it's mandated.

The point I'm trying to get to here is that a bit of flexibility doesn't go astray, we have the systems to support it and the world didn't stop over the last 2 years. Many companies will move back to how things were before which is unfortunate (it's like we learned nothing) whereas a few companies will retain flexible policies and will pick up skilled individuals who just want a bit more family time and know that it can be done without compromising on delivery.
 
Many companies will move back to how things were before which is unfortunate (it's like we learned nothing) whereas a few companies will retain flexible policies and will pick up skilled individuals who just want a bit more family time and know that it can be done without compromising on delivery.

Exactly. It's like some managers realised that their only role was to literally stand over their staff and tell them to work harder.
Especially here in Melbourne it was employees that kept businesses running during the dark days of COVID. WFH was beneficial for all.

Now that the imminent threat of COVID is receding too many managers want to go back to the old ways where they were able to implement their 'command and control' management style. Staff have proven they can be trusted to do their work in different locations. Staff that didn't succeed needed to be managed, but too many so called managers aren't up to the job of really managing staff.

A number of permies who have consitently failed to be on site at least 2 days, with no excuse (obviously its ok if you are unwell or make prior arrangement here or there) are about to find out they just nullified their eligiblity for a bonus this year.
It sounds like they're being punished for not being on-site. Nothing mentioned about getting the work done.
Still, a brown nose is often better rewarded than actual work. I said this before, but office show ponies who failed whilst WFH are being rewarded with the return to office. Often no requirement to do anything but look pretty and fill seats.

The way some management is thinking at the moment I wouldn't be surprised to see fountain pens and bowing mandated in the office.
 
The Frequent Flyer Concierge team takes the hard work out of finding reward seat availability. Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, they'll help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

Interesting to see the views here. I worked out of the office most days, pre-COVID. Nothing has changed. I'm delivering projects for 3 clients across 5 countries and doing so just fine from home. I travel to site when needs dictate. I can't see why any other way would be different.

Each to their own, I suppose. I can now bill out for 14 hours a day, rather than billing out for 8-10 - losing a lot of that to travel time.
 
It sounds like they're being punished for not being on-site. Nothing mentioned about getting the work done.

There was a prolonged ramp up period of 3 months to get back on site 3 days a week and a process (which actually existed pre-covid) if you wanted to work from home more on a regular basis, then you need an OH&S assessment of your home office environment and get a variation to your employment contract.

There is plenty of flexibility, if you are unwell no one forces you to come in, in fact you are encouraged to take sick leave rather than work through it remotely. If you want to be 100% remote there is an assessment process for that.

WRT bonuses and pay reviews obviously job performance (meeting and exceeding KPIs) is front and foremost. But this year those who took the p*** and didnt move to the blended ways of working which includes 3 days on site OR did not request an exemption/special consideration from their manager and HR if they needed a different arrangement will not be eligible for either a bonus or pay rise. It is the height of arrogance to just not show up and ignore all directives and actually violates their employment contracts which were for onsite roles.

We have hired 100% remote employees recently, but because they are choosing to work from regional areas they do not get paid as highly as those in capital city offices, because they don't have commuting costs and don't fully participate in all team interactions.

I can work effectively from home and did so throughout covid lockdowns and have always managed interstate and offshore resources anyway. But there are definite advantages to being in head office, you get a better awareness of what is happening outside your direct projects, get looped into other happenings which allow you to better nip risks in the bud and build better relationships with coworkers, which are all important when you need a favour.

It has got nothing to do with brown nosing, I don't believe in sucking up. But I do make sure I meet or exceed all job requirements. When there are restructures and culls a foot, those who thumb their nose at policy shouldn't be surprised to be the ones that go.
 
t sounds like they're being punished for not being on-site. Nothing mentioned about getting the work done.
Still, a brown nose is often better rewarded than actual work. I said this before, but office show ponies who failed whilst WFH are being rewarded with the return to office. Often no requirement to do anything but look pretty and fill seats.
Ahh just like it used to be :)

Interesting to see the views here. I worked out of the office most days, pre-COVID. Nothing has changed. I'm delivering projects for 3 clients across 5 countries and doing so just fine from home. I travel to site when needs dictate. I can't see why any other way would be different.

Each to their own, I suppose. I can now bill out for 14 hours a day, rather than billing out for 8-10 - losing a lot of that to travel time.
I work for own business so my situation is not like many others. I'm also lucky that the nature of my work means I was working remotely from my own home about 90% of the time even before COVID, that obviously became 100% through Covid. And days where I could bill more than a days work, including weekends evenings continues as normal.

I'm now seeing many others in my industry returning to offices almost to pre-covid levels. "The honeymoon period is over" is how one related it to me "all those nice PR words about flexible options is now, well you can have one day a fortnight working at home".. The worst thing is to be asked to attend on site, then find out you're one of the few physically there when others are dialling in.

In all my proposal documents I now state we encourage flexible work options, including remote work (from wherever you want to be!). Because we bill by the hour, we're seeing an increase in the requests to attend the odd 1hr meeting here and there, so we've taken a position that when on-site presence is required, a minimum of 4hrs will be billed. This seems to have worked as most clients are fine with attending remotely, or try to make it at least a half days work at their site with other meetings etc.
 
Our Sydney office is back to 4 days in the office (you pick and mix except Monday is required attendance)

Our Melbourne office is 3 days, moving to 4 when everyone returns from the annual shut down period. Same pick and mix as Sydney.

A few people remain on ‘exceptionally approved’ WFH 3 days but case by case only.

As per posters above, in general it’s the individual contributors that don’t have a lot of career runway or teams to mange that were most resistant to the return to office work, I wouldn’t use the word ‘expendable’ but certainly the most easily replaceable. The rest seem to sort it out.

Reflecting, it’s quite ironic the tech companies that championed WFH quite loudly are the ones laying off their WFH crew first in all the redundancies in the market place.

Most people have realised the employee / employer balance of power is now returning to the employer, so will be interesting to see what transpires in 2023.
 
Most people have realised the employee / employer balance of power is now returning to the employer, so will be interesting to see what transpires in 2023.

Agree, I expect there to be severe retribution towards employees who want to WFH >1-2 days per month.
The Elon Musk management style will be seen by some managers as desirable. :(

"Musk sent an ultimatum to staff to pledge commitment to a new “extremely hardcore” Twitter that “will mean working long hours at a high intensity”.

So sad that some people are deliberately ignoring the lessons of the pandemic, including that workplace flexibility goes both ways.
 
Sponsored Post

Struggling to use your Frequent Flyer Points?

Frequent Flyer Concierge takes the hard work out of finding award availability and redeeming your frequent flyer or credit card points for flights.

Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, the Frequent Flyer Concierge team at Frequent Flyer Concierge will help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.

So sad that some people are deliberately ignoring the lessons of the pandemic, including that workplace flexibility goes both ways

Flexibility is one of many complexities in this issue. I think one of the other big factors is trust. If you can't trust your employees to perform working from home, then working from home isn't the issue.
 

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..

Recent Posts

Back
Top