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

If you can't trust your employees to perform working from home, then working from home isn't the issue.
It's interesting the number of people in the thread conflating those who prefer to WFH with poor performance or lack of ambition. I look at it the absolute opposite way - for those who are good at what they do, they have an extra bargaining chip now. I wouldn't take a 4 day a week mandated office job because I don't need to - there's still plenty of employers who ask less and they could pay less and I'd still take it, because I'd still be better off.

I know this to be true because I changed jobs a year ago and it was a major factor in deciding who I'd work for. My flexibility only extends as far as 3 days per week which is very reasonable on my employer's part, but I can't shake the feeling for those other 2 days that it's pointless really, everything we do is structured around the remote working we've been doing for the last 2 years - about the only value I get is by aligning those days with customer or partner visits, but they regularly WFH too so that makes up maybe 25% max of the 8 days a month I'm in the office.

If I was an employer and I had 2 options available to me - one was to lease expensive CBD office space, force staff to go in there and then pay them more to offset the inconvenience or risk getting the less qualified people because I'm in a worse bargaining position vs an employer leasing smaller offices, people work from home regularly and attracting talent on the basis of flexible working options, I know which one I'd pick.

The narrative has been around how the employers have the upper hand now but that doesn't change the fact that if all you do when you have the upper hand is tip the scales towards being less attractive as an employer, all you'll do is make successful people hold off from making a jump because the grass is no longer so green.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who will bluntly turn away any recruiter who approaches me with a 5 day in the office role - because I don't need it. I'd sooner not move than to do that to myself. Plus my wfh flexibility is written in my employment contract - so why would I give that up if I value it so greatly for an employer who offers zero flexibility?

If we talk about ambition, surely that's working towards better outcomes for yourself. It is ambitious to know your worth, advocate for your interests and negotiate benefits that are aligned with your direction, and for me that's not unnecessarily trundling into an office for no operational benefit at the behest of some dinosaur who can't take the sight of an empty chair.
 
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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….
I have a unique role and experience they cannot find easily unless they worked out how to clone me.

Management can be extremely hard headed but if I'd left they'd miss me more than I'd miss them. I'd take redundancy right now and return as a contractor working 3 days a week getting paid the same as working 5 days a week.
 
I have a unique role and experience they cannot find easily unless they worked out how to clone me.

Management can be extremely hard headed but if I'd left they'd miss me more than I'd miss them. I'd take redundancy right now and return as a contractor working 3 days a week getting paid the same as working 5 days a week.
If you're only working for one client as a contractor, then by the time you factor in PSI, your 3days per week will be equivalent to working 3dayd per week. The rate might look better at first, but your actual pay won't be that.
 
It's interesting the number of people in the thread conflating those who prefer to WFH with poor performance or lack of ambition. I look at it the absolute opposite way - for those who are good at what they do, they have an extra bargaining chip now. I wouldn't take a 4 day a week mandated office job because I don't need to - there's still plenty of employers who ask less and they could pay less and I'd still take it, because I'd still be better off.
Another issue is that for people whose role was primarily just to manage a team, life became very different, because you couldn't just walk around to see that team. Which goes back to that productivity issue, were these managers measuring then by hours of presence??
 
If you're only working for one client as a contractor, then by the time you factor in PSI, your 3days per week will be equivalent to working 3dayd per week. The rate might look better at first, but your actual pay won't be that.
I was referring to working for my current employer as a contractor after I'd left. This is hopefully going to be my last job so I'd take anything I can get.
 
I’ve slipped into retirement this year which is the ultimate WFH experience. Home without the work, a suspicion harboured by managers everywhere. It’s a good lifestyle choice, but beware the money is sh!te and it makes you kinda irrelevant to discussions like this.

Cheers
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I was referring to working for my current employer as a contractor after I'd left. This is hopefully going to be my last job so I'd take anything I can get.
I just mean that the take home salary working as a contractor for only one client isn't marginally much better than being an employee, that's what the Personal Services Income test is about (to avoid tax minimisation by working as a contractor)
 
I just mean that the take home salary working as a contractor for only one client isn't marginally much better than being an employee, that's what the Personal Services Income test is about (to avoid tax minimisation by working as a contractor)
Totally understood. The main benefit is working 3 days a week.

By the way we've been having discussions about further flexibility (or RDO) where we can work 4 x 9.5 hour days instead of 5 x 7.5 hour days. My favourite would be 3x 12.5 hour days.
 
Totally understood. The main benefit is working 3 days a week.

By the way we've been having discussions about further flexibility (or RDO) where we can work 4 x 9.5 hour days instead of 5 x 7.5 hour days. My favourite would be 3x 12.5 hour days.

Yes 3 days a week is ideal, and also about the best balance I've found of having billable work versus business development time. I've always thought a 4day week would be a good outcome 10hrs/day for four days.

Another issue I've had a few people tell me about flexible arrangements is that even on a day off, people are still expected to answer calls or respond to emails as others are working on that , which defeats the purpose of having that day off!
 
Very late to the thread, but WFH has been a blessing and a millstone. My "work hours" now extend to midnight. Outlook insights tells me I reply to most emails between 7 pm and 10 pm.
But I'm in a fairly unique situation of an employer who is supportive of my involvement in professional development activities that include a few international gigs. That generally means zoom meetings on European time as the best compromise. Being based in Oz that means zoom meetings from 10 pm to 1 am, and often on Friday night. But I'm extremely thankful I'm not one of the people in North America who are up in suits at 4 am.

Work wise, zoom/teams has been really beneficial as the work team based at multiple sites now has a 15 minute virtual coffee break, followed by work things. that is really productive for the really quick day to day questions that help coordinate activities.
I'm also in some corporate monthly meeting where I have very little to say. It is an absolute godsend to be able to virtually join that meeting during my drive to the office.

2020 I thought the freebie virtual conferences were great. Signed up for way too many, and mostly in the wrong timezone.
2022 - Eight face to face conferences and I forgot how tiring travel can be.
2023 Got face to face lined up for Feb, April, May, Oct, Nov and maybe Nov...
But wouldn't go back to virtual conferences

The hardest part, with the hours I keep, is doing a timesheet. it was so difficult I basically just ran standard hours for 2020, 2021 and most of 2022. I've done way more hours, but then the flexibility of chopping and changing when I work is kind of worth it. Hope I don't get audited...

End of the day, As long as I get things done all good.
I'd previously done the 4 day compressed week, same deal, it didn't matter when I worked as long as things got done.
 
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I've settled into 50/50 office versus WFH over the last 11 months and hoping to keep it that way into the future. It's now written policy that we're entitled to 50% and your manager has to have a very good reason to say no.
 
I've settled into 50/50 office versus WFH over the last 11 months and hoping to keep it that way into the future. It's now written policy that we're entitled to 50% and your manager has to have a very good reason to say no.
Positive outcome then. I've always been remote anyway, typically travelling to the client site I was delivering to as needed. Mrs FB works for the Civil Service and they've been told 40% of their time has to be in the office (even if their team is elsewhere), kind of counter intuitive but they don't really enforce it much, it's more the discretion of your director. For me ..... all my clients are remote work still so no change there!
 
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Hate Zoom
Hate Virtual meetings

We sometimes get people logging into Zooms while they are walking down the street, doing shopping, driving cars. They often forget to turn off the audio or video

But its the way of the future, and certainly reduces cost of travelling and cost of offices.
 
Hate Zoom
Hate Virtual meetings

We sometimes get people logging into Zooms while they are walking down the street, doing shopping, driving cars. They often forget to turn off the audio or video

But its the way of the future, and certainly reduces cost of travelling and cost of offices.
Apart from where I'm about to go where I'll be lucky to get a 1MB connection..... good old reliable VSAT!
 
The hardest part, with the hours I keep, is doing a timesheet. it was so difficult I basically just ran standard hours for 2020, 2021 and most of 2022. I'm done way more hours, but then the flexibility of chopping and changing when I work is kind of worth it. Hope I don't get audited...
I've found time tracking apps quite useful (harvest, everhour, etc) for monitoring how long spent on different categories of work etc.
 
I've found time tracking apps quite useful (harvest, everhour, etc) for monitoring how long spent on different categories of work etc.
Depends on the work you do too, I have projects setup in my finance system and then I just get into the habit of logging time against them as I go (with notes, but against a project/task) and then when I invoice at the end of the month it just rolls them all up and also generates a timesheet if the client requests one.

Last month was 232:45 billable hours, not what I'd usually expect in December!
 
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When Covid hit, I was semi-retired, doing short consultancies with Government. For 6 months all went quiet while they got their workforce up to speed with WFH. And then, my niche assignments returned. I am on a panel that includes SYD-MEL-BNE-CBR based people, and that involve TA/Airfares etc.

Now, I am getting as much work as I want, and the contract actually states WFH using teams. So win-win for Govt (lower cost) and I save all that time travelling (mostly by train).
 
I've found time tracking apps quite useful (harvest, everhour, etc) for monitoring how long spent on different categories of work etc.
Depends on the work you do too, I have projects setup in my finance system and then I just get into the habit of logging time against them as I go (with notes, but against a project/task) and then when I invoice at the end of the month it just rolls them all up and also generates a timesheet if the client requests one.

Last month was 232:45 billable hours, not what I'd usually expect in December!
Certainly, what I do for my consulting work.

My timesheet hassle is for my paid employee work. Billing isn't dependent on it Just making sure I do the hours being paid or, the more likely, part I get my flexi-time.
 
Just making sure I do the hours being paid or, the more likely, part I get my flexi-time.
Yeah, I find it useful for ensuring I'm doing the right amount of hours, and for tax time as well.
 

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