Work From Home Becomes Work From Anywhere

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Ex-Calif

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I have been working from home since March 6th. My company is starting to open up and I have told them I am not going back until there is a vaccine no matter how safe they think it is. I can control my social distancing and I can't control anyone else. It only takes one mistake and I could end up dead.

I am 2 years to retirement. I have already asked about work from home permanently and getting a mixed response - I am 100% efficient at home, in fact maybe a little more so.  The bosses are still stuck in the paradigm that they need to be able to walk up to your desk and interrupt you when they need something - I am 100% available on company chat, text and phone. I am gonna press hard next spring and if I win the battle I am gonna move full time into the RV and relocate to Florida, probably.

We already have one guy who lives in Alabama, his HQ (like mine) is north Cincinnati and his customer is in Memphis... They hired him (before me) on a work from home agreement in the first place. I think it would be illogical for them to refuse me...
 

Laura & Charles

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Jun 10, 2016
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Could be anywhere. Originally from Ohio (Go Bucks!
Laura and I both have professional careers and work remote, me since 1999; her since 2014.  It was four years ago this month we took delivery of our first coach, set it up for office space for two, and hit the road. Gave it year to see how we liked it, then sold the s&b summer of ?17.  Gave it three years to see if we were going to keep at it, then traded up to current coach. No end date in sight yet.  We both could retire, but no plans on that yet.  Can?t really imagine only one of us retiring; guess it may happen. If/when we DO retire, we expect we?ll keep full timing. Just have lots more to see.
 

blw2

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Saint Johns, FL
this touches a sore spot for me.

my job is 100% on the computer.  Reviewing architectural drawings, so I need a larger monitor or two, but otherwise as long as I've got internet to download and upload it would work.

I've been dreaming of this work form home/work from anywhere for almost as long as we've had the RV.
but the owner is resistant.

With the pandemic, I was finally allowed to work form home for about 2 months.  It was great!  I was more efficient at home with a better set-up than I have in the office.  I was happier, more relaxed, working more efficiently, and sometimes longer hours even... still starting june 1 we were all ordered back.  I can imagine some folks would and probably do goof off but the two of us in my group that were home definitely were not.  For us, it was working perfectly!

Anyway, I'm back in the office wearing a mask all day and completely uncomfortable and at risk...nobody else in the building is masking or doing very much different than usual.

oh well...in a way I'm lucky because My job is perfect for working from home... I would love to work from home/road full time for a few more years then transition to semi-retirement part time work....  guess it's just not meant to be...
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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I?m in the same boat. My home office is actually nicer than my space in the cube farm at work.

They?re pushing for me to go back full time in a couple of weeks, which would mean wearing a mask. I?m pushing for one day a week.
 

Oldgator73

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If the pandemic has taught us nothing else it has taught us that many jobs can be accomplished remotely. It seems many employers are resistant to teleworking. It?s just my opinion but I think employers believe they are losing some control over employees if they work from home. It seems like a win win situation though. Employees seem much happier, in some cases production goes up. The other win for employers is company assets such as utilities are not being utilized by employees therefore saving the company money.
 

msw3113

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New Hampshire
Oldgator73 said:
...employers believe they are losing some control over employees if they work from home.

Bingo. 

Another bonus of the "win-win" about working from home is continued limitation of exposure to others. 
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Oldgator73 said:
If the pandemic has taught us nothing else it has taught us that many jobs can be accomplished remotely. It seems many employers are resistant to teleworking. It?s just my opinion but I think employers believe they are losing some control over employees if they work from home. It seems like a win win situation though. Employees seem much happier, in some cases production goes up. The other win for employers is company assets such as utilities are not being utilized by employees therefore saving the company money.
Not all employees are happier working at home. Lots of people prefer the interaction with others. My son manages a call center for a credit union. They have all been working at home for months, and they will mostly continue that way for months more. However he has people asking him regularly when they will be able to get back to the office. Some don?t like the distractions at home, some prefer more casual interaction with co-workers. Others are perfectly happy working at home indefinitely. And it isn?t free for employers. The building is still there with utilities being paid. There was cost to set up each employee with the specific hardware needed to access sensitive data (basically a thin client that can only connect to the company?s servers in a secure manner - cost around $500 each). You really don?t want the folks with access to your account to to do it from their home computers, do you? Those clients were sold out across the country for quite a while. He ordered as many as he could in March, and he had to wait for the remaining ones until April when the last of the staff could finally get home.
 

Lou Schneider

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My sister is a support manager for an environmental cleanup company - basically she manages the field teams and assigns their payments and expenses to the proper accounts.

When my dad began his final downhill slide 10 years ago, she petitioned her company to let her work from home and moved in with my parents to help with his care. The company supplied the computer and other office equipment, Beth paid for the DSL connection that was shared with my parents. Beth was the first person in her company to do this, now there are several others. When Dad passed two years later she moved to the Palm Springs area to be near her daughter and her family. continuing to work from home and flying into the Bay Area office one day a month. Mom moved in with her about a year later.

Beth still works from home, as does her daughter who is in the medical support field. Two years ago they pooled their money and bought 10 hilly acres with two houses and a barn in the Sierra Nevadas near Bass Lake. Shannan (the daughter) lives with her family (husband and two daughters) in the large house. Her husband uses the barn as a workshop and is making the homestead more self-sufficient. Beth and my Mom live in the smaller two bedroom caretaker house down the hill and she is thinking about getting an RV after her granddaughters are grown.
 
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Joezeppy

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Mar 16, 2009
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Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
My company is very pro-remote worker and had probably 25% of their staff working remotely before COVID. They did a great job getting the rest of us set up quickly back in March and it's very efficient, barring random internet interruptions (a good portion of the team I work on lives in rural locations). Some small offices are opening back up in early July but my particular office (500+ workers) will be after Labor Day.


I love working from home but my wife does not - she needs the co-worker experience whereas I do not.  ;D
 

blw2

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Saint Johns, FL
skydivemark said:
It?s just my opinion but I think employers believe they are losing some control over employees if they work from home.

X2 !

I'd recon that's probably the root of it.  While I was working from home I made a point to report to the desk by the normal 8AM and take my lunch during the noon hour, etc.... just to try to avoid misinterpretation and dis trust
If I were allowed to continue to freely work form home I'd not be one to take advantage...I'd still put in the time and get the job done
but what I would like is to take more flexibility with my time.
I think there are some folks that do take advantage...so that distrust is probably not totally without merit.  Still, it gets my goat that I'm miserable all day wearing a mask now, when I was getting the job done at home in such relaxing comfort.  all i can say is ugh....  Really puts a negative taste in my mouth.
 

glen54737

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Chesterfield Mi
skydivemark said:
It?s just my opinion but I think employers believe they are losing some control over employees if they work from home.

X2 !
That might be it but it also exposes people who aren't doing anything.
 

jymbee

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Feb 20, 2018
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Upstate NY
Oldgator73 said:
It seems many employers are resistant to teleworking. It?s just my opinion but I think employers believe they are losing some control over employees if they work from home.

Exactly. When I used to work as a tech consultant setting up systems for large groups of tech writers all contributing input to a project (insurance related) I was always trying to convince the PTB that many of these folks could easily work from home a great deal of the time. Met with a lot of resistance initially as they had the "control" attitude you mentioned.

They would fly tech writers in from all over the country for these multi-billion dollar projects, carve out workspaces in their corporate HQs, put them up in hotels, pay a hefty per diem, etc. etc.

Over the years, and with constant urging,  the bill payers began to see the light. Years later it got to the point where having these temp tech writers working from home became the norm.

 

VirginiaBlack

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Mar 12, 2021
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USA,NY
Yes, indeed, jobs for testers of hotels and various resorts are becoming very popular. And in principle, people are beginning to like remote work more. How long have I been working in the HR department and hiring people for remote qa testing jobs, I notice more and more often that people are turning with the condition of remote work. Someone doesn't know how and doesn't want to learn how to communicate with people, someone is a single parent and cannot work otherwise. During the quarantine period, this became much more relevant.
 

PopPop51

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Mar 30, 2010
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447
Even very smart people can be incredibly, inexplicably resistant to change. Technology made remote work reasonable for many positions years ago. COVID proved it. Human prejudice is the main obstacle now.

I started working from home 15 years ago as a W-2 employee of a small marketing company that was 100% virtual. It had a physical home office in the owner’s city, but all of the 20 other employees were scattered around the country. I never met either the owner, my direct report, or more than two of my colleagues face to face until some years after my employment there ended. It worked just fine.

In 2012 I started consulting on my own. My oldest client, who is still using me nearly full-time, is an Austin-based SASS firm. When they contracted with me they were a small office-only company and I was their first remote asset.

A few years later the company still much preferred to hire Austin-based people and conduct business in the office, but had reluctantly hired a few remote people because not everyone they wanted to hire wanted to move to Austin. They bent their prejudice to acquire quality.

They began to grow exponentially, got a round of venture capital, and HAD to hire remote workers to get the experienced people they needed. Remote employees grew to almost 40% of the roster.

Then COVID hit and remote work became the rule. They closed the physical office and for eight months were forced to be 100% remote while the growth continued and the employee roster kept growing. Most of the new-hires were non-Austin based.

Now they’ve again opened a new but much smaller physical office in Austin and are still growing and hiring like crazy. There’s an almost wistful desire on management’s part to go back to the old in-office days, but the barn door has shut behind that horse. Too many in the expanded leadership team are themselves remote and have no intention of moving.

As for work-from-anywhere, I've been doing that since 2010 and have logged 4 years of working "from anywhere". Even though not RVing, I'm currently traveling the country and am writing this from a very pleasant rental 2,000 miles from my home base.
 

garyb1st

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Southern California
The thinking of old line Fortune 500 companies will never change dramatically in the near term. However I believe newer companies with younger managers will see the benefits of working from home.

One of the catch phrases used back in the day was "management by walking around". This was when a level of managers didn't do much more than walk around to see if everyone else was working. Then he or she, usually he, would go back to his desk and do nothing much more than check the stock prices or see which of their favorite sports teams was winning. From my limited perspective as a middle manager in a large Aerospace Company, most of these high-level over compensated do nothing executives could be put out to pasture with no negative effect to the corporation. And I knew a lot of high level executives. Trust me, minimal downside to the Corporation.

When I began working in Corporate America, I had a secretary. When I retired I had a computer. Things change. Maybe not always for the better but personally I think more often than not. Working from home makes sense. If there's work to be done, and that work is being done, then there is added value. If there is no work to be done of the work isn't being done, then the manager has that difficult job of finding out why and possibly eliminating the worker.
 
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