Returning to Work (after Extended Covid-19 Work from Home)

If you were asked to work remotely due to covid and now been asked to pick a choice, what would you choose? (vote) and why (in comments).

Personally, I would rather work remotely until further notice. This is due to me wanting to limit my exposure until there is a vaccine.

PS: My friend who has been working remotely has been asked to return to work abruptly recently and I thought I would run this poll to see how everyone else is feeling.

Update 20/10
Thank you all for your valuable input and discussion.

Poll Options expired

  • 392
    I prefer working from home (full time)
  • 580
    I prefer working from 3-4 days a week
  • 169
    I prefer working from home 1-2 days a week
  • 22
    I prefer working from home on needs basis
  • 35
    I don't prefer working from home
  • 76
    I don't have a choice to work from home

Comments

  • +1 vote

    I prefer working from home as I have to commute up to 3 hours each day to get to my work location. (1.5h there, 1.5h back)

    Prior to Covid, I would work from home from time to time and had requested it to be a regular thing. But was declined due to "other employees may not like it", or possibly a lack of trust from upper management.

    Hopefully once the requests to return to the office begin, I'll have a stronger case for working from home as productivity over the last 7 months has been going well.

    • +4 votes

      Hopefully once the requests to return to the office begin, I'll have a stronger case for working from home as productivity over the last 7 months has been going well.

      Wait until you have your annual/semi-annual performance review before asking. Then you will have written proof that they are happy with your performance when working from home. Otherwise they might make some bs excuse why you're not allowed to

  • +11 votes

    My old employer went back to the office in May, thankfully I was no longer working for them as Covid went through the entire office, they called me asking if I would do some work for them as they were all sick and laid out, I wished them well and told them where to go. To be fair, they did just fire me because I took time off to care for my wife and baby who was extremely unwell and hospitalised and to care for our 2 year old as her daycare had closed.

    Working from home is the only way I want to work if I can help it. I don't have the best officespace set up yet but slowly converting half our 2 car garage, but not having to worry about dealing with office politics or if my child's dr's appointment runs 15 min late and it being a problem for them, as long as I get my work done and my clients are happy, I'm happy.

    I do work for myself now, and 'free' officespace is great!

    • +6 votes

      Sounds from that like you've got grounds for an unfair dismissal case.

      • +3 votes

        Not unfair dismissal, I was only there for 4 months at the time. They knew what was going on in my personal life and what I needed and could provide before hiring me (even over sold it to ensure it was drilled into them), I have it in email they accept my stipulations and concerns, I have emails and calls (all our calls were recorded) of them saying they fired me due to my family situation, so I may have a case for unlawful dismissal/discrimination, but with everything else I have going on in my life currently, a court case is not something I want to pursue at this time unforutunately.

        • +3 votes

          Fair enough that you wouldn't want to pursue it, given everything else.

          I've been through one open and shut unfair dismissal case and it didn't involve court, and took only a week from me filing (on the day they fired me) to their settlement money landing in my account. I'd also been there only a few months. NZ though, so unsure how different the laws are.

    •  

      My old employer went back to the office in May, thankfully I was no longer working for them as Covid went through the entire office, they called me asking if I would do some work for them as they were all sick and laid out

      Good negotiating position. Could have done 3 months and took 9 months off.

  • +4 votes

    Home is home and work is work. I like having the difference

  • +10 votes
    • No commute
    • Supporting local cafe's for coffee and occasional lunch ( 2 cafe's opened in last 6 months within 5kms radius )
    • Helping out with infant demands
    • Doing my weekend tasks after work like mowing, cleaning, etc…
    • Seeing the kids more and meeting their demands
    • 45 mins of exercise time

    Only miss going out for Friday lunch/ drinks with colleagues. Zoom meetings are focused but too many now.

    Overall lots of positives working from home and realistically would like to go back 1 day a week ( reverse arrangement )

  •  

    I traveled 10,000km to work with my team at the office for a couple months; did 3 weeks isolation upon arrival then the country went into total lockdown. Been stuck 7 months overseas for nothing. I always look forward to working with my team because the remote work does my mind in after a few weeks.

  • +1 vote

    I prefer a mix of home and office. While some productivity is "lost" in random workplace conversations, often they actually have productive outcomes as well - I think, on balance, it's a win. Workplace equipment is better (desk, monitor). Unlike some, I don't spend any more on work lunches (two days a week no lunch, two days a week bring lunch, I only work four days normally).

    And if I worked at home I'd have to spend too much time with my wife, which would be bad for both of us!

    I don't commute though, I walk or sometimes bike to work - a bad commute would push me more towards working from home more.

  • +4 votes

    Really depends on your home situation.

    I have a room I can work from and my kids are a bit older so can fend for themselves after school. That's a lot easier than having really young kids/limited space/housemates etc.

    I've largely loved it and get to spend a lot more time at home with family. I get more done WFH and can focus better. I'm more relaxed, less tired and feel better. I do not miss commuting and the packed Sydney trains one bit. We have a gym at our office so I do miss that and the lunchtime soccer matches we used to have.

    Ideally for me I would only go into the office 1 or 2 days a week after this all settles down. That would give me the right balance I think. I was already doing 2 days WFH before Covid so am well used to it.

    A lot of employers would have discovered that the thing they feared most about WFH (loss of productivity) is simply not happening. While the potential is there to be lazy/do something else you are still accountable for your own work and get distracted/interrupted far less at home.

  •  

    I was working from home for a bit but back in the office. I ride to work so i get over an hour cardio each day plus go to the gym in my 1 hour lunch break. When I was working from home i was in my pjs all day and gaming in my lunch break. I day a week at home would be nice though.

  • +3 votes

    I prefer working in the office.I worked from home for almost 6 months and went back full time a couple of weeks ago (my decision). I hated working from home. I am so happy to be back in the office. And today, an email from the boss and they want all employees back in the office, to start with 2 days a week with each section progressively over the next month.

    Cons:
    Reading less due to no commuting
    Walking less
    Lack of social interaction
    Lack of hearing any goss
    Access to Fridge/pantry (so gained a couple of kilos)

    Pros:
    Sleep more (don't have to get up earlier) particularly during Winter (I didn't get my heavy jacket out once!)
    Saving Money on my Opal card

    For me it's all or nothing. I can't do 2 days here and 2 days there. It would drive me crazy. I LOVE schedules and I need to have the same equipment (2 monitors set up along with my surface pro). I had colleagues who went in once a week (so they could use the printer/scanner) and they would have problems connecting the next day, back at home.

  •  

    Studies have found that 4/5 people are struggling working from home. A lot of people WFH are also working longer hours and not taking proper breaks so it doesn’t really matter about commute or not lol. It works well for some but I don’t think it’s sustainable long term for the economy. I used live in Melbourne CBD on Collins st between Queens and Williams so very much business side, and it was DEAD on the weekends and during the Xmas break. I can imagine 90% of businesses will be on the brink of collapse as they depend a lot on office workers going out to get lunch, coffee, drinks after work. Plus going to the office opens avenues to social activities like meeting a friend/date afterwards at a bar or for dinner, going to a performance/bowling/movies. I would prefer to do maybe 1 day at home where I can have flexibility but I enjoy interactions and being social.

    • +2 votes

      I don’t think it’s sustainable long term for the economy.

      The economy will revolve around the new norms.. the new ways don't have to be how things have always been. CBD rents don't have to command a premium, for example. There's far more food delivery requirements in the 'burbs now even on working days. Earlier those cafes used to be dead in the afternoon. Employers have realized that there're more efficient ways of operating and the employees have tasted the benefits of wfh. In many companies this was just unheard of earlier. Things changed for good and they will continue to evolve.

    •  

      In my experience the short/no breaks and working long hours thing happens just as much in offices. I do also get that if you are more of a people person you will miss the office more. Us introverts are loving it!

  • +2 votes

    When we got asked to start working in the office again I really tried to convince my manager to let me work at least 3 days at home as I love it. Manager argued against it for my professional growth and offered 1 day a week wfh and then we'll talk in a few months time about more.

    I was a bit sulky about it but now don't even use my 1 day a week to wfh and prefer being in the office more.

  • +6 votes

    Reading all these very cogent and concise responses, I just really love working from home because I don't need to wear any pants.

    •  

      Wait what? You have to wear pants at work?

      •  

        There are professions that don’t require any clothes at work!

        •  

          I'm sold!

          Wait! Are cameras involved?

    •  

      You can also have an erection and no one will know. Just don’t make an O face when your webcam is on.

      • +1 vote

        That's a good protip there!

  • +6 votes

    Love working from home.

    Don't send me back to office I hate getting on the bus and potentially take risks catching Covid-19.

    At home I feel more relax. I get more done while kids are at childcare.

    At lunch I can just pick up my console play for a while then back to work. Or I go out for a walk at the park which I wasn't able to do before.

    I get to spend more time with the kids at home to understand how much they have developed.

    I can water my lawn and flowers which I never had time to do so during breaks at work. I have the best front lawn on my street. Even better than the retirees and all the old folks. Feeling great

    I'm a self learner and self motivated. So I don't need someone to tell me what I should be doing

    I actually work overtime without charging the company.

    My concentration has gone up not down their productivity has gone up

    Therefore if I'm forced to be back the office the company loses out

    I save heaps of money by not paying for pubic transport which in turn funds my purchases on ozbargain

  •  

    I prefer to work from home and would like the chance to work as a digital nomad.. not sure how company would feel about this. However no one has mentioned the amount of overtime spent due to working at home and not being able to disconnected from work "leaving the office". This is the biggest downside on working from home the additional work load.

  • +4 votes

    Much prefer WFH.
    Not stuck in peak hour traffic 2 hours a day to get to and from the office.
    Not paying for on site parking.
    Not paying $10 for lunch if i forget to bring anything
    Not worrying about office gossup and people always on personal calls.
    Not worrying about grubs who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom.
    Not worrying about cleaning the coffee machine.
    Not worrying sitting in pointless meetings with questions not relevant to my work area.
    More productive too WFH.
    Oh, and saving lots of money too.

  • +2 votes

    Prefer being at the office. When working from home everything is more interesting than the thing you’re meant to be doing.

  •  

    I am back to work full time as WFH did not work for my personal experiences and enjoyment.

    I was far less productive at home even though having more time (not needing to get ready etc).

    I disliked having 'work issues' in my personal/home space.

    I missed the interaction with staff who we gel with very well. I missed the support, encouragement, help when needed, let alone work lunches and Friday drinks.

    Luckily I have lived close to work so travel time is not a factor, we do not have children so that's another factor, and I just enjoyed going out, being spontaneous, and making decisions as I felt and wanted to being in the CBD and supporting the economy as best as I could. After all, we aren't leaving the money for anyone so best to spend it and live our most amazing life each and every day because we only have one chance at this.

  • +1 vote

    I had this same conversation with my work this past week.'

    My Manager: "So we've just got sign off from head office that you can start working from the office again. You can come work in the office for 1-2 days a week.So if you want to come back to the office you can start from next week. We're keeping to only a maximum of 2 people in the office at any one time so you'll have to coordinate with the other team members what days you want to come in."

    Me: "………..right………"

    I then went onto explain that I didn't think I'd be back in the office until January next year and that with my earlier starts it works much better for me to stay working from home. I just recently started managing NZ so now start at 7am.

    For me it's a no brainer and I really hope I'm allowed to stay WFH forever. Before I was located in the Melbourne CBD however 50% of my work was with interstate or remote partners. Now my workload is ~80% remote so even if I was sitting in an office, only 20% of my time would be dealing with people on site.

    I've got a a complete home office already setup. I save $115 a week (public transport, coffees, lunch out) and 2 hours per day (commute) by working from home. My work life balance is better and in terms of productivity and job satisfaction it's the highest it's been in the past 5 years.

  • +1 vote

    The only people who want to go to the office are the ones that don't have friends outside of work / hate their family. Why on earth (if you had the option) would you want to be at the actual work place?

    •  

      depending on the type of work you do, often working form home can see you doing a little more work than you are paid for, or expected to be on call a little more.
      i love working at home now as i get to spend my down type cleaning up and fixing the house with my housemates. but also want to go back to work casue then ill get to ride my bike again for passive excersise. i think there is more to it thant just "not having friends "

    • +1 vote

      One day they might as send your job to india / philipines or any other developing country if your work can be solely off site and I hope you have all the friends (generous rich ones preferably) that can help you out when you are without a job

    • +1 vote

      If one thing has been shown since people have been WFH is how few people you work with are friends, and in many cases how its been most of the year since you've (well in my case) heard a word from any of them.
      While people are social while at an office once they're at home with their kids and families they have little to no contact with anyone else.

  •  

    My current contract role is WFH but is likely to end within the next 3 months so I'm weighing up other WFH job opportunities as well as office roles. I have always wanted to work from home but as I've mainly worked in government roles, there have been no opportunities pre covid. This is my experience so far:

    Pros:
    No public transport and commuting in general ($$$ saved)
    Being able to wear casual and comfortable clothes/shoes
    Flexibility to change start/finish times as well as breaks
    Being away from the usual office gossip and politics
    Ability to get much more work completed without disruptions and useless meetings

    Cons:
    Have found it hard at times to separate home and work life
    I also had to step back from a management support role (no extra pay) in the virtual team due to a huge unrealistic workload
    Ended up doing many unpaid hours to meet demand which would not have occurred in an office environment

    I've really enjoyed WFH. Like some others have already said, it's important to have a break and get out of the house daily to grab some shopping, coffee etc.

  •  

    Im waiting for my company start asking to "prove" your working 8 hours while at home…

    Anyone else hit this hurdle yet?

    •  

      yeah, boss has mentioned this. need to prove with time sheets and productivity

      •  

        time sheets ;) :D Easy to get by LOL… productivity … damn LOL

  • +3 votes

    I am a middle manager of a SME and I see it pros and cons from both staff and employer sides for WFH.
    Stating the less obvious and darker truth of WFH.

    • It is much harder to maintain morale and level of skills for junior staff, especially during tough times like this.
    • It is almost impossible for me to train my team and upskill them remotely further. I don't get the immediate feedback from their face and doesn't know whether or not they got what I said most of the time, no matter how many online meeting I hosted.
    • My boss is still working from the office every day. This means whoever will get back to the office would get better attention from him (management). And it is usually the ass-suckers.
    • Many people like to hide during remote meetings with characteristics of 1) no or little contribution, 2) muted all the time and 3) disabling video. I warned my team that if they do this during other people's meetings all the time their existence could easily be forgotten. They could risk turning themselves to "staff number" and be disassociated with their actual performance and contribution at work by upper management.
    • +4 votes

      In regards to the 'hiding' don't you think that is more to do with the meetings themselves instead of the individual? most meetings usually have one or two people as the key decision makers and the rest of us are there to listen in and nod. What are the plebs meant to do 'oh yes sir that's a great idea sir'.

  • +3 votes

    Definitely prefer WFH. Aside from all the time + cost savings from not commuting, it's so nice to be at home with my older parents and my dog, all of whom I would normally see only a few hours in the morning and at night before going to sleep. It's great to sit down for lunch with mum and have a chat for an hour, before COVID I don't think I'd done that for years. And it's great to annoy my dog with some scratches and hugs between meetings.

    Also, so much more flexibility with the way I spend my time. I'm not locked into a bus or train timetable anymore (my regular bus only ran until 8:30 in the mornings), I get a lot more sleep, and have so much more time and energy to go to the gym after work.

    I do miss seeing a lot of my colleagues though, so wouldn't mind going in every now and then, but only makes sense if my immediate team also goes in at the same time. At my workplace, apparently they expect that once a vaccine is available we'll likely only be in the office once or twice a fortnight - and that works with me.

  • -1 vote

    Working from home has some positives but many negatives most people don’t realise:

    • Making people much lazier: Even though no one will ever admit they have become lazier because of working from home, people certainly have. Many of my colleagues say they never want to return to the office. Sure, it’s more convenient working from home, but it makes you put much less effort into your days, and life in general. Getting up, getting dressed, packing your lunch, getting in the car/bus/train takes effort, which is actually good for you and makes you more resilient generally.

    Getting up, switching your laptop on in your PJ's takes almost zero effort. Once you become accustomed to making less and less effort in life, everything becomes more difficult. Anything that requires effort becomes less worth doing and people end up doing less and less.

    Example: the older generations such as baby boomers, nothing is too hard for them. They grew up in tough times where every day required lots of physical effort (such as walking to school and work, working on the farm etc) making them much more resilient than todays generation.

    • People become anti-social: It’s not healthy for one’s mental state to only have contact with those you live with e.g. your spouse, kids, immediate family. Having a life outside of the home is crucial for mental health as you interact differently with non-family members. Interaction via Zoom, Skype etc with work colleagues is not anywhere near as beneficial as in person. The less human interaction people get, the less they want over time, people become more reclusive and selfish in an already overly selfish world. Having less human interaction in person makes people lose 'people skills'.

    Many people who only interact with their immediate families at home will never admit they get lonely, yet they actually are. Many don’t even realise they are lonely; happiness dwindles as you only interact with the same people in person day after day. Humans need a wide variety of human interactions to keep our mental health in check. The benefits of human interaction in person are immeasurable when it comes to mental health.

    • +10 votes

      Sure, it’s more convenient working from home, but it makes you put much less effort into your days, and life in general. Getting up, getting dressed, packing your lunch, getting in the car/bus/train takes effort, which is actually good for you and makes you more resilient generally.

      None of which actually has to do with productivity.

      Once you become accustomed to making less and less effort in life, everything becomes more difficult. Anything that requires effort becomes less worth doing and people end up doing less and less.

      Again, this is just some faux-psychology for which there is no evidence. You could easily argue that putting in less effort with other things means that you have more time and energy to spend on more important things.

      Example: the older generations such as baby boomers, nothing is too hard for them. They grew up in tough times where every day required lots of physical effort (such as walking to school and work, working on the farm etc) making them much more resilient than todays generation.

      Again, this is just nonsense for which there is no evidence. How are baby boomers tougher than "today's generation", whatever that actually means? When you say tougher what do you mean by "tougher"?

      Let's not mention that the idea of "working on the farm" is also complete and utter garbage. The overwhelming majority of baby boomers (probably over 95%) have never even set foot on a farm let alone work in one. And "walking to school", what do you think kids today fly to school?

      I don't disagree with your broader point that human interaction is good, but the rest of your arguments are just hokey pokey.

  • +4 votes

    I'd definitely work from home full-time. Working in an office is less productive for me.

  •  

    I didn't think companies were actually forcing people to come into work. What happens if you get infected with Covid during your commute or at the workplace ? Will the companies bear your medical expenses and loss of income ? And if you die ? Seems like valid points to raise and get answered .

    •  

      They're likely also up for WorkCover claims if you sustain an injury or illness of some kind due to working from home, an environment they have very little control over, so it's not an all-or-nothing sort of deal

    •  

      They don't 'force' you.

      They choose language that seemingly sounds like they are on your side,
      or they 'encourage' you to return for benefits like engagement, collaboration, mental health.

      It sounds like returning to work is optional and personal choice for each worker.

      So many workers are bread-winners for their family, and returning to work is a big risk, when there's high unemployment now.

      Also, returning to work is actually a business risk for the company,
      e.g. absent worker needing self-isolation, compensation claims, etc.

      Individual line managers are taking it upon themselves, going against HR even, to force their own team to return.

      I think it's just management on a power-trip or management who realize their management job
      is devalued unless they can be seen drinking coffee at work or attend (useless) meetings.

  • +1 vote

    How many people have had an onsite OH&S inspection of their "Home workspace" ??? ex had a chance to work from home few years ago, they inspected the "office" 3 times before signing off…

    Very few I bet.

    • +2 votes

      My wife had to take photos of her workspace before being approved to work from home, but she had put her request in back in Feb before anyone else had even thought about asking.

  • +1 vote

    This thread seems to be a reflection of what I see at 2 different workplaces, where the majority would like to WFH a whole lot more (judging from the poll result). However, similar to the workplaces, even though the Work From Office (WFO) is a minority, there seems to be similar number of voices coming from WFH vs WFO.

    Personally, I prefer WFH (even though I didn't believe in it pre-COVID). However, it is very very unfortunate that far too many organisational leaders (C-level executives) seem to be advocating to go back to the office (The only exception seems to be tech companies). There are just way to many CEO's out there saying "I can't wait to go back to the office, etc etc", where they are advocating (or even forcing) the staff to go WFO even though many staff may feel very differently.

    • +2 votes

      Are these CEOs of Australian companies or global companies? From what I’ve seen Australian senior managers have some weird hard on about working in the office “come into the office can’t wait to see everyone can’t wait to mingle can’t wait for you to catch COVID and die”. Senior managers of global companies are more open to WFH. But my sample size is small and maybe I’m wrong. Alan Joyce for instance has told bag handlers that they don’t have to go to work anymore for example.

      • +2 votes

        Basically, the managers who want to return:
        - get away from their children / spouse
        - don't trust their workers
        - feel power-less at home (because their spouse is more dominant at home, ie. the manager has their own "manager" at home)
        - because they want their legitimacy back as a manager (power / political games at work )
        - pretend to be busy, with meetings and seminars ( which they put into the "development reviews", but really add no value to the company )

        Although, it's a fine art to manage perceptions of 'working at home',
        it feels harder to 'fake' work at home, because what you produce needs to be seen,
        whereas at work, standing around / talking big / attending meetings is how they fake their input.

      •  

        My new team manager from my new Global Company never liked commuting anyway (or, apparently, wearing collared shirts) so, he was the first one to WFH even before COVID and we had a lovely conversation in the interview that basically said they're really open to WFH even years past COVID :)

      • +1 vote

        The ones I have personal experience in are Aussie companies (one with an Asian presence).

        IMHO, it depends on the CEO personality and how he/she encourages the organisation. That was certainly the case in all CEO interviews I have watched (many are global companies).

        Anecdotally, it could be because many CEO's in the western world are normally outwardly extroverts, who just crave that attention and direct human interaction.

  • +4 votes

    I love WFH but willing to go back to the office for 3-4 days a week next year.

    For me the biggest benefits are:
    -Window seat office with a window that I can actually open, loving the fresh air opposed to the stuffy office.
    -Lunch time strolls with my dog
    -Money savings, no more bought coffees and lunch also barely use any petrol now.
    -No morning alarm clocks, I can sleep until 8 or 8.30 and still login into work by 9
    -Less interruptions and pointless meetings
    -Less stress, people aren't in your face.

    However, I miss:
    -The social interactions
    -Funnily enough the commute. The commute provided the demarcation of the start and finish of the working day. Now everything just blends together into a blur.
    -Less activity and walking around. Once the gyms open I think I will be much happier WFH

    • +1 vote

      I saw something on TV last month,
      about a guy somewhere in Australia (Melbourne?),
      who would put on his business shirt, tie and business shoes on.
      Get in the car.
      Drive to local cafè, grab a coffee and then drive back home.
      Log in to start work.

      He just needed that 10-minute drive, just to break his day
      to remind him of his past, ie. the demarcation between home/work/home.

      ( Mind you, it was funny to see him in a formal shirt and shoes, but still wearing rugby shorts, haha )

      •  

        Love it. Great idea.

  •  

    It will take a bit of adapting, but after a year I think most will be selecting the first option. There are very few limitations, and you would need to run this poll during non-school holiday periods to get a more realistic view of whether this is viable or not.

    As people learn to adapt and just shut off their lives at 9-5 as normal. e.g. when you can actually go to the bar at 5PM instead of continuing to work, the whole poll needs to be redone at that point in time.

    It will be interesting to see the results, but I would think closer to 90% would be for WFH, since it's already that high at the moment. The few resisting just need to learn to go back to 9-5 or find a bigger house (where family is annoying you during the 9-5 work period), maybe move out to the suburbs. It's all good in the end, especially for your retirement plans as you will pay off the house earlier.

    Either way, if you want to stay in the Eastern suburbs or even Inner West-like Marrickville and work from home whilst paying rent. Yeah, that's not exactly the smartest thing to do in terms of the retirement method called FIRE. Ironically though, if one wants to preserve wealth and isn't paying rent, it's best for others to stay in e.g. Edgecliff as there isn't any rent to pay.

    • +1 vote

      Until your employers one day realise they could be having people in other countries do your job for much less money.

  • +1 vote

    One day, our employers might send many jobs offshore because WFH is workable and many people prefer it, better yet let's pay someone in a developing country a fifth of an australian wage, who are willing to forgo their rights and entitlements yet work ~6x or whatever times harder than us, so companies can be profitable.

    •  

      they reduce the costs, by outsourcing hard working workers
      because they want to keep a greater amount of profits/bonuses for themselves
      (while they blame shareholders for their decisions)

      these managers collect 6 - 7 figure salaries (and even a bonus), just to figure out what to outsource.

      the outsourcing model on paper looks good, but in reality it erodes the business processes and reputation,
      there're co-ordination issues, data/privacy security issues, … and even a reduction of overall services.

      The outsourced company, in an effort to keep the contract, exploit the situation too
      just to stay on the payroll, e.g. they perfect the art of 'not fixing' an issue long enough, just to keep the contract going.

      Australian companies need to keep the value inside Australia,
      because then this country can trap the value generated here and grow it here.
      Outsourcing it, shows management are selfish and don't want to share the wealth around with its workers.

      • +1 vote

        The other problem with outsourcing is the quality of English and strong accents that make some people hard to understand.

        The countries that solely speak English as a first language - UK, US, Canada (in part) NZ are rich countries, you don't get an advantage outsourcing to them.

        •  

          Agree with the language barriers and also cultural barriers too.

          The more scary thing to worry about is that in about 10 years' time,
          we'll be talking to a AI / ML bot and reminisce of the good old days of foreign accents.

          Those AI / ML-bots are quite good now actually, at simple conversations.

          The outsourcing to machines, WILL happen, unless there's some enforceable law drafted.

    •  

      That has already been done for most work places.

  • +2 votes

    I think what people really want is pretty simple: choice and flexibility. We all have a preference we expressed in the poll, but circumstances change, either at a macro level (e.g. had a kid) or the micro level (need to look after the kid or have a tradie coming around).

    In an ideal world, employees have the flexibility to adjust their hours or work location, and mangers/business owners can trust their employees not to abuse it and to deliver/be productive. But being realistic, some people or roles are able to do it successfully ongoing, while others made do during the crisis but probably aren't as suitable for anything outside of an ad hoc/occasional stint.

    My employer is defaulting to a 2 days a week at home offer that any manager can approve, and if you want more than that you need to go through the standard/formal process. While my preference as an employee would be 4-5 days personally, as a manager I can understand being cautious with the 'new normal' and taking a few months to measure productivity, HR impacts etc.

    As an ozbargainer however, I cry for all the money I've been saving while WFH coming to an end!

  •  

    I would prefer to work from home during winter and to work on-site during summer.
    I really can't be bothered waking up in the cold weather. But I'm still happy to work from home all the time and I hope that continues until the rest of the year.

    •  

      That's a good balance.

      WFH: April - September (basically when daylight savings starts/ends)
      WFO: October - March (summer months, when it's also more festive time)

      However, there's still a virus out there, and nobody wants a 2nd, 3rd, 4th wave….
      …so better go hard now, for next 3-4 months, and then after that, it becomes smooth sailing,
      instead of choppy stop/start way of managing this.

  • +2 votes

    We never stopped working on site. You guys are lucky to have jobs you can do from home.

    Although don't you worry if your boss realises your job can be done 100 percent off site why not have a country like India do it?

  • +3 votes

    I cannot believe people would exchange extra 1-2 hours of their sleep,
    just to help the company produce more profits, which do not usually flow down to you.

    In fact, reducing their sleep and spending more money on petrol, train tickets, junk food, pub, coffees … most which is not good for you.

    Sleep is such a luxury that we sacrifice and it affects brain development, ageing, romance, … your inner-chi.

    The HUGE benefit of commuting by public transport is the exercise a person gets,
    when walking to/from work and the fresh air the body/brain gets too. There is no substitute for that,
    so if we can balance outdoor exercise with Work From Home, then it's win-win-win.

    Company Win = less rent & costs (electricity for air-conditioning / heating, etc.), increased productivity leading to uplift in reputation
    Employee Win = sleep, personal development, work output, not waiting for communal microwave, sharing communal toilets, no powernapping area at work

    It just becomes difficult to train a new staffer, unless they can sit in at another employee's home…haha

    • -1 vote

      Won't need to when your boss can have someone in India do your job for 10 dollars a day

  •  

    Right now due to COVID and company policy of staff attrition, I am working very late hours, finished last night at 3am and back on deck with 4 hours sleep. I can't do that with an office commute so my reply is simply going to be no and if you don't like it, I'll take a redundancy thank you sir.

  • +1 vote

    didn't get to work from home. Job requires me to meet contractors and site safety in an essential services industry. got to watch collegues work from home, and listen to them complain about.

    there will be 3 types of people to emerge from the whole WFH scenario.

    1. those that got to do it and enjoyed it. they found the work/life balance and family time good and were productive. they relished in the experience.
    2. those that got to do it and didn't enjoy it. they were unable to disconnect and be productive at home and it put a strain on relationships.
    3. those that were 'business' as usual

    group 3 will be the most jaded of all……

  •  

    Tried going to office two days this week and I loved it. I was way more productive. Even though I had a separate study and desk setup to work from home, I now am convinced I enjoy working from office. There are too many distractions at home. Kids, disturbance from wife, requests to do some chores and constant asking of have u finished working for the day and list goes on.

  •  

    Going forward I would like 2-3 days at home with the other in the office.

    I've been very lucky recently as I can choose freely when I'm in the office etc.. It also helps as I live a close 5 minute drive from the office.

    Being stuck in a room cupboard isn't all that great…

  •  

    work. home boring af. no one to chat to apart from family.

  • +3 votes

    Really enjoyed WFH but it’s been made clear that the priority is appeasing the CBD landlords and to get as many people back into the Brisbane CBD as possible so only people with medical needs can WFH in the near future (still managing a couple of days at home but been told that will end). Pity they won’t take the opportunity to transform the economy even if it costs the CBD as there’s also gains in the suburbs to negate that….but I guess a lot of “wealth” tied up in the ‘value’ of the CBD

  • +5 votes

    I realised, I hadn't printed a single document since I started WFH in March..

  • +2 votes

    Peasants should be pleased to work from home. Don't try to pretend you're more hard working in the office and those BS. Here's your once in 100 years opportunity to work from home full time and allows you to save time & money! Or pray for your 1.5% salary increase each year or none at all!

  •  

    While there are huge advantages to working from home I am prone to distraction at home (e.g writing this on ozbargain when I should be working), and ultimately lack the self discipline to so it properly.

    The worst thing was in March/April when we were told to work from home for the first time and significant news stories were being released constantly. It was so hard to stop scrolling through the news and continue working on projects.

    I recently accepted a voluntary offer to come back into the office part time, and while it's a pain getting ready for work/driving to work I have realised that I need this to be a good employee.

    WFH will become a big thing for companies who are on a lease that is nearing an end. For everyone else - where the company owns their building or is on a long term lease, no doubt your working from home days are numbered.

    •  

      companies with long leases have sub-leased, or looking at sub-leasing to smaller companies.
      they get a return on employees' bigger productivity from WFH and they get some money from the empty real-estate in their offices.

      the BIGGEST advantage of WFH is more sleep.

      if someone can't self-discipline to stay focused at home, instead of do the employer's duties,
      then should this employee decide to lose 1-2 hours of sleep,
      so that they can maintain the discipline of being a good employee at another property ?

  • +1 vote

    I've tried 1 on 1 off and WFH on Monday's and Friday's. The 1 on 1 off arrangement resulted in a lot of knives and arrows in my back compared to being away Mon/Fri's only.

  • +2 votes

    Id like a mix.
    I had previously spent several months a year traveling for work, so not at home or at the office all the time.

    I'd like 2-3 days a week at home and also 1-2 days in the office when not traveling, however who knows if that will now be a thing in the future (travel).
    My WFH situation now is less than ideal, most of the months since March and the first lockdown and sadly still WFH and will be for many more months (sadly stuck in melbourne) have been working on the couch, with no real dedicated work space.
    So for me to continue this and have a proper work area its going to cost me more $$ to move elsewhere that is more suited to this ongoing WFH.
    That's not really a cost I wanted to wear in a sense for "the company" and I'd not spend enough other time in another room or area to make it worthwhile, so kind of stuck there.
    Rents maybe dropping but its still more of my money I'd be spending where as I moved in to this current place as I spent so much time traveling or in the office it didn't matter.

    It'd be nice to be back in the office just to see and interact with people, I don't really know many people down here and for the most part haven't heard from the majority of people in the office since the start of the year. Teams I am apart of have varying time zones and we don't zoom or catch up anyway like that, its just email and get the job done.
    The few I know who are WFH with kids and families who did some WFH before this won't be returning to the office as they don't want to, it also means there has been very little contact with them since WFH happened, they just went to ground.

    There seems to be a lot more disconnection, out of 75-80 people between a couple offices there are only about 2-3 that I'd speak with regularly during the week now since this started.
    There has also been a weird expectation that you're available more due to WFH at all hours due to the fact there is no commute and no need to venture in to the office, so calls had been scheduled earlier and later, requests coming through when you'd not expect it normally. Part of "the new normal" (a phrase I Fvcking hate) is that we're needed to be flexible and available for everything, so because another colleague spends all day looking after their kids that means I have to get on a call at 11pm or whatever when they're now starting to do work others would have done during regular office hours.

    •  

      I have found the decline button works well for meeting invites at times I don't want to do them. I'm used to working odd hours as I work for a UK based company. I seem to get a lot of requests to meet after 5:30pm. I just say no, will need to be another day.

      A couple of people that work for us in Melbourne actually decided to move way out. One to somewhere past Geelong, so they get a lot more for less money than they were paying anyway. Always an option is to just move to another location where rents are cheaper. I wouldn't want to move out that far personally. But I'm about 20km from the CBD, and you could get a 3 bedroom house out this way for similar to a one bedroom apartment in the city.

  •  

    Been at home since March and I miss the office. I don't have enough room for a proper dedicated space at home living in a 1br apartment, especially when the partner has to study from home full time as well.

    Prior to COVID used to work from home 1 day a week which was a good balance for me. I respect and understand everyone is different but my preference would be more office based.