Remote working vs. being in the office

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bletchleyite, 14 Jan 2020.

  1. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    I work in the IT Industry and very rarely go into the office these days. My local office is 1/2 hour away but the team office is 2 1/2 hours away. I can go months without seeing a colleague - daily conference calls with WebEx are employed to keep us in communication. When I do go to the team office, I get a lot of "while you're here..." taps on the shoulder so don't actually get a lot of work done. I also work a lot in Data Centres on my own which can be a very lonely job sometimes.
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Almost identical to me!
     
  3. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    I can better that. A little under ten years ago I had a meeting in Nottingham, with a 09:30 start. This involved walking over two miles from my home to Shipley, then a train to Leeds, change for Sheffield, change for Nottingham, then a three mile taxi ride to the site. On arrival there was just one other attendee & the presenter, who then just sent us a PP to go through which took about 20 minutes.

    After a lot of cursing and the 20 minutes, I caught a bus back into Nottingham then wandered around for a bit until the pubs opened for a few on works time beers before heading home!

    At a push I can go from door to home office desk in around 55 minutes, although more realistically it takes about 1h10-1h20 depending on the connections. Until recently I was in every day, but working in an area with a lot of video & standard conference rooms, as well as flex-desks it can get very noisy as visitors roll in & out. Not ideal when I'm coding, and need absolute concentration. So I'm slowly ramping up my home working to 2-3 days a week, and eventually I may head in for a day every other week. We don't really have a team office, face to face meetings are arranged at different sites around the country to give everyone at least one or two short travels.

    And as I said earlier its proving to be very productive for me, I'm already approaching a ten hour day here at Bantamzen HQ, and got a heck of a lot done! So those get banked for maybe an early finish tomorrow. Although on the down side my better half has cottoned on to the fact that I'm better positioned now to do a lot of the household chores when she's at work. But on the flip side again, I am only a few metres away from the wine rack & whiskey cabinet if I'm having a very bad day. Oh well, the rough with the smooth I guess (but not the wine or whiskey)... ;)
     
  4. johntea

    johntea Established Member

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    This reminds me of a project at my last job (education IT) where a guy at Blackpool College became head of IT procurement so when it came to the summer IT hardware refresh a group of colleges including ours could get together for buying power to save a few quid, which meant quite a few trips for me and my boss from Yorkshire to Blackpool

    With the savings we made we managed to knock up an entire new music suite in our college with the spare dosh so they invited us back to Blackpool for an award ceremony, which was basically just a big spread laid on by the catering students and lots of wine :D This was after getting off the train at 10:30am in the morning and the boss insisting we have a couple of pints at a pub before rocking up at the ceremony! Needless to say we were in quite a merry state by 1pm!

    It is one of those memories that will stick with me forever as about a year or so later my boss was playing his flute with his band in a pub one weekend when he suddenly had a heart attack and that was that :( One of the nicest guys I ever had the pleasure of working for taken away far too early, life is certainly too short to be stressing out over work on an evening after you've clocked off for the day!

    It was also a cruel twist as roughly a year before my line manager phoned in to say he would be in a bit late as his wife had insisted he see a doctor for it to turn out he had actually suffered a heart attack himself, although he thankfully survived (still on various medication today though 8 years on!), just to rub further salt in the wound once recovered he came back for a bit before deciding enough was enough and taking early retirement to spend some time with his wife, a year later out of the blue one of his close friends rang me one afternoon to inform me his wife had sadly passed away!
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2020
  5. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    I very much agree.

    A big part of my job is being the expert on a particular topic and on how to get our computer systems to achieve our objectives.

    While I ensure other colleagues are able to do their day to day tasks - every so often something a bit more complicated comes up and if one of us is working remotely I will just end up doing it (or I get someone to write story for it so the engineering team can set us up). But if we are both in the office I will talk them through it.

    And for the really dangerous changes that risk impacting in-store colleagues or customers I like to have the option of getting someone else to watch over my shoulder to make sure I get it right or bounce ideas off.

    But I don't have any problem at all working with our store and field colleagues, support in India and two floors down, engineering in the US and customer teams in the Philippines or scattered across the local big city via email, slack and webex/zoom.

    While we have formal get togethers, I find that they are only good for getting existing problems solved. For driving the business forwards I find the more informal stuff works better provided I allocate my time well and know who to palm off and who to have in depth conversations with.
     

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