Working ✍️ Post-COVID work arrangements

Will your office or department continue to allow people to continue to work from home post-COVID

  • Yes, we will have all staff work from home full time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, we will have some staff work from home full time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, we will have some staff work from home full time, but some in the office full time

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Yes, we will have flexibility for all staff to work from home some of the time

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • No, we will have all staff in the office full time

    Votes: 8 72.7%
  • How the hell should I know, I can't see into the future and I don't make these decisions

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
    11

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,900
Points
57
Last fall we had a similar thread, but now that we are turning the corner with COVID and more and more of us are getting vaccinated, the NEED to work from home is not there anymore and some people are returning to an in office environment. However, there is still the desire among some parts of the work population to remain working from home. Staff around here is mixed in terms of the ability, need, and the desire work from home. I have one staff member who would love to work from home full time. I have another that works from home parks of some days due to a child care issues, and they get frustrated with the person who wants to work from home full time because they don't have kids or a 'need'. I understand both their positions and I want to be flexible and they are both rockstars at their job and the work is unquestionably getting finished, but they both have different reasons for wanting or needing to be in office

On the flip side, another department in the building almost never has anyone in their department and most of what they do is done from home. Their dynamic is a bit different than ours but there are occasions that people will come into wanting to speak with someone from their department, but it is closed.

Some recent studies have shown that working from home is not the best idea for everyone:

On the flip side, others say that people should be able to working from home forever...

However, even some government sectors are looking at the hybrid approach, which might include 3 in office 2 at home days a week.

I am on the fence on how I feel about these trends and which direction I think would be the best in my situation. I think back to Simon Sinek's book Start with Why as well as Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and try to determine if the end result is being achieved in both a work from home and an in office setting. But I am curious as to what you all are doing, what private companies are doing, and what other government departments are doing.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
907
Points
34
No personnel or operational procedures have been adopted for work-from-home- so we'll do a full return to in-person and probably figure it out from there. I'm not saying never, but as a supervisor I really need to minimize the amount of time I spend dealing with the ins and outs and timekeeping of staff. People got a lot of work done from home, but our landlines were never ported to mobile and our office had a dismal record of getting back to people on the phone throughout COVID, with some dropped balls making their way to my boss's office before they got back to me.

People who are scheduled to work in-person are really having a hard time getting in on time, and that has to change before I'm going to spend any energy advocating for work-from-home policies. We will have doors open to the public shortly, and it's a bad look when the public is milling around the office door 30 minutes after scheduled opening time.

I laid down the law with my staff last week, performance this week has been better but spotty. I would have liked to be in a situation where we had a smoother transition figured out and I could offer some work-from-home to my more responsible staff, but it just isn't happening that way, and I've made my peace with it. The work, and the service to the public is job one.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,270
Points
52
We are waiting on official word from the County Executive but it is looking increasingly like we will have the ability to work from home permanently, if it's possible for our position.

Our deputy county executive has already approved some work from Facilities to draw up new plans to rearrange our workspaces, increase the size of some of our cubes, delete others, add some common areas, and build out some "hotel cubes" and I don't think they would even get into these initial exploring stages if they didn't think this was going to be permanent since it still takes budget dollars just to get started.

Our department has never really had much interaction with the public coming in and we began migrating all of the services that our very limited "front counter" offers to online-only quite a while ago so it's not like we need to be there from 8:30 to 4:30 or something like that anyway (we've long been able to largely set our own hours as long as we put in our 37.5 hours a week) and most of us in the department can do 90 - 100% of our job remotely anyway.

Personally, my plan is to keep working from home 3 days a week and going in to the office 2 days, plus extra occasions as needed. I get all my work done without issues when working at home but I do concentrate better at the office and as helpful as I've realized things like Zoom and Skype can actually be, I think collaboration works much better in person.

On a related note: my wife wants us to look into getting high speed internet at the beach house so that I could take the computers and work from there a bunch during the summer but a) I think that I'd feel like I were really slacking if I were doing that and b) I may or may not be looking forward to them going up there and leaving me home alone for a few days at a time.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
5,910
Points
47
Dark sider here (for a frame of reference)...

My firm, or at least my office as a subset of the larger company, generally had a dim view pre-COVID of WFH arrangements for the rank-and-file. That changed when we closed the office last March and kicked everyone out at 5 PM on a Friday - we let the staff that weren't exactly set up for working from home to take whatever computer equipment that needed with them (and from the outside looking in, it would have probably appeared like we were being looted). We finally reopened last week, allowing about 10% capacity for now with a lot of performance theater-ish (i.e. probably unnecessary) measures/rules in place for those that choose to go in (corporate is very risk-adverse). And, our office head has admitted that he doesn't expect things to look the same when we fully reopen as far as day-to-day in-office attendance. Sometimes you just have to pivot...
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,296
Points
35
My agency is still trying to figure it out.

Pre COVID my department (it was agency-wide but not every department used it) had the benefit of WFH one day a week (not everyone could be the same day). So we had some structure in place for 100% WFH, but like Bubba, we probably looked like we were looted the afternoon we were told to go home.

My department director has been impressed with our productivity while WFH and is advocating for a minimum 2-day a week WFH, or even 3. Other departments want butts in chairs. We have mostly offices, so spacing is an issue for only the part-timers. We will work something out, I'm sure - maybe put someone in the small conference room, or maybe in our little coffee/break area that currently has a round table and 2 chairs.
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,449
Points
59
As most of us are in government, it is likely we will all be back in the office generally.

I think government can be done from home, but the services we provide, generally, require face to face interactions. Those need to continue to be available to those who do not have the internet or are unable to understand the how and why of government.
 
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