"New Normal" Work Schedules

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Popeye_Card
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"New Normal" Work Schedules

Post by Popeye_Card »

I recently read that some companies are moving towards permanent 60:40 work weeks - 3 days in the office, 2 days telecommuting. An interesting compromise, where you still have set days with people in the office for in-person collaboration, with 2 days being more flexible.

Looking in the macro, there's pros and cons if such schedules are widely adapted. Pros: Less traffic congestion and transportation fuel use. Cons: there would likely be a big impact to restaurants that rely upon business lunch crowds.

Anyway, consider this a thread to discuss different work schedules than the "standard business" 5 x 8 = 40 hour work week.

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Fat_Bulldog
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Re: "New Normal" Work Schedules

Post by Fat_Bulldog »

It has to be the new normal for companies to be competitive in keeping good talent.

I read a Gartner report/analysis that organizations might lose up to 30% of their talent if they expect employees to go back to 5 days a week in the office. I think it's true.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: "New Normal" Work Schedules

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

I don't understand people that want to work from home. When I do that, I feel like I'm constantly working. I want to go to work, get my [expletive] done (like post on GRB) and then go home and not worry emails, phone calls, etc etc etc until the next day. For me, the physical separation acts as a strong mental separation as well. And, when I have the computer open on the dining room table and get emails even at 7 PM, let alone at lunch, I am very tempted to take care of it right then.

I realize I'm probaly in the minority, but I despised working from home with a passion.

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Fat_Bulldog
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Re: "New Normal" Work Schedules

Post by Fat_Bulldog »

I love working from home. I get 2 hours of my life back everyday without the hassle of commuting and stress of dealing with people.

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mikechamp
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Re: "New Normal" Work Schedules

Post by mikechamp »

AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:
March 9 21, 10:32 am
I don't understand people that want to work from home. When I do that, I feel like I'm constantly working. I want to go to work, get my [expletive] done (like post on GRB) and then go home and not worry emails, phone calls, etc etc etc until the next day. For me, the physical separation acts as a strong mental separation as well. And, when I have the computer open on the dining room table and get emails even at 7 PM, let alone at lunch, I am very tempted to take care of it right then.

I realize I'm probaly in the minority, but I despised working from home with a passion.
It's certainly not for everyone, but my observation has been that the separation you mention is fading in many jobs.

For instance, I always used to keep my cell number personal. Briefly had 2 phones; one for work and one for personal. Now, my personal number is an all-inclusive number. Work, personal, new business venture, contract work (that falls under the first "work" umbrella), etc.

Since I've been working from home for nearly 11 years, my advice on this is you have to be disciplined to not check e-mail or do work. The boundaries become self-imposed instead of physical, like you mention.

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Popeye_Card
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Re: "New Normal" Work Schedules

Post by Popeye_Card »

AWvsCBsteeeerike3 wrote:
March 9 21, 10:32 am
I don't understand people that want to work from home. When I do that, I feel like I'm constantly working. I want to go to work, get my [expletive] done (like post on GRB) and then go home and not worry emails, phone calls, etc etc etc until the next day. For me, the physical separation acts as a strong mental separation as well. And, when I have the computer open on the dining room table and get emails even at 7 PM, let alone at lunch, I am very tempted to take care of it right then.

I realize I'm probaly in the minority, but I despised working from home with a passion.
For me, there were certainly advantages and disadvantages to working from home. I don't have a long commute in the first place (I'm house to desk in less than 10 minutes), and I like being with my team for the camaraderie. Working at home allows me to be more flexible to help my wife throughout the day, but that also can be a distraction too. If we went to a 60:40 ratio, I'd probably like having the flexibility, but I would likely still go into the office at least 4 of the 5 days. For me, I am best with keeping a standard in-office schedule, just with greater flexibility to work from home as needs arise. That's the unspoken agreement I've come to with my boss, and what I apply with my staff.

I will say that as a manager, keeping up with telecommuting employees is much tougher. You have to make an effort to routinely check in on everyone to make sure they are keeping busy and engaged. You have to have a greater level of trust that they are getting their work done, without micromanaging them - easier to do with established employees than folks that are newer to your group. Staff meetings are fairly easy to run in a Microsoft Teams, but they don't have the same feel as having everyone in the room - people are not as willing to speak up, etc. I've always been a big fan of "water cooler talk" for my team too. Getting to know your co-workers on a personal level is critical to building trust and teamwork. That is much harder to do when everyone is telecommuting, especially for new members of the team.

Anyway, I'm a proponent of semi-rigid work schedules, with available flexibility for corporate environments. 60:40 seems like a decent compromise, as long as everyone's 3 days in the office are the same days.

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G. Keenan
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Re: "New Normal" Work Schedules

Post by G. Keenan »

I consider myself lucky to be able to work from home for the past year, but personally I prefer going into the office. I'm a person who really requires external motivation, otherwise I'll spend too much time daydreaming, reading, and posting. The structure of an office environment is good for me. It's also just easier to have the stuff you get in an office close to hand, like filing cabinets, big office printer, supplies, etc.

Beyond that, I miss the change of scenery. I miss the energy of being downtown, being able to meet up with friends for a happy hour after work, people watching on the bus or train while I drink my coffee.

Chicago is a beautiful city. I don't really get to experience that when I never have to leave my own neighborhood, which I have done maybe 6 times in the past year. Every amenity I need is a 10 minute walk from my front door so I really can just stay in a 5-block radius and not have to go anywhere.

But the sameness of work from home gets to me. Every day is the same. It's too monotonous.

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