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Dell said return to the office or else—nearly half of workers chose “or else”

DrQ

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1Kflyerguy

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My employer is rolling out a return to work mandate. My team is currently supposed to back in office two days a week, then bumping up to 3 days in September. There is definitely more people back onsite, but I know many people are not thrilled.

Personally I live close by and am happy to be back in the office.

I believe they are tracking our badges to see how often we access the offices or move around the campus. But I am not certain of that, and I know other tech companies are using the IP address of the computer your working from...

Our salary is tied to location, and remote workers generally earn less.. I am sure for some its worth the lower pay rate.
 

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Before I was laid off, I was happy to return to the office BUT I used to have a cubicle that was my home.

After the pandemic, we went to a reservation system. I could still get the same cubicle, but I had to shlep everything in and out that day as the work area had to be empty at the end of the day for sterilization. At least we still had the cubical walls for some level of privacy. The new build-outs were open floor plans, which I despise.
 

Ralph Sir Edward

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Retired now, but on my last contract, at the end they wanted me in the office 3 days a week. There was no rational reason for that, all the other people in my work team were in other time zones than I was in, thousands of miles away. Everything was phone and zoom, either way. What espirit de corp was there in going into a 90% empty open layout office, with the few there having no clue as to what i was doing?
 
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Tia

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A friend's sister works for Corporate Walmart IT and they recently told all the employees back to the office or no job. One of them had just moved to Atlanta.
 

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Maybe many of those Dell workers don't want get promoted. It is overrated in my opinion. They promoted me to manage 25 people without really asking. They basically told me I was the interim manager. After 2 years and they were ready to make it permanent I didn't even apply. Not sure if they were shocked or not. It was 50% more nonsense for $3 more an hour. $72 to $75. That amount is a joke.
 

DrQ

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Maybe many of those Dell workers don't want get promoted. It is overrated in my opinion. They promoted me to manage 25 people without really asking. They basically told me I was the interim manager. After 2 years and they were ready to make it permanent I didn't even apply. Not sure if they were shocked or not. It was 50% more nonsense for $3 more an hour. $72 to $75. That amount is a joke.
Promotion does not necessarily mean managing people or budgets. Many companies have technical career tracks. In my field, the golden ring was Senior Principal Engineer or in some companies a Fellow. You have an equivalent grade as a VP.

I've been a team lead and I agree, it's not for me, but planning and executing projects, that's another matter.
 

TolmiePeak

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Promotion does not necessarily mean managing people or budgets. Many companies have technical career tracks. In my field, the golden ring was Senior Principal Engineer or in some companies a Fellow. You have an equivalent grade as a VP.

I've been a team lead and I agree, it's not for me, but planning and executing projects, that's another matter.

The higher you get the more nonsense you have to deal with. Management or not. I believe it generally isn't worth the hassle. It is better to lay low.
 

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The higher you get the more nonsense you have to deal with. Management or not. I believe it generally isn't worth the hassle. It is better to lay low.
You want fries with that?
 

Roger830

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The higher you get the more nonsense you have to deal with. Management or not. I believe it generally isn't worth the hassle. It is better to lay low.

Being retired, I'm not up to date on current policy, but when my wife and I were in management in different companies, the bonus and retirement benefits were much better than the lower level positions.
 

Seaport104

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Wow did the companies all attend a meeting and agree the past week to tell all their employees to return to the office or else? My team and I have been in the office 1x a week since summer of 2021 so that someone was physically present M-F. the past 2 years, it's been 2-3 days a week. The past week they just told us 5 days a week! I completely understand and the general consensus amongst employees is a hybrid work model of 3 days a week works great for both sides. 5 days is just brutal considering the commute to NYC
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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The higher you get the more nonsense you have to deal with. Management or not. I believe it generally isn't worth the hassle. It is better to lay low.
I've been self-employed since November 2002. I do not have any credit or working capital requirements. Apart from taxes, the only nonsense I have to deal with is of my own making.
 

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My former employer, a Fortune 200 semiconductor manufacturer, also just this week announced a change from 3 day on site hybrid to 4 days on site. I believe employees should be given an option of less pay to be on site less, where feasible.
 

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Being retired, I'm not up to date on current policy, but when my wife and I were in management in different companies, the bonus and retirement benefits were much better than the lower level positions.

Sure, it's much better to be in management.
I'm also retired but if I had to go back to the corporate world I'd rather work from home .... or "else"
 

Snazzylass

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My employer is rolling out a return to work mandate. My team is currently supposed to back in office two days a week, then bumping up to 3 days in September. There is definitely more people back onsite, but I know many people are not thrilled.

Personally I live close by and am happy to be back in the office.

I believe they are tracking our badges to see how often we access the offices or move around the campus. But I am not certain of that, and I know other tech companies are using the IP address of the computer your working from...

Our salary is tied to location, and remote workers generally earn less.. I am sure for some its worth the lower pay rate.
Yes! You should expect your employer is tracking you! Wells Fargo just let go a bunch of their Wealth Mngt people for faking work - it was tied to their keyboards. I saw this happen at my former employer a few years when we were mostly WFH. A mgr was let go for not being at his post - not surprised. A very talented individual but I could tell he was burnt out years ago.
 

rickandcindy23

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Yes! You should expect your employer is tracking you! Wells Fargo just let go a bunch of their Wealth Mngt people for faking work - it was tied to their keyboards. I saw this happen at my former employer a few years when we were mostly WFH. A mgr was let go for not being at his post - not surprised. A very talented individual but I could tell he was burnt out years ago.
Our DIL is an internal operations auditor for Wells Fargo and has to travel for work. She is now supposed to travel more this year to look over the shoulder of a new person doing the same job who is claiming a bunch of overtime hours. Our DIL won't get anything extra for figuring out why this other person is taking so much time to do the same job others are doing without overtime.
 

pedro47

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How do you supervise someone from home? Is the work output the same or have it increase productivity from working at home?
Retired over 24 years.
 

PigsDad

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Being retired, I'm not up to date on current policy, but when my wife and I were in management in different companies, the bonus and retirement benefits were much better than the lower level positions.
That is not necessarily the case in all companies, and certainly not in high-tech companies. In the IT company I retired from a couple years ago, there was a dual ladder for employees, and you certainly did not need to get into a people management role to receive higher salaries / bonuses / perks. Some of the highest compensated people in our part of the company were high-level architects and designers. The old adage that you had to get into management in order to advance in a company is long gone these days.

Kurt
 

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How do you supervise someone from home? Is the work output the same or have it increase productivity from working at home?
Retired over 24 years.
Same as you would if you were all in an office: set goals with your employees, and compare them to the results they produce. Does a manager need to physically be looking over your shoulder in order to do that?

As for the work output, when my company went to basically everyone working from home due to Covid, after about six months they reported that overall productivity had increased. This was mostly due to people not separating home and work life, working more in the evenings, etc. In fact, productivity had increased to the point that upper management was seriously concerned about burning out employees. They initiated several guidelines and programs to address the potential burnout such as stating no meetings after 6pm (where possible), encouraging a separation of work and home and "log off" at a regular time every day, etc.

Kurt
 

pedro47

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Same as you would if you were all in an office: set goals with your employees, and compare them to the results they produce. Does a manager need to physically be looking over your shoulder in order to do that?

As for the work output, when my company went to basically everyone working from home due to Covid, after about six months they reported that overall productivity had increased. This was mostly due to people not separating home and work life, working more in the evenings, etc. In fact, productivity had increased to the point that upper management was seriously concerned about burning out employees. They initiated several guidelines and programs to address the potential burnout such as stating no meetings after 6pm (where possible), encouraging a separation of work and home and "log off" at a regular time every day, etc.

Kurt
So much have changed in the passed twenty years. IMHO
 

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I work for a Federal Agency as a contractor. I started there during COVID and have had to be in the office every day, though in the last year they are letting us work from home once a week. I thought it was really silly during COVID that I had to sit in my office with a mask on, but there you go.
 

moonstone

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How do you supervise someone from home? Is the work output the same or have it increase productivity from working at home?
Retired over 24 years.
Our DD is a professional planner with a township about 2hrs north of Toronto. A lot of her work requires looking at maps but luckily the township has some very detailed ones online so she can work from almost anywhere. During Covid her office switched to work from home for the most part, (a very few staff members went in on rotating days) and after things started to resume to normal the management decided to allow staff to continue working from home 1 or 2 days a week (but not a Monday or Friday). They found that productivity was up when staff worked from home. Building and other permits and were processed faster and emails from the citizens were answered faster. Since employees need to log into the office portal to do their work, either from home or at the office, the IT guy can tell how many hours a person is logged on, and if he wanted to, he could see what websites they are looking at and for how long. One of the young new clerks in the building dept was recently given a written warning after it was discovered she was using some contraption she bought on Amazon that made her mouse appear to be moving to look like she was working. It is a pad that she sets her mouse on that is connected to the laptop and makes it appear the mouse is moving and clicking on pages. What will they think of next?

Our DD says in part she is getting a lot more done because she doesnt have staff stopping in at her office to see what she's doing, her plans for the weekend, or where they should go for lunch. She can do Zoom meetings with residents, builders, lawyers or others, and that saves a lot commuting time for all parties, time she can spend working on other files. In the beginning she was working through her lunch hour, stopping to walk the 6 feet to her kitchen to make a sandwich and then eating it at her desk but she found she was getting too many headaches and feeling burned out, so she started walking around her subdivision for 30-45 minutes each day during her lunch break. The thing she really enjoyed was the ability to sleep in an extra hour on WFH days as she had a 30 second commute instead of a 50 minute one, which was even better in the winter!


~Diane
 

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Personally when I was asked how often I'd like to regularly come back to the office I said "when there's something I have to touch with my hands to get it to work". It turns out this happens very rarely. When they tried to get me to commit to a couple times a month I said "I'm going to start looking for other fully remote options". That put an end to that. Now I go in if I'm already in town for something like a doctors appointment or if I want to mostly shoot the shit with some co-workers I'm friendly with and want to go out to lunch. Otherwise, I work from where I am, as described in a lot of my trips from this forum.

It does depend on your job - there are some jobs that are almost entirely carrying stuff from one place to another and plugging it in correctly. However, when they tried going in once a week just after COVID and I was seeing no one in the office and on zoom calls, after 3 weeks I was like - why am I in this office? Luckily management agreed and at least for now it's the "new normal". The biggest push now is to have a monthly lunch on the last Friday of the month, I guess to hang out. I'll go if I'm in the area and don't have other engagements.

I guess I'm happy that management has decided to explicitly make it about a social hour, but TBH I wish they'd just get some more friends lol.
 

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I was reading some of the Ars comments, and some other benefits I imagine someone must be seeing (at my work) is we were completely out of space. We didn't have the budget to build more offices, we got another old building cheap and filled that in a couple months, we ran out of parking spaces during most times so people were trying to show up at 7:30AM to get parking. Since going hybrid / mostly WFH for a bunch of people, and onsite if your particular task that day requires it - we're still fighting over "real estate" that no one sits in (IDK, management fiefdoms I guess?) but some space was freed up, there's always parking for when you need to stop by for a hour (we went from 95% capacity most of the time and 100% full when busy to 66% capacity when busy), and most everyone is more happy with the basically "free raise" from way less gas / commute costs.

For the Dell / other company thing - there's this persistent management belief (that I think is more delusion) that people in the office are working because they're in the office. And managing / setting metrics by physical presence means that's what you get from people. People work to the metric, it's why it's so tricky to do KPIs etc. So you end up with people coming in at 7 and leaving at 6, but they're taking 2 hour lunches, hanging out at the water cooler or in a break room for a long time, shooting the shit for hours with co-workers, watching youtube or playing on reddit or facebook etc. Because if you're "grading" on being there instead of what is getting done, people will have the most enjoyable "being there" they can - they're getting paid to be physically there, not get something accomplished.

OTOH - if you're doing "grading" on getting projects done, or customers served, or items shipped, or ad campaigns completed, or problems solved etc... that doesn't need you to be in a specific place for lots of it and works if they're in person or remote. Better for the company is you're tying pay to getting hopefully important stuff done rather than hours in a particular chair.
 

PcflEZFlng

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I was an IT project manager, retired since 2018. In 2013 I left my long-time employer, a national health insurance company, where I commuted to a mostly empty office just to be on video calls with colleagues across the country. Since I hosted most of the calls, it was painful trying to set up calls across four time zones during a narrow window of time when most could attend, and having to get people to alter their schedules. I also missed having personal interactions, which had been more prevalent there prior to around 2010.

So, I joined a local health care provider organization that operates only in the county I live in. Although many of the technical staff worked from home 3-4 days/week, it was still far easier to coordinate activities and get work done. I also worked from home one day a week, choosing Fridays so I could avoid commuting on the worst traffic day of the week. For me, it was a nice combination of in-office/at-home work. I'm glad it was that company I retired from.
 
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