The 1 word you can add to job ads to get more applicants. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
I’m fortunate to work in IT in a non-management role. I login early...in my pajamas. It’s fantastic! Do I miss the social aspect of being physically in the office? Sometimes. But I do not miss the commute (wasted time or the traffic!), packing a lunch every day, and having to use my early morning hours for looking more “professional.”
I've been working remotely for over ten years, and I'll never go back. I do enjoy the occasional business trip and in-person connections - I think they are very valuable and necessary, especially in certain industries. The work I get done at home, and the quality of life I lead, are not mutually exclusive. I am a far more productive and happier person working remotely.
My group went fully remote in early March 2020, after having been zero remote, pre-covid. In June last year we became "hybrid-2", which means we're in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays and remote the rest of the time.
We're in 2 days a week because "the best ideas happen in the unplanned interactions we have with our colleagues" and " mumble, mumble, something culture". Put another way, we're in two days a week because we have senior management who feel that if they can see you, you must be working harder.
During Covid we moved to a brand new building where none of us have a home. We're all hot desking, with a first come first served approach. The reality of that is that none of us necessarily sit near anyone we work directly with, so I spend a lot of my Mondays and Tuesdays wandering around hoping for those unplanned interactions :) All in all, my team and I are happier when we're remote.
There is a large percentage of people who cannot work remotely. The percentage with “clout” who are managers need to remember that being remote from your team leads to less collaboration and less creative time. Some will say, “but we have ZOOM!” Doesn’t work with creativity and brainstorming.
There is also a feeling of resentment with those who cannot work remotely, and still pay transportation, lunches and other costs (daycare). Those with “clout” probably have a better means to pay and yet don’t have to.
For a federal employee like me, this is a hotly and publicly debated topic, one that even made the 7 other things list on here yesterday. My office is currently on a hybrid schedule, 1 day in the office, 4 remote. Much like Kevin mentioned in his post, I rarely see or interact with my team in the office. When we are in the office, we connect over teams anyway because everyone comes in on different days of the week. The federal government has a recruitment and retention problem, one I have seen first hand when 4 people of our 20 person division left in the last 4 months. Forcing people back to the office will definitely inflame those existing problems not make them better.
Also, as a fed, I have 0 clout. Trust me.
The vegetarian article under 7 things is spot on. We’ve shopped Whole Foods exclusively for 20 years. We average $250/week for 3 people (including fish twice weekly, eggs and craft artisan cheeses) and we have wonderful meals. An Instapot and Zojirushi rice cooker make bean and rice prep a snap. We keep 4-5 different rides and as many different dried beans in the pantry.
Cooking with umami is something anyone can learn. It is basically transferring seasoning techniques from meat to other foods. A convection roasting oven helps. I’ve even learn how to marinate, season and seer tofu in many ways outside of an Asian influence. Middle Eastern and African (think Ethiopian)cooking techniques are also helpful. Fish sauce, blackened seasoning, wine, an assortment of dried herbs (fresh in season), miso, an assortment of condiments from different areas of the world…all these contribute.
We are not vegan which eliminates any animal products. We love fish, butter, eggs, cheese and honey too much!
Re: remote work. Unless you manage high level people or have a job that can clearly be measured from output and KPIs you are pretty much left out of 100% remote work opportunities. If you manage staff you need to be around them unless they are high level.
Starting in March 2020 our entire company worked remote for 27 months. Now, we work hybrid of 2 office days and 3 remote days. I look forward to my remote days, bue the social aspect of the office is enjoyable. I will say, we lost several good employees who found jobs that are 100% remote. Most of them had small children at home so it's understandable. To each his own.
I am part of the 10% who can work from anywhere (in theory). My husband is a fire captain, part of the 50% that must work onsite. So I work from home:) Post pandemic I decided to take on a role as an independent contractor which puts me onsite at a residential facility 1 day a week. I chose to do this for several reasons, not the least of which was for some direct contact and interaction with clients and colleagues. However, my experience is similar to other comments. It’s harder to have unscheduled or direct interactions than it was in past past. Despite the fact that a residential mental health facility requires onsite/in person work, the increased flexibility therapists demand means they work from home 1-2 days a week when they are “doing notes” or speaking with families by phone. That means the days they are onsite are packed with back to back sessions and one or two meetings. So I almost never see them or interact with them in those impromptu or casual situations. Even though I am there and working with many of their clients I still must email or text to connect. I get why these roles need and want the flexibility. This is a high burnout job. However, we haven’t figured out this hybrid work yet. I believe it does take away from the quality of work and collaboration. The benefits of flexibility are diminished a bit by a less supportive, cohesive and collaborative environment. This is a hard job to do on an island. Mental health workers need more than flexibility. They need a work culture that recognizes the need for flexibility while facilitating interaction, support and collaboration.
Until August I worked entirely remote for a company for 2 years. I managed a small team who also worked remotely. The idea that company culture can't be developed through a remote team is false. We recognized that an in-office environment would naturally allow for casual conversation around the coffee pot and built it in to our regular meetings. Even after leaving that role, I still connect regularly online with my former team because we became very close. I'd argue that working remotely was great for our company: low overhead, intrinsic flexibility not only shown to our workers but by our workers because it was given both ways, higher productivity because we had less interruptions during the day, and an intentionality about what we chose to do because we were being paid to accomplish work not warm seats from 8-5.
I’ve worked from home since 2020 and will never commute again. Thankfully, the company I work for has always been an online, remote business. WFH for the win!
Hmm. I oversee a center and the enterprise is trying its best to retain talent since working remotely doesn’t work for everyone. Since 2022 Some have left, some we have accommodated and it is “the new normal”. Personally with clout and for personal reasons I have elected to work from my second home out of state for half the month. Recognizing “the boss leads by example” I am still available 24:7. I schedule my key interactions for those 10 working days on site. Not ideal but I GET IT DONE. great for my mental health I just enjoy the flexibility. So far so good.
I am working remote and toward the end of my career. My commute was horrendous. When I realized I will retire rather than going back to a five day commute, I calculated how many hours I was on the road commuting - it was the equivalent of 2 1/2 years. I am fortunate that I am still remote working. We will go to hybrid but how has not yet been decided. I love my job. I interact daily with my colleagues. Overall we have seen an increase in productivity across the organization, processes adapted, new tools implemented to collaborate remotely. The key is realizing that how you collaborate, foster culture, etc. changes but it doesn’t go away. Some things take more effort while some things become effortless. Front line workers have adapted faster and more so then decision makers but almost three years in they are coming along.
We shut down our 2 offices (in 2 different states) during the pandemic and it just so happened that both leases expired in July 2020. We did not renew them and all employees (24 in all) continue to work from home. We will never go back to offices as it has been seamless with emails, zoom and occasional facr to face at someone's home or a coffee shop. I am the boss and stay in my work out clothes until around noon.
My retirement date is so long ago that remote work was still a novelty. In my area of responsibility, circumstances were not conducive to remote work. Therefore, I missed the supervisory nuances of managing remote workers. I can imagine many procedures and protocol challenges but I am not qualified to address them. Maybe, a look at the remote worker situation from a different perspective would be instructive for some of your subscribers.
I have worked from home since early 2008. As I told someone else recently, for me it's not a luxury, it's a lifestyle.
So yes, a job listing that says "remote" is more likely to catch my attention and have me apply to it.