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Even though we didn't miss a beat transitioning during our busiest month ever (March) and have been extremely successful in moving virtually our entire fairly large office (300ish employees) home, our company is aggressively trying to get everyone back in the office in phases starting after July 4th. We just recently moved into an open office environment with exactly 6' between most employees and only chest high walls.

I am curious what other companies are doing or planning to do in the short term for these types of businesses that can be effectively done remotely. Things are obviously subject to change but I am curious what others are hearing/seeing at this stage.

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I work for a pretty large (17,000) global technology company. 

We’ve seen a surge in productivity with us across the board through all of this, so we actually closed more than half of our offices globally and most of us who are not client facing will be forced to go remote. 

Packing my shit next month and moving to the mountains! 

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I work for a big (50k+) global science company.  Each region is different of course but we are in no hurry to bring the office people back to the buildings.  In fact, if they were to try and force me to return to a build and be within 6' of someone in an open environment, I'd consider that a good reason to look for another job.  It's just a job but it's a hard sell to justify bringing people together in this environment.  One case of a positive Covid-19 test in the building and they will have to shut it down.  If that case of Covid-19 results in a single transmission to someone else, how is their company brand going to handle that and show they did everything possible to prevent it?

 

@bestbike85 - you know you're going to miss the heat in those cold mountains!

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Posted (edited)

I work for a state agency. we have a pretty large campus close to Walnut Creek metro park, so you can guess what that is. We were all sent home in early March but required to use our own computers to work at home. I have only been in the office briefly once. I work as a sort of public educator and most of our program is online, so the transition to work from home was easy. I usually attend conferences where I set up a table in an exhibit hall and hand out literature about the program, but all of those events have been canceled. I have no reason to go into the office. we are using MS Teams for virtual meetings now.

it sounds like they are in no hurry to send us back into the office. we're getting everything done within reason from home, and probably saving taxpayers money by not filling offices with people using electricity, plumbing, toilet paper, etc. I think this will mark a major shift in how many office and state agencies operate.

to be honest, the only thing that matters to me is that I don't have to spend 90 minutes sitting on MOPAC every day!

Edited by mack_turtle

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We are actually part of a global corporation (5k+). The Austin management seems to get it but we take orders from Corporate. Our CEO hates WFH.

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My Company (Local HQ has 200+ people and another 1k+ in global offices)  had opened May 11 but strictly only those who wanted. The CEO and the CFO showed up that day here in Austin,, 5 others showed up. 2 guys left when they were told there was no coffee or snacks available.  Since then the average is less than 10 people per day in the Austin office. The demographics of those folks are young and single people BTW , except the CEO and CFO. 

When I do go in , It is @ night or maybe the weekend. When they do open for earnest someday ( no immediate plan) The desks will be arraigned different and teams will be split , meaning if you choose to come in, then you will be assigned a day you can do so. 

I polled some friends in various tech roles. One guy in a downtown office told me their company did good WFH and so they let their lease lapse. Another friend of mine said their lease was up in July and it is likely going to not be renewed and they will do a full transition to WFH

Neighbors of mine who work around the Domain were told not to return to work until January. Wife who works for UT is home for the unknown future. My dogs are happy. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Self employed and back at office. Currently excelling at social distancing🤣

 

IMG_20200617_132125531_HDR.jpg

Edited by ATXZJ
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1 hour ago, mack_turtle said:

I usually attend conferences where I set up a table in an exhibit hall and hand out literature about the program, but all of those events have been canceled.

My job is largely to build websites, help market, setup registration/payment, badging, etc. for conferences. Obviously, we haven't been onsite in months as all group gatherings have been cancelled. We do have one on the books for mid-July in Orlando, and the client is still going full steam ahead. Should be interesting. 

We are doing a bunch of virtual meetings and stuff for clients, which is easy to do remotely. I've only been up to my actual office to pick up a few things to better work from home. We were pretty good at working from home or on the road already, so that hasn't been a big deal. We have a pretty sweet deal on our office space, so I'd hate to let it go, but we might have to if everyone wants to continue working from home. It's a good deal for office space, but overkill for storage space, which right now is all it is being used for. 

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55 minutes ago, Cafeend said:

. 2 guys left when they were told there was no coffee or snacks available.  

Have they gotten new jobs yet? I hope they don't sue your company! 😉

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I have new offices waiting for me. I refuse to go back until all restrictions are lifted. I'm not wearing a mask to work. I'm an IT Director with reports all over the US and in Europe. I'll be working from home till the foolishness is over.

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Self employed. One of my primary customers (small public tech company) has pushed everyone remote. The CEO was never a big fan of WFH but apparently is allowing it for now. The funny part is that I find people more responsive these days than I had in the past when they were in an office environment. 

My other client develops online content and my writing has shifted from data center topics to more about home networks/remote networking.

At AustinBike World Headquarters there has been a decidedly hard focus on making sure all of the correspondents are on a bike as much as possible. But on streets. Had my first endo in a long time yesterday. Some bonewipe (who later said "hey dude I know the rules of the road") almost took me out. Spectacular nosewheelie on lockup and a flip over the bars on pavement. That never happened in the office. 

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We were in the middle of moving out of the UFCU building when the lockdown hit. That of course delayed construction in the new offices. We have ~70 people here in Austin, and I really pushed to have everyone just continue to work from home. The savings would be huge. We provide Cisco DMVPN routers, and Cisco video VOIP phones, so everyone is fully functional. Everyone has a Windows 10 desktop in VDI, and full M365 E3 licensing. 

I got shot down, even though the savings would have allowed me to re-hire some of the good people we lost due to this crap.

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The UFCU building on Mopac? Used to work there and rode my bike to work every days. Those were good times. Until the company went belly up.

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My smaller company is 100% WFH right now. Trying to get to a point where people can elect to come back safely. A few of the younger folks have no home office and crappy internet connections and want to come back in. I'm expecting most to to WFH for as long as possible. My only real reason to go back would be for hiring/training type stuff. I don't know how do that remote but maybe we can figure that out too. It's been smoother than I expected. Glad I didn't upgrade our office space last year.

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35 minutes ago, AustinBike said:

The UFCU building on Mopac? Used to work there and rode my bike to work every days. Those were good times. Until the company went belly up.

We were in there for 13 years. Things got better when UFCU bought the building, but then rent almost doubled. People going south on Mopac had a hell of a time getting out of there. Terrible planning.

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Yeah, if it was raining and I drove, I would just shoot out onto the feeder and head over to Burnet and go south from there.

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4 hours ago, Tree Magnet said:

 

@bestbike85 - you know you're going to miss the heat in those cold mountains!

Just wait until my 15-20 miles morning rides from my garage go from brushy creek to Waterton Canyon! From almost running over fluffy cotton tail rabbits, to running away from big horn sheep! 

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I work for a large multinational tech company.  I already had a flex schedule and a great boss who didn't care when or how I got my job done as long as it got done.  I worked from home every morning every day.   Being a HW guy though, I do have lab work but maybe only 20% of the time.  How it's working now, is pretty much people that don't have lab work can WFH 100% of the time.  Some people chose to go to work every day, and are happy to do the "please reset this switch" or "please plug this port to that port" kind of thing for others WFH.  We are probably at less than 5% building occupancy but maybe at 20-25% lab occupancy.  We have good spacing in the lab.  The cubes are another story with chest high walls and not much space between us.  Small meeting rooms are down to 1 person occupancy but everyone pretty much just uses Webex all the time. We could all be at the office but everyone is joining remotely.  With an international team, that is very normal for us.  Productivity within our group is 100% I'd say. We already have single employees in cities all over the world with no local office.  These are people that have no reason to meet in person or go into the lab:  project managers, CAD, app software people, sales people (they travel anyway, most already had a home office even if there's a local office).

I predict they will get rid of assigned cubes (i.e. one cube per employee) and will go to larger cubes that are shared.  I think most meeting rooms will go away.  I already saw this in our India office (a technology showcase campus) with very cool tech.  You have a locker for your stuff if you need it, then you sign-into your phone where you will sit down.  The large TV screen maps update with your name on that location.  Meetings in meeting rooms show up in the map by name.  

I brought my nice 4k monitor home back in March, which was really the only perk for sitting in my cube.  I think I'm less distracted at home.

We have to sign-in for showing up to work and we have to have executive approval to go into the office.  We are supposed to wear masks inside and keep 6ft distancing.

I'm watching for how things go if more people start showing up regularly, how things are looking in the city and our area, and how much people are being respectful.

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Just wait until my 15-20 miles morning rides from my garage go from brushy creek to Waterton Canyon! From almost running over fluffy cotton tail rabbits, to running away from big horn sheep! 

And those winter rides to look forward to.

Sour grapes, I’m truly just jealous.
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5 hours ago, TheX said:

I have new offices waiting for me. I refuse to go back until all restrictions are lifted. I'm not wearing a mask to work. I'm an IT Director with reports all over the US and in Europe. I'll be working from home till the foolishness is over.

I sure hope your co-workers and leadership chain are aware of your perception of "the foolishness".

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2 minutes ago, TAF said:

I sure hope your co-workers and leadership chain are aware of your perception of "the foolishness".

I'm very up front with them. I told them I won't be back there till it's over. We allow each other to have different opinions...like adults.

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I built a nice home office at one end of my bike room - stand up desk, dry erase board, huge monitors, and getting it hard-wired this week. Not planning to return to the workplace unless they really make a deal out of it - in fact, I plan to be remote out of Colorado for part of the year, going forward.

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7 hours ago, TAF said:

I built a nice home office at one end of my bike room - stand up desk, dry erase board, huge monitors, and getting it hard-wired this week. Not planning to return to the workplace unless they really make a deal out of it - in fact, I plan to be remote out of Colorado for part of the year, going forward.

I'd love to work from Portland in the summers but Colorado is another choice.

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The very small sampling on this thread shows how much things will change in America. 

It was an easy prediction to say that some companies will change to allow employees to work from home forever. But I think it will be even more than I initially thought. 

Commercial real estate is going to take a hit. There is going to be a glut of office space available. And retail space will also suffer through a glut with all the businesses going belly up.

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21 hours ago, The Tip said:

The very small sampling on this thread shows how much things will change in America. 

It was an easy prediction to say that some companies will change to allow employees to work from home forever. But I think it will be even more than I initially thought. 

Commercial real estate is going to take a hit. There is going to be a glut of office space available. And retail space will also suffer through a glut with all the businesses going belly up.

Commercial properties are already feeling the crunch. There's a high percentage that are already in default but this is just an acceleration of what was coming anyway. Even before covid, malls and retail stores were feeling the effects of the ease for people to make purchases online. The lockdown just showed many people that they don't need to go anywhere to purchase the things they need. It's just another phase of the evolution of businesses.

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