I think it’s been about three years that I’ve been working from home. However, it’s only been since last November that it was made official. What did that mean? It meant I could also bring my other equipment home with me. Which was really nice to have as VNC over a VPN is VS(very slow). And it’s not like I was missing anything from working at home. The majority of my team is in Toronto, that is if they’re not over the big pond. So it’s not like I could talk to them face to face even if I wanted to.
I suppose I could have used Skype or something, but still. There was no real reason for me to be in the office.
So of course that’s when upper upper upper management decided that attendance in all labs was low, and basically ordered everyone back to the office.
Other than the attendance excuse, the other major one was, as far as it was explained to me, random stealth collaboration. Yea, it makes as much sense now as it did when it was explained to me. So what does this mean? Well, the idea is that, by being in the office, I would over hear conversations about other teams processes and think to myself; Hey, my team could make use of this. Over hear other teams processes? Really? Yes, that was pretty much the exact explanation that was given.
I’m going to review a few problems with this:
1. Even though we’ve been ordered back, there’s still not a lot of people that actually show up
2. When I walk down the isles, the people that I pass all have their headphones on. And when I get to my desk, the first thing I do is plug in my headphones.
3. While we have a water cooler, you don’t actually get people ‘hanging out’ at it. I mean, people are busy. They get water, they go back to their desk. Just like I do.
In summary, the people that actually show up don’t talk to each other, or hang around each other. So the random stealth collaboration just isn’t being done.
But hey, at least we’re all back at the office. Well, some of us.
What does this shift mean to me personally. Well, I drop Tara off at the bus. Head home and hang out with Liam for about 20 minutes. Then drop him off at daycare. Then head to the office. Then head home during my 30 minute lunch to let the dog out and feed the cat. That leaves me with 5 minutes to prepair and eat lunch(usually in the car). Then head back. Then go get Liam and then Tara at the end of the day.
So it’s a lot of driving. Back and forth. And that’s just me. What about all the others that now have to drive to and from work. Usually on their own. Now we’re an excellent source of green house gasses.
But why not take the bus? Because there isn’t one that goes anywhere near our office. So that’s not helpful, and people are forced to drive. Carpool? No one actually lives anywhere near each other. Why would we, we were all working from home.
So for the sake of having people work in an office, we’re killing the planet just a little bit more.
But all that aside(and it’s a lot), there are benefits of working at the office now. The internet speed is uber faster. Downloading logs and whatnot take just a few seconds. There’s free coffee(that’s just god awful, but free). Umm…I suppose I use less water at home because I use the WC at work. I suppose I could also use less heat/AC during the day.
But there’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll suck it up and make the most of it. I suppose it could be worse.
I could be forced to sleep there….