Back to the office? Different strokes

Whether you’ve been working from home, or as part of an office skeleton crew the the office-office, the last 15 months have been different. For you, me and just about everybody else.

  • Early on Google gave each of its employees $1,000 to buy home/office furniture.
  • The nation of Iceland has been experimenting with the 4-day week and reports outstanding success. And productivity.
  • The Republic of Ireland’s 300,000 civil servants are expressing concerns that working from home on a permanent basis could lead to ‘creeping self-employment” that could create pay and job security problems in the future, according to the Irish Times.
  • Some private sector offices and trade associations are getting rid of headquarters offices.  All or most people will work from home (or a remote site) with regular but brief all-hands-on-deck meetings in rented spaces.

Whatever happens, things will never be the same. For lots of people.  Its brave-new-world time.

So we asked some readers how they’ve been doing. And what they hope/expect to happen in the future.  Here’s the first batch to respond:

Did you work from home or not? I worked from home.

How’d that go?  It was rough going at the beginning, because of records and equipment issues. I had not made any arrangements to telework previously. But it got set up and went into a routine, including slow internet, internet disconnects and 10 to 15 COVID pounds. I miss the hallway chats, and the ability to walk down the hall to get an answer. It is easy to become isolated with full time telework.

If you’ve been working from home do you want to go back full-time, part-time, never? Teleworking two or three days a week would certainly help with the commute and the stuff associated with commuting. But I would not want to be 100% telework, at least not in my current position. I miss the camaraderie of my colleagues.

Would you take a pay cut if you could live and work from a lower wage area? It depends if I figured out where to be! Maybe temporarily (a month on the Wisconsin Lakes?), but probably I would not for a longish permanent change.

-Hank from Maryland.

“So, since March of 2020, I’ve been working from home for the most part. The past two months, I’ve been going in two days a week (and loving it!).  At first, working from home all the time was great …very few interruptions, any type of food availability, and not having to hear everyone’s phone ringing — fabulous! There was a slight adjustment period due to my husband is retired and he had his own routine while I was at work … me being home interrupted that routine which caused the occasional tiff. For example, I’ve year round allergies, I could sneeze and he’d coming running with the thermometer gun wanting to take my temperature to make sure I didn’t have COVID.  Bless his heart but dang, Bubba was raking on my very last nerves with that thing. It was one of those “take me for better or worse” kind of moments in the beginning but we adjusted and made it work. Come autumn, I was pretty sick of the quiet and the lack of personal interaction with my coworkers. Christmas (at work anyway) was as boring as it could be — no work party, no decorations to put up at the office.  Mind you, the house was still a Christmas wonderland but I used to decorate the HR area of my agency — it was fun and I looked forward to it. I will say I felt more productive … again, having very few interruptions makes for a very productive day. A few months back, I started going in a couple of days a week more out of saving my own sanity than anything else … my agency is still advocating 100% telework. However, we can go in if we want to. I knew I had missed the drive in and that was proven the first day because the music was loud and I was singing and bebopping all the way to work (don’t judge!). Being in the office now, even for just a couple of days a week, is a wonderful thing. I feel like I’m out in the world again. The down side is that the building cafeteria (Mark Center) isn’t open yet so the only choice of food is Subway or they have a different food vendor come in every day.

As for teleworking full-time from some other locale — if I was in a position where I never had to go into the office and everything I did could be done from home, Colorado here I come! GO ROCKIES! It’s not that lower in pay than here so it wouldn’t be a major adjustment. However, because some of what I do requires me to be in the office, I’ll stay in my rental and be perfectly happy working half at home and half in the office — GO NATIONALS!

Have a wonderful day, Sir — stay safe and strong!”

-Dixie Cansler, Human Resources Specialist

Nearly Useless Factoid

By David Thornton

St. Friard is the patron saint against fear of wasps, known as spheksophobia.

Source: Wikipedia

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THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Jul 29, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.1508 0.0264 8.86%
L 2025 11.9857 0.0274 -
L 2030 42.3981 0.1291 23.52%
L 2035 12.7471 0.0425 -
L 2040 48.2873 0.1752 28.43%
L 2045 13.2412 0.0513 -
L 2050 29.0339 0.1201 32.85%
L 2055 14.2980 0.0734 -
L 2060 14.2980 0.0734 -
L 2065 14.2980 0.0733 -
G Fund 16.6348 0.0006 1.02%
F Fund 21.0871 -0.0317 -0.18%
C Fund 66.3156 0.2854 40.77%
S Fund 85.1952 0.367 61.70%
I Fund 39.1933 0.2678 32.58%
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* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.