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Cyclopath
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 12:26 am 
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A year and a half ago everybody would have loved the opportunity to work from home, it sounded like a staycation.  Now it's widespread, even the default, in a lot of industries and/or job types.  A lot of people who thought they'd love it miss being around their colleagues, face to face interaction, and getting out of the house.

I'm curious how many nwhikers WFH.  Do you like it?  Do you think you'll want to continue some day when things are not more like they used to be?  Do you think you'll be allowed to?

I'm also wondering what new routines you've all come up with.  And how you deal with some of the downsides like not having the clear separation of going home after work.
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neek
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 9:24 am 
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Works better for some than others.  I don't have a private office at home, so it was hard to escape family distractions on WFH days; work and home life merged together in unhealthy ways.  The bike commute punctuated a clear start and stop to the work day, and provided much-needed exercise and an outlet for pent-up aggression.  Although co-workers could be a distraction, the most interesting stuff happened in hallway conversations and not over Slack.  And you can develop relationships over a lunchtime beer that just aren't possible online.  So while WFH was great to have as an option in a pinch, I was never a fan, and hope for somewhat of a return to normal.  Again for others it's the superior option, and companies should trust employees to make the right decisions for themselves.
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stever
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 9:45 am 
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I retired right before the pandemic hit but the company I worked for (Fortune 500) the last 5 years really pushed WFH up to 3 days a week (more if you had family or other  reasons to WFH).  I was one of the few who never did it.  I do not have the self discipline to stay working and not go outside and work in the yard and go for a hike or wash the car or whatever.   What's funny is in my annual review it got brought up more then once that I was one of the few holdouts.   I think they appreciated my honesty when I said I don't have the self discipline to do it.

As Neek said I liked getting to know my co-workers in person and develop relationships with them and others in the company.   Another big thing for me was I always enjoyed riding the bus to and from work and all the life long friends I met on the bus along the way.   

I keep in touch with a number of people I used to work with and of course the last year has been everyone WFH all the time.   A few of them have commented to me that they have thought about me and how I would have hated it.  I told them they are correct.    SR
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 9:49 am 
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I have had a home office for at least 30 years. My job is primarily writing with occasional out of state trips to the Patent Office, depositions, trials, the main office, and clients. Technology changed from phone conferences, to email, then video conferences, and internet conferences. I loved being able to do loops at local trails for lunch which were often my most productive times. I had frequent human interaction all that time although it was often adversarial. I became ver efficient and could accomplish in hours what an inexperienced person could take days if ever. I found a group where I could take strenuous hikes after work at least once a week. During that time I helped care for and teach two daughters from birth who are now highly successful in their chosen professions. I regret not a minute.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 10:06 am 
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Thread drift, sorta - perspective from the other side of things:

I would not like to work from home; I feel blessed that my job is considered essential, and have been coming into the office as usual.In my firm of 35-ish staff, only 5-7 are all the office at any one time. I worked from home two or three days, because of a COVID-scare and the office was closed pending test results. I had eaten my entire stash of food, including ice cream and cookies, by noon on those days. I don't know how people can afford to work from home.

During Teams calls, I have noticed our non-native English speakers are losing their English skills, and it may inhibit their career goals, if a co-worker – or a client – has difficulty with communication.

This week I saw two co-workers that I haven’t seen in a year.  It was so good to see them, and they were happy to come in. The sandwich shop in the building is happy to see more people coming in too. A few coffee shops have re-opened limited hours. I hope they all can hang on. Our Real Change vendors downtown are gone – but for one that I saw last week – I was pretty excited to see him. Downtown businesses and Real Change vendors need office workers to come back to support the businesses that depend on them!

Only one co-worker said she’d like to work from home permanently. I think most would like to combine WFH with coming in, post-pandemic.

It has been interesting seeing the various changes downtown since the pandemic. The bus commute has been interesting in its changes as well. Even the ads on the buses have changed (who would have thought to see a bus ad for bread flour?).

All summer long I jaywalked downtown with wild abandon. Didn’t even have to look both ways; not even one way.

Currently, I still jaywalk – the cops are busy with other issues -  but there are quite a few office workers coming back downtown, and if I’m in a huddle of them, I wait for the walky signal along with them, who know not the joys of jaywalking. Now, buses can be at capacity, occasionally.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Slugman
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 12:10 pm 
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I go in to work, same as before, 20 years at the same place. I always dreamed of the customers leaving me alone, now there is a sign up saying the office window will remain closed and to please limit your interaction with the manager. It would be a dream come true except for the whole disease and death issue. The owners already had set up a system that allows me to operate various doors and systems by a cell phone app. So I spend much of my time at work wandering around Queen Anne, looking for stairs I haven’t climbed yet. Today a customer gave me a bottle of Hornitos tequila. Yay.

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“The jerking motion of a knee does not reflect the operation of a mind”  Slugman, January 24th 2020
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 1:58 pm 
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neek wrote:
The bike commute punctuated a clear start and stop to the work day, and provided much-needed exercise and an outlet for pent-up aggression.

I have a friend who used to run to and from work 3x a week.  Now she's shortened it a little and runs every day before and after work.  Says it's like commuting was, mostly in that it gives her a start and end of the work day.  Anybody in here who finds that losing the distinction between home and work, maybe try walking a mile or two before you start and again when you finish, it even give for a short drive.  Turn the computer off, go somewhere, and then come home.

I don't miss commuting at all.  I hope I get to work 100% from home from here on out.
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 2:41 pm 
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Light rail at Northgate opens this fall. It’s funny in a sad sort of way that after all these years, we finally get light rail – only to come to this; empty high-rises, closed shops, and so many working from home, or not at all.

I think it will also take a toll on the mental health of people. Social skills were already generally on the downward trend; this could make it worse.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Stefan
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 6:47 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
Currently, I still jaywalk

Boy oh boy!  You are such a rebel!  I bet you do it with your dog offleash by your side and a Saturday night special!  I wouldn't want to come across you if you be hunting for mushrooms! smile.gif

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Sore Feet
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PostThu Mar 04, 2021 8:47 pm 
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I've been WFH for over a year now, and there are definitely many aspects of working in the office I do miss.  Its definitely a lot easier to communicate with co-workers when you're in the same building, or be able to troubleshoot code over the shoulder, or just banter about nothing in particular.  But not having to get up at 6:30 to get to the park & ride in time to actually get a parking spot, or having to deal with the commute downtown is also nice.

I especially miss the food options downtown though.  Up until New Years a woman in my neighborhood was organizing a food trucks stop every night of the week that I could walk to, and that was really great while it lasted - they decided to stop for a while due to the weather but might pick back up in the spring depending on how quickly things open up.  But I haven't been able to get my favorite Kebab for 12 months now and the cravings are getting intense.

Right now the WFH order for my company is in place until I think August, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it extended again.  I also wouldn't be surprised to see them okay part time WFH after this is all over, and I would personally really like the option of like a M / F from home, and T-Th in the office or something like that.

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Kim Brown
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PostFri Mar 05, 2021 12:17 pm 
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Stefan wrote:
Kim Brown wrote:
Currently, I still jaywalk

Boy oh boy!  You are such a rebel! 

Yeah, I tellya what else I do: I yawn when I'm in church, or in the middle of a boring conversation. The mask hides it. That will be a tough habit to break. And embarrassing.

But what I miss is seeing smiles, and someone seeing me smile at them; the bus driver, someone walking down the street, the security guard in my building, a little kid jumping in a puddle - I do the head nod, sure. I even wave. But I miss smiles.

And I had just purchased a tube of lipstick (Wet & Wild #930B, 99 cents) and used it only one time before masks were in place. I miss my lipstick.  frown.gif

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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JimK
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PostFri Mar 05, 2021 12:54 pm 
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My work day has not changed this past year. I am starting year 26 working from a home office. Back in 1995 it was challenging working with a dial up connection at 28.8k and Windows For Workgroups operating system. My current connection is about 300 times faster. With a computer and a phone I can do my job from most anywhere.

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iron
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PostFri Mar 05, 2021 4:11 pm 
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i have the same experience as neek. no more bike commute has really changed my daily routine for the worse. i was burned out after about 50k miles of bike commuting, but now i miss it.

i will be changing jobs (and moving) and will have a permanent WFH status. this will enable life in a mountain town with the perks of existing salary. i got lucky on the timing of things, all things considered. i would say that WFH is an overall wash for me (more kids time, no commute stress, less exercise, less productive, no defined limitations of work hours)
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williswall
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PostSat Mar 06, 2021 1:10 pm 
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- wrote:
i will be changing jobs (and moving) and will have a permanent WFH status. this will enable life in a mountain town with the perks of existing salary.

Glad to see you are doing well and enjoying your family....take care!

Steve

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cdestroyer
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PostSat Mar 06, 2021 2:25 pm 
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kim brown said "But what I miss is seeing smiles, and someone seeing me smile at them". were I a better looking dude I would love to see your smile here and me smilin back!
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