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Thread: Recruitment, ways of working, and COVID

  1. #1

    Recruitment, ways of working, and COVID

    I have been interviewing today and have just realised that with this one filled, I will not have physically met 20% of my team, the longest serving since last April!

    It is a strange new world we are in now, and I wonder what working will look like in the long term. We have promised to roll out our post COVID policy by the end of Feb, and Iím curious as to how other companies are approaching it? Any thoughts or ideas?

  2. #2
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt8500 View Post
    I have been interviewing today and have just realised that with this one filled, I will not have physically met 20% of my team, the longest serving since last April!

    It is a strange new world we are in now, and I wonder what working will look like in the long term. We have promised to roll out our post COVID policy by the end of Feb, and I’m curious as to how other companies are approaching it? Any thoughts or ideas?
    Hybrid - lots of people will return to the office but many will find there is not a desk for them to use all week as companies get rid of expense offices.

    My big problem is that my home office is superior is every way to the actual office!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Hybrid - lots of people will return to the office but many will find there is not a desk for them to use all week as companies get rid of expense offices.

    My big problem is that my home office is superior is every way to the actual office!
    Yup, same here....lose a 32" ultra widescreen for 24" normal one & farewell to the Aeron....need to negotiate a return to work for my own comfort at the minimum lol!

    Equally concerned they will work out after the office and posh area, that after this, they no longer require local experts vs off shore ones for less cost...

  4. #4
    Pre Covid we only had 80% capacity in the office with the business set up to work from home, albeit only 1-2 days a week at home. Going forward it will be 1-2 days a week in the office.

    The days of travelling around the country for a meeting appear to be long gone also.

    I have employed 4 people since March but have managed to meet with them at least once, the whole team havenít been physically together since March though.

    It will be a very enjoyable curry and some beers once we can!!

    Cheers

    Ross

  5. #5
    Craftsman Kevin's Avatar
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    I haven't been in the office since last March, and to be honest I don't care if I never go back again.
    With decent tech working from home has been fantastic. I especially don't miss 3 hours driving for my commute every day.
    Even if we do end up going back I don't think we will ever return to full time in the office, One day a week would be enough!

    However I don't think it is a good thing for anyone joining a new company, You don't appreciate how important meeting real people is when forming new networks.
    I especially think it is difficult for young people in their first job, you learn so much from watching how older more exoerienced people handle themselves in meetings etc.
    Online is just not the same.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    I haven't been in the office since last March, and to be honest I don't care if I never go back again.
    With decent tech working from home has been fantastic. I especially don't miss 3 hours driving for my commute every day.
    Even if we do end up going back I don't think we will ever return to full time in the office, One day a week would be enough!

    However I don't think it is a good thing for anyone joining a new company, You don't appreciate how important meeting real people is when forming new networks.
    I especially think it is difficult for young people in their first job, you learn so much from watching how older more exoerienced people handle themselves in meetings etc.
    Online is just not the same.
    Agreed. Iíve seen some crazy situations in the last year, with some peopleís work ethics when they should be more thankful that they still have a job when their employers are struggling more than ever.
    It's just a matter of time...

  7. #7
    I got a new job in July. Iíve been into the office once for 2 hours in the second week. Iíve only physically met 7 colleagues during that visit. My home office is definitely better than the work desks I saw in the quick visit.

  8. #8
    The challenge is making it work for everyone. Iím very happy never going back to the office, but thatís not fair or going to work for everyone. For example I have several singles or single parents and their mental health has suffered from the lack of contact. Also new starters have been slower to get up to speed.

    I think this will be a real conundrum for the future workplace.

  9. #9
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Matt, I know exactly what you mean. My first job in field sales a few years ago was a nightmare when I was at home and trying to get up to speed. Things that would take two seconds if I'd asked someone were taking me 20 minutes per time to figure out becuase you couldn't harrass the same person with 100 questions like you can over a desk. Teams and Slack have been great for our new starters and for everyone when we changed to a different Salesforce stack and were all stuck on various parts. Weekly team meetings via video and "drop in surgeries" have helped too.

    My wife is hiring for a position now and it's really hard hiring someone you've never had the chance to meet and then trying to train them on your systems etc once they're in. It takes longer.

  10. #10
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    Another for not returning to the office, even if the 3hrs gained back from travel are spent in my home office. We are a global team, so none of my wider team are in the same office anyway.

    Have to say I do miss some banter at the desks though (but doubt itís £140 a weeks worth of banter!), and the last 2 days have been completely void of meetings which is lonely but productive.

    My fear is companies working from Ďno need for big officesí to Ďno need for expensive UK resources, let us offshore ití, then there is an issue.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    My job was very flexible pre-lockdown. I managed my own calendar and I was usually 2 days at home, 2 days in the office and 1 day somewhere else. That worked for my role and situation. Being 100% home based is painful but doable. I have dedicated space, good home IT and a very supportive family. But if I was a first jobber, who had moved to London (or another large city), was living in shared accommodation and my social life was built around work, then this would be doubly tough. And everything I've described only really applies to knowledge workers. For many people remote work isn't an option.

    With everyone remote onboarding is harder, training is harder, work life balance becomes work life blend and sometimes there is less flexibility on working hours. I expect to see remote work remain prevalent for the remainder of 2021 but I do expect a gradual return to office and I'm personally looking forward to that.

  12. #12
    I have never worked from home until lockdown last March. I was not looking forward to it but very quickly started enjoying WFH. I do not want to go back.

    Banter is on Teams chat, as are actual work based questions. But so much easier at work to ask a question directly.

    I did not have any travel issues but save lots of time by not having to iron work shirts. T-shirt and hoody with camera switched off as much as possible during Teams meetings.

  13. #13
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    I have an emergency shirt not far from my desk in case I get caught out in the hoody!

  14. #14
    Interesting as when we shut the office, 2 Ďrulesí we agreed early on last year were:
    Donít worry about what you are wearing for internal meetings, thereís no point in putting a shirt on sitting at home.
    Cameras must always be on to encourage engagement and to have some human contact.

    Both have worked really well.

    I asked my head office team today what they want to do, and the unanimous consensus was: 2 days every 2 weeks when all are in, and the rest of the time itís up to the individual.

  15. #15
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    You can tell when people are doing other things on calls when the cameras aren't on. A cameras on policy would help a lot with internal meetings, keep all parties engaged. When I say emergency shirt it's a casual shirt, something I'd normally wear on the weekends. Nearly all of my t-shirts are plain and sometimes I get paranoid that they look like pyjamas. I throw it on quickly for client calls if they turn up looking a bit too smart.

  16. #16
    I'm against any sort of camera on policy for the sake of peoples mental wellbeing. 'Zoom fatigue' is real, people feel on display and like they need to perform all day, there is often no time to relax. Plus, sometimes it's better to stand during a meeting and that doesn't work with cameras on. People should have the choice. If you have somebody who never turns it on there is definitely a conversation to be had, but it shouldn't forced all day long.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RobM View Post
    I'm against any sort of camera on policy for the sake of peoples mental wellbeing. 'Zoom fatigue' is real, people feel on display and like they need to perform all day, there is often no time to relax. Plus, sometimes it's better to stand during a meeting and that doesn't work with cameras on. People should have the choice. If you have somebody who never turns it on there is definitely a conversation to be had, but it shouldn't forced all day long.
    We all agreed the policy, I didnít impose it. You do make a good point about fatigue. The other rules are meetings are 25 or 50 mins to ensure a gap, and there is a mandatory no meetings hour at 12. Also 1:1s and smaller meetings that donít need content are encouraged to be via phone if possible. I convert meetings to walking ones every now and then for example.

    The reason the camera conversation happened was that despite repeated encouragement there were some that never switched on and didnít input. I do think it makes a big difference to relationships and engagement, and also makes meetings run smoother as you can see agreement or if someone wants to interject.

    Itís been a journey as Iím sure it has for most, and I think that the world of work will continue to evolve rapidly. The most significant potential change being that it no longer matters where you are, or which country you are in. That would require some changes to tax law etc though.

  18. #18
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    Iíve been an independent consultant for a few years now, and three years ago joined a hot-desking Ďincubatorí with a few other start ups and independents.

    I really like it. In fact the bit I like best is youíre not surrounded by people who do the same thing as you... thereís a wide range of businesses and consultants which I find enjoyable. And, of course, you get a bit of banter!

    Itís not expensive (way less than the commute into London thatís for sure) so would be worth considering for some folks I think

  19. #19
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    I dont have a home office setup from home, so have to work from the dining table which isnt bad, i do miss having twin monitors as it makes working easier, however i cant leave two monitors on the dining table so laptop it is, ive adjusted to it.

    Havent been to the office since March last year, so much so ive even sold my car, it wasnt getting used.

    I enjoy the WFH as previously i wouldnt see my kids in the morning and in the evening only an hour or so before their bedtimes, now im working when they wake up and i get to see them, and occasionally drop them to school (when they were at school). Also in summer its great because i can work from the garden when the weather is pleasant, and if ive got something to do i can finish as early as 3.30pm which gave me a good 5 hours of time in the summer.

    Also i dont miss the 2 hour commute a day or the fuel costs, however im pretty sure the heating bill is going to be higher.

    Swings and roundabouts, but im definately in the WFH camp.

    Worry is the outsourcing of my job, if i can do it remotely, why cant some bloke overseas do it (at a cheaper cost).

  20. #20
    Craftsman Paradiddle's Avatar
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    I moved into my current job early last year and was quite lucky to have had a couple of months of office time before working from home since then. As I used to prefer seeing people face to face it was quite difficult for me to adjust to working from home full time. However I can now say that I've fully embraced it.

    There have been quite a few new recruits since and they haven't met most people in the office. A couple of them did manage to meet their line manager in the office when it was allowed but everyone has accepted they won't be able to work face to face for a while.

    We haven't had that much communication but the consensus is that if things go back to normal later this year then we would do the hybrid model with half the week spent on working from home. This seems to be similar to the set up for lots of office-based companies in London.

  21. #21
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    We fall under the 'Key worker' definition so officially the team can come work in the office.

    In reality, there is no reason for the full team to be in as long as we have a presence. so I have implemented a rota taking into account things like how the team get to work etc. The office is never over 20% capacity.

    We have 2 new positions going live Today which will be the first we will have ever hired without meeting them. The 2 team leaders will conduct initial interviews and I will get involved with anyone they get to 2nd stage to help make the decision.

    I've interviewed lots of people before but I reckon I am going to struggle with the process more than the candidates or the team leaders!

    The team is made up of coders and creatives & before all this kicked in I would have imagined the coders would be the better equipped to deal with the isolation as 80% of the time they are just staring at their screens with headphones on. In reality, I've had far more meltdowns from those guys than the creatives.

    We have just moved into bigger offices so when this all does get back to some sort of normality we can fit the new people in comfortably. As it currently stands we are planning for the 1st of April. I appreciate this might be a bit naive.

    Lots of my friends are in Banking and they were being briefed from May last year that they would be back in the office from April 2021.

    Going forward I would imagine we have moved on from ever having all staff in 100% of the time.
    Last edited by bigweb; 14th January 2021 at 10:50.

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