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Daddyjt

Are there any bright spots in the Wuhan-virus crisis?

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Not to make light of any of the tragedy of this issue, but there ARE a few small positives...

 

Here’s one the California locals will understand - I took this on the 210 through Pasadena this afternoon at rush hour (6pm).... talk about wow - I had the cruise set at 75!

 

F623B701-A101-4E6B-B65D-F5D8A19F6BE8.thumb.jpeg.1aed236ca530c3976e569dd08601cf3f.jpeg

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I see that Gov. Newsom just ordered a statewide lockdown:

 

https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2020/03/19/newsom-orders-all-40m-californians-to-stay-home-in-nations-strictest-state-lockdown-1268248

 

How will this affect you?

 

What will the nation's largest homeless population do too?

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1 hour ago, Daddyjt said:

Not to make light of any of the tragedy of this issue, but there ARE a few small positives...

 

Here’s one the California locals will understand - I took this on the 210 through Pasadena this afternoon at rush hour (6pm).... talk about wow - I had the cruise set at 75!

 

F623B701-A101-4E6B-B65D-F5D8A19F6BE8.thumb.jpeg.1aed236ca530c3976e569dd08601cf3f.jpeg

Yikes! I've been there recently.  Where are all the cars?

 

Turbo

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My wife has to fly from Seattle to D.C. today. She is on a plane that carries 185-230 people. There are 6 passengers on the flight.

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When the tech and office worker go back, they can say, "see, we can work from home"

lets keep it going, middle management should be scared... less traffic, pollution etc...

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My family and I have used this time constructively to learn new skills... such as how make toilet paper out of wonton wrappers, pita, and naan bread! :D

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This may be our chance to step off our private thrones, and instead of having to go to the grocery store, we get to go to the garden.

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I have seen one definite benefit from this COVID-19 nonsense: People are working from home.

 

This will help change the business mindset for a lot of "old school" managers. At my previous job the VP I reported to was always making comments about how people needed to be in the office so they could focus on work. He would always add "I know you are different" because I worked from home. (Some of you remember that I was in limbo for 24 months because I packed my house to move to Birmingham for this VP. Luckily I landed another job and I never had to move.) I was in his office one day and I said "Let's take a walk." We walked around the large office, a mixture of private offices on the perimeter of the building and massive cubicle farms on the interior, with two large break rooms, a mail room and a "common area". As we walked around I asked him to note how many people were gathered in all of these areas. There were two or more people in most of the offices and people gathered about in all other areas.

 

As we walked the floor plenty of folks saw us coming and broke away from their gathering, hurrying to their desk. I asked him "Do you think ALL of these conversations are business related?" He said it's easy to see that isn't the case. I asked him how many of these people were married or in a relationship? He said most of the folks were, except for a batch of young, single guys fresh out of college. I asked him how many of the folks that were married or in relationships had spouses who were not employed? He conceded that most spouses / significant others were likely employed. I asked him if he decided to work from home if his wife sat in his home office and bothered him all day? He laughed and said she knew better.

 

I asked him - so if all of these people worked from home and were alone for the most of the day, how many would be gathered in the break rooms, around each others desks, etc. socializing instead of working? He said I see your point but they could be watching TV, playing X-Box, etc. I asked him if he trusted his management team? He said of course - you guys run the business. I asked him if he thought that I did a good job with staffing levels, work load completion, etc. He said of course - if you didn't I'd get rid of you and get someone who would. I asked him how any of my team could possibly be watching X-Box or TV if I was giving them assignments and they were getting them completed on time and within budget? Wasn't it my responsibility to ensure that the team's productivity was maintained and if I noticed someone slipping I would investigate and resolve it?

 

Even with that lengthy description of events, he still clung to the "you need to be in the office" mindset. I left that job of 34 years on July 23, 2018. In my new role I manage a team of 11 design engineers - ALL of them work from their homes, as do I. We use various technologies to stay in contact and collaborate and I speak to every team member at least twice a week, even if only to BS for a few minutes. We are more productive than the team I managed in the previous role. As a rule we seem to be a happier bunch as well. Fast forward to the COVID-19 madness...

 

I have maintained contact with my former VP. We were friends for many years as we both grew our careers. I spoke to him last week and he related that they had outfitted their employees with headsets, dual monitors and docking stations for use at their homes. He was concerned that everyone was going to be at home instead of the office where "we could keep an eye on them." I asked if their work was getting done? He responded with a hesitant "Yeah, but I'm still not sure how this is going to work long-term." I asked him how much the 5th floor he leased in the fancy office building cost per month, including utilities. He said it was over $50,000. I asked him if he thought employees just might be happier and more productive without having to drive to and from the office each day? He said he was sure they were happier because of the traffic everyone endured getting to the office, especially with Interstate construction that had been going on for several years.

 

I personally believe we are seeing the tip of the iceberg related to the spread of this virus, which will likely lead to things being shut down or restricted for longer than the next two or three weeks. I plan on calling him again as this unfolds and see if his 1960's mentality regarding home workers is starting to change?

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, B-Man said:

I have seen one definite benefit from this COVID-19 nonsense:

 

People are working from home. […]

 

 

I agree with you.  And more benefits to mention:

  1. The macro-economic benefits, strain/wear on infrastructure, burning of hydrocarbons for commuting, effect on the environment, and so on.  
  2. And microeconomic benefits that no longer commuting will bump everyone's total comp reducing cost of fuel..., and more.
  3. And quality of life for workers, being home with family more, seeing kids events, participating in local life, and so on.

 

There are some hurdles.  The challenge some organizations may have is how to prevent/stop the knee-jerk fear that drives micro-management.  Managers need some training both in the art of managing this way, as well as working through the transition in culture, as your experience points out.

 

I'm with you on your observation..., but my recent experience as I get older, and work for younger managers is that there continues to be a deficit in remote management skills among many (not all) to be able to lead this way.

 

Interesting recent observation from "webinarists" (a new species of internet "teacher" [comment omitted]).  Many of the business/management/leadership webinars (that I get invites in my inbox to in the last few weeks) have shifted to topics on "60 Minutes to Master Managing Remote Teams. Register Now $100." I'm not sure that this culture shift can be taught to old-school managers in 60 minutes for $100. Quick look at the "webinarist" shows weak or no management experience or other credential.  Irony or?

Edited by AndrewJohn
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I agree with the above statements regarding trust and management.

 

I have been working from a home office for 5 or 6 years now. There are a LOT fewer distractions in my home office than I had with an office at the hospital. 

 

My wife has been with her current employer nearly a year and has been working from home for around 5 months now. 
 

Her office is upstairs, mine is in the basement aka my Subterranean Lair.

 

Her employer is very happy with her performance numbers, my manager has known me for a long long time and knows I take care of business. My productivity numbers I’m sure reflect this as well.

 

Leadership - real leadership - will know who’s up to the task and will let the team do what they do best. I share the hope that this will serve as a wake up call to businesses everywhere. What we do in an office ACN be done in any office. It doesn’t matter where the office is.

 

With this, the COVID-19 scare really hasn’t affected us at all. 

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Some TV sports channels are playing old games.  Last night, I recorded the 1980 Campbell Conference vs Wales Conference NHL All Star game.  Gordie Howe's last All Star game.  Reggie Leach, Larry Robinson, Tony Esposito, Bill Barber, Marcel Dionne ......players I recognize!! 

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I really hope that many of the protocols recently instituted become permanent.

 

Shouldn't public transportation be cleaned and disinfected regularly? 

 

Shouldn't store owners wipe down the door handles to their places of business regularly?

 

Our school district has successfully implemented "online" classrooms. 

My son did raise one concern... will this eliminate "snow days?" ... 

 

 

 

 

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I learned that the 'common' col/flu infectious rate is only 1:1.3 (one sick person infects on average 1.3 others)

 

I thought it was higher than that, and have often in my life 'blamed' others for 'giving us all a cold' when in fact we probably just got it ourselves

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9 minutes ago, RichP714 said:

I learned that the 'common' col/flu infectious rate is only 1:1.3 (one sick person infects on average 1.3 others)

 

I thought it was higher than that, and have often in my life 'blamed' others for 'giving us all a cold' when in fact we probably just got it ourselves

 

Sometimes the only way to get rid of something is to give it away. :D

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Maybe not a bright spot, but a revelation perhaps.  My wife and several peers are having trouble with choppy video on their tele-health appointments with patients.  We WERE getting 175mbps throughput with our ISP (COX); that's down to 2.75 on a good day.  About 5 is minimum for smooth video at lower resolution.  Cox is waving their hand and blaming demand.  I understand everyone's at home, but a drop from 175 to 2.75?  that implies to me that I've been overpaying considerably for the service, and that their backbone is woefully inadequate.  Cox has been in this for a long time, if their backbone is THIS inadequate, wjhy hasn't it been upgraded with the money I'm overpaying them?

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7 hours ago, RichP714 said:

Maybe not a bright spot, but a revelation perhaps.  My wife and several peers are having trouble with choppy video on their tele-health appointments with patients.  We WERE getting 175mbps throughput with our ISP (COX); that's down to 2.75 on a good day.  About 5 is minimum for smooth video at lower resolution.  Cox is waving their hand and blaming demand.  I understand everyone's at home, but a drop from 175 to 2.75?  that implies to me that I've been overpaying considerably for the service, and that their backbone is woefully inadequate.  Cox has been in this for a long time, if their backbone is THIS inadequate, wjhy hasn't it been upgraded with the money I'm overpaying them?

 

One of my guys who works from home is complaining of the same thing. He pays for 200/20 and always thought things were fine. Now that everyone in the neighborhood is home he is having trouble maintaining even 5/1. He told me he called the cable company (Xfinity) and told them to block Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and Amazon Video because they weren't essential services and were preventing all of the people who are voluntarily working from home from being able to do their jobs. He kind of has a point.

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