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It’s so simple. The data backs it up. Profits support it. Yet somehow, there are still some highly educated and compensated leaders at a few companies trying to force people back into offices.

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likefunnyhelpfulsmart
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There are some components of public accounting work that lend themselves to working from home, such as the preparation of certain workpapers and execution of testing where you already have the data. Other parts of our work, such as building client and team relationships, doing walkthroughs, and the gathering of the data needed to perform the testing are better performed in person. Based upon this, I would think a hybrid model like the firms are already employing makes the most sense. Go to your clients (or the office) when there is need to be there, but also allow some work from home when tasks are being performed that don't require client or staff interaction. I hate commuting as much as the next guy, but am happy to go to my clients and interact with them in person.

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I can definitely agree there, I’ve offered to my client to fly up for a few days each month to grab lunch, meet in person, etc. 3-4 days. I offered the same to my team. Realistically I think that’s sufficient for most teams and industries.

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We tend to overlook the mental/emotional aspects of being able to work from an office. For many people, including myself, working alone at home and only seeing co-workers on Zoom is fine from time to time but on a regular basis is anxiety-inducing. There is an aspect of commuting/going to the office, networking with co-workers and being in the office space which is just as important from a social/career development perspective. WFH is great for flexibility but both options should be equally encouraged.

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Completely agree D2. I am an extroverted introvert and some days my social battery was depleted, yet I still had to deal with small talk and in person meetings. Can make decisions all about one person’s feelings.

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I mean, the left is definitely true.

But the right one should also show Making Coffee, Cooking Lunch, Running on Treadmill, and Taking Naps.

I think it’s largely a wash in terms of “actual work.” (Dirty secret of white collar work is most days have, at most, 4 hours of real, actual, heads-down work, with the rest being meetings, waiting, and everything above).

likehelpful

Well, one thing I've found is that I work much longer hours from home! #TIHI

I did analyse WHY this was, and came to the conclusion that it's mostly just "time spent on calls that would previously have been a "oh, by the way, Bob, ..." sentence said in passing.

Also: people management! I do now schedule much more frequent 1:1s. When Bob was sitting 2 desks down, I would have been able to tell sooner that he's not okay, so now I have to actively go find out.

In terms of productivity, going by my own experience and that of my various teams: some stuff goes better, any "you just need to find the time to sit down and do it" type work, for instance.

Ideation definitely doesn't. There's something about the "vibe" of a creative session that even having a dedicated Design Thinking coach on your teams call won't quite replicate.

What's certainly not true is that people just work at home. I'll freely admit that I'll pop to the shops, make lunch, have coffee, you name it. So do my employees, and that's perfectly fine!

Not perfectly fine in my book: cancelling childcare and looking after small children full-time while working. I've had several employees do this, and, let's just say: there are good reasons why we call it a full-time job when someone else does it.

likehelpfulfunny

You’re kidding yourself if you think when at home people are 100% working

likesmart

Is the “data that backs it up” this chart you found on Facebook 😂😂😂

likefunnysmart

Bla bla bla

likefunny

^ amazing how people insert their kids into every post, even posts about others' kids

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Real post reads “I want to work from home, and I want everyone else to support my individual preferences regardless of theirs”

likesmart

Ok dude

likesmart

Are people crazy, when you go to office transport is not paid. That adds like 2 hours to your daily job and associated costs of preparing for going out and stuff

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I'm strongly in favor of a hybrid model. Want to get my bias stated upfront.

I think 2 years is too short a period to determine the impacts on company, inter-company and personal relationships.

Culture can be managed for a while, but I already see breakdowns in analyst training. Being in a team room or near other people leads to learning simple things like excel tricks as well as the complex such as how to handle recalcitrant clients.

I'm finding it hard to help clients recognize issues that led to lots of projects in the past. I see clients using companies and people they always used and not experimenting with small but potentially impactful projects.

I don't want to see people traveling just to come to the client every week. But I don't want C and above employees thinking Zoom and Teams builds client relationships.

I have been in too many calls where talent / practice leads have never met Cs that would have been fast tracked in the past. Great introverts aren't being called out in meetings to participate so are being judged on deliverables instead of also on potential.

I don't want to go back to the old way. But we haven't realized the impacts of a pure WFH model yet.

It may be a weak analogy, but you can be a functional alcoholic for a while, but there are hidden impacts that eventually show up. I'm not saying WFH is alcoholism, just that 2 years is too short an experience.

likesmart

Somehow I’m not believing that middle managers are so concerned about the circular economy that they are willing to risk employee satisfaction and turnover. They just want to feel in charge and have the validation that the office gives them. Businesses that were dependent on folks being in offices will adapt, supply and demand.

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I am fully supportive of a hybrid approach - and I'm lucky in that this was largely possible for both myself and the majority of my employees even pre-COVID.

Having said that, yes, I do want a certain degree of visibility of people who report to me. No, it's not for validation. It's so that I can help you develop and grow, and - most importantly - so that I can recognise issues early and help you deal with them:

As a brief example: I am not a morning person, personally, but I don't mind working late. So, when I can, I come in a little later, but I also stay longer. In an office setting, this would have meant that my alarms would have been triggered if I saw the same junior person still at their desk two hours after everyone had left every single day. I would have sought to find out why. Are they struggling in their role? Does their project have an under-staffing or task distribution issue? Are they in an abusive relationship and use "time at the office" as "safe time"? Are they just really gunning for that promotion and deliberately doing more than anyone is asking? Etc.

I strive to still do it, but it's admittedly a lot harder when you're just going by "status alert".

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This is so flawed it's comical. Also all the productivity "studies" that "support" the right graphic are self reported surveys.

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The whole reason this is a debate is because there is no objective data to support either side. That is why the people that are clamoring over 100% wfh for all companies all consulting jobs are full of themselves and don't really understand how business, the world, and individuals work.

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Like a third of the pie chart on the right should just be “finger blasting myself”

likefunnyuplifting

Most professionals want remote work, the data also backs that up. If you don’t that’s fine, just don’t accuse me of doing what you are doing. 🤣

likefunny

Oh look, more posts about data without any data

Because it helps the circular economy: you travel to work helps the car manufacturer, you buy lunch helps the restaurant and wholesale food business, you buy formal clothes that help the brand increase manufacturing

Then you solve big problems in consulting

likefunny

The price of big ticket items are pro-cyclical, which means they tend to rise in tandem with economic activity. This is an awful deal for Joe Q Averageman, and should be avoided. Like stocks and other assets, follow Buffett’s advice and “buy when they’re is blood in the streets.”

Yes there are a group of people that have to buy in an economic upswing (car dies, new to country like you, etc.) but that’s not why many are buying now: they’re buying because they can. It’s called the wealth effect and leads to most people getting fleeced.

There’s a noted lack of forethought to buying big ticket items and it’s scary. My wife and I both drive 10+-year old cars and quickly decided not to buy this year we are doubling down on preventive maintenance though.

Working from home is more productive, all we need now is for these jobs to be outsourced.
I am so behind wfh and really hoping these studies to be true so we can take these jobs and outsource it to truly smart people in the ROW versus the talent we have here.

likefunnysmart

If they could outsource consultants they would have done that a long time ago. In fact, they did for the testing teams. The clients want American and English speaking consultants.

Mostly old timers and traditional/conservative types are hesitant against WFH in my opinion

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P1 has it. Look it’s a people business. If you never want to be with other people, sometimes, it’s probably not the profession for you in the long run.

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Why would you want to get paid the same to work 8-10x more?

likesmart

This is kind of dumb.

Aside from being in accurate, ignores that depression has been through the roof in the last two years. Working from home and not interacting with others, not having any transition time, not getting off your ass.

All about balance.

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Whole lot of bias going on there K2. Everyone is not depressed. Not everyone is socially isolated. Many people have increased their physical activity. You can’t just use your personal experience to make a blanket statement like that.

likefunny

Hmm. You don’t think you might be biased?

smart

Yes. The data backs it up. And I found the pic on Instagram.

https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/

funnylike

Is this a joke? I presume it is given the heading in this bit says something clearly different to the supporting information…

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