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Working From Home Tips

Working From Home Tips

Old Jun 3rd 2020, 10:19 pm
  #91  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Why working from home is not always suitable in my job. No access to a fax machine/scanner or printer. Yes we still fax stuff as we cannot send information via email that contains Protected B Information and 90% of my work is Protected B. The recipient of any email needs a way to encrypt it and very few if any or set up to do this.
I'm at home and I have a printer and a scanner all in one machine! Costco delivers.
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Old Jun 3rd 2020, 10:20 pm
  #92  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd View Post
Personally I feel the only way for a design office to work efficiently is face to face, where you can describe what the issue is and what your intended solution is with help of pointing to drawings and photographs to aid your technical explanation. I have lost count how many times an email string over a simple issue has turned into a comedy sketch of misunderstandings (with Benny Hill music playing) as no one knows what anyone is talking about through verbal or written descriptions alone, we need to point to drawings or photographs to explain the area we are talking about with regards to the design and possible changes.

We also need to go out into the manufacturing shop regulary to assist/discuss manufacturing issues, there is no way you can talk about that over the phone or by email, as it just turns into a farce of misunderstanding and get very frustrating very quickly. It also depends on how disciplined the company is, the company I work for was already bad for communication, its deeply rooted in the way its been managed,or mismanaged over the years, but now its terrible.

I think all of the design office could be in the office with a bit of rearragement, we have the space to spread out, as the rest of the office…. sales, purchasing accounts etc are not in. The manufacturing guys are all in, the welders, machinists, assembly technicians , so why can’t the design office be in too.
What are you going to do when the designing is in Canada and the manufacturing in China?
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Old Jun 3rd 2020, 10:23 pm
  #93  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I'm at home and I have a printer and a scanner all in one machine! Costco delivers.
I know but my Manager won't give me the Agency's credit card number for discretionary purchases.
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 12:41 am
  #94  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
I know but my Manager won't give me the Agency's credit card number for discretionary purchases.
It's a few hundred bucks, you could just buy one.
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 3:02 am
  #95  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd View Post
Personally I feel the only way for a design office to work efficiently is face to face, where you can describe what the issue is and what your intended solution is with help of pointing to drawings and photographs to aid your technical explanation. I have lost count how many times an email string over a simple issue has turned into a comedy sketch of misunderstandings (with Benny Hill music playing) as no one knows what anyone is talking about through verbal or written descriptions alone, we need to point to drawings or photographs to explain the area we are talking about with regards to the design and possible changes.

We also need to go out into the manufacturing shop regulary to assist/discuss manufacturing issues, there is no way you can talk about that over the phone or by email, as it just turns into a farce of misunderstanding and get very frustrating very quickly. It also depends on how disciplined the company is, the company I work for was already bad for communication, its deeply rooted in the way its been managed,or mismanaged over the years, but now its terrible.

I think all of the design office could be in the office with a bit of rearragement, we have the space to spread out, as the rest of the office…. sales, purchasing accounts etc are not in. The manufacturing guys are all in, the welders, machinists, assembly technicians , so why can’t the design office be in too.
You have a computer so why cant you use Skype, or Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet?
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 11:29 am
  #96  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by bats View Post
You have a computer so why cant you use Skype, or Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet?
WebEx, please, anything but Teams. Yesterday someone called me with Teams "how are you?" she said. "Gobsmacked" I replied. "I know! This is the first successful Teams call evah!". Most days we go through the Teams dance and then use the phone. Teams is the Yugo of conferencing software.

The conference facility should support telephones as well as computers, WebEx does, Teams doesn't, so that users suffering internet issues can use the computer for the pictures and the phone for the voice. It should be configured not to show images of the people on the call or they all start yakking about the "picture suppressed due to bandwidth issues" messages instead of the subject of the call.

Simple is better, you don't want every call to have ten minutes spent on how shit Teams is and how much cheaper it must be than Skype.
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 12:15 pm
  #97  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
WebEx, please, anything but Teams. Yesterday someone called me with Teams "how are you?" she said. "Gobsmacked" I replied. "I know! This is the first successful Teams call evah!". Most days we go through the Teams dance and then use the phone. Teams is the Yugo of conferencing software.

The conference facility should support telephones as well as computers, WebEx does, Teams doesn't, so that users suffering internet issues can use the computer for the pictures and the phone for the voice. It should be configured not to show images of the people on the call or they all start yakking about the "picture suppressed due to bandwidth issues" messages instead of the subject of the call.

Simple is better, you don't want every call to have ten minutes spent on how shit Teams is and how much cheaper it must be than Skype.
Inter-rest-ing.... We're in the process of moving from Webex to Teams so are at the opposite end of that curve. Webex is godawful shite, Teams seems to work better.
Skype for business works well as a messenger service but is useless for audio or video. Zoom is banned from our corporate PC's / Network for security concerns but we use it at home for everything from virtual dance lessons (for the kids not me I hasten to add) to socials. Mrs AX uses google meet because she's a teacher and education boards have sold their souls to Google (Classrooms, Chromebooks etc)

In truth all of the video meeting apps are problematic at some time or other. Tens of minutes lost to "I can't hear you", "You are on mute", "Could you go on mute because there is background noise (kids, typing, screaming, drilling etc) etc etc. However these are primarily user issues rather than the platform itself. They certainly show the disparities in internet connectivity around the world. I'm particularly amused by colleagues in London (the Engerland one rather than the Ontario one) with grainy, pixellated pics as their broadband, in a major city is sh1t. "Oh you are on Virgin Internet" they say to each other, with eyerolls. Well I assume eyerolls as I can't actually see them move at that point. I get all smug about my Fibre to the Home internet here in Nfld. In these days of the plague it seems to be worth the small fortune one pays for it.

EDIT to add.... On phones,since I work in the basement, I have dodgy cellular coverage. The workaround is Bell's "Calls over Wifi" functionality but thats a bit of a faff as you then need to dial the full 10 digit code for any call you make ever even when on actual cell service.

Last edited by Atlantic Xpat; Jun 4th 2020 at 12:26 pm.
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 1:59 pm
  #98  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
WebEx, please, anything but Teams. Yesterday someone called me with Teams "how are you?" she said. "Gobsmacked" I replied. "I know! This is the first successful Teams call evah!". Most days we go through the Teams dance and then use the phone. Teams is the Yugo of conferencing software.

The conference facility should support telephones as well as computers, WebEx does, Teams doesn't, so that users suffering internet issues can use the computer for the pictures and the phone for the voice. It should be configured not to show images of the people on the call or they all start yakking about the "picture suppressed due to bandwidth issues" messages instead of the subject of the call.

Simple is better, you don't want every call to have ten minutes spent on how shit Teams is and how much cheaper it must be than Skype.
Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat View Post
Inter-rest-ing.... We're in the process of moving from Webex to Teams so are at the opposite end of that curve. Webex is godawful shite, Teams seems to work better.
Skype for business works well as a messenger service but is useless for audio or video. Zoom is banned from our corporate PC's / Network for security concerns but we use it at home for everything from virtual dance lessons (for the kids not me I hasten to add) to socials. Mrs AX uses google meet because she's a teacher and education boards have sold their souls to Google (Classrooms, Chromebooks etc)

In truth all of the video meeting apps are problematic at some time or other. Tens of minutes lost to "I can't hear you", "You are on mute", "Could you go on mute because there is background noise (kids, typing, screaming, drilling etc) etc etc. However these are primarily user issues rather than the platform itself. They certainly show the disparities in internet connectivity around the world. I'm particularly amused by colleagues in London (the Engerland one rather than the Ontario one) with grainy, pixellated pics as their broadband, in a major city is sh1t. "Oh you are on Virgin Internet" they say to each other, with eyerolls. Well I assume eyerolls as I can't actually see them move at that point. I get all smug about my Fibre to the Home internet here in Nfld. In these days of the plague it seems to be worth the small fortune one pays for it.

EDIT to add.... On phones,since I work in the basement, I have dodgy cellular coverage. The workaround is Bell's "Calls over Wifi" functionality but thats a bit of a faff as you then need to dial the full 10 digit code for any call you make ever even when on actual cell service.
Never been a big fan of Webex. We used to use GoToMeeting, which was horrible. I love Teams. I'm on it in a combination of text chat, voice call, video call and screensharing for probably about 4 hours in any typical workday. The most recent updates have made it better for groups of more than three or four on a single video call (there had previously been some crappy compromises with which participants appeared on screen and people's video feeds swapping places depending on who was speaking), but for ad-hoc collaborations it's been really good for me.

We also use Zoom, but that's mostly for scheduled meetings with bigger groups, usually as an audio call with screensharing rather than as video chat. We could probably do most of that over Teams as well, but it's mostly a legacy thing (the recurring Zoom meetings were set up in the calendar before we used Teams more widely, and nobody can be arsed to go in and change it...). I co-lead a Cub Scout pack - we've been meeting on Zoom every week for the last couple of months. I don't know how teachers cope with this remote-learning nonsense, we average about 15 kids per weekly meeting and I'm ready for a large whisky and a lie down by the end of an hour or so (supposed to be 90-minute meetings, but nobody's attention span lasts that long unless they're playing Minecraft). I do feel like a Blue Peter presenter sometimes: last week's meeting we made a kite, I had four versions in various stages of completion to hold up to the camera - "here's one I made earlier" was on the tip of my tongue but of course none of them would get the reference...

Our office phones are VOIP anyway, there's a desktop widget for the system, so my desk phone is now a little window in the corner of one screen. I'm happy working from home; going back to the office or not wouldn't really make much of a difference to me, to be honest.

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Old Jun 4th 2020, 3:14 pm
  #99  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

We use Google Meet (not everyone has to be on camera to participate) or Zoom (company version - we get a link sent to us to join). if you get desperate enough you could open a Room on FB and send a link - up to 50 people
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 3:29 pm
  #100  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
We use Google Meet (not everyone has to be on camera to participate) or Zoom (company version - we get a link sent to us to join). if you get desperate enough you could open a Room on FB and send a link - up to 50 people
i like Google Meet as it has autogenerated closed captions so deafies like me can get a bit of help. You can also type too. Skype has captions. Zoom has the best image and sound quality but captions have to be set up by the person hosting and that never happens.


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Old Jun 4th 2020, 3:32 pm
  #101  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd View Post
The place I work at is stuck in the 1950s!! We have just been taken over by a huge American company....I am hoping we may break into the 21st century, but I dont think its going to happen overnight, the company is broken,.. the pandemic has just hilighted the deep flaws already there.
Have you suggested any options? put them in writing?
I know Canada's motto is "this is the way we've always done it" but chipping away at the status quo can get results
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 5:10 pm
  #102  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
What are you going to do when the designing is in Canada and the manufacturing in China?
I think certain companies are opting for manufacturing to be done in Canada/US now, worked at a few companies that have done the outsource to China thing, and ended up with very disillusioned with the end result, as the quality is just not there with Chinese manufacturing, and companies are realising its a false economy, by the time all the rework has been done. One of the main reasons this American company bought us out is for our on site manufacturing facilities, they actually want to expand manufacturing capabilities, so I dont think we have to worry about that.

Originally Posted by bats View Post
You have a computer so why cant you use Skype, or Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet?
We do actually use GoTo meeting, but these are for the bigger meetings, kick off meetings , design reviews etc it works for that.

There is no substitute for having a person there in the flesh to ask them for a quick explanation of why they did something or how you want to change something, drawing in hand, and scrap paper to sketch something out as you explain.... a 2 minute question turns into a 20-40 minute disscussion, its not like viewing something through your own eyes, you can only see where the camera is pointed.....it can be very frustrating

As for putting something in writing I have done that, on other issues, but it never went above my manager, as he knew it would get shot down by the company owner, who has now thankfully retired and were now owned by this American company, but things wont change over night, thats what makes this scenario even more frustrating, and if I hear "its the way we have always done it" one more time! Grrrrrrr
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 5:32 pm
  #103  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Why working from home is not always suitable in my job. .
Because you don't live in one of those properties with a border running through it?
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Old Jun 4th 2020, 6:40 pm
  #104  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

I'll never have a job that can be done from home most likely, but I really don't think I could do it. Its noisy for one, and in an apartment there is nowhere for a quiet office, wife is always making nose, dog barks, traffic noise, neighbor upstairs making noise, lack of socialization as well, for many the only time they interact in person with other people is at work, so mental health can suffer drastically for some being at home all the time.

I can't actually think of any upside to working from other beyond the whole not having to commute, but seems more downsides than upsides at least from my perspective.

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Old Jun 4th 2020, 7:15 pm
  #105  
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Default Re: Working From Home Tips

Originally Posted by Jsmth321 View Post
I'll never have a job that can be done from home most likely, but I really don't think I could do it. Its noisy for one, and in an apartment there is nowhere for a quiet office, wife is always making nose, dog barks, traffic noise, neighbor upstairs making noise, lack of socialization as well, for many the only time they interact in person with other people is at work, so mental health can suffer drastically for some being at home all the time.

I can't actually think of any upside to working from other beyond the whole not having to commute, but seems more downsides than upsides at least from my perspective.
For the last 15 years of my working life I was lucky enough to have a Director who was very flexible with work hours and location, and when I saw how well it worked I incorporated it into my own management style with my work teams. But personally, I preferred to be in my work office rather than at home. I get into 'work mode' the minute I walk through my office door, whereas I'm too easily tempted away to other things if I'm home.
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