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2nd in office day this week. We're having a "team building exercise". I'm here for the free lunch and the t-shirt, and then I'm going back home.

@mike Very interesting, is it optional or mandatory?

@birnim It's "optional". I don't "need" to come in. My boss would just "really like me to". 🙄

@mike Does this actually help with "team building"?

@mike What's the point then, from the perspective of the boss? What's their goal when they do it? And what about the risks like "today they have a free lunch team building exercise, tomorrow they unionize"? 😂

@birnim They're trying to convince people to physically come into the office more again. Right now we come into the office "on a volunteer basis". There have been very few volunteers. Our management is still taking the approach that in person is better despite the fact that we've met and exceeded expectations during the pandemic. My boss has "suggested" to me that he'd like me to "voluntarily" come into the office once a week at least. This week he requested two. He'll get two this week, 0 next.

@birnim from what I've seen with my bosses: fear of losing control combined with distrust and "we've always done it this way."

My 2 cents: if you feel like you are able to exert more control over people because they are sitting close to you, you have failed as a manager.

If your organization is unwilling to take the learnings from the past 2 years and implement changes that benefit both it as well as the employees' work & life balance, then I'm not interested to work for you any longer.
@mike

@fedops The strange thing that I've noticed here is that it's not the direct managers that care. My manager doesn't care if I come in weekly. He'd like me to show up on occasion because he gets pressure from people higher up the food chain. Things only start to manifest two or three levels up the chain. Those people are chomping at the bit to get everybody back in the office. Most of those people wouldn't know my name if they passed me in the hall.

@birnim

@mike @fedops @birnim My theory is that senior management doesn't have a clue how to measure software development or other technical productivity, so it falls back on the nearest proxy it has, which is warming an office chair and typing a lot.

@markusl I think that's probably a pretty good theory. It doesn't make any sense to have me (or any other person on my team) come into the office. Our servers live in datacenters hundreds if not thousands of miles from here, and we all work independently of each other. Because of that, there's literally no benefit to being here. In fact, the people being around are distracting, plus we get the "walk ins" that interrupt the day.

@fedops @birnim

@mike @fedops @birnim Same here. I'm getting more code (and better code) written at home, because I don't waste time on commuting, there's no office chatter, I control the ventilation (so CO2 levels are lower than at work: I measure them), and I can pace up and down, talking to myself, when I have a difficult problem to solve.

After two years of this enhanced productivity, senior management is now talking about "getting back to work." I have to say, it makes me feel angry and unappreciated.

@markusl "Getting back to work?" Sounds more like they're trying to justify all those levels of management. If the people doing all the heavy lifting can do it from home with no involvement from them, why are they there again?

@fedops @birnim

@markusl yup. And that's one reason I'm walking and they will hear about it.

The other is that they're completely incapable of performing their /actual/ job, which is defining a strategy, getting the necessary resoyrves, in place, and executing it. Micromanagers are unnecessary and should be replaced with potted plants.
@mike @birnim

@mike exactly the same here. My direct manager has nothing against remote work because he knows it works, but his superior is of the "old guard".
@birnim

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