Fandango’s Provocative Question (24 May 2023)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Provocative Question prompt

It’s been ages since I found the time to answer one of these, but today Fandango Provocatively asks:

If you are not yet retired, do you regularly work from home? If not currently, have you ever telecommuted on a regular basis? If so, did (or do) you prefer working from home? Why or why not? And finally, how do you feel about Musk calling working from home “morally wrong”? Do you agree or disagree? And why do you feel that way?

It’s been about ten weeks since I started my new job (working exclusively from home), so I’ve formed an initial opinion.

I think it depends very much on the role. I’ve worked from home occasionally in the past. I was able to use those days catching up with documentation, say, so was able to be pretty productive. But I was also the technical lead when we offshored out to India. That was a nightmare. We brought the team onshore in the end, and I can’t imagine that difficulty to communicate remotely has changed a great deal.

This job, though, I’m coming back after a few years away. and my role is more junior. So, my perspective is different.

From the company’s viewpoint, I bet my manager has all the same grievances that I did. But that’s his problem. That’s what he’s paid for. Their gain is that they probably get greater productivity from me, as I have fewer distractions. There’s a financial incentive too – they can save a bunch on office space (and on power) if people are at home.

But I gain too. It’s more convenient, for a start. I can get up two minutes before work, if I wish. And, if I have a delivery or something, I just get up and answer the door.

An anomaly is that I’m putting on weight, because my kitchen is within walking distance. and those lemon cookies were delicious!

One of the intangibles is that I don’t tend to meet colleagues socially. At the water fountain say. I say it’s intangible because we have a weaker team spirit as a result, although the flip side is that I spent less time socialising and more working. That’s something I didn’t realise before I started. I don’t really have any affinity to either the company or the team. So when the time comes, it’ll be easy to just walk. I mention this because, in the past, I have stuck around at a few places. The work has been humdrum but the office environment has been pleasant and my colleagues friendly.

Now, I think for a work-from-home situation to be successful, there has to be an elenent of trust. The company need to trust that the job is being done, and the worker has to put the effort in. In my particular case, I’m reporting daily so they can actually see my productivity, it’s not so much a question even of trust.

Which brings me to Musk. Assuming that the comments are accurate, Musk doesn’t trust his employees to put in a full day’s work. If he’s right, I’d be worried, as his company is a bunch of good-for-nothings. If he’s wrong, I’d be worried, because of the boss’s misjudgement.


  1. When I was working from home, for a brief period I had a boss who wasn’t a fan of her team members working from home and she insisted that we come in to the office and “show face” at least once a week. Since I no longer had an office at the work site, the company set up a large room with tables all around and places for about ten employees to work from simultaneously. They called it “hotelling suite.” I spent much of my working time in WebEx video conferences with clients and prospects and having to do that from a group workroom was not conducive to such video conferences. I told her about it and that it was a constraint to my productivity and did not make a good impression on clients or prospective clients. She finally relented and that was the end of my weekly visits to the office.

    Liked by 3 people

    • yes I must admit someone saying “a day a week” or somesuch, I never really thought of it as home working. Maybe a day a nmonth would be okay. But with the current jon I made sure the contract said I was based permanently at home. I don’t so much think I’d never go to their office, but there’d need to be a good reason…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think people react differently to the situation. When I do it I keep a log of my hours and present it to my boss on my return. He doesn’t care, but I need to prove to him that I was working.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When they were talking about this on ‘You and Yours’ Radio 4, one of the chaps calling said it was lonely if you lived by yourself and when he did go into the office one day, everyone else was at home so he was still on his own. Lots of people like it though, especially the woman who had horses and dogs at home!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t you think Musk’s comment align with markets? During the Covid Era, the markets were up, people were spending a lot which meant more revenue for the company. Almost all of the companies who have announced lay-offs have reported that they are doing so because of “miscalculations in hiring during the pandemic.”. When they had billions coming in every quarter as profits, they did not mind hiring anybody and letting them work from home. Obviously Covid played a role in that but money was never a problem.

    And now that the markets are busted, top executives have woken up and realized they need to get rid of all these extras and ask people to work from office. Not because they don’t have money, but because they fear if that money is being utilized correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, potentially somebody is more productive working from home. But potentially they’re less. If they’re less productive I think it’s indicative of a wider problem. You’re basically saying that they’d sooner skive than work, and that simply isn’t true if the job is rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I suppose in the end it’s a mix of both, home office and attending the office which is the best blend. Like you experienced yourself, working only from home has drawbacks, putting on weight being one of them, but the most important one in my opinion being the lack of personal contact with the team (coffee and lunch breaks). During the pandemic we were stuck for something like 7 months at home and personally I grabbed the first opportunity to go back to the office again at least for a couple of days a week.
    Nowadays I do on average one day of home office a week, not counting those days when I am attending clients’ sites and won’t stop by the office before or after setting on my journey to the client. And luckily I have the opportunity with my employer (I live and work in Switzerland) to spend the odd week when I don’t have any client meetings working from my UK base in London.
    As far as productivity is concerned, I am probably as productive at home as in the office, with the added benefit that I can get some chores done in between…
    So in conclusion: Would I want to do only home office? Definitely not! But I would sorely miss the opportunity not to have the opportunity to work from hom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds good that you have the opportunity to work where you want, to some extent, I think if I weren’t disabled, I’d like to get into that office routine, at least partially. But with my limited mobility it’s just easier. And the other thing, my employer’s location, I worked in that town 25 years ago and it was a terrible commute. Which I’m told has not improved.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Mister Bump UK Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s