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January 3, 2021 9:13 am  #1


Working from home: good or bad

I know this is not directly broadcast related but it was touched on in RA's excellent year end summary. Will many of us continue to work form home after this mess is [hopefully] over. My sister and I talked about this just last night.

As environmentally friendly as it is, working from home is not socially healthy. We are interactive beings. When we are 'at the office' we interact consciously or sub-consciously. Zoom and Teams meetings do not cut it. In the 'good old times' when your in a meeting and you cut in to make a point, the meeting direction changes. There is interaction and a cohesive decision is made.

Human interaction is slowly dissolving now.  I worked from home in March and April. I ended up hating it. I am actually looking forward to going back to the office tomorrow.

To work from home, stay at home, see the same people day in and day out 7 days a week will ultimately not work out. The kids and teenagers hate it and so should we.
 

 

January 3, 2021 10:05 am  #2


Re: Working from home: good or bad

I agree with you - there's nothing like being at the station. What truly amazes me about this year of "broadcasting from home" is how flawless it's mostly been. Certainly the major talk stations, where it would be more noticeable because they're constantly on air, have sounded pretty good, even though some people are in their kitchens while others are broadcasting from their basements. 

Considering none of those places was set up with on-air acoustics in mind, they're mostly sounded pretty good. I'm also surprised by how few breakdowns there were. Think about everything that could go wrong - blackouts, Internet outages, equipment failure, computer glitches, unexpected family members intruding, pets barking and more - it was a remarkable effort. 

But it didn't always work. I know of a Canadian Press reporter who had to set up pillows on his sofa in order to try to dampen the echoes from his cavernous living room, which gave his stories an echo-y sound for a time. (That's a pic of it below.) Fortunately, it's much improved on when he started and you really can't tell anymore. 

Still, I've noticed the sound of CP reporters and their hourly newscasts have varied widely with an often inconsistent sound, depending on who's on and where they've set up their remote home equipment.

But overall, it's been an incredible technical achievement, all done on very short notice.

As the old song goes, there's no place like home - unless you have to work there non-stop.  

https://i.ibb.co/rHgDqBx/rw.jpg

 

January 3, 2021 10:14 am  #3


Re: Working from home: good or bad

I think the concept of going go an office or work place five days per week is a very antiquated and dead concept, just like AM radio.

I have been working from home every day since March and I couldn't be happier.  No fighting traffic, no waking up early.  I feel much less stressed.  I sleep better.  I can exercise throughout the day.

I somewhat can understand wanting to have face to face meetings because virtual meetings dont seem to be as productive, but 100% of my job involves sitting in front of a computer.  I don't see why I need to go into an office every day to do that, when I can easily do it from home.

 

January 3, 2021 1:26 pm  #4


Re: Working from home: good or bad

I wouldn't call it "dead" exactly. I think it might just depend on what job you're performing and in which medium.

I can see how a radio producer and his or her on-air talent might be able to make it work quite easily. (Although when I was producing talk shows in the 80s, I liked being able to see the talent through the glass, making sure he got the message, being able to look him in the eye and knowing we were not only pretty much in the same room but on the same page.) 

I think a lot has to do with the specific task. In a TV newsroom, the guy or gal at the Assignment Desk has the job of keeping up with everything going on in the city, whether it be police, ambulance, fire or a near riot outside a local BBQ joint. When something major happens, they can be tied up for a while, coordinating cameras, calling authorities to check on the story, meeting with the producer, talking to the reporters, etc.

Sometimes word doesn't always immediately filter down to the troops that something big is going on. 

Let's say there's a fire at the Eaton Centre, a cop gets shot or there's an explosion downtown and you're in charge of putting up articles on the web that day. Given the nature of the Internet, viewers expect a breaking news alert and for the story to be up almost as soon as they hear about it. But if you're not in the station proper, it may be a while before you find out about what's going on. Whereas if you're in the newsroom, you can be instantly alerted by the activity or a shout out from the assignment person, instead of waiting for a text, an email, a phone call or some other kind of communication.

That's when being there matters. Radio by its very nature can be done remotely if needed, as we've seen these past few months. TV is a different animal, and while things like live intros and extros or even the weather can be done from far away, there's nothing like being where the action is - or at least first gets known about. 

I still prefer being there, regardless. It just makes me feel more in control and aware of what's happening with my colleagues. And in my mind, that generally makes for a better outcome. But if it works for you, more power to you. In the current circumstances, there really isn't any other choice. 

 

January 3, 2021 2:16 pm  #5


Re: Working from home: good or bad

i agree with cheese.  i've been working from home for years and love my freedom to set schedules and be productive on my own time.  My wife started at home in March.  it was unusual at first but it's fun having her around..... most of the time https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/wink.png

 

January 3, 2021 5:12 pm  #6


Re: Working from home: good or bad

I really appreciate all these perspectives. As noted, I think it's easier in radio than in TV, where so much depends on the visual, including sets and equipment. (How, for example, could you do chyrons or keys if you weren't in the building where that machine is located? Can a technical director switch cameras from home? I can't imagine how that would be possible.) So I can see why radio folks might have a much better time with this than their TV counterparts. 

I'd be curious if someone who works in television also finds home base better. 

Everyone has needed to adapt during this bizarre time and overall, I think both mediums acquitted themselves very well. We now see, for example, that satellite or microwave trucks aren't as vital as once thought, when interviews can be done over Skype, Zoom or the web with fairly decent quality.

Which leads to the question: once things return to normal, how much chance do you think you'll have to remain working from home vs. having to go back to your studios? Is this the new normal?

 

January 3, 2021 5:53 pm  #7


Re: Working from home: good or bad

I think my employer will continue working from home.  It wont be 100% though.  I imagine its probably going to be 50 / 50 office and home.  I know in the building there I work. my employer is always trying to squeeze more bodies into a space beyond it's capacity, so from what I understand, they will be using hotel stations a lot more often now and basically will be removing personalized cubicles.  You show up, find a space, do your work for the day or half day, and go work from home for a few more days

 

January 4, 2021 12:21 pm  #8


Re: Working from home: good or bad

grilled.cheese wrote:

I think my employer will continue working from home.  It wont be 100% though.  I imagine its probably going to be 50 / 50 office and home.  I know in the building there I work. my employer is always trying to squeeze more bodies into a space beyond it's capacity, so from what I understand, they will be using hotel stations a lot more often now and basically will be removing personalized cubicles.  You show up, find a space, do your work for the day or half day, and go work from home for a few more days

I heard a lot of this happening too or, potential to be.   As of today I saw a news story where Tory is supposed to annouce some new protocols of workplaces.   I have a friend whos office thinks there is no pandemic and is operating like nothing is going on which I think is wrong given the fact that in March they operated at home for that month via labtops.  

As for my office, im guessing their renovation to "open concept non cubicle" 2 years ago is now a big fail. 

 

January 4, 2021 1:51 pm  #9


Re: Working from home: good or bad

grilled.cheese wrote:

I think my employer will continue working from home.  It wont be 100% though.  I imagine its probably going to be 50 / 50 office and home.  I know in the building there I work. my employer is always trying to squeeze more bodies into a space beyond it's capacity, so from what I understand, they will be using hotel stations a lot more often now and basically will be removing personalized cubicles.  You show up, find a space, do your work for the day or half day, and go work from home for a few more days

Who does the security or covers the insurance for stolen equipment? 
The office has a security guard (etc) 
What does the home have? 
 

 

January 4, 2021 2:05 pm  #10


Re: Working from home: good or bad

Radiowiz wrote:

grilled.cheese wrote:

I think my employer will continue working from home.  It wont be 100% though.  I imagine its probably going to be 50 / 50 office and home.  I know in the building there I work. my employer is always trying to squeeze more bodies into a space beyond it's capacity, so from what I understand, they will be using hotel stations a lot more often now and basically will be removing personalized cubicles.  You show up, find a space, do your work for the day or half day, and go work from home for a few more days

Who does the security or covers the insurance for stolen equipment? 
The office has a security guard (etc) 
What does the home have? 
 

Office is swipe card only.  No security guard.  

Home has myself and a rabbit.

 

January 4, 2021 3:11 pm  #11


Re: Working from home: good or bad

How sure are you that you can trust the rabbit?

 

January 4, 2021 3:11 pm  #12


Re: Working from home: good or bad

i usually teach a public speaking course, staring the first week in Jan., to university students (over a 6 week period). due to the lock-down, the start of the course has been delayed (as i figure out the modifications, i'll need to make, to effectively teach some. or all, of this course remotely (from my home). it's a major pain but it might open up the possibility of me teaching this course to people in other parts of the world (many of my students come from all over the globe). note to self: being optimistic doesn't make it easier.

meanwhile, in my opinion, recording radio shows, audio spots, etc. from home, certainly has its benefits. i've had an off-site studio set-up for almost 20 years and (for me) the benefits outweigh the challenges.
 

Last edited by the original hank (January 4, 2021 3:12 pm)

 

January 4, 2021 3:34 pm  #13


Re: Working from home: good or bad

grilled.cheese wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

grilled.cheese wrote:

I think my employer will continue working from home.  It wont be 100% though.  I imagine its probably going to be 50 / 50 office and home.  I know in the building there I work. my employer is always trying to squeeze more bodies into a space beyond it's capacity, so from what I understand, they will be using hotel stations a lot more often now and basically will be removing personalized cubicles.  You show up, find a space, do your work for the day or half day, and go work from home for a few more days

Who does the security or covers the insurance for stolen equipment? 
The office has a security guard (etc) 
What does the home have? 
 

Office is swipe card only.  No security guard.  

Home has myself and a rabbit.

Who is responsible for what? 
Is "business" insurance covering you, and it is paid by your pocket or the company's pocket?
It just takes one home break in to skyrocket the premiums to the point where you might want to work in an office once again, unless the company is covering everything for you... 

 

 

January 4, 2021 6:08 pm  #14


Re: Working from home: good or bad

Radiowiz wrote:

grilled.cheese wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:


Who does the security or covers the insurance for stolen equipment? 
The office has a security guard (etc) 
What does the home have? 
 

Office is swipe card only.  No security guard.  

Home has myself and a rabbit.

Who is responsible for what? 
Is "business" insurance covering you, and it is paid by your pocket or the company's pocket?
It just takes one home break in to skyrocket the premiums to the point where you might want to work in an office once again, unless the company is covering everything for you... 

 

I've got more important things to worry about than insurance premiums increasing due to a break in.

 

January 5, 2021 10:10 am  #15


Re: Working from home: good or bad

Id be more worried about my record collection in the event of a break in (depending on the theif's taste) than the work computer.

 

January 12, 2021 6:24 pm  #16


Re: Working from home: good or bad

grilled.cheese wrote:

Radiowiz wrote:

grilled.cheese wrote:

Office is swipe card only.  No security guard.  

Home has myself and a rabbit.

Who is responsible for what? 
Is "business" insurance covering you, and it is paid by your pocket or the company's pocket?
It just takes one home break in to skyrocket the premiums to the point where you might want to work in an office once again, unless the company is covering everything for you... 

 

I've got more important things to worry about than insurance premiums increasing due to a break in.

I think all I'm saying is that in an office building THEY look after THEIR equipment as best as they can with THEIR security, including the proper access fob or card.
BUT
In a home environment it's a walk in the park to hop into your home and hop out with all or a bunch of your stuff.

Also, is it YOUR property or the company's property...regardless...when working from home who is protecting the equipment you are working with?

Cameras are pretty much useless these days FYI, so you might want to hire a security guard to prevent illegal entry.
CAMERAS ARE USELESS:  https://urinbless.com/products?handler=masks&fbclid=IwAR0xBvqvsqwD2Usvh2WyLO6ObZPK7CHOxPzOTFS96ljhuLwly0prIoJWFa0

 

January 12, 2021 7:00 pm  #17


Re: Working from home: good or bad

grilled.cheese wrote:

Home has myself and a rabbit.

Does the rabbit get coffee breaks?  How about WCB coverage and a benefits plan?