WFH – stated and revealed preferences

A few months ago, the organisation floated an optional survey about return to office. It was slightly biased, and didn’t touch upon certain areas the many WFHers wanted to get feedback on.

For me, another big issue with the survey was that it collected stated preferences, and that too with a big selection bias due to being optional.

The survey findings, summarised, were used as a reason to mandate everyone to come to office at least 2 days a week.

A month of going into office, Covid cases in UK started increasing again. The organisation removed the mandate to come to office in November, making it optional.

This made an interesting scenario to get a pulse of the revealed preferences. Some early observations…

The number of people coming into office has reduced visibly. Drastically. Equally interesting has been the split. Number of people in deep work roles, like developers, have almost completely stopped coming to office. Numbers in pipeline roles – managers of various things and people mostly – are going into office a bit more. There’s also, expectedly, a strong inverse relationship between commute time and office attendance.

Anyone wanting to do an honest, unbiased assessment of people’s preferences about coming to office, now has a good dataset readily available. Just collect and compare data of our security pass swipes for November and October.

Continue reading WFH – stated and revealed preferences

My parents are coming!

In my head, I’m dancing around on the streets, hugging random people, shouting out loud, “My parents are coming! My parents are coming!”

Been four years since I last met them in person. About bloody time! I’m going dancing in the streets…

Work vs work

PN: How’s it going, Adi?

Me: It’s ok. I’m glad Wednesday’s nearly over.

PN: *laughs* You looking forward to the weekend already?

Me: No, I’m looking forward to Thursday, so I can put my head down and work.

PN: *laughs out loud*

Wednesday is the meetings filled day in our team. Tuesday is quite bad too. Thursday is a designated meetings free day in the huddle.

Smell

Lea: What are you smelling right now?

Shaun: Pine trees

Shaun collects and connects his memories with smells. He says it aloud, but I think we all do it.

Cool, humid hill air missed with diesel fumes

My strongest smell connection is a mix of cool & humid mountain air mixed with diesel fumes. That reminds me of the place I loved the most whole growing up – Shimla. Every time I walk past a delivery lorry spewing half burnt diesel fumes just after it has rained, I’m immediately flung to Shimla in the 90s.

There are more smells connected to memories, but this one is the strongest, and the most unique.

Happy

The whole team is working on a moderately big redesign. M & I are pairing on a spike to massively upgrade the technical implementation for a core part of the so, to support the design change.

Today, after we’d reached a significant milestone on our spike, I showed PAM1 the app as it works with the changes.

She. Loved. It!

She took it around the team showing the upgrade to everyone – other engineers, designers, PMs…Everyone. Everyone loved it, but the people who loved it the most were PAM and PN2. I could hear PN cooing over it for a long time. They both couldn’t stop smiling. Remembering the joy on their faces has plastered a smile on mine. Made my day ☺️


  1. She’s a senior UX designer playing a leading role in the redesign 
  2. He’s one of our product managers. He also co-led an earlier design upgrade which was shelved due to a change of management. Today’s change included much of the work that was part of the original plan. 

Dexter

I’ve wanted to watch the show for a while, but never got down to it.

On the train back today, I downloaded the book on the Kindle and started reading. It’s good.

A moment ago, I remembered that the serial is available on Now TV. Started watching the first episode.

The first scene was meh. It’s much better in the book. The second scene, the day time job, looked better. But I haven’t finished that scene in the book yet.

I’ve hit the pause. On the TV series.

I’ll finish the book, then come back for the TV series, then go back for the rest of the books.

Author’s words + my imagination Vs the actor and the director. I’m with the former, of course 🙂

Return to office: questioning the old status quo

I got to station in time for 7.09 fast train to Waterloo, which would place me in office by 8.05.

Due to issues with Southwestern Railways, most trains are cancelled. I’m now on the 7.32 slow train. This means I’ll be in office by 9 AM if there are no delays.

Whose time does this lost hour come out of?

Will I need to work an extra hour for the late arrival? Or does the firm, which has mandated coming to office today, lose an hour of work? Or do we not talk about it, and leave bitterness festering on one or both sides?

No one had these thoughts or conversations before the pandemic. Post pandemic inforced WFH, most humans appear to have reset expectations but most organisations still seem to be stuck in the pre pandemic expectations.