Innovators Circle

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A research-driven circle where members share feedback to help impact Juniper's direction. Members gain opportunities for rewards through e-gift cards and exclusive content. To become a member, simply click “Join Community” and follow the quick prompts.
  • 1.  The March Back to Office

    Posted 03-17-2022 12:48

    Almost exactly two years ago, many businesses made difficult decisions around how to operate safely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, most companies saw their workforce move out of their offices to work from home. Now two years later, we are seeing businesses return to the office with some adopting a hybrid work style.

    Recently several big tech companies have been making headlines as they set official dates for their employees to return to the office in the next month. Feel free to check out more about this in the links below!

    Google: https://www.protocol.com/bulletins/google-back-to-office

    Apple: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/04/apple-workers-set-to-return-to-office-beginning-april-11.html

    Twitter: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/03/twitter-to-reopen-offices-march-15-though-remote-work-still-an-option.html

    But what about you and your company? Today, we want to hear from you:

    • What is your ideal working mode? Fully in person, fully at home or a hybrid of the two? Why is that?
    • Has your company made any official announcements or plans to return to the office? If so, what are they?
    • If you are currently in an office full-time or part-time, do you have any tips and tricks for people preparing to return to the office?


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    Lisa
    Innovators Circle Moderator
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  • 2.  RE: The March Back to Office

    Posted 03-17-2022 14:11
    • What is your ideal working mode? Fully in person, fully at home or a hybrid of the two? Why is that?
     I think i am more productive working in Hybrid environment.  I can get a lot more done and the time wasted in travelling to office can be utilized for something more creative. 
    • Has your company made any official announcements or plans to return to the office? If so, what are they?
    There has been no official announcement but a lot of folks are working in Hybrid setup since January this year with 2 or 3 days in office.

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    ANKUR
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  • 3.  RE: The March Back to Office

    Posted 03-17-2022 15:30
    I started my job at Juniper in August 2021 and no one was going into the office then. But this is my first-ever job so I was really excited to check out the office space. It was definitely eerie going in because I saw so many half-dead plants, desk calendars still left on the March 2020 page, and expired food in the pantry. I haven't gone back since Omicron hit and I'm not sure when/if we would be going back into the office. But just in case we are, I've started looking for a car (it's almost impossible to get around in California without a car; using public transit would take me over 90minutes each way). However, as you might all know, car prices have been... not that great lately, so I'm still trying to decide if I want to buy a new car vs. used car, what kind of car, whether to go through an official dealership or use Craigslist... so many decisions to make. 

    (Btw, check out my intro post here)

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    Kyla Jiayi Zhao
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  • 4.  RE: The March Back to Office

    Posted 03-18-2022 13:58
    I've been working 100% from home since March 2020.  Over the last 2 years, like other companies, mine too, has called for return to work, but had to cancel it because of raised COVID/variant levels and cases.  Currently, my company hasn't made an official announcement yet, but I personally would like to see a hybrid work situation.  I think it enables the individual to achieve their ideal work-life balance.  At different seasons of life, we all have different activities tugging at us... and so, we all may need to strike that balance in a different way, at different times.

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    Aaron Gould
    Senior Network Engineer
    aaron@gvtc.com
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/agould123/
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  • 5.  RE: The March Back to Office

    Posted 03-18-2022 14:07
    • What is your ideal working mode? Fully in person, fully at home or a hybrid of the two? Why is that? 
      • Working remote (Fully at home) for me and going in when necessary. Less distractions and 'drive bys'. Saves ton of money being able to cook at home, no driving, no parking fees, no transit fees, etc. I actually relocated 2800+ miles away from our offices!
    • Has your company made any official announcements or plans to return to the office? If so, what are they?
      • Yes, in compliance with local rules and procedures. Right now they are only mandating 1 day a week in the office of your choosing. I am lucky to have a progressive firm to work for.
    • If you are currently in an office full-time or part-time, do you have any tips and tricks for people preparing to return to the office?
      • Sorry, almost fully remote!


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    BRANDON TRASK
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  • 6.  RE: The March Back to Office

    Posted 03-18-2022 17:20
    Ideal Working Mode:

    I was never really enthusiastic about work-from-home, because I've always believed that human relationships hinge on being able to see each other.  As a remote worker, you become a bit like a "cog in the machine" where work just happens, and it's not quite as evident where that effort comes from.  But, when the coronavirus made its way to our state, we shut down the local office and I haven't gone back since.  We've debated closing the office permanently and just using co-work space for meetings, training, etc., but have put that decision off for one more lease cycle.

    In the meantime, I think the human element can be catered-to by scheduling regular lunches and even out-of-work events.  (We're lucky to have a bit more of a familial relationship in our office, so I actually look forward to office get-togethers outside of work.)  We also check in with each other over the phone or just by email, aside from work-related communication, just to keep those bonds tight.

    At this point, I don't see myself returning to an office unless there's some kind of change in what work I have to do.  The only thing I'm missing really is lab space, and I'm building out some space in a soon-to-be insulated shed where I can make room for a rack.  So... I guess that's that.

    Official Return to Work:

    None.  Our office has taken a "whatever you'd like" stance on this.  A couple of the regulars have worked remotely most of their career there.  Many of us were 9-5 regulars.  I've just switched which camp I belong to.

    Return Tips:

    Can't say I'm a source of wisdom for this.  I would actually advocate for people to work on decoupling from a physical space.  I would love to take a month to "Work From Rome." haha  If the equipment you work on is on the other end of a network, what does it matter how long the cable is?


  • 7.  RE: The March Back to Office

    Posted 03-23-2022 10:46

    I have been working as a contractor for over 5 years now and 90% of my work has been from home. COVID has prevented me from visiting customer sites and travelling internationally to work with our customers.  For me. working from home (unless physical hands are required) is the only working mode that I can understand. 

    I understand that not everyone has the conditions at home that allow them to work from home, such as space, internet connection, some even need to get away from the kids or family. However, spaces can be created for centralized collaboration or smaller offices for those in need, including social events to build connections with colleges. 

    Now, Let's look at the reasons I don't see office spaces making sense...
    From a business perspective, you have massive leasing costs, utilities,  internet, A/C, catering for kitchens, Insurance, liability and you limit your selection of skills to those willing to commute/move to the office.
    From an employee's perspective, the costs of commuting i.e. time, vehicles, public transport, insurance and safety risk, packing or paying for lunch, you are consistently in a position to not deal with family emergencies or could get separated in a disaster (living from experience), long commuters are tired by the time they get to the office, this takes a toll on employees over time. 

    In saying this, my company has recently just purchased a new space and is building out a new office with the plan to bring all staff back to the office.  I'm the exception to this rule only due to my 12000km commute. We are only a few months away from this decision. 

    I think returning to the office will be a welcome relief for many people. However, I strongly believe the key to this desire is human connection and the perception of a better working environment. When you are working from home these factors become the responsibility of the employee, who cannot rely on the employer to create this environment for them at home, and foster their relationships with colleagues and people outside of work.