I WFH, every year one of the goals that the rest of the team decides is that it’s “so great” to see each other in person. The past few years haven’t worked out but one did. I spent hours in a couple of airports, the huge expense for the company, I spent days away from my family, and for what? So you could look me in my same face you would see if we turned cameras on every once in a while? My husband says I’m being weird, but I legitimately want to know, what is the benefit? I hate being there and have to play nice so you can…look me even closer in the face?

  • @Ottomateeverything
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    1285 months ago

    I’m actually shocked to find how many people agree with the OPs sentiment, but maybe there’s something about the demographics of who’s using a FOSS Reddit alternative or something. I’m not saying everyone is wrong or has something wrong with them or whatever, but I entirely agree with people finding this valuable, so maybe I can answer the OPs question here.

    I’ve been working remotely long since before the pandemic. I’ve worked remotely for multiple companies and in different environments. I am extremely introverted and arguably anti social. I tend to want to hang out with many of my friends online over in person. But that doesn’t mean I think there’s no advantage at all. To be honest, when I first started remote work, I thought the in person thing was total bullshit. After a few meetings my opinions drastically changed.

    I’ve pushed (with other employees, of course) to get remote employees flown in at least a few times a year at multiple companies. There are vastly different social dynamics in person than over video. Honestly, I don’t understand how people feel otherwise, especially if they’ve experienced it. I’ve worked with many remote employees over the years and asked about this, and most people have agreed with me. Many of these people are also introverted.

    I think one of the big things here is people harping on the “face” thing. Humans communicate in large part through body language - it’s not just faces. There’s also a lot of communication in microexpressions that aren’t always captured by compressed, badly lit video. So much of communication just isn’t captured in video.

    Secondly, in my experience, online meetings are extremely transactional. You meet at the scheduled time, you talk about the thing, then you close the meeting and move on. In person, people slowly mosy over to meetings. And after the meeting ends, they tend to hang around a bit and chat. When you’re working in an office, you tend to grab lunch with people. Or bump into them by the kitchen. There’s a TON more socializing happening in person where you actually bump into other people and talk them as people and not just cogs in the machine to get your work done.

    I find in person interactions drastically change my relationships with people. Some people come off entirely different online and it’s not until meeting them in person that I really feel like I know them. And then I understand their issues and blockers or miscommunications better and feel more understanding of their experiences.

    Maybe things are different if you work jobs with less interdepencies or are more solo. I’ve always worked jobs that take a lot of cooperation between multiple different people in different roles. And those relationships are just way more functional with people I’ve met and have a real relationship with. And that comes from things that just don’t happen online.

    Im honestly really curious how anyone could feel differently. The other comments just seem mad at being required to and stating the same stuff happens online, but it just doesn’t. I do wonder if maybe it has to do with being younger and entering the workplace more online or something. But I’ve worked with hundreds of remote employees and never heard a single one say the in person stuff to be useless. And I’ve heard many say exactly the opposite.

    • @[email protected]
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      395 months ago

      I think you’re missing the point a wee bit. No one (introverted or otherwise) is arguing against in-person socialising in general. They are arguing against forced in-person socialising with co-workers.

      online meetings are extremely transactional

      Exactly. You know what else is transactional? Jobs. The employer and employee exchange work for currency. Employees don’t owe their employer any meaningful relationships with their co-workers. I’m sure that means less efficient business. I also don’t give a flying fuck.

      • @[email protected]
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        85 months ago

        I felt like this a couple of years ago, then I went and changed both job and career. Suddenly I find myself actually enjoying what I do, as well as my colleagues.

        A job is definitely transactional, but seeing as most of us spend 8h a day on them. I’d urge ya’ll to - if possible - try and find one where you can find some pride and value in what you do, other than the paycheck you receive.

        It has improved all parts of my life in all honesty.

          • @[email protected]
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            Sure. But regardless, I used to work as a teacher. 15 weeks of vacation yearly, great pay (for Sweden at least). Worked about 32h every week.

            I’m much happier today with much less vacation, longer hours and a bit worse pay (though it’ll get much better with time). Because I actually like my job. And I get to work on skills that I have use for in my free time as well.

            It does not have to be all about getting paid as much and working as little as possible. Finding a good employer and a career you like is also an option.

    • @[email protected]
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      185 months ago

      You’re correct in that it’s a higher quality of getting to know people in person.

      However, I don’t want to get to know anyone at my work because I hate the place and I can’t create a honest relationship with my coworkers because of that, if I’d be honest I’d likely be reported or whatever.

      I want to spend more time with people I do care about, not more time with people I don’t care at all about.

      • Illecors
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        185 months ago

        Sliding off topic here, but I would seriously suggest you change jobs. Spending half of your waking time in an environment you hate is one way to die early. Life’s way too short for that!

        • @[email protected]
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          75 months ago

          I hate every job I’ve had so far and I don’t think that is going to change. Thanks for trying though.

          • @[email protected]
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            15 months ago

            have you had a job with a strong union or even outright as a co-operative? i figure the fundamental problem is that normal jobs are inherently exploitative and if you don’t have that bit it might become actually enjoyable

            • @[email protected]
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              15 months ago

              In the end, every job that is not a co-op is inherently exploitative, since if it doesn’t return profit to employ someone, employment will not happen.

              But really the problem is that I have a very low resiliency, I’m mentally weak and can’t work as much as many other people or in the usual way with semi-fixed hours etc. So I can only get bad jobs, because the good jobs are very competitive and I lose to other applicants.

      • @[email protected]
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        Why wouldn’t you be able to create relationships with your colleagues just because you hate your workplace? The worst places I’ve worked at, have had the absolute strongest relationships between the people working there. Because it’s basically been a necessity to survive the workday.

        Your colleagues might hate it as much as you do. That can be something to find comfort in. And you’ll obviously never care about someone you don’t know. Perhaps you might actually start caring about a colleague or two, if you do get to know them.

    • @[email protected]
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      115 months ago

      Yep, well put. I love working remotely, but would appreciate once/twice a year having an off-site to get to know some people in the company on a more human level, or so I know who has a dog, so they can send me pics. As you said, during work hours it’s hard to get away from the transactional nature of the conversation.

      The other thing I’m always worried about, is when grads join the company. A lot are coming from an environment where they’ve been interacting in person on a daily basis, and now their only interaction is online.

    • @[email protected]
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      95 months ago

      I’ve worked service jobs for 20 years and have been doing an office job from home for just over a year and even if I’m not an introvert, getting to choose who I see in person and who I don’t feels wonderful, but I’m also very good at socializing online so I guess I don’t feel the need to see my colleagues in person for this reason…

    • @Evia
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      25 months ago

      Totally agree. I’m on restricted duties at the moment so meet all of my clients on teams. I hate it. The audio is terrible so one or both of us is always mishearing, my desk is in front of a window so I have to keep my curtains closed for them to see me. I don’t get to build the same rapport with them and their responses to my questions are more stilted because of it. A large part of my job is judging body language and reading non-verbal cues, which is next to impossible on teams.

      And on monday, my computer decided to do a mandatory, 3 hour update, so I missed an appointment and couldn’t access the client’s number to apologise or explain. So I had to text a colleague to run over to the client’s office let them know I wasn’t going to make it

    • @[email protected]
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      Further to that, I have found that in-person training sessions are much more effective than training over Teams/Zoom/Skype.

      Not specifically because you are in the room with the instructor, but rather because you are in the room with the other students.

      The opportunity to chat casually with the others during breaks is often where much of the learning and deepening of understanding happens. You can learn about their different approaches to the same problems you have. You can discover that you share confusion about something the instructor had briefly touched on , which can lead to a deeper discussion in class.(far too often during online training nobody asks what they assume is not a common question)

    • @[email protected]
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      So what’s the benefit for me, letting the corporation employees and managers study my body language and micro facial expressions?

      For me, it’s just a huge hassle getting to work, getting up earlier and paying for transport and lunch just to be there, for seemingly no reason that benefits myself at all.

      So much time and energy wasted while also harming the environment.

      I don’t plan to be at the same company more than a few years anyway.

      • @[email protected]
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        55 months ago

        The question and response you’re responding to aren’t about working in the office on a regular basis, just about the occasional in-person gathering. Your response comes across as complaints about working in the office daily.

        I cannot imagine going back to an office job that isn’t WFH, but I agree strongly with the commenter here acknowledging the value of the occasional in-person socializing.

        Even before 2020, I worked in a small remote office far from my thousands of coworkers at our corporate office. The relationships I was able to build spending 3-4 days at HQ every quarter or so greatly impacted my day-to-day work for the better. I have a specific example of someone I was having trouble working with for months, but after a single face-to-face interaction, for no reason I could name, we were suddenly great partners. She even left the company for a few years then came back a couple months ago and reached out to me, excited we’d get to work together again.

        I don’t see value in working day-to-day in person. The company gets significantly more value from me by allowing me to work from home. But interstitial socializing of the occasional in-person event makes a significant difference in the relationships I have with my coworkers, which makes the team stronger and the work more enjoyable.

    • @suction
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      05 months ago

      In your intro paragraph you say meetings. I think people who still think of meetings as being a worthwhile way to spend company time probably are demographically preoccupied with the alleged value of “in person”.

  • @Arete
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    605 months ago

    The extraverts had the tables turned on them in 2020 and have been itchy for a captive audience ever since. It’s a drug fix for these people, nothing more. I’ve skipped every cross country in-person team building gibberish since 2020 and will continue to do so.

    • @[email protected]
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      195 months ago

      I like how indulging extrovertism is a drug fix, but indulging introvertism is just normal. Even though we’re scientifically social animals…

      • @OnlyJabs
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        365 months ago

        The problem is that some extroverts try to push their desire for face-to-face engagement onto others while trying to make introverts feel bad or ostracized for not wanting to. Obviously there are sane, reasonable people on both sides. Unfortunately, those that make the rules in the USA are typically neither sane nor reasonable.

      • @[email protected]
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        345 months ago

        Introverts: I don’t mind RTO as long as it’s on an “at will” basis

        Extroverts: I want everyone to RTO

        See how indulging one or the other isn’t the same?

      • @[email protected]
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        125 months ago

        This is like calling for straight pride month. Society is built for extroverts, and introverts have always had to put extroverts’ needs first. Now that introverts can work in a comfortable environment, suddenly, it’s an issue.

        When I was in high school, I had a girl tell me I was her favorite person to work with, and for one simple reason: if she wanted to talk, I’d talk to her; and if she didn’t, I wouldn’t try to force her into a conversation.

        It’s work, not a social call.

        • @[email protected]
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          15 months ago

          We are talking about a get together once or twice a year here. That is very much something that is not only beneficial for extroverts, but also most introverts. The extremities between these often get a bit absurd when discussing. Studies show the happiness level of introverts increasing after social gatherings as well.

          Not saying it should happen daily or even weekly. But yearly? That should not be a problem for anyone.

          • @[email protected]
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            25 months ago

            I was talking specifically about PapaStevesy’s comment complaining about calling catering to extroverts a drug-fix and catering to introverts normal, and then going on to imply that introverts are unnatural (too heavy a word, but I can’t come up with a better one) because “we’re social animals.”

            But as to the OP, I’m not here to argue against the idea that introverts enjoy social interaction. Because they do. It’s just mentally and emotionally exhausting to do. What I will argue against is the idea that you need to fulfill that social interaction with the people you work with, especially when it requires going to such lengths as a cross-country flight like in OP’s example, who clearly didn’t want to do this nor enjoyed a moment of the whole circus of the experience.

            At that point, we’re not even talking extrovert vs. introvert.

            As somebody who spent way too long working at a shitty job because I loved the people I worked with, there’s a reason that I never saw any of them outside of work apart from the one guy that I still play games with online. My life doesn’t revolve around work. That’s not what gives my life meaning. It’s simply what I have to do in order to be able to afford to live. I’m not saying be an asshole or don’t get along well with the people you work with, but I am saying that I’d rather spend my time with friends, family, and community. Expecting the people you work with, especially at a remote job, to be part of those 3 simply because you work with them is silly. And at that point, going through a once-yearly gathering is simply ritual, nothing more.

      • @rambaroo
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        American work culture has always heavily favored extraverts to begin with. I feel really resentful because extraverts finally got a small taste of what it means to be forced to adjust to a workplace they’re uncomfortable with, and now they act like we all need to go into the office again to keep their needs met.

        There’s never been any real consideration of introverts when it comes to office culture, other than to ridicule or minimize us when we express our needs. And btw I work a highly social job and interact with people all day long. I’m expected to adjust but extraverts aren’t.

      • @suction
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        You’re moving goalposts here because we’re specifically talking about work and colleagues. Being an extrovert doesn’t imply you want to meet any effin person.

  • @BananaTrifleViolin
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    Because generally social interaction is easier and better face to face. You can read people’s facial cues better, have true eye contact, better hear the subtitles of voice and mood. People feel more connected with someone if they have met them face to face.

    Alternatively, communication via email and video call can be hard and easily misread. People can misread emails as aggressive or be aggressive and not realise the impact. Communication on a video call, especially in big groups, can be difficult and impersonal.

    Meeting up occasionally is probably seen as good a way to keep your team coherent and friendly. You’re more likely to be aware of the other person’s feelings if it’s someone you’ve socialised and spent time with. It’s easier to be empathetic and kind if you know that person in the flesh rather than just a name on an email or a random face on a video call. You’re more likely to make allowances for other people if you know about them and their circumstances.

    When working remotely how many times do you have social calls and chats with your colleagues? It’s an important element of being in a long term team.

    I work in a hospital in a busy face to face job but some colleagues I barely see as we have different weekly rosters. So I only interact with them via email or video call; despite being in the same building a lot of the time. We make the time once a month to have a team meeting and social catch up as it’s good for everyone and the team. It’s similar to what you’re doing once a year across a country.

    You may not see the value in it but it may be worth noting other people may see the value in getting to know you and understand you. For example if that socialisation isn’t something that comes natural to you, your team members seeing you and getting to know you will also help them adjust to work better with you. It is very much a 2 way thing.

    • @[email protected]
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      115 months ago

      I got to say, this is only true if interaction is actually better in person. For me I’m not sure that is the case. I also do not participate in all social calls that my company set up, but I am always available for 1v1 video calls with my colleagues.

      I was at the office 3 times last year and that is plenty enough for me and my team.

    • @[email protected]
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      -95 months ago

      Pretty ableist to assume everyone wants that though. Like I’m autistic and I do way better with video calls and emails than in person.

      • Liz
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        135 months ago

        Did you not read the last paragraph, where they mentioned that it might not have value for OP directly, but their coworkers see value in it anyway?

        • @[email protected]
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          -105 months ago

          Pretty ableist to force someone into a situation that makes them uncomfortable just because you assume everyone enjoys it.

          • @[email protected]
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            105 months ago

            Where in the post does it say anyone is being forced into it? OP was asking why their team wanted to meet up face to face, the first reply explains why teams would want to do it, while acknowledging that not everyone wants to.

  • @[email protected]
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    I have a slightly different perspective that hasn’t particularly been mentioned yet.

    I think you agree that communication with your spouse and friends is better in person than online. Otherwise, why do you live together with your spouse? That’s the argument of the meet-in-office folks.

    However, the difference is that you don’t care about or hate your job and/or coworkers. Other people, who push for these meetings, do not feel like this. Hence they enjoy the higher quality of relationship offered by occasional in-person time, but you don’t.

    • @[email protected]
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      175 months ago

      Not sure about this.

      I like my job, and my coworkers.

      Do I like them enough to spend my own time going to see them instead of my family? Nope.

      You can like people but prefer other people.

    • @LifeInMultipleChoice
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      -245 months ago

      I would argue that the in person difference revolves around a lot of intimacy, and further encourages coworkers to ogle other members and increase the likelihood of sexual harassment or just office drama of coworkers now dating or having had a one night stand.

      Personal life - better in person Work life - better separate

      I’m not saying in office jobs are unhealthy or bad, just that if a job is remote, forcing them to get together when they took a remote job just promotes those things that they were avoiding for whatever reasons they applied for a remote job.

        • @LifeInMultipleChoice
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          -85 months ago

          Forcing remote workers to go somewhere in person when they don’t sign up for an in person job. Glad to see you disagree, but by no means are there any hoops

      • @suction
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        155 months ago

        Not sure if you even need to bring in a sexual component (dude?)…some people feel like their work colleagues are their “2nd family”. Mostly the ones that love to gossip and take a 10 minute break per hour to go to the break room to meet people.

        • @LifeInMultipleChoice
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          -105 months ago

          None of which apply here, these are remote workers, being forced to go to an in person meeting. Those people you are talking about work in person jobs, unless the break room is their kitchen and their second family is a reference to having 2 families

  • @[email protected]
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    565 months ago

    Some people really like in-person socialization. There’s something lost in the webcam only meeting. I’m glad you adapted well to the circumstances of the pandemic, but not everyone faired so well. I can tell ya I went a lil bonkers not being able to see people in person.

    • @gdog05
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      375 months ago

      How you felt, going bonkers, is roughly how many introverts feel being around people. So, the three years that introverts felt good in the history of… forever, many of us would like to keep that. I just ask that extroverts respect how shitty the workforce is especially for introverts and maybe try to get their social needs met in their personal life and not demand that work time also fit only their needs. At the expense of others.

      • @Ottomateeverything
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        295 months ago

        As an introvert, as much as I feel weird aroind people, I feel even weirder video chatting with people I’ve never met in person. In that situation, I have no idea how to read people and the expectations are way harder to try to meet. This makes meetings even worse until I meet them.

        While I agree that forced in person work daily is insane, the OP is complaining about meeting people in person once after many years, which feels equally as ridiculous. IMO even for widely dispersed teams, meeting a few times a year seems ideal.

        • @[email protected]
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          135 months ago

          Some people do not care about reading people or meeting expectations of people at work. They just want to do whatever is strictly necessary to get some money to live, and then get away from the whole thing.

          • @[email protected]
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            35 months ago

            They may not care, but reading people and meeting expectations of your colleagues is pretty much a bare minimum level of functioning for most professional positions.

            I’m a massive introvert and would love to not have to rely on those social aspects of work, but they undeniably make me more effective at my job and make life easier in the long run. It’s no different than physical exercise or any of the million other things in life that might be a bit unpleasant but are ultimately good for you.

            • @[email protected]
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              25 months ago

              Well… no

              As long as you don’t get fired, there’s no need to do any of these things, if you literally don’t care what happens at your job, then there’s no need to be effective or anything like that. You don’t need to be liked, you don’t need to care what your coworkers think, you just need to do enough work that it’s useful to employ you.

    • @shalafi
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      105 months ago

      We’re social animals, socialization benefits us. WFH is better overall, but meeting up now and again has clear benefits.

      Just commented here, and the anti-social folks seem to disagree, even though I’m mainly agreeing with them. Go figure.

  • @[email protected]
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    Some people need to be around others, some people hate it, some people are indifferent. Everyone is different.

    I find social interactions very draining. While others find being isolated draining.

    I think we are likely in the minority but that doesn’t make us weird. No one is normal.

    • @[email protected]
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      275 months ago

      Social interactions are totally draining for me, but I cannot understand a person until I had a face to face communication with them.

      • @mohammed_alibi
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        115 months ago

        Same here. I am introverted and I hate social interactions. It drains me. BUT for me, after talking and meeting a person face-to-face a few times, all the rest of the online communication becomes a lot more smooth-sailing.

      • @[email protected]
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        105 months ago

        Thanks for posting that. I find social interactions pretty draining as well, and default to email or chat whenever possible, but your post made it click in my head that even a quick video call with a new (or old!) colleague makes later communications feel so much easier.

  • @[email protected]
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    I think everyone just pretends to be honest. They’re a few fucking weirdos who enjoy waiting 5 extra hours for their delayed flight and having to rent a car to drive to some conference that could have been conducted virtually and all that other bullshit, but I’m fairly confident that most people would prefer NOT to do that and to simply wfh. Webcams are fine with me. I have friends. I have a wife. I have a family. I don’t need to see work people in real life. It literally adds zero benefit to my life. Also a lot of people suffer from chronic pain like back problems. Commutting and flying and sitting 8 hours a day in some piece of shit ergo chair from 1988 is literally torture for them. Work culture has no sympathy for disabled people. They can go get fucked. Work from home for life all you motherfuckers.

    • @[email protected]
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      5 months ago

      I’m the same way. I’m not anti-social, just picky with how I spend my time and with whom. I guess it’s more of a reflection on my job, but work people ain’t it – meaning I wouldn’t be friends with most of them outside of work. As I get older, I find that I increasingly put myself first and have less tolerance for bullshit lol.

      • @[email protected]
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        55 months ago

        Yea. Exactly. There have only been a handful of work colleagues who i actually wanted to be friends with. I’ve disliked or been indifferent talking to 95% of the people I’ve worked with.

    • Otter
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      It depends a lot on the group of people, but sometimes introverts can prefer in person interactions. With online meetings, there’s usually one person in focus and that makes it harder to pop in and speak. With in person sessions, you can speak one on one.

      It depends person to person, dynamics of the team, and the costs of meeting in person.

      For example, this could be more true for younger team members who may not have a strong social network / a family at home

      • @Ottomateeverything
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        95 months ago

        Yeah, I’ve met many people who literally have never spoken up in a meeting unless called upon… And then you meet them in person and they talk all the time.

        Online dynamics are entirely different and it doesn’t work at all for some people.

        But for most people it’s functional but much less so than in person. Humans were wired for in person interactions. Not just cropped compressed video of a persons face.

  • @[email protected]
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    195 months ago

    Because I can’t seem to act the same remotely as I do in person. I have trouble reading the room and responding as expected.

    • @shalafi
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      95 months ago

      Yep. In my review with my last boss, while transitioning to a new team, he noted that someone had said I should act more professionally. No idea what he meant! Never had such a thing said to me in decades of in-person work.

      In person, we get a better feel for the emotions present. No getting around the fact that we evolved to be social animals. When the internet first became a thing, it was conventional wisdom that we were missing out on a lot of social cues by only communicating via text.

      My company seems to have nailed it, so far. Mostly leaning on hiring local employees, but no mandate to come in. They can meet up, and that’s nice for many reasons. I’m starting to feel left out a bit, wanting to fly up there again, just hang out for a day or two, build relationships, learn about what people outside my team or working on or struggling with. Generally shoot the bullshit and make friends. Guess that’s passe now.

  • @DingoBilly
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    165 months ago

    I’m in the same boat as you. It’s a waste of time for me, but others seem to need it.

    It’s worth noting I have autism though. So social interactions don’t do much for me.

    • @[email protected]
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      55 months ago

      I realized in fairly early adulthood that I have traits that would have gotten me an Asperger’s diagnosis pre DSM changes so I relate.

      Spent years making quarterly trips from outside Indy to upstate NY - somehow the boss thought it was good for morale or something.

      What it was good for was reminding me how much I disliked that individual as a human being in general, and why I needed to GTFO there.

  • @[email protected]
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    145 months ago

    If I only ever have to see my team once a year, I take it as a win, fake it til I make it, pretend it’s amazing for flatter my boss and team.

    Everyone would think I’m an asshole if I wasn’t positive and polite about the one whole day we are forced to eat fucking bagels together.