So… What’s Up, What’s Happening, What’s Going Down

This morning I was starting to put together my latest newsletter (you can subscribe here), and I was going to use the words above as my lead in as it’s an expression that I have been using for a great many years. Then I thought about it and decided that I would write a blog post with those words as the title.

Just for interest, I then Googled them. The first things that came up were a 1992 song from 4 Non Blondes called What’s Up? and a 1966 song from Buffalo Springfield called For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound).

As it turns out, as an old fart, both of these songs are quite familiar to me, and both have developed a large following, being considered as either a protest or an type of anthem by those at the time.

For myself, I feel that both could be entirely applicable to events of the current times.

That being said, these songs were not what generated the thought process for this blog post.

Rather, it was a bit of contemplation of recent personal happenings.

Top of mind, yesterday, along with several Kiwanis colleagues, I attended a memorial service for a friend and long time club member. Ed Bean was a member of the Kiwanis Club of South Edmonton for sixty-five years, caring deeply about anything which would benefit young people. More than that, he was a pillar of the Edmonton community. He helped create and maintain Crystal Kids, an organization teaching, mentoring and nurturing at-risk, inner city kids, named after Crystal Glass, a company he formed in 1949. He was involved, over the years, in a great many community positive happenings as well as being a member of the Edmonton Investors Group which owned the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League from 1998 to 2008. A true people person, Ed will be sorely missed, however his heritage will live long.

I recently set up and started a private family Facebook group, designed to introduce and acquaint diverse family members with each other. Like many families, as time has passed many of us are not familiar with distant cousins, and even may not actually know that we have these cousins. (And no, I’m not providing a link for this blog post, that’s what private is all about.)

As I’m working on this group, I have been delving more and more into our family history. It keeps getting more interesting, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the odd time someone shows up that I knew about, but didn’t know we were related. I do imagine there are many families which may be like that. Check into yours, never know what you’ll find.

Another thing going on, there is a chance that I may actually have my hip replacement surgery on the horizon. As a result, I’m once again going through a battery of tests, procedures and activities in preparation. Perhaps this time it will actually happen. Fingers crossed.

There are a few other things going on that I won’t bore you with. Be it known however, that snow, ice and cold weather are still “in vogue” here in Edmonton and as such the trike and SLK are still ensconced in the garage. (Now I’m making a sad face.)

Bottom line… life is proceeding in it’s unique fashion and our job is to do our best to adapt to it’s flow. It seems to last longer that way.

Working From ????

Last week, prior to a meeting, I was part of a most interesting discussion. The fact that it was a hybrid meeting, and that I was attending the in person part, actually led into the discussion.

We got to talking about working remotely (usually at home) versus working at the office. It seemed to be about a 50/50 split among those taking part in the meeting. The discussion centered mainly around the effect and/or impact on the worker, rather than on the company. There were also discussions relating to pre-, during, and post- Covid, and how the situations were different.

Now for myself, I had retired pre-Covid and as such have been “working” at home, which, for me, is certainly not considered remote. As such, my experiences and thoughts were of course different from the others.

Once the pandemic began, quite a number of companies, in effect, closed down their on-site operations. Some were hands on workplaces, so this meant that employees were laid off. However the majority were office type workplaces, and while closing their physical spaces, various arrangements were made for employees to continue to work, in most cases, from home.

Now it seems, as Covid has passed (??), a good number of organizations are wanting their employees to return to the office while others say working from home is “doing the job” (pun intended). Then there are those organizations which are adopting a hybrid solution and having their employees go to the office two or three days a week and work from home the remainder of time.

Judging by the various reactions, some workers like the thought of returning to the office, some are ambivalent, while others are against it. And, it seems that there are some good reasons, and thoughts, behind each of these options.

During our discussions one person mentioned that although they like working at home they did miss the interaction of having co-workers around. He mentioned that the casual chat which often occurs while working had, from time to time, resulted in an “ah-ha” type of moment as he was working on a document or project.

Interestingly enough, both in-office workers and remote workers provided comments about having, at times, a disruptive environment. Either from co-worker activities or from child/dog/spouse activities. For instance, in my case, Otis the cat demanding to be fed. (Be assured, he can be quite disruptive.)

What are your thoughts or experiences? Do you prefer working at the office, at home, or some combination of both. Share in the comments please.