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When are things going back to normal?  Will they ever?


Otis

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2 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

The thread is titled "When are things going back to normal?" You specifically asked if kids are in school in July? So I assumed you were saying things were back to normal since it is, you know, July.

Ah ok, no I was responding to your post

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Just found out today our two youngest will be going back full time in September. The oldest still up in the air and could be hybrid, just not sure yet. Meanwhile I’ll be WFH and Mrs.O not working. It’s gonna be like a vacation if oldest goes back even a couple days per week. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is the source of debate with my BIL. He works for a big bank that owns a huge hi rise in Manhattan. He swears Manhattan will go back to normal like it always has. 
 

I keep telling him my industry and many others like it have just learned they don’t need a physical presence. They don’t need all this real estate. So why pay for it?  Manhattan isn’t factories and R&D facilities. It’s offices with white collar service professionals who can now, so we’ve learned, do their jobs from anywhere. 
 

He refers back to 9/11 and asks what has changed?! People thought that was the demise of NYC and it wasn’t. I told him what has changed is bandwidth. Technology. In 2002 we couldn’t operate remotely. For the first time in human history now we can. Why wouldn’t smart businesses start taking advantage of those savings, like any other savings or tax loophole or other item smart businesses can exercise to increase profit?

Most if the smart people I’m hearing from are saying Manhattan and other big cities will never return to what they were. This is a game changer. 
 

I tend to agree. Manhattan is a city built to support a huge commuting workforce. Those businesses can’t survive if the big businesses decide they just need 1/2? 1/3? Of the real estate they had before.  Or less?  

And if you’re paying a premium to live in NYC so you don’t have to commute, as many people are?  Why on earth would you pay so much to live there if you don’t have to commute anyway?

BIL keeps sending me articles suggesting the real estate market isn’t significantly affected. Maybe it hasn’t been yet?  Or maybe people don’t sell and pick up and leave in a span of months, and this will take longer?  Or maybe the data is wrong?

Who knows. Either way I’m not sure what to believe, but I find the whole thing fascinating. 

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2 minutes ago, Otis said:

I keep telling him my industry and many others like it have just learned they don’t need a physical presence. They don’t need all this real estate. So why pay for it?  Manhattan isn’t factories and R&D facilities. It’s offices with white collar service professionals who can now, so we’ve learned, do their jobs from anywhere. 

It took them until 2020 to "learn" this?

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1 minute ago, Rodrigo Duterte said:

It took them until 2020 to "learn" this?

Yup. And you couldn’t have in 2002. Maybe not in 2008 either. Now you can, for the first time. 

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I'm with you. I just dont see how NYC is "back to normal" any time soon, if ever.

Lets make some EXTREMELY generous assumptions and assume that all  A) 75% of companies in Manhattan keep their locations and that B) capacity at those locations is limited to 50% for the foreseeable future. (again, I'm being generous....it could be lower)   How does that affect commuting schedules? (NJ Transit and LIRR can't possibly afford to run the same amount of routes if the trains are only at like 40% of the capacity they used to be.  (and that's generous I think, because my guess is the city-folk are more likely to still go into the office than the NJ and LI people)

And yeah, I have to think that a HUGE chunk of the local bodegas, lunch places, etc die off as a result of it. I have to imagine a bunch of them already have.

I started a new job in mid-town on March 9th. The big sticking point (while I was negotiating the move, which was internal) was whether I would have to go in 2 days a week or 3. I support multiple offices (NJ, NY, LI) in my new role but most of it is NYC. The thought was that I needed to be in NYC as much as possible to learn and cultivate relationships so we settled on 3. Well....then I went full remote after just 3 days in the office and obviously have been ever since. Got up to speed no problem...working pretty seamlessly with people all over the tri-state area despite being thrown to the fire without a ton of support. (having to learn remotely, dealing with people who I've never met, a bunch of accounts that renewed right at the start, etc..) It will be tough for them to ever argue that I NEED to be in the city 3 days a week. Honestly.....1 days a week will probably be enough (with the occasional extra day for a client meeting....if we ever get back to doing that)

And yeah, the technology is the key.  Certain meetings are/would be much better in person. But a vast majority are perfectly fine over zoom. And my guess is the remote experience is going to get better and better as companies reallocate resources from real estate to technology going forward.

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1 minute ago, TLEF316 said:

I'm with you. I just dont see how NYC is "back to normal" any time soon, if ever.

Lets make some EXTREMELY generous assumptions and assume that all  A) 75% of companies in Manhattan keep their locations and that B) capacity at those locations is limited to 50% for the foreseeable future. (again, I'm being generous....it could be lower)   How does that affect commuting schedules? (NJ Transit and LIRR can't possibly afford to run the same amount of routes if the trains are only at like 40% of the capacity they used to be.  (and that's generous I think, because my guess is the city-folk are more likely to still go into the office than the NJ and LI people)

And yeah, I have to think that a HUGE chunk of the local bodegas, lunch places, etc die off as a result of it. I have to imagine a bunch of them already have.

I started a new job in mid-town on March 9th. The big sticking point (while I was negotiating the move, which was internal) was whether I would have to go in 2 days a week or 3. I support multiple offices (NJ, NY, LI) in my new role but most of it is NYC. The thought was that I needed to be in NYC as much as possible to learn and cultivate relationships so we settled on 3. Well....then I went full remote after just 3 days in the office and obviously have been ever since. Got up to speed no problem...working pretty seamlessly with people all over the tri-state area despite being thrown to the fire without a ton of support. (having to learn remotely, dealing with people who I've never met, a bunch of accounts that renewed right at the start, etc..) It will be tough for them to ever argue that I NEED to be in the city 3 days a week. Honestly.....1 days a week will probably be enough (with the occasional extra day for a client meeting....if we ever get back to doing that)

And yeah, the technology is the key.  Certain meetings are/would be much better in person. But a vast majority are perfectly fine over zoom. And my guess is the remote experience is going to get better and better as companies reallocate resources from real estate to technology going forward.

Great points. I’ve been talking about mass transit. The NYC MTA was already a disaster.  How would it work with 1/3 the daily ridership? Hell, even half?  I just don’t see how any of this is gonna work. 

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By the way I live in a pricey NYC suburb.  I don’t like the idea or marginalizing big cities because a lot of my home value and huge mortgage is based on that. I could see my town home values tanking. I’m hopeful that people still want community, and want good schools, and that makes it remain desireable. But if we didn’t have roots here already, and family here, and my kids didn’t have friends here, I’d be thinking hard about selling and moving because the real estate falls off. Hopefully it never gets that bad. 

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On 7/24/2020 at 10:28 PM, DallasDMac said:

The thread is titled "When are things going back to normal?" You specifically asked if kids are in school in July? So I assumed you were saying things were back to normal since it is, you know, July.

DMac - haven’t seen you around - hope your daughter is doing well as well as you.

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

This is the source of debate with my BIL. He works for a big bank that owns a huge hi rise in Manhattan. He swears Manhattan will go back to normal like it always has. 
 

I keep telling him my industry and many others like it have just learned they don’t need a physical presence. They don’t need all this real estate. So why pay for it?  Manhattan isn’t factories and R&D facilities. It’s offices with white collar service professionals who can now, so we’ve learned, do their jobs from anywhere. 
 

He refers back to 9/11 and asks what has changed?! People thought that was the demise of NYC and it wasn’t. I told him what has changed is bandwidth. Technology. In 2002 we couldn’t operate remotely. For the first time in human history now we can. Why wouldn’t smart businesses start taking advantage of those savings, like any other savings or tax loophole or other item smart businesses can exercise to increase profit?

Most if the smart people I’m hearing from are saying Manhattan and other big cities will never return to what they were. This is a game changer. 
 

I tend to agree. Manhattan is a city built to support a huge commuting workforce. Those businesses can’t survive if the big businesses decide they just need 1/2? 1/3? Of the real estate they had before.  Or less?  

And if you’re paying a premium to live in NYC so you don’t have to commute, as many people are?  Why on earth would you pay so much to live there if you don’t have to commute anyway?

BIL keeps sending me articles suggesting the real estate market isn’t significantly affected. Maybe it hasn’t been yet?  Or maybe people don’t sell and pick up and leave in a span of months, and this will take longer?  Or maybe the data is wrong?

Who knows. Either way I’m not sure what to believe, but I find the whole thing fascinating. 

All of this is true but one thing to add - having your workforce remote means you can recruit people from all over the country or the globe.  Companies forcing white collar workers in to an office were limited in who they can hire.  HR groups have realized they can expand their candidate base tremendously by allowing remote work full time.

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Generations ago (industrial revolution?) people moved away from an agricultural society to head to the cities to work. But technology allows us to not be chained to the office and the urban centers. Maybe we disperse back out to the suburbs and rural areas where we can enjoy some more space, fresh air and bigger homes/home offices. That's the new normal.

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2 hours ago, Otis said:

This is the source of debate with my BIL. He works for a big bank that owns a huge hi rise in Manhattan. He swears Manhattan will go back to normal like it always has. 
 

I keep telling him my industry and many others like it have just learned they don’t need a physical presence. They don’t need all this real estate. So why pay for it?  Manhattan isn’t factories and R&D facilities. It’s offices with white collar service professionals who can now, so we’ve learned, do their jobs from anywhere. 
 

He refers back to 9/11 and asks what has changed?! People thought that was the demise of NYC and it wasn’t. I told him what has changed is bandwidth. Technology. In 2002 we couldn’t operate remotely. For the first time in human history now we can. Why wouldn’t smart businesses start taking advantage of those savings, like any other savings or tax loophole or other item smart businesses can exercise to increase profit?

Most if the smart people I’m hearing from are saying Manhattan and other big cities will never return to what they were. This is a game changer. 
 

I tend to agree. Manhattan is a city built to support a huge commuting workforce. Those businesses can’t survive if the big businesses decide they just need 1/2? 1/3? Of the real estate they had before.  Or less?  

And if you’re paying a premium to live in NYC so you don’t have to commute, as many people are?  Why on earth would you pay so much to live there if you don’t have to commute anyway?

BIL keeps sending me articles suggesting the real estate market isn’t significantly affected. Maybe it hasn’t been yet?  Or maybe people don’t sell and pick up and leave in a span of months, and this will take longer?  Or maybe the data is wrong?

Who knows. Either way I’m not sure what to believe, but I find the whole thing fascinating. 

The company I work for is in most major cities in 80+ countries ( multiple offices in many cities). They are considering closing 90% of the offices and just going to WFH. The only major office will be HQ. 

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2 minutes ago, culdeus said:

What does it cost to just provide a cube to someone in Manhattan? 100k a year?

Yeah - I’m not sure who the big office development type company’s are but they are going to be hurting down the road.  Maybe not Manhattan but other big cities are going to have huge building sitting empty.  I have to say - I’m not sure I anticipated this happening.

Does anyone have a rough percentage  of workers that can WFH full time?  I’m sure it’s still not a majority but it’s a large number.

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21 minutes ago, Ocram said:

Does anyone have a rough percentage  of workers that can WFH full time?  I’m sure it’s still not a majority but it’s a large number.

As a percentage of all workers in America it's probably low.  But as a percentage of the white collar workers that fill Manhattan offices it's gotta be approximately 100%.  

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Just now, Ignoratio Elenchi said:

As a percentage of all workers in America it's probably low.  But as a percentage of the white collar workers that fill Manhattan offices it's gotta be approximately 100%.  

I think this is right. And I’m focusing on Manhattan because it’s the easiest example here and the most extreme, but I imagine some of these same principles will apply to all major cities. (Though the major cities with mass transit and huge commuting workforces are the ones that I imagine will be hit hardest). 

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10 hours ago, Otis said:

By the way I live in a pricey NYC suburb.  I don’t like the idea or marginalizing big cities because a lot of my home value and huge mortgage is based on that. I could see my town home values tanking. I’m hopeful that people still want community, and want good schools, and that makes it remain desireable. But if we didn’t have roots here already, and family here, and my kids didn’t have friends here, I’d be thinking hard about selling and moving because the real estate falls off. Hopefully it never gets that bad. 

Are you already noticing a mass exodus? My wife's cousin sells real estate around the research triangle area in NC and she said its been bananas. Said she's never seen anything like it in 25yrs. Tons of people from northern cities (Philly, NYC, Boton, etc) all moving south and the real estate markets are going crazy. 

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Kind of weird, but I miss being in crowds. There's something oddly comforting about it. It's been so long since I've been around a large number of people. The Minnesota State Fair would have been this month, which I look forward to every year. Large events will eventually come back I'm sure, but it will take a while even after a vaccine becomes available. I think it will be another year or two.

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My daughter and I miss going to thrift stores and the flea market. She likes to look for albums and old clothes and I am a video game and sports card collector. We drove by the local flea market Saturday and it was wall to wall people. Despite there being a mask mandate, there didn't appear to be a really high level of compliance. We just kept on driving....

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4 hours ago, Otis said:

I think this is right. And I’m focusing on Manhattan because it’s the easiest example here and the most extreme, but I imagine some of these same principles will apply to all major cities. (Though the major cities with mass transit and huge commuting workforces are the ones that I imagine will be hit hardest). 

The trickle down effect is going to be massive.  Think of the back infrastructure to keep the office towers going.  Cleaning crews, security, general maintenance, lunch spots, mail room, the list is huge.  

I've heard it said that for every gas station 40 people depend on it for money, you take that away (thinking EV) it's going to disrupt something like 1 in 8 americans.  Changing office culture could touch even more I bet.  

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9 hours ago, E-Z Glider said:

Are you already noticing a mass exodus? My wife's cousin sells real estate around the research triangle area in NC and she said its been bananas. Said she's never seen anything like it in 25yrs. Tons of people from northern cities (Philly, NYC, Boton, etc) all moving south and the real estate markets are going crazy. 

There has been a mass exodus from Chicago.  How long until the downtown stores leave also because of decreased foot traffic?  I read that Victoria's Secret is looking to leave midtown Manhattan and it's rent of $938,000/month.  

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4 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

There has been a mass exodus from Chicago.  How long until the downtown stores leave also because of decreased foot traffic?  I read that Victoria's Secret is looking to leave midtown Manhattan and it's rent of $938,000/month.  

I was actually speaking to someone yesterday who told me VS vacated that property.  They just left, and they aren’t paying any rent.  And they’re not the only corporation doing this sort of thing.  What a mess.

Interesting to hear about Chicago too.

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1 minute ago, Otis said:

I was actually speaking to someone yesterday who told me VS vacated that property.  They just left, and they aren’t paying any rent.  And they’re not the only corporation doing this sort of thing.  What a mess.

Interesting to hear about Chicago too.

I live right across the lake from Chicago.  Ever since the lockdown from the pandemic and the riots, people are working from their summer homes, many for good.    No real reason to go into the city, Michigan Ave is basically boarded up.  I'll know the impact after Labor Day, but I've had two days off since the pandemic started.  

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1 hour ago, FairWarning said:

I live right across the lake from Chicago.  Ever since the lockdown from the pandemic and the riots, people are working from their summer homes, many for good.    No real reason to go into the city, Michigan Ave is basically boarded up.  I'll know the impact after Labor Day, but I've had two days off since the pandemic started.  

Interesting. Anecdotally all the people I work with in Manhattan are doing the same. They’ve left for vacation homes in eastern Long Island and Connecticut, or the North Carolina shore, or Vermont, or family houses as far as Colorado. Everyone seems so much happier being away from the grind. My buddy in Colorado is constantly showing pics on FB of he and his kids playing in the Colorado river, fly fishing, etc. Nobody wants to go back if they don’t have to. And businesses have good reason not to go back. 

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42 minutes ago, Otis said:

Interesting. Anecdotally all the people I work with in Manhattan are doing the same. They’ve left for vacation homes in eastern Long Island and Connecticut, or the North Carolina shore, or Vermont, or family houses as far as Colorado. Everyone seems so much happier being away from the grind. My buddy in Colorado is constantly showing pics on FB of he and his kids playing in the Colorado river, fly fishing, etc. Nobody wants to go back if they don’t have to. And businesses have good reason not to go back. 

Lol at all the urbanites migrating to the sticks

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So it's not the malls that are the soon to be ghost towns, it's the cities. Very interesting. Commutes have become such a burden on people's free time that I can totally see why people are choosing to do this.

That said, there's got to still be sectors of the economy where presence is required. But what a turn of events. Like someone said, technology behooved us to centralize in urban/production areas during the industrial revolution, perhaps it will behoove us to move away from the cities these days and into the future.

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3 hours ago, rockaction said:

So it's not the malls that are the soon to be ghost towns, it's the cities. Very interesting. Commutes have become such a burden on people's free time that I can totally see why people are choosing to do this.

That said, there's got to still be sectors of the economy where presence is required. But what a turn of events. Like someone said, technology behooved us to centralize in urban/production areas during the industrial revolution, perhaps it will behoove us to move away from the cities these days and into the future.

If you think about it, it was already starting to happen.  But only for tech companies and really progressive forward thinking companies. Most stodgy old big business refused or was reluctant.  But now it’s been battle tested and it’s proven that it works. That’s maybe the game changer here. Stodgy old industries can’t still sit around and say “that won’t work for us.”  It just did, for 6 months. 

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On 8/19/2020 at 3:12 AM, Otis said:

If you think about it, it was already starting to happen.  But only for tech companies and really progressive forward thinking companies. Most stodgy old big business refused or was reluctant.  But now it’s been battle tested and it’s proven that it works. That’s maybe the game changer here. Stodgy old industries can’t still sit around and say “that won’t work for us.”  It just did, for 6 months. 

NYC is Dead Forever... Here's Why

Interesting read. Covers much of what's already been said in here.

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On 8/19/2020 at 12:12 AM, Otis said:

If you think about it, it was already starting to happen.  But only for tech companies and really progressive forward thinking companies. Most stodgy old big business refused or was reluctant.  But now it’s been battle tested and it’s proven that it works. That’s maybe the game changer here. Stodgy old industries can’t still sit around and say “that won’t work for us.”  It just did, for 6 months. 

Maybe the counterbalance is that cost of commercial leases decreases due to lower demand. Resulting in companies that want to work in traditional offices to do so at a lower cost.
I've been working out of my house for 2.5 years and I miss having colleagues to joke and get lunch with. 

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Good topic.

I have a question or two.

Food.

Since it seems like many resturants will go belly up, what will the new model look like? People will still have to eat.  Slimmed down take out places? Limited menu to specials of the day?

What about a potential spreading of the population from urban areas? Less concentration would definitely mess up places to eat, etc.

I live in a small town. Successful eateries either involve serving certain lunches daily, or cheaper ethnic foods like mexican or chinese. There are nearly no night time eateries here. Meat markets/small grocers are big and people cook.

 

Financial.

Who ends up holding the bag at the end of this? Commercial buildings are presumably pledged as collateral for mortgages, right? Will it be banks that take the loss? If so, this means that the government will bail out banks with commercial loans like they did with housing back in whatever year that was, like 2008, right? the issue is that people have to live somewhere, but if businesses dont, is it that helpful to bail the banks out of this? Will these places become warehouses for amazon or something?

Local and big government will lose so much tax revenue, plus have to bail out people. Is inflation inevitable?

 

Jobs.

Agricultural field hands went to factories to work to went to the Service industry for bars/eateries. Where do they go next? Will we convert to renewable resources and that conversion will create a pile of jobs? Is universal guaranteed income a real option?

 

This whole thing is completely mind-blowing. I wonder if capitolism changes forever because of this. People around me are noticing and discussing how much the government caters to corporations and other business entities. I live in a very red state.

 

Sorry, Friday afternoon ramble. Carry on.

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33 minutes ago, L5UT1ger said:

Good topic.

I have a question or two.

Food.

Since it seems like many resturants will go belly up, what will the new model look like? People will still have to eat.  Slimmed down take out places? Limited menu to specials of the day?

 

I believe the new model will be places specifically built for take-out. Instead of crammed kitchens and big empty dining areas, they will be purpose-built to facilitate huge amounts of food moving out the door in the short 2 hour dinner rush. The ordering, payment, and pickup processes will be streamlined for speed. I believe there will be more family style options (where you buy a dinner based on the number of people eating rather than each person ordering individually off a menu) which will offer better pricing. And in the end, I believe the food will be better and cheaper because only the strong will survive. 

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On 8/19/2020 at 2:12 AM, Otis said:

If you think about it, it was already starting to happen.  But only for tech companies and really progressive forward thinking companies. Most stodgy old big business refused or was reluctant.  But now it’s been battle tested and it’s proven that it works. That’s maybe the game changer here. Stodgy old industries can’t still sit around and say “that won’t work for us.”  It just did, for 6 months. 

This is what is most interesting to me, personally ... I work for an Old Stodgy in a big city and have been slowly building a track record to make my case to move elsewhere and work remotely (w/ some travel).  This whole thing has exposed that it CAN work (for now), and I'm fascinated to see what the Old Stodgy Execs will do to deal with it when their higher-performers inevitably start making that ask.

I'd also add that remote work setups & technology, while battle tested, will only continue improve as this drags on for what seems like at least another 3-6 months for many.

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It's a good opportunity for employees/companies to negotiate; would you rather like to make 150k living in the city or make 100k living outside of it?

Where I'm at, there are functions that we decided will be 100% remote going forward regardless of what happens.  To @Otis's point, it's been proven it can be done so why pay for the office space/utilities/liability/etc. to get the same results? 

Personally, I thought this would hurt newer employees getting acclimated but the virtual meeting tools available now, even that's not as big of a deal.  The ability to share each other's screen at ease is a game changer instead of standing over someone's shoulder to figure out "what screen they're stuck on" or w/e.   

There have been some retraining/changing mindset - I've got some senior folks that say things like "we'll need to buy printers for ALL of the employees working at home".  Why?  What are they printing? ~99% of what we do is signed electronically.  The few times someone has to print, we'll figure something out but I'm not buying a printer/scanner/fax for every employee. 

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On 7/23/2020 at 1:49 PM, Gally said:

I think once a vaccine is in place and proven to be effective the overall public view will start to go out of site out of mind.  Similar to how people react to the flu now.  I know I was amazed at the number of deaths associated to the flu each year.  I never knew it was that deadly in this day and age.  I expect that once a vaccine is in place people's views will slowly get back to how the flu is treated.

I have to admit that I didn't realize 25k people die every year from the flu.  I get my shot every year because I have two sons who are Type 1 diabetic, and the flu can put them in danger because it's really hard to manage blood sugar when you can't keep food down.  However, I'm hoping that Covid changes our long-term outlook on how we handle the flu and common cold.  Maybe people who have a cough will wear masks or be more likely to stay home.  I never go to work with a fever, but I do with a cough... which is and has always been rude.  I hope I stop doing that or wear a mask rather than just forgetting about this.

I don't want to get too far into politics, but I do think we won't be back to late-90s normal until Putin is gone.  We're so divided now, and it's really stupid.  I used to tell my kids that both sides want what's best for the country, they just disagree on how to do that.  I no longer believe that.  I've lost so much trust in our government's checks and balances and ability to restrain a president, or our population's ability to identify and defend against a bad person.  If a vaccine gets announced in mid October, nobody will trust it, and suddenly anti-vaxxers sound less crazy because none of us trust the government anymore.

I know it's a Covid topic, but I think these things are linked.  We might return to work after Covid, but we'll be divided and skeptical of everything we used to rely on.

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On 7/23/2020 at 8:12 PM, Gawain said:

This is a good point regarding business travel. Right now, everyone is working under the same set of COVID rules. But in twelve months when one company is pitching Best Buy in person and one via Zoom, that Zoomer is going to lose out.

Will they?  They'll be able to pitch a lot more often, for a lot less.  ??

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31 minutes ago, trader jake said:

Will they?  They'll be able to pitch a lot more often, for a lot less.  ??

There are only so many major players and in my experience the difficulty is getting time in front of the buyer, not having too many opportunities. It could be three months or more to get in front of a decision maker from Costco, Home Depot or Best Buy. No number of pitches to single store establishments make up for a hit/miss to a big player.

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1 hour ago, Tick said:

I have to admit that I didn't realize 25k people die every year from the flu.  I get my shot every year because I have two sons who are Type 1 diabetic, and the flu can put them in danger because it's really hard to manage blood sugar when you can't keep food down.  However, I'm hoping that Covid changes our long-term outlook on how we handle the flu and common cold.  Maybe people who have a cough will wear masks or be more likely to stay home.  I never go to work with a fever, but I do with a cough... which is and has always been rude.  I hope I stop doing that or wear a mask rather than just forgetting about this.

I don't want to get too far into politics, but I do think we won't be back to late-90s normal until Putin is gone.  We're so divided now, and it's really stupid.  I used to tell my kids that both sides want what's best for the country, they just disagree on how to do that.  I no longer believe that.  I've lost so much trust in our government's checks and balances and ability to restrain a president, or our population's ability to identify and defend against a bad person.  If a vaccine gets announced in mid October, nobody will trust it, and suddenly anti-vaxxers sound less crazy because none of us trust the government anymore.

I know it's a Covid topic, but I think these things are linked.  We might return to work after Covid, but we'll be divided and skeptical of everything we used to rely on.

I think one of the main reasons people were reluctant to miss work before was because no one wanted to use a personal/sick day for a simple cough.  With how well work from home has shown to be, I wouldn't be surprised that even if/when people migrate back to the office that the standard practice becomes working from home when you're not feeling well, instead of a traditional "sick day".

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2 hours ago, Tick said:

However, I'm hoping that Covid changes our long-term outlook on how we handle the flu and common cold.  Maybe people who have a cough will wear masks or be more likely to stay home.  I never go to work with a fever, but I do with a cough... which is and has always been rude.  I hope I stop doing that or wear a mask rather than just forgetting about this.

You couched it as a matter of personal rudeness ... but there are also many work environments in which "just a cough" isn't considered a good enough reason to stay home. And sometimes, "just a cough" translates to "coughing up a lung with bronchitis, because - hey, those TPS reports ..." Hopefully THAT ethic changes.

EDIT: Also, what encaitar said.

Edited by Doug B
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