Normalcy, Part 4: Training

There is one aspect of work that, it seems to me, is inherently resistant to remote work, and that is training of new employees. In our case, that usually means recent-graduate engineers. It’s important to make a distinction between orientation – teaching new employees the basics of a particular office set-up – and training. Every …

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Normalcy, Part 3: Workflow

If we’ve decided that remote work, to some degree, is here to stay, and we have various tools to enable it, how does it actually operate? I’m going to take a look at design, since that’s the most office-oriented part of our work: investigation and construction administration are much more site-oriented. As a starting point, …

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Normalcy, Part 2: Tools

If, as discussed yesterday, we switch from an office-centered view of the firm to one that treats office-based and remote work more equally, how do we do it? The answer is that we have to use a somewhat different set of tools than we used before. Note that the purpose of my discussion below is …

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Normalcy, Part 1: The Office

“Return to Normalcy” was Warren Harding’s campaign slogan in 1920, about re-establishing ordinary life after various disruptions, including the horrendous 1918-1920 flu pandemic. We – meaning the country as a whole, New York, and OSE – are in something of a similar mood right now, despite the fact that the Covid 19 pandemic continues. The …

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Undo! Undo!

I read “The End of Open-Plan Everything” by Amanda Mull with a certain level of amusement. I’ve always disliked cubicles and open offices, although we were forced by circumstance to use open office space for a while. I’ve written about open offices several times before, so what’s new? Coronavirus. The popularity of open offices was …

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