back to article Home working is here to stay, says Lenovo boss, and will grow the total addressable PC market by up to 30%

It could wishful thinking or bravado on a conference call with analysts but Lenovo is betting the current home working trend and consumers' reliance on online services will run on past the crisis and be a boon for PC makers. As businesses shut their offices and asked staff to work remotely, orders for laptops went through the …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Market +30% = wages -30%

    If the corporate world organizes this then workers from home will get paid less, and with no need to maintain offices the corporations costs will drop. I expect that we'll see of lot of home workers being classed as contract workers, so in the US that means no healthcare and lower wages like Lyft and Uber workers. Home workers will have to pay for their own toilet paper, heating and air conditioning, and clean up their offices too. This should boost corporate profits in a year to two.

    Another side effect is that home workers will have to work from a home with decently fast internet service so they are going to have to live and work in a reasonably well off part of town - poor areas and areas outside town generally have much slower and less reliable internet service.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

      All of that is going to have to balance itself against the profound distrust our employers have for us. I think the main reason that hasn't become much of a thing so far is that a lot of employers are afraid we won't be as productive or as conscientious when not in their office. Let's see whether this period at home is enough to kill that idea or if they are eager to get us back there. Either way, it will be a disappointing option for several. I would prefer the office, but I also prefer that people have the choice if feasible.

      1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

        Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

        Whilst I can be more inclined to browse the Web, I sometimes work longer since I don't have an incentive to leave early, that is, my 22m commute home won't shoot up to 45m.

        I can imagine even those who are better than I and won't be distracted as much, May still work more hours than they should.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

          Don't rule out the vanity angle that so many senior PHBs love as an incentive to get us all back into the office, aka Grandstanding in front of a crowd of attentive minions during a 'royal' visit.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

            The PHBs may be seen as an economy to be made along with the expensive premises.

            1. John Sturdy

              Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

              Companies with enough sense to do that probably wouldn't have got the PHBs in the first place!

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

                If the board and C suite start reviewing their need for premises and how things can work without them looking at the PHB level will be part of the "how things work". I suppose, however, that it will beyond the likes of HPE and IBM to make sensible decisions about exactly wo is and isn't important in making things work.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

        Productive workers are productive home or office.

        Unproductive workers can skive at an office as well as at home.

        1. J27 Bronze badge

          Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

          I have to disagree on #2 Unproductive workers fall off a cliff at home.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

      "poor areas and areas outside town generally have much slower and less reliable internet service."

      Yes, these areas aren't ready yet, hopefully this will help put internet service at the same level as electrical service. In reality, this could be another way to divide the population yet again...

    3. theExecutive

      Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

      Yes and that new "Smart Energy" meter can be used to penalise you for using electricity at peak times, poor people have different dinner times.

    4. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

      I personally cant see WFH being much different to what it was previously, maybe an increase in people being able to work one or two days a week from home, but I do not believe for a second it will get to the point that businesses will start closing or renting out office space.

      My reason - Middle management!

      If people could work from home all of the time, and it proved to be just as effective, then most middle management would no longer be necessary. Because of this significant risk to their positions, most middle manglement will not allow their direct charges to work fully from home and will clearly declare to their superiors that those who do work from home dont produce as good a results (despite what might be the actual truth).

      Middle Management - Ruining projects since 522 BC...

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

        I can't personally see WFH being much different to what it was previously, but that's because i'm an IT Manager and can see things that a lot of other people can't.

        I would go so far as to say that the existing WFH arrangements may well have grievously damaged the entire concept of working from home for a generation in many environments.

        In our offices, the staff have 2-4 monitors, a decent PC wired to a gigabit network with a hundred meg fibre line internet connection, and other support equipment such as high(ish) spec printers, MFD's that do scanning at several dozen pages a minute, desks ergonomically set to make their lives easier, phones with headsets etc etc etc.

        At home, a lot of people are hunched over a dining table with a single laptop screen, using a dining room chair over wireless, with a mobile phone app for a phone system, with the kids screaming in the background and no other support equipment. In this environment, if you only lose 50% productivity then your probably doing well.

        Now personally, I don't have kids and my home equipment is better than what I have in the office and is ergonomically setup. Would you like to guess what sort of a percentage of workers have setups equivalent or better than their work setups at home? I'd say maybe 20%. Of course, out of people that visit this site it's probably approaching 100%, but we aren't typical of the normal users. If you think that it's 20% then that would mean that up to 80% of people don't share our personal experiences with home working.

        The number of people I have talked to who have started getting headaches (which is eyestrain due to bad PC positioning relative to light sources, especially serious with home equipment with glossy screens if that's used instead of the kit we've provided) or muscle pain as a result of bad posture is startling. Now all of these issues could easily have been dealt with and wouldn't normally have happened when doing a proper home working rollout. But as a result of the somewhat rushed transition to working from home people more or less had the equipment thrown at them with adequate instructions and a best wishes card and of course we can't show people how to setup their home environment properly beyond phoning or emailing because we can't visit in person.

        Now, normally all of those issues would have been picked up and dealt with. In these circumstances, not so much. I suspect that the true situation is that if your fairly well off then working from home has probably been enjoyable. Otherwise, I doubt it.

        Many of our staff working from home have taken a good 50% performance hit. Many haven't of course, but the problems are way more nuanced than some people are willing to talk about, and the top 20% of the population by income telling everybody "yeah your working from home forever now" is not likely to receive a universal welcome or perhaps go as well as I some people appear to be expecting.

        For every company that decides to scrap it's office, i'm fairly sure that there will be at least another company that decides that home working is highly undesirable. And both firms will likely be correct.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

          At home, a lot of people are hunched over a dining table with a single laptop screen, using a dining room chair over wireless, with a mobile phone app for a phone system, with the kids screaming in the background and no other support equipment. In this environment, if you only lose 50% productivity then your probably doing well.

          Sort of.

          Dining table - check

          Wireless - check

          Single screen - check

          However, I'm at the dining room table because the screen I bought is almost as big as two of them at work. The wireless is more than fast enough given the heavy compute mostly happens in the cloud and the laptop is very high end anyhoo. The chair is new and comfy for up to 14 hours.

          My productivity hasn't dropped due to the children, but my productivity per hour has. I just work longer hours, but then the first 3 of those are just my normal daily commute.

          I suspect that the true situation is that if your fairly well off then working from home has probably been enjoyable. Otherwise, I doubt it.

          My entire setup cost less than a months train fare. I'm enjoying it because I get way more time with the kids than usual (wife still has to work out of the home), there's no filthy overpriced train to endure, and I can work until I don't want to then stop and be in the lounge in... oh, 10 seconds or less.

          For every company that decides to scrap it's office, i'm fairly sure that there will be at least another company that decides that home working is highly undesirable. And both firms will likely be correct.

          This bit I agree with, but then it depends on what real equipment an employee needs to have. I love working in the office, but I love working from home. I think per my prior post that most employers will end up with a hybrid - some days from home, some days from the office.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

            I think it also depends on the nature of the work and the employee.

            Some people are living with their parents until up to their mid 30's due to house prices having exploded out of control way beyond the ability of most people to pay for them and that makes it difficult for them. A work from home setup is easily possible if your well off and have a full scale house between two adults and maybe a couple of children, but if your living in a one bedroom flat with your partner or house sharing between 4 people? It doesn't work well due to a lack of dedicated working space.

            Even for the people that can do it, for it to be a long term arrangement changes need to happen. I've arranged for some home users to get proper desks, chairs, hardware and network equipment to make a proper home office. Yep, those people are going to be perfectly happy at home forever. But for every one person that's like that i'd personally say there's another one person who really desperately wants to be back at the office and another 2 who would probably prefer to be, who would laugh uproariously at the idea that everybody could work from home full time.

            I mean, theoretically everybody doing an office job should be able to work from home. But theoretically there is no difference between theory and practice. And yet in practice there is.

            For instance, in your case you've got 3+ hours travel time and significant travel costs. We're not in London so we don't have the travel times or costs. Most of our staff live within 20 minutes of the office and might maybe spend a hundred quid tops in travel a month so our staff probably wouldn't be so willing to work an extra 4+ hours rather than drive 20 minutes to get in. Heck, some of our staff walk into the office in 5 minutes. As soon as you shift a few variables around it changes everything.

            I don't massively have a single point other than that some people are being a bit to unrealistic and utopian. Not everybody is having a positive experience for reasons that go way beyond middle management empire building. It's tempting to blame an easy target, but it's intellectually lazy and gives wrong answers.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

              I think it also depends on the nature of the work and the employee.

              Agreed completely. Some of my people have mental health challenges and don't do well on their own.

              Some people are living with their parents until up to their mid 30's due to house prices having exploded out of control way beyond the ability of most people to pay for them and that makes it difficult for them.

              And yet I've demonstrated many times on this site that even a minimum wage couple can afford a starter property within commutable distance of any postcode in the UK (by that I mean my commute so 30 to 40 miles). Property has rarely been cheap and is unlikely to be so again, but its certainly not unaffordable - the main problem is unrealistic expectations and wanting a similar or better home than your parents last home for your starter home.

              if your living in a one bedroom flat with your partner or house sharing between 4 people? It doesn't work well due to a lack of dedicated working space.

              Indeed not, but that is where other options come into play - convert an old van into a home office (I've looked at this myself), or a motorhome, or rent or buy something further out of town - everything in life is a trade off. If I was still waiting for Nicole Kidman to take my virginity, I'd still be a virgin - nothing's perfect.

              I mean, theoretically everybody doing an office job should be able to work from home. But theoretically there is no difference between theory and practice. And yet in practice there is.

              I agree, however this is where drugs in sport come into play. Once one employer does it, the rest have to as well, just to keep up. There's going to be all kinds of workplace variations over the next decade while this plays out, which will be very interesting to watch.

              Heck, some of our staff walk into the office in 5 minutes. As soon as you shift a few variables around it changes everything.

              They walk into where the office is now, sure, but will that change? If not, happy days, enjoy your 5 minute commute you absolute winner! For most people its a bit longer than that, even if its shorter than my schlep.

              I don't massively have a single point other than that some people are being a bit to unrealistic and utopian. Not everybody is having a positive experience for reasons that go way beyond middle management empire building. It's tempting to blame an easy target, but it's intellectually lazy and gives wrong answers.

              I agree, which is why I'm expecting some changes - I think for most people returning to the office 5/5 is unlikely. 4/5 makes little sense for London the way train tickets are priced, making 3/5 in office probably around the new norm, with 2/5 from home. Some firms might move to 4/4 from home with an extra day off, some will go 5/5 WFH, and others will differ. Most in the UK will struggle to get people back 5/5 from the office.

              Certainly it'll be interesting to see how things play out. Though predicting what will happen for sure is a fools errand.

              What we will see, of this I am sure, is a the rise of the global startup - I mean, why does everyone need to be from the same country if they never go to the same office? It's going to be very interesting indeed.

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

        I personally cant see WFH being much different to what it was previously, maybe an increase in people being able to work one or two days a week from home, but I do not believe for a second it will get to the point that businesses will start closing or renting out office space.

        I would expect many companies will allow 2 days from home per week, which is going to be no fun at all for the TOCs... There's naff all chance train drivers are going to carry on taking home as much as a doctor once the dust settles. The pay scales overlap around 60k, though that's basic pay for both with train drivers having lots of overtime options and much fewer working hours than the doc.

        The changes will bring all kinds of challenges for commercial landlords and other businesses in office districts. Up to 40% less footfall for the stores, for the restaurants and bars etc. The options then become some mix of higher prices, lower wages, lower rents, or more automation of work.

        If places move to always WFH, then the job can just as easily be done from Cheap-istan in many cases, and so a great many desk based roles will vanish quite quickly. That will cause a great reduction in tax take which will also have to yield a massive reduction in public sector spending (wages and pensions in essence).

        If people could work from home all of the time, and it proved to be just as effective, then most middle management would no longer be necessary.

        That's one interpretation. The other is that senior managers won't want the stress and hassle of dealing with Cheap-istan / wherever the roles migrate too, so there may well be more middle management to compensate.

        I'm quite senior now, but not senior enough that I think I'm senior, so could be considered talking my book. That said, I'm waaaay happy for my folks to WFH - I'm not killing my teams just because we don't have a use for the office without them.

        most middle manglement will not allow their direct charges to work fully from home and will clearly declare to their superiors that those who do work from home dont produce as good a results

        My teams have all ramped up productivity now they don't commute. My main worry is burnout over the medium term - trying to mandate breaks and time off etc but without being a dick about it. I have zero doubts that my reports are working hard from home - they work with me because they choose to not because they have too - if your staff stay because they can't leave then you have failed as their manager.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Market +30% = wages -30%

        As regards middle managers, yes. But there are indications that those above them are starting to look at this and that's where the decisions will be made. Top brass aren't all Marissas.

  2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

    I think many, many m,ore people will be working from home long term. There will some real shift-changes in work methods. Some will be at home all the time, only going to a face to face meeting on special occasions. I think a smaller contingent will be going into downsized offices everyday. I'd expect the largest contingent will be part-time homeworkers, going into the office 1-3 days per week.

    It will vary somewhat between companies, those with the sociopathic bosses probably leaning more to office working initially until they see other companies saving lots of money by selling off or renting out office space. A knock on effect will be massive shift in the commercial properties market. Office space prices will almost certainlly drop significantly in the short to medium term.

    1. Raymond Berenger

      Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

      It will be interesting to see how many offices get turned into flats.

      As people won't want to commute by public transport, the other side of home working is people wanting to live nearer work. Turning over a lot of unwanted offices in city centres into flats could alleviate the housing shortage and pressure on house prices, which are likely to take a hit anyway.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

        As people won't want to commute by public transport, the other side of home working is people wanting to live nearer work.

        Why live nearer if you don't go in? Work for a London employer but live somewhere nice instead, like Newcastle or Cornwall.

        Turning over a lot of unwanted offices in city centres into flats could alleviate the housing shortage and pressure on house prices, which are likely to take a hit anyway.

        There won't be one down south if home working takes off. The unused buildings would be replaced with car parking anyway because the roads will have better capacity due to fewer people travelling into the city, and the train companies can't respond to modernization of work flexibly because they're unionised.

        The future of transport is automated and once self driving cars work they will very quickly be replaced by self driving motorhomes where you can do the same journey in much greater comfort - home office, bedroom, lounge, kitchen, and bog all rolled into one automated vehicle - even Rolls Royce can't compete with that. It'll need more road capacity though, so some of that is likely to come from knocking down undesirable office space.

        Small city center flats might be in trouble because people will need more space to fit in possibly two home offices, and you can bet everyone buying anything is going to want some outdoor space.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

      It's a nice idea, but if everyone in a household might be able to have a PC, not many households can have an office per person.

      There are many people living in apartments that are already small, they simply don't have a room to serve as an office, so they repurpose the dinner table or something. In those conditions, I doubt they appreciate working from home.

      So either they continue going to the office, with all the hassle of getting there and back, or, in addition to the probable massive shift in commercial property value, there will be increased pressure on acquiring a house with enough rooms for people to not only live, but work alongside their living space.

      That is going to put additional strain on people's budgets, and we just might see companies creating a WFH incentive package, including a financial package comprised of some sort of company investment and a small interest rate loan, in order to have its employees in the best possible working conditions.

      Having the company pay a part of the Internet bill would not be a stretch either.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

        I believe the companies already should be paying, especially for people on 'you get x number of GB per month' tariffs. I would imagine Zoom and the like to be huge bandwidth abusers?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

      "It will vary somewhat between companies, those with the sociopathic bosses probably leaning more to office working initially until they see other companies saving lots of money by selling off or renting out office space. ... Office space prices will almost certainlly drop significantly in the short to medium term."

      The best gains will be made by those who move fastest so the sociopaths will lose out.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

        I don't think that's necessarily the case. Not allowing WFH when it is feasible is certainly annoying, but forcing it can be equally if not more so. And there are times when it isn't a good idea, such as when frequent collaboration is required, where physical proximity helps quite a bit. I would actually not be surprised to hear that the least human of bosses try to push WFH when they realize that it doesn't really lead to the decrease in productivity they previously predicted. It allows them to push the costs they had to pay back on the workers, primarily real estate. When they get to pocket some of that cost saving, lots will consider it.

    4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

      WFH with the option of being on premise when needed is probably the best overall option for many. Most of the time you are except when you need to do something at/near the office. This will take some time to occur but many have successfully been WFH for several months now.

      WFH will have several knock on effects.

      Commercial real estate will be underutilized and companies will reducing their commercial foot print as they need much less physical space. Many office buildings will be empty with rents dropping. Also, this will have an effect on local businesses around the offices that depended on the staff for business.

      A side benefit of not commuting is less pollution and wear and tear on the car, this will help stretch vehicle lifespans and might reduce the overall number of cars per family. Less driving will mean less demand for oil and fewer cars being sold every year. It might make electric vehicles a more viable option for many more people accelerating the demand.

      There will be shift in the types of computer equipment sold, more laptops vs desktops. But I do not see a long sales boom but more likely the more will stabilize around the current levels with a possible modest increase in the yearly volume. This would change if remote education becomes more common at the lower grades as this would require more computers for the family. But here again it would probably create a modest increase in yearly volume (kids do not need a new computer every year).

      Business travel will be another area hit, as people get use to online meetings they will perceive less need to travel for meetings. There will always be some face-to-face meetings but fewer. This will hit the hospitality industry and airlines hard as leisure travel is not likely to make up for the loss.

      General retail will not be affected that much though segments may have to switch their mix. Restaurants will hit or miss. Many that cater to the office workers will hit hard but those that cater to shoppers and local residents will probably recover somewhat. The problem they face is with the time needed to commute it is easier to cook at home. Also, food delivery services might do very well for the lunch trade. Food trucks will probably be hard hit.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

        Food trucks may be hit, but not as hard as you may think... most of them have a lot of 'can't work from home' type businesses on their routes. Possibly not with the density of office workers however, but large construction sites usually have a couple of vans that serve them. And they could simply tour residential areas instead. Working from home doesn't alleviate the need for 'a quick bite around teabreak time'

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

          Food trucks may be hit, but not as hard as you may think... ..... And they could simply tour residential areas instead.

          I expect they would, which might also flip the whole takeaway option as once they establish some residential routes the obvious expansion opportunity is the other non-lunch meal times. I can see a lot of restaurant chains expanding in this areas because its fairly simple to do.

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

            Indeed, many non-chain pubs hereabouts have been doing 'roast dinner', delivered, for a reasonable price (generally the same as pre-covid prices, no extra for delivery). Our 'local' also does the beer thing (but bring your own milk jug for it). They're not I believe allowed to deliver the beer.

            I know stateside many local ordinances will prevent that kind of 'dispense into customer's own container' beer thing. But laws can change

  3. doublelayer Silver badge

    Home working leads to more laptops

    They seem quite confident about home working leading to increased sales of machines. Ignoring for the moment how home working will catch on, I'm not certain about the other chunk of that. Sure, some companies will have to change out computers for home workers, because they did desktops and would have to switch to laptops. But if a worker already has a laptop from their employer, they don't need to replace it. Also, I'm guessing most businesses that will be switching to home work have already done so, meaning the first round of obligatory laptop purchases probably started two months ago and is ongoing. That implies that this quarter's sales may be somewhat high, but that it probably won't be a longterm trend because a lot of other companies won't be buying new machines or replacements until the ones they're using more actively are much older.

    Maybe Lenovo was hoping for more personal purchases because children have been doing online schooling while their parents use existing machines, but those purchases have also likely been made and online schooling is not going to continue as long as home working. I think their optimism may be premature and they'd better make quite a bit of progress in this quarter if they hope to hit that growth target.

    1. Shooter
      Unhappy

      Re: Home working leads to more laptops

      In a related vein, here's my story...

      I used two different PCs at work; one a desktop shared by all the technicians, and the other a laptop used for giving presentations at customer sites.

      I was informed at the end of 2019 that both machines would soon be end-of-lifed and no longer allowed on the corporate intranet (Windows 7 machines too old to be feasibly upgraded to Win 10. Both machines saw limited use - since I'm no longer in an IT related business, most of our work can easily be done on the company-provided iPhones. But it can be very hard to review electrical schematics on even the biggest iPhone screen!)

      Put in a requisition to replace both machines with the cheapest company-approved models, and of course the req was sat on by skinflint management for several months. Then came the corona cutbacks; all spending frozen. And next came the "temporary" lay-offs and work-from-home orders. Followed by the permanent job loss of a number of co-workers, which resulted in a sudden excess of available laptops. Now I have a much better machine than I'd ever hoped for!

      Frankly, I'd much rather have my co-workers back.

  4. G R Goslin

    All this talk....

    All this talk of home working, does make me feel a bit sick. The Victorians, who really knew what 'Work' was in relation to profits, always considered "The Office" as a cost. necessary perhaps, but a cost nonetheless. A famous shipbuilder once said "Give me 20 more shipwrightss and I could produce more ships and make more profit. If I employed 20 more accountants, not a single plank more would have been laid"

    Offices PRODUCE nothing, and if my long experience of ofices is anything to go by, most of the employees there are there to massage the egos of those above them. I worked in an office, but it was a drawing office, where we designed the tools which made possible the efficient production of the products which the Company sold to produce the profits that the shareholder required. Wealth is created on the workshop floor, and diluted at the office desk.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: All this talk....

      I think you just pointed out that many offices have people who produce useful things. Lots of work is done without manually building things and yet is useful. Design, programming, architecture, research, writing, and many other things can be done from a typical office environment. If you're just considering the location, much of small-scale engineering counts too--initial prototype creation and small-scale repair often occurs in offices that have big tables with equipment on, but they're still basically offices. Sure, lots of people there will be doing nothing, but you can find a way to be unproductive anywhere you go.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: All this talk....

      Last time I looked, the City Of London was not exactly resplendent in factories and workshops, so I guess not much money is made there.

      1. Raymond Berenger

        Re: All this talk....

        It isn't. It "headquarters" many companies, so their reported profits are attributed to London and not where they are actually made. And it operates the casino. Casinos profit because someone else loses. It also is the home of the bubble generators, which cause the overvaluing of assets, thus making a profit which, while it is a real profit for the City people, is a loss for everybody else.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: All this talk....

          And it operates the casino. Casinos profit because someone else loses.

          Your zero sum view is just plain wrong. Most finance isn't zero sum. Risk is priced, granted not always correctly, but it is priced.

          How do you think machinery for heavy industry gets financed? How do you think bonds that underpin all public sector spending everywhere get issued? How is it you think that companies raise finance (bonds and equities) or make payments on the same?

          It is a real profit for City workers and it is a real profit for everyone else. Without the City and places like it, your whole way of life, no matter your employer, is utterly impossible.

          1. Stork Silver badge

            Re: All this talk....

            To paraphrase Churchill, the worst way of allocation resources apart from all the others that have been tried.

            Compare to central planning, please.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: All this talk....

      Offices PRODUCE nothing

      My office produces my companies entire profitability and entire reason to exist.

      The Victorian view that the only real work is manufacturing, farming, or mining was dated then and utterly obsolete now.

      Wealth is created on the workshop floor, and diluted at the office desk.

      YAWN..... In many cases the office is the workshop. Sorry, but you are just plain wrong.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NUCs & Similar

    Shirley WFH should see a rise in mini box kit and monitors. Are laptops really needed (or comfortable) in a WFH environment?

    Every person I know, who's been WFH for the first time during this pandemic, I recommended to get a monitor. Most did and have been really grateful for the advice. "I stopped having neck ache after I set it up ... "

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: NUCs & Similar

      Monitors, definitely. Minidesktops, I doubt it. I think laptops connected to monitors is the way they will go and probably the right one too. The reasons are many.

      First, a laptop is likely more useful for the user. Work is most effective at a specific place with full-sized peripherals, but a laptop allows that person to move to a different place if they need to. If their previous office is unavailable or noisy, they can relocate to a different part of their house (assuming they have one available). This also makes it easy for them to bring their machine elsewhere for those occasional in-person events or meetings. Not to mention the benefits of the built-in UPS.

      It also benefits the employer. By providing a laptop, they can push several potential costs back onto their employee. They don't have to buy the monitor if they're feeling miserly, nor do they have to spend IT support time on getting peripherals to connect. Laptops are more likely to use a generic power adapter which can be sourced quickly if damaged, which could be useful if the WFH trend leads to WFH from further distances.

  6. Mark192

    "it’s going to last forever" LMAO

    Companies buy computers due to current crisis.

    Crisis (eventually) ends.

    2nd hand market flooded with sales from companies struggling to bring in revenue

    Future upgrades canned as companies reduce spending or just re-issue the kit that got used for only a few months during the crisis.

    This is a short term increase that will reduce future sales.

    We may see an increase in homeworking in the medium term however - the kit is bought and there's now a generation of managers that have been through the process of setting it up.

    The lazy bastards on my team are bringing WFH into disrepute though... never has so little been done by so many :rollseyes:

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: "it’s going to last forever" LMAO

      Short term the computer market will likely be volatile as Mark192 suggests. But long term the shift will rob units from on column to another, possibly stabilizing at a modest increase in yearly sales from current levels.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: "it’s going to last forever" LMAO

      The lazy bastards on my team are bringing WFH into disrepute though... never has so little been done by so many :rollseyes:

      I've not actually looked at what my teams have done today, but I trust that it will be a lot of productive valuable work. All I've done all day is clear obstacles from their immediate future so they can keep going quickly.

      ETA:

      I've just checked on the back of this post. Given I have half my teams on leave this week due to the summer weather and bank holiday, the productivity of those working has been astounding. Genuinely impressive even by their normally good standards. So thanks for your post - while I disagree with it, it has led to my needing to recognise the work done today for all that has been accomplished.

      Don't hire people you can't trust. Motivating people is easy - after all, you are a person, what motivates you? Give them all the control you can over their work and all the recognition for getting it done.

  7. Stork Silver badge

    Counting computers

    We are 4 but us parents are working from home since before COVID, this is our business.

    We have 4 laptops, of which 1 (belonging to son number 1, uni student) is still under warranty. Youngest son (aged 13) is using a 2006 iMac with Linux for his Zoom classes and an 2017 Macbook Air for homework.

    Parents both have 5-6 year old Macbook Pros, running just fine. Not much sales there for us, I guess we were there already.

    If we could get faster internet it would be nice...

    Oh, and we have an ancient Dell Laptop and another 2010 Macbook which are still both operational if a bit tempremental

  8. steviebuk Silver badge

    I hope...

    ...at the end of this, it proves what I said YEARS ago where I used to work. "Why are you travelling 20 miles each month (various depending on which site is the flavour of the month for the meetups) or ever 2 weeks for your 'meetings' and for the "Request for Change" meetings? You're fucking IT, you can use conference calling".

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