Is this the end of WFH?

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Mudball

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So the Govt has put a dikkat that Civil Service should return to office. This will be compulsory. I can see the logic (will give a bump to the economy), but i dont see it either. tbh, the idea of publishing a league table of Presenteeism is such an old fashioned way of thinking. Being in the office is perfectly valid way of working, but does it need to be a blanket approach to every department (or company).

Back in the last century when I started working, I had to be in the office by 9 and physically sign the register. The register would disappear at 9:15 and if you wanted to sign it, you had go and meet the officer in charge. Is this approach valid in 2020? Dont forget the economics of it either.. £100+ of taxed income a week on commuting, £25+ a week on lunch from Pret or Tesco, 2 hrs on a packed train etc.

original news article here >>https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61145692
 

RichA

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My employer has sold off much of their property and converted a large proportion of the remainder to hot-desking areas. As a result, if everyone went in to work every day about a third of us would be sitting on the floor. "Blended working" seems to be our future, rotating 2 days wfh and 3 days in.
 

fundy

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If they are paid to be in an office then they should go there.
I never had the luxury of WFH as being a scientist I needed access to lots of very expensive instruments 😂
Theyre not though, theyre being paid to do the job/work.

Statements like these that make me glad Im my own boss.

No need to be physically in an office for most of those jobs, only issue is incompetent management (no surprise for JRMs dept lol)
 

Banchory Buddha

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If they are paid to be in an office then they should go there.
I never had the luxury of WFH as being a scientist I needed access to lots of very expensive instruments 😂
I've never had a job that was "paid to be in the office", I was always paid to do my job. Now that I've been givewn the chance, I can do my job much better from home, and save money. It's a bloody disgrace what the govt is pulling here, all because their buddies in property are seeing the value of their investments crumbling.
 

pauljames87

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When covid hit I hoped (and still stand by) that we learn to have a hybrid Life style

Some people work from home, some a few days

Yes in my job the more people that travel the better but we run at 120% full in the peak so if we ran at 80% full we would still make enough to run (just not prop up the buses) but we wouldn't have to spent billions increasing capacity.

WFH works for a lot of people but just as many it doesn't for

But say in the future My wife decides she wants to jack in education and go WFH when the kids are at school . It opens so many options as you could drop your kid at school and still be in the "office" at 9am. Enabling so many more to work in fields they want rather than a field that fits their childcare

Flexible working is great aswell I know many mums who put kids to bed then do a couple hours paper work

We should work to live not live to work
 

hairball_89

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I don't work from home... It's quite hard to work backstage in a theatre while sat on the sofa. My wife does, however. Since March 2020, when she and the rest of her colleagues one of the big insurers did a "stress test" WFH week, she's been back in the office twice.

She was based in bromley, her team based across central London, Gloucester, Peterborough and Leeds. Pretty much every meeting was on a phone, maybe once a month they would have full team meetings. Her day to day "sat at a desk, doing my job" hasn't changed one bit. The team has grown, is vastly more productive and mental health across the board is improved. Oh, and hardly anyone has the cost of commuting to deal with, wherever they were commuting to.

Where it works, and it doesn't work everywhere I agree, it's brilliant.
 

Lord Tyrion

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It all depends on the job and how effective wfh is for that job. Whilst it may suit the employee it may not suit the customers or the company.

I think many companies are seeing big savings from reducing their office footprint so any change back will not be across the board.

No surprise that the govt is wanting its employees back. They are looking at the bigger picture, to jump start the subsidiary industries that feed off office workers on site.
 

Bazzatron

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I've never had a job that was "paid to be in the office", I was always paid to do my job. Now that I've been givewn the chance, I can do my job much better from home, and save money. It's a bloody disgrace what the govt is pulling here, all because their buddies in property are seeing the value of their investments crumbling.
We can't have their mates losing out on their overpriced office blocks sitting empty.
 

Banchory Buddha

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They are looking at the bigger picture, to jump start the subsidiary industries that feed off office workers on site.
The bigger picture would be the much improved mental health so many have experienced through working from home, mental health is a drum always being banged, especially by opposition parties in Scotland, but only when it suits it seems? Then there's the trumpeting of green initiatives, again though, not when this simple moved has been the biggest green shift ever.

And why? No not the bigger picture, but the kickback those in #10 have had from big property who are taking a beating. It's always about the money.
 

pauljames87

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I can see my kids in the morning and I can pick them up if I like. I'd never go back to 5 days a week in the office. Miss out on too much.

And it's not my job to prop up Pret and some corporate landlords pension pot.
I don't WFH, but I work shifts so I appreciate this benefit of pick up or drop off or days off in week randomly

Life's not 9-5 anymore
 

Lord Tyrion

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The bigger picture would be the much improved mental health so many have experienced through working from home, mental health is a drum always being banged, especially by opposition parties in Scotland, but only when it suits it seems? Then there's the trumpeting of green initiatives, again though, not when this simple moved has been the biggest green shift ever.

And why? No not the bigger picture, but the kickback those in #10 have had from big property who are taking a beating. It's always about the money.
You are quite right. I should have said a slice of the bigger picture. There are other slices to that picture, as you have pointed out.

As a balance, some much prefer going in and seeing work colleagues, having real contact with people, not just virtual contact. That is also good for mental health. The key is having the flexibility, where possible, so that all parties can choose the approach that is best for them. The problem occurs when what is best for the employer or employee does not match up what is best for the other party. Time to move jobs at that moment............
 

GB72

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Much depends on the job in question. My clients want face to face meetings to go through complicated plans and documents, few want to try and do that over zoom etc. Guess that is the same for civil service positions such as some benefits office jobs etc where face to face contact is needed. You also have to be careful that you do not exclude those who cannot use or afford the tech needed. if you do not have the facility to meet face to face, you exclude those who cannot use or do not have at least a semi decent phone or laptop and a reasonable internet connection (which also excludes many rural communities). With civil service positions, you also have the issue of the storage and transfer of confidential data outside of a secure office environment.

On the mental health side, I have the opposite issue to many. Working from home is far more stressful as there is no barrier between work life and home life. I always try to work a bout half an hour away from home so a work and home are totally separate. Take that away and I feel very stressed.

On a final point, I have not seen many reports of how companies are redressing the balance for people working from home. Costs going up, heating on all day, electricity, phone bills, broadband etc all mounts up (our oil consumption went up massively when my wife was working at home over Winter). Has anyone been offered a reasonable annual subsidy to cover these costs. In certain professions, do companies have policies if people start turning up at your house. Someone I know works in benefits, it would not take much to find her address and for claimants to turn up to talk in person (yes they would do that). If your home life is threatend because you have to work from home and people start turning up, are companies obligated to re-house you. So many questions about the broader issue of working from home.
 
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All office bods have been back for sometime at our place.

At the beginning of the pandemic my missus was working from home, it transpired that that will be the case from then on so she left a job of 10 years for in office base job much to the detriment of my golf!
 
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My companies policy was that if I did not need to be on customer site and only at customer request then I should wfh. I could choose whether or not to go into the office but that was at my own expense. There was actually no point in my going into the office as all of the teams I worked with worked from home or from overseas locations. If I went into the office it was usually the case that I would only know a couple of folk - and none that I worked with. The only time I worked in the office was when on bids…and close team working was deemed beneficial.

I might suggest why the ending of wfh for civil.servants has been announced but I will not. But I also suggest that it won’t be seen through and many civil servants will work from home when the cost savings of them doing so are evaluated.
 

spongebob59

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Theyre not though, theyre being paid to do the job/work.

Statements like these that make me glad Im my own boss.

No need to be physically in an office for most of those jobs, only issue is incompetent management (no surprise for JRMs dept lol)
But they are not though, look at the backlog at DVLA , where's the accountability ?
 

road2ruin

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My employer has sold off much of their property and converted a large proportion of the remainder to hot-desking areas. As a result, if everyone went in to work every day about a third of us would be sitting on the floor. "Blended working" seems to be our future, rotating 2 days wfh and 3 days in.
I've always worked from home so for me no change however my wife's situation is very much to yours, office is a fraction of the size so they now have 'anchor days' where teams go in on the same day (1-2 days a week) and it's usually a max of 20% of the company at any one time because otherwise you'd be sharing office furniture.

Must admit I would prefer her to be in more as I can then go back to sneaky weekday golf instead of house tasks that I get set during my quieter periods!!
 

road2ruin

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But they are not though, look at the backlog at DVLA , where's the accountability ?
The DVLA situation is appalling however I suspect that's not down to the staff but to the management not working out how to actually get the processes done remotely. Most businesses have managed the processes well enough that you don't know whether people are WFH or in the office. The DVLA however is just a mess.
 
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