Office workers, when will we be back?

When will non essential workers be back in the office?


  • Total voters
    83

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I have to say my lot were very prepared. We've had a board level task force since it all kicked off, the IT teams have managed to cope with an increase from 6000 to 120 000 VPN connections, have sourced additional PCs and laptops and increased Skype and Teams capability.

At a site level, non operational staff are working from home wherever possible, shifts are being staggered to remove the crossover - and with more cleaning of staff areas etc. Our drivers are getting extra training to ensure they reduce their exposure when visiting warehouses and shops and we all get daily updates so we know what's going on.

We are encouraged to setup Whatsapp "banter" groups within our teams and the first and last few minutes of all Skype calls can be about non-business related matters so that we stay in touch socially.

Many of our staff are termed as "Essential", so we are working to support them and keep them healthy. Never before have we come to appreciate as a business just how many touch points we have with the "everyday" workings of our society.
 

lmccauley

Well-known Member
I've WFH plenty before - around 6 months when my partner was seriously ill a few years ago. I'm quite comfortable with it, and can focus fine.

Given that we sell networking and collaboration solutions, we have all the infrastructure set up for our own workforce. Skype, Teams and Workplace are all commonly used tools here. My team is spread across Britain and India, so we are used to doing the vast majority of our communication virtually.

As to when we go back, it looks like June at the earliest, and then probably multiple periods whenever case numbers increase before there is a vaccine in about September 2021.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Well nearly two months on still no change in the situation for me. The company re-iterated that we should continue to work from home following the partial easing of lockdown a week ago. I originally voted for July in this poll but that might be way optimistic. I suspect eventually we will be given the option to continue working from home until this is essentially finished, perhaps next year.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Well nearly two months on still no change in the situation for me. The company re-iterated that we should continue to work from home following the partial easing of lockdown a week ago. I originally voted for July in this poll but that might be way optimistic. I suspect eventually we will be given the option to continue working from home until this is essentially finished, perhaps next year.
In exact the same boat, and tbh I'm getting a little fed up with the lack of normality, whatever that may be. Speaking with my CEO last week he doesn't expect the HQ to be full reopened this year.

I work out of a satellite office usually 4 miles from home so it's no great burden for me but for others it's a ball ache.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
I think another month and we’ll gradually start going back to the office. Perhaps staggered days to start with so the office is only a third of its usually occupants (15 ish)
 

prezzy

Well-known Member
I voted September but my work have said I can continue to work from home as long as I want as same / more output as when on site - have my own office at work anyway so makes sense I guess.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Hopefully never. There is absolutely no need for many office workers. As long as we have internet access and the equipment, then everything can be done at home. If we have to, then id vote on a.rota to pop into the office once every fortnight or so.

Without a vaccine and testing and ppe not compulsory its not going to be completely safe and it's not always easy to keep a social distance everywhere.

Meetings can be done over the internet, saves printing papers for meetings. Saves traveling. we can't touch or shake hands anyway without a vaccine or accurate testing.

Saves all the time wasted travelling, fuel, pollution, saves expensive office space. Id be happy to work from home even if i pay for the extra electricity myself.
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
The biggest revelation with virtually all my building working from home, is how much easier meetings are to arrange without the issue of meeting room availability and needing a conference phone. We got Microsoft Teams last year and it has really come into its own during this period.
 

password1

Well-known Member
The biggest revelation with virtually all my building working from home, is how much easier meetings are to arrange without the issue of meeting room availability and needing a conference phone. We got Microsoft Teams last year and it has really come into its own during this period.
the only issue is it only allows 4 people to see each other on the screen?
 
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mtenga

Distinguished Member
For us it is Zoom. Do about five of those a day now, before all this not even one.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I think another month and we’ll gradually start going back to the office. Perhaps staggered days to start with so the office is only a third of its usually occupants (15 ish)
Our office is remaining closed through to the end of June. This was announced last week. That's sensible, wait and see what happens as a result of the schools reopening
 

lee1980

Active Member
the only issue is it only allows 4 people to see each other on the screen?
Yeah anyone know how to with this? I am sure seen can have all participants shown they just get smaller?
Our office has not said anything yet, but can't see going back soon as there is no need. Even if used every other desk and did a rota, my worry is the kitchen/toilet etc and close corridors.
I had always hoped we would got to working from so many days a week and could see in future this may happen and the office would become smaller.
Though do know many want to get back as live alone etc and miss social so much.
 
the only issue is it only allows 4 people to see each other on the screen?
Teams has many issues :) Personally I never even noticed such a limitation, I just thought it switches to the person speaking.

The lease has been cancelled, we are without an office :) Yay!
Interestingly we gained access to two accelerator programmes which will give us collaboration space for free anyway plus a few desks. But those spaces are still closed...
 

lee1980

Active Member
Yeah it does, we were more meaning to show all users on screen at same time whether talking or not.

I think we may go same way, or move to a smaller office with just one 1/2 meeting rooms etc and that but we will see.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
You can pin people so they remain in place and then also have a strip across the bottom with a larger number of meeting attendees. As mentioned above the person talking always appears whether pinned or not.

Play with the settings you won’t break anything
 

lee1980

Active Member
You can pin people so they remain in place and then also have a strip across the bottom with a larger number of meeting attendees. As mentioned above the person talking always appears whether pinned or not.

Play with the settings you won’t break anything
I see, yeah will try, I am using it on iphone a lot as have issues with mic/speakers on laptop as wear hearing aids to, iphone uses LE bluetooth to send sound to hearing aids.
The app I don't think has all same functions as when on laptop.
 

Dr Force

Distinguished Member
I would say early July time, however it’s going to be limited to those who were part of a service team, restricting staff numbers, so for me, I suspect it will be next year as I’m an account executive so had the ability to work from home anyway.
 

mr starface

Well-known Member
My wife has been told they are not expecting people in the office at all this year, I work from home already so we need an outbuilding to have sufficient office space at home!
 

gavinl1967

Well-known Member
This is my 4th week back in the office. The whole site was sent home on 23rd March, and anyone who can now work from home with a laptop is now doing so. If and when they all ever come back on site is unknown at present.

Unfortunately, not only have I been categorised an essential worker, but I'm a designer, and use software that can only be used from on site. The company has completely reconfigured the buidings to allow safe working. We would normally have about 70 in the office I work in, we currently have 20 - and I don't see that number increasing any time soon. Measure in place include a one way system, with arrows and 2m markers on the floor, all doors wedged open, multple hand sanitisers, cleaning stations, urinals/cubicles/sinks taped off, canteen made one-way and contactless payments only.

I genuinely feel quite safe on site./at work.
 
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Benji315

Well-known Member
Ours have said regardless of lockdown it'll be 3/4 months so I'm starting to think about investing in some proper office furniture at home. Fortunately I can do my job fully from home, I just miss the interaction, I much prefer speaking face to face rather than over slack even when in the building.

With WFH becoming the norm for a lot of office workers do you think supplying desks / chairs will become mandatory? I see Twitter & Google have given workers a grant to get equipment.
 
Ours have said regardless of lockdown it'll be 3/4 months so I'm starting to think about investing in some proper office furniture at home. Fortunately I can do my job fully from home, I just miss the interaction, I much prefer speaking face to face rather than over slack even when in the building.

With WFH becoming the norm for a lot of office workers do you think supplying desks / chairs will become mandatory? I see Twitter & Google have given workers a grant to get equipment.
Many employers have been doing that for years. Both private and public sector. I’ve even had home visits to reaffirm self declared security and sufficient health and safety with regards to ergonomics.
 

Benji315

Well-known Member
It would make sense wouldn't it, I'm close to buying a desk as my dining table / old office chair combo isn't really doing much for my back but I'm also in a position where I don't want to spend money if we'll be supplied.

My other half was offered a choice of 5 desks and 3 chairs in week 2 of WFH (Mid March roughly)
 

realfrankturner

Well-known Member
It would make sense wouldn't it, I'm close to buying a desk as my dining table / old office chair combo isn't really doing much for my back but I'm also in a position where I don't want to spend money if we'll be supplied.

My other half was offered a choice of 5 desks and 3 chairs in week 2 of WFH (Mid March roughly)
Maybe just ask your company and explain the issues, if they say they have plans for it I am sure they will reimburse you, and if they don't then just got to use your own money,
 

mr starface

Well-known Member
Wife works for TFL and they refuse to give her a laptop even though they insist people WFH so have ended up borrowing my Dads but had it for months now.....I cant believe they expect her to buy her own machine for hunderds of pounds:mad:
 

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