Office workers, when will we be back?

When will non essential workers be back in the office?


  • Total voters
    83

tickedon

Active Member
So at work I look after several teams, most of them deemed 'essential workers' and so able to keep their kids in school (interesting to note that a majority didn't!). We acquired a new subsidiary last year and they had zero plans (and zero tech) to work from home, so I had a fun 3 weeks getting laptops and introducing brand new systems to make that happen - but we got everyone setup to work from home by early April. Amazing how much internal bureaucracy can disappear in a crisis! For my other teams, we had been running a pilot for the last year to bring in homeworking tech, so we just ramped that up and was relatively straightforward with great support from our IT colleagues.

We've been told last week we won't be going back to our London office any earlier than September, and I think even that is optimistic. We've all managed to transition to homeworking quite easily, and none of us want to face crowded public transport. Even once into our building, while we can socially distance at our desks, our kitchens, toilets, and lifts etc. are just too limiting and it would be very difficult. Personally, until socially distancing goes away, I can't see how we can do it - and at the moment I am quite happy working from home as I have a proper desk, office chair, two large screens etc.!

Homeworking works best when everyone is at home and connecting remotely into the meetings etc. remotely. What doesn't work is when half the meeting are in a physical space together and another half are not (we had some of this in early March). So if we end up with some people in the office and some not, I think our effectiveness with homeworking will start to decrease significantly.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
We moved into new premises the weekend before the lock down so the office staff have never actually worked in the new building yet and everything is still brand new and waiting for them and while I thought it would be a while longer the CEO has said he plans to bring all the office workers back on June 1st

To be honest I have preferred the last few months without them with only 4-5 of us in at any one time, has been tough going at times with the smaller teams but certainly felt much less at risk however the splits teams have now been stopped and we are back to a single team of 9-10 and while we have things in place to hopefully reduce any risks the social distancing is being breached quite regularly by certain members of the team so the thought of another 7-8 people coming back does feel me with dread, I really don't see why he wants them all back I mean they have been doing their jobs from home since the start of lock down so why change that now? if I was cynical I would say it has got to be all the money he spent on kitting out the new office and at present that is all just going to waste and he wants people in so the place doesn't look empty.
 

mitchec1

Distinguished Member
Our office workers have been told to keep working from home if they're able to do so.

No current plans for them to return, there again as a train company whose been telling the public not too use our train's unless they're a key worker I can't see them coming back for a long time

We're basically split into those responsible for the running of the daily service (key workers) and office staff who suddenly worked out they can do their job from anywhere.

Our hq near HMS Belfast has 400 empty desks, the IT side is holding up really well.

Personally I think it will be next year before they even look at it, it's not affecting anything operationally.
 

password1

Well-known Member
That could be a lot of money saved, as everything can still continue,and all the money saved can be passed onto someone/something..
 

gavinl1967

Well-known Member

mitchec1

Distinguished Member
That could be a lot of money saved, as everything can still continue,and all the money saved can be passed onto someone/something..
The buildings we use are owned or leased by Network Rail. It would be whatever terms NR have agreed ultimately any savings would go back to them

Shareholder profits :thumbsup:
We're in Direct Award for the next 26 months, so while the company are paid to run it, the government get their chunk first then the company.

The DfT had the opportunity to take over control but as we seem to be causing them less hassle, paying them millions, while taking the bad press when things go wrong they're dealing with the other problem franchises.

The numbers working from home currently will kill most of the franchises off.


For me it doesn't matter who runs it, we've been under the government before and currently for the next 6 months affectively are again.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Well my company has now announced a plan for a staged return to the office. By the end of the year they expect no more than 50% of staff to be back in any of our UK buildings. This is based on social distancing of 2M and subject to change. However, even with that low number nobody has to go back if they don’t want to and we all have an automatic right to continue working from home if we have any concern whatsoever. So I won’t be back until 2021, if ever.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
Our office staff returned on June 1st and social distancing lasted for all of the first day and now it’s all back to as if nothing had ever happened so I’m just doing my best to stay away from everyone and using hand sanitiser a lot, not much else I can do and have already let my feelings be known.
 

realfrankturner

Well-known Member
Our office staff returned on June 1st and social distancing lasted for all of the first day and now it’s all back to as if nothing had ever happened so I’m just doing my best to stay away from everyone and using hand sanitiser a lot, not much else I can do and have already let my feelings be known.
What was the reply from management?

Companies can get into big trouble if they aren't abiding by the rules and making sure their staff are as well.

If it carries on like that I'd seek outside advice
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Our office staff returned on June 1st and social distancing lasted for all of the first day and now it’s all back to as if nothing had ever happened so I’m just doing my best to stay away from everyone and using hand sanitiser a lot, not much else I can do and have already let my feelings be known.
Sounds like a bad situation. I sympathise. Whilst you can report it if the situation is too bad that’s a dilemma in itself.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
What was the reply from management?

Companies can get into big trouble if they aren't abiding by the rules and making sure their staff are as well.

If it carries on like that I'd seek outside advice
It is a very small company and the CEO is I think the cause for the ignoring of the rules, on the first day he brought everyone together (with spacing) to explain the situation etc but over that first week he just let things lapse (heard his personal belief it’s all a big over reaction etc) and has even had his wife and young son come in to hang out.

My manager acted on my concerns by having words with everyone in production about their distancing etc and for all of half a day it lasted as did the mask wearing but it was quickly all forgotten and now I am just fed up of trying to change the others, it’s obvious until it affects someone close to any of them they won’t change their ways.
 

realfrankturner

Well-known Member
It is a very small company and the CEO is I think the cause for the ignoring of the rules, on the first day he brought everyone together (with spacing) to explain the situation etc but over that first week he just let things lapse (heard his personal belief it’s all a big over reaction etc) and has even had his wife and young son come in to hang out.

My manager acted on my concerns by having words with everyone in production about their distancing etc and for all of half a day it lasted as did the mask wearing but it was quickly all forgotten and now I am just fed up of trying to change the others, it’s obvious until it affects someone close to any of them they won’t change their ways.
Well, you can take that further if rules aren't being abided by and enforced by the company.

If it isn't being dealt with internally, then you take it externally.
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
We had a Zoom meeting on Friday. Work is being very cautious. The building is divided up into bubbles and people are not allowed to enter another bubble. No tea or coffee provision, or microwaves. Tea room out of bounds. There will be breakout spaces for people (in the same bubble) to meet up. People have to wipe-down before and after using these spaces.

Those of us who can work from home can do so for the foreseeable future. You have to actually make a case to go into work. You can't just pop in because you fancy it. It has to be for something specific. You have to sign in on the way in and sign out when you leave. They are looking at 25 percent capacity, with the majority of work being done at home.

No PPE supplied, social distancing and cleaning stations at entrances and exits instead. But if you have a mask and want to use it that is fine.

It is very cautious, I have to admit I'm impressed. The boss isn't taking any chances.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Sounds very much like the situation at mine. You almost have to make a case to go back and even if you do it’s highly restricted and controlled. I guess some of use are now seeing the type of employers we work for in full glory.
 

password1

Well-known Member
We had a Zoom meeting on Friday. Work is being very cautious. The building is divided up into bubbles and people are not allowed to enter another bubble. No tea or coffee provision, or microwaves. Tea room out of bounds. There will be breakout spaces for people (in the same bubble) to meet up. People have to wipe-down before and after using these spaces.

Those of us who can work from home can do so for the foreseeable future. You have to actually make a case to go into work. You can't just pop in because you fancy it. It has to be for something specific. You have to sign in on the way in and sign out when you leave. They are looking at 25 percent capacity, with the majority of work being done at home.

No PPE supplied, social distancing and cleaning stations at entrances and exits instead. But if you have a mask and want to use it that is fine.

It is very cautious, I have to admit I'm impressed. The boss isn't taking any chances.
no one way system or markings?
 

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