Office workers, when will we be back?

When will non essential workers be back in the office?


  • Total voters
    97

Miss Mandy

Moderator
To be quite honest I hope that it becomes the new normal. My bro-in-law works pretty high up in the council and his department have all been told yesterday that they only need to show their faces one or two days a week (depending on level). Which I was surprised at to be honest.

No need for traffic jams and carnage anymore in a morning with everyone trying to get into the office for 9am.

Will have much of a positive effect elsewhere as well, most notably to mind the environment.
Yep, I think it will be good for the environment. I also think it could be good for many people's work life balance.
I know a few of my friends have got on well with it because they haven't had to spend 90 minutes on a train twice a day. In the morning they get a bit longer in bed and get to see the kids before they go to school and in the evening they're around for dinner and some playtime.
 

fat jez

Distinguished Member
I know my work has reintroduced some people down south back into the offices, but our offices in Scotland and Wales remain closed. I can't see how they can bring back more than 1/6 of the workforce and maintain 2m distance and it raises the question about whether it's cost effective to re-open offices for so few peoples when you factor in heating, lighting, power for the PCs, air conditioning, etc.
 

Mandrill

Active Member
My office officially reopened last Monday , that day some came in took a look and haven't been back since.We have a one way system , use of Microwave/Fridges not allowed and no sitting beside or in front of people.

Generally there has been less than 10 people in per day and I can't see that growing.We were due to move to a new office, that has been cancelled as really no point at the moment moving from one empty office to another.

52% of our headcount was WFH before this so I think this will increase and be the new normal.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
There was quite a good segment on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours yesterday about the consequences of people working from home, namely the devastation of industries/businesses that have grown up to support the flocks of commuters pre-COVID. If working from home does become the norm for many, I wonder how significant this impact will be?
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
My office officially reopened last Monday , that day some came in took a look and haven't been back since.We have a one way system , use of Microwave/Fridges not allowed and no sitting beside or in front of people.

Generally there has been less than 10 people in per day and I can't see that growing.We were due to move to a new office, that has been cancelled as really no point at the moment moving from one empty office to another.

52% of our headcount was WFH before this so I think this will increase and be the new normal.
Really puts my work environment into perceptive...

- few wash/disinfect their hands upon entering
- no one way system
- everyone can use the kitchen and items within
- people regularly within a few feet of each other
- face coverings available but not used 99% of the time
- cleaning only performed once a week
- office ordering in takeaways to share
- visitors coming in with no face coverings or social distance being observed

You name it its probably not being followed, brought up my concerns again last week and was basically told unless the cases in this area start rising again then nothing will change.
 

mitchec1

Distinguished Member
There was quite a good segment on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours yesterday about the consequences of people working from home, namely the devastation of industries/businesses that have grown up to support the flocks of commuters pre-COVID. If working from home does become the norm for many, I wonder how significant this impact will be?

Don't know about the other companies but our daily coummuter levels are at about 15% of normal. So between 83,000 and 96,000 passengers at the moment


Up from 3% at start of lockdown
 

Mevlock

Member
Really puts my work environment into perceptive...

- few wash/disinfect their hands upon entering
- no one way system
- everyone can use the kitchen and items within
- people regularly within a few feet of each other
- face coverings available but not used 99% of the time
- cleaning only performed once a week
- office ordering in takeaways to share
- visitors coming in with no face coverings or social distance being observed

You name it its probably not being followed, brought up my concerns again last week and was basically told unless the cases in this area start rising again then nothing will change.
Ouch, I feel safer running my chippy!

We even shut down in the middle of the afternoon to clean/sanitize for the next shift/work bubble.
 

realfrankturner

Well-known Member
Really puts my work environment into perceptive...

- few wash/disinfect their hands upon entering
- no one way system
- everyone can use the kitchen and items within
- people regularly within a few feet of each other
- face coverings available but not used 99% of the time
- cleaning only performed once a week
- office ordering in takeaways to share
- visitors coming in with no face coverings or social distance being observed

You name it its probably not being followed, brought up my concerns again last week and was basically told unless the cases in this area start rising again then nothing will change.
You need to take it further outside of the company, you've been patient enough and hopefully you have a paper trail of your concerns??
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
You need to take it further outside of the company, you've been patient enough and hopefully you have a paper trail of your concerns??
No paper trail as I only ever sent the one email with no written response, as I said before we are a small company with less than 20 of us (7 in production and the rest upstairs in the office) and not entirely sure what an outside force could do anyway as aren’t they merely guidelines for businesses to follow anyway not actual rules that can be enforced under law?
 

realfrankturner

Well-known Member
No paper trail as I only ever sent the one email with no written response, as I said before we are a small company with less than 20 of us (7 in production and the rest upstairs in the office) and not entirely sure what an outside force could do anyway as aren’t they merely guidelines for businesses to follow anyway not actual rules that can be enforced under law?
Not sure about 'law' but I remember the government saying companies being told that workplaces need to be a safe environment with regards to Covid for all staff and that it can be taken further if companies fail to comply and manage the situation.
 

Mandrill

Active Member
There was quite a good segment on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours yesterday about the consequences of people working from home, namely the devastation of industries/businesses that have grown up to support the flocks of commuters pre-COVID. If working from home does become the norm for many, I wonder how significant this impact will be?

This is why the gov are trying to put out this message to return to work , to protect industry that rely on people being at offices ie sandwhich shops.However with people already wary of returning due to fear of catching Covid and now used to home working the idea being put forward that masks will be required in offices as well as shopping will be the final nail in the coffin.

With a choice of sitting at home with no masks or in an office with a mask on for 8 hours a day virtually no one is picking the later.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
This is why the gov are trying to put out this message to return to work , to protect industry that rely on people being at offices ie sandwhich shops.However with people already wary of returning due to fear of catching Covid and now used to home working the idea being put forward that masks will be required in offices as well as shopping will be the final nail in the coffin.

With a choice of sitting at home with no masks or in an office with a mask on for 8 hours a day virtually no one is picking the later.
I entirely agree Mandrill. Working from home is very attractive for many and, as someone who lives in Scotland and Warwick but working in London, have long been an advocate of part-time working from home. But, if people opt for this full-time, the economic consequences could be quite significant.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I entirely agree Mandrill. Working from home is very attractive for many and, as someone who lives in Scotland and Warwick but working in London, have long been an advocate of part-time working from home. But, if people opt for this full-time, the economic consequences could be quite significant.
They will be, and not just sandwich shops but will also put a big bombs underneath commercial real estate, and thus long term investments like pension funds. It won’t be pretty. However, it had to be the future. Commuting is such a silly concept when you think about it. And there will lots of different opportunities, businesses will adapt and find different ways to make money.

Barbabos gets it and sees the opportunities 😍

 

leedebs

Well-known Member
They will be, and not just sandwich shops but will also put a big bombs underneath commercial real estate, and thus long term investments like pension funds. It won’t be pretty. However, it had to be the future. Commuting is such a silly concept when you think about it. And there will lots of different opportunities, businesses will adapt and find different ways to make money.

Barbabos gets it and sees the opportunities 😍

Yep, the pension fund element will be a big problem I suspect if offices are not utilised
 

mitchec1

Distinguished Member
This is why the gov are trying to put out this message to return to work , to protect industry that rely on people being at offices ie sandwhich shops.However with people already wary of returning due to fear of catching Covid and now used to home working the idea being put forward that masks will be required in offices as well as shopping will be the final nail in the coffin.

With a choice of sitting at home with no masks or in an office with a mask on for 8 hours a day virtually no one is picking the later.
Not only that the funding costs for the railway since March stands at £3.1 billion.

A 95% drop in passengers at the start and currently way below anything that means a private company could run trains and stay in business

Also means the government will have to take on a responsibility they have no expertise in, and will have to be bring people in and pay for them.
 
Last edited:

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Not only that the funding costs for the railway since March stands at £3.1 billion.

A 95% drop in passengers at the start and currently way below anything that means a private company could run trains and stay in business
Well, it will make it cheap to nationalise then...
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Presumably it will also be a big financial issue for local authorities if there is a decline in business rates.
Agreed, although that is a bit different. They work for us and we shouldn’t be in the “business” of keeping them in work.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Presumably it will also be a big financial issue for local authorities if there is a decline in business rates.
As said above things change and people find new ways of operating. Many shops started leaving the High Street years ago preferring to be in big edge of town retail sites. It did not mean the end of business rates as a source of income nor any council going out of business. What we are seeing with more people working from home seems like a natural progression to me.
 

mitchec1

Distinguished Member
Well, it will make it cheap to nationalise then...
Then they'll have to deal with standardized pay especially in the SouthEast where one fitter a certain train company is paid a lot less then another on its neighbour.

There's a whole list that's going to cause them problems, while it makes it easier to implement the William's review, they're pretty much going to be screwed in certain areas where the key people they need to run the railway aren't on the same t&c's and some are still on protected contracts.

It's a can of worms, the staff don't even need to strike just work to rule, and the government are in the doo doo.
 

Ste7en

Distinguished Member
My work has decided to power down all AC systems due to concern over potential airborne transmission.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
We’re allowed to keep ours going as long as they pull air from outside and not the portable type ones and we had to make sure they were serviced.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
After four months at it work has decided we can carry on working from home

Work - or home - place assessments will be arranged. Will not accept any issue being taken now with my working from the bed with a laptop four months after the event :)
 

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