Office workers, when will we be back?

When will non essential workers be back in the office?


  • Total voters
    97

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
The reality is that for many office based workers there is no real need to be in an office all the time. Quiet places like that don’t mean those companies aren’t productive. Sure it has a huge impact on supporting businesses but they should take the opportunity and pivot as well.
 

password1

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.
It could be too late to start making the workplace covid secure if cases rise.

Your boss obviously isn't aware that can be assympatic.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
It could be too late to start making the workplace covid secure if cases rise.

Your boss obviously isn't aware that can be assympatic.
Oh he is very aware and has similar concerns to me but you try convincing a CEO who thinks its all a big over reaction etc that these guidelines need to be followed, far as he is concerned its just one of those things you hear about on TV/radio and inside the business everything is back to normal (even had plenty of outside visitors with no masks or social distancing over the last few weeks) and every Monday half a dozen off them lock themselves away in a small room with no ventilation for 2-3 hours with no masks etc which I personally think is insane at the moment but that's just me.

I am not happy about it but besides refusing to work what else is there to do besides do my best to ensure my own safety? half our work force is under 20 and they will be out with their mates ignoring social distancing as they are invulnerable so I think its only a matter of time before someone gets it (hell they might already have it) but until it hits home like I said its just something that happens to others and best ignored.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Is the CEO practising what she/he preaches and setting the example by not wearing a mask, not social distancing, sharing facilities, no extra cleaning, etc. or sat safe at home...
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
Is the CEO practising what she/he preaches and setting the example by not wearing a mask, not social distancing, sharing facilities, no extra cleaning, etc. or sat safe at home...
He is here which I think is the problem, those around him see him paying no regard to the rules he himself set out only a few months ago so it's hardly surprising the guidelines are all but ignored by the majority (mainly the office staff)

I still don't understand why the office staff returned as they worked from home just fine for 2 months but I am sure his decision to get them all back had something to do with wanting the brand new facilities he spent a lot of money on being used instead of just sat there gathering dust.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator

password1

Well-known Member
I thought there is the health and safety at work act, employers have a legal duty to make sure workers are working and feel safe.

I bet some of the people witjh no masks, etc. probably took part in the weekly clapping for the NHS and now they're helping the risk of spreading the virus coming into contact with absolutely anyone outside of their household. Do they realise they dont have to show symptoms..the young can spread it to the old.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
One thing that hasn't really been mentioned in this thread is whether those people who see themselves as almost exclusively working from home in the future, consider their jobs safe? If jobs can be done remotely, why do they need to be UK staff? My company has just completed a comprehensive review based on the last few months and one of the key recommendations is that, if some posts don't need the office environment for information flow, those jobs could be outsourced elsewhere. The review crunched the numbers and the headline figures are going to be attractive to the Board.

Interestingly, the review does also highlight subtle inefficiencies from excessive remote working. To this end I am amending the current free-for-all (for eligible staff) on working from home in the first week of Sep and introducing a 1in2 model. Subject to further COVID-19 outbreaks, I plan for 3in4 by the start of January - which I aim to be the new norm (working from home pre-COVID-19 was 4in5).
 
Last edited:

password1

Well-known Member
It would be a lot more difficult with staff staying abroad. I don't use my own laptop. The equipment and phone is supplied by my employer. If I need to return anything for upgrade or repair then that would mean going into the workplace.

How would tax, pensions, NI work if living abroad? Which country's laws would apply if.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
It would be a lot more difficult with staff staying abroad. I don't use my own laptop. The equipment and phone is supplied by my employer. If I need to return anything for upgrade or repair then that would mean going into the workplace.

How would tax, pensions, NI work if living abroad? Which country's laws would apply if.
None of these issues are even remotely problematic regardless of the size of the business. Larger companies will have a multi-national component. Smaller firms can use a local facilitating company .
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
One thing that hasn't really been mentioned in this thread is whether those people who see themselves as almost exclusively working from home in the future, consider their jobs safe? If jobs can be done remotely, why do they need to be UK staff?
To be frank I am sure “Neha” from Mumbai can not do what I do working from home or not. Not worried.

We tried IndIan workers in front line analytical roles before and soon got rid of them. Even pushing paper and churning numbers they were no good at. The current management just don’t buy it any more than most of my colleagues do, otherwise we would all be replaced cheaply.

We still maintain staff in India and Eastern Europe but just for basic accounting and IT functions which we have done for years.
 
Last edited:

password1

Well-known Member
Conversely, if you apply the same priny, people in this country can work for organisations based in other countries. Companies could even be based in space...
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I plan for 3in4 by the start of January - which I aim to be the new norm (working from home pre-COVID-19 was 4in5).
Hardly any different from old normal then? or am I missing something?
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
One thing that hasn't really been mentioned in this thread is whether those people who see themselves as almost exclusively working from home in the future, consider their jobs safe? If jobs can be done remotely, why do they need to be UK staff? My company has just completed a comprehensive review based on the last few months and one of the key recommendations is that, if some posts don't need the office environment for information flow, those jobs could be outsourced elsewhere. The review crunched the numbers and the headline figures are going to be attractive to the Board.

Interestingly, the review does also highlight subtle inefficiencies from excessive remote working. To this end I am amending the current free-for-all (for eligible staff) on working from home in the first week of Sep and introducing a 1in2 model. Subject to further COVID-19 outbreaks, I plan for 3in4 by the start of January - which I aim to be the new norm (working from home pre-COVID-19 was 4in5).
I’m not worried at all, in fact I’m applying the reverse and are one step ahead and have had my contract amended to allow me to be outside of the U.K. 👍

And yes, as a company we cast a global net. It just makes sense.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Hardly any different from old normal then? or am I missing something?
Similar. The old system generally allowed one day home working per week, the new system will allow two days on occasion (or an equivalent ratio depending upon individual and line manager preferences).

I’m not worried at all, in fact I’m applying the reverse and are one step ahead and have had my contract amended to allow me to be outside of the U.K. 👍
I wasn't really referring to international mobility of staff, more the contracting of their functions out.

Interestingly, I had quite an interesting chat with a GP friend last night and we were discussing this topic. He noted that they were currently doing a large number of consultations via video call and that this was likely to become the norm even post pandemic. He said the belief was up to 50% of all consultations could be done exclusively online. In such circumstances why does the GP need to be in the UK? He felt they didn't and, in theory, could contract such consultations out overseas.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I wasn't really referring to international mobility of staff, more the contracting of their functions out.
One comes with the other I was highlighting that one can get ahead of the game and take control of the situation. In addition, you did question whether people consider their jobs to be safe ;)

Interestingly, I had quite an interesting chat with a GP friend last night and we were discussing this topic. He noted that they were currently doing a large number of consultations via video call and that this was likely to become the norm even post pandemic. He said the belief was up to 50% of all consultations could be done exclusively online. In such circumstances why does the GP need to be in the UK? He felt they didn't and, in theory, could contract such consultations out overseas.
And why not when held up to the same standards. I'd find that good command of English will be very important in such scenarios, and preferably with a neutral understandable accent. Just like in the UK, I want a GP with whom I can have a good conversation. I have no problem switching in the UK either, but yes why not. And the same with as good as everything.

I can only dream of that, unfortunately, I guess it will all go back for most to the old normal :(
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
And why not when held up to the same standards. I'd find that good command of English will be very important in such scenarios, and preferably with a neutral understandable accent. Just like in the UK, I want a GP with whom I can have a good conversation. I have no problem switching in the UK either, but yes why not. And the same with as good as everything.
I think I agree and it could have advantages for international development objectives. There would obviously be a reduction in employment numbers which is a discussion to be had.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I think I agree and it could have advantages for international development objectives. There would obviously be a reduction in employment numbers which is a discussion to be had.
Possibly, I think it would provide a lot more flexibility for everyone as well.

But it definitely requires change and a big shift in attitude. I do think that those adapt quickly can do very well, and those that don't are at severe risk of being left behind.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Talking about changes and shift in attitudes this Covid situation has led to an unexpected social experiment that I believe has led to a fundamental change in the way many of us work. For 30 years a person like me, of whom there are many, equated work with getting up early in the morning and going into an office. In the past I believed that working from home meant half a doss. But the last four months has shown me and my employer that I can do exactly what I need to do effectively from my flat.

Some might miss the camaraderie or putting a suit on but I do not in the least. After this I do not believe Britain will ever go back totally to what to what it was and that there has been a fundamental shift. Obviously some have no choice but to visit a workplace but many do not and will take the opportunity to change their way of life. It is like in the 90's I would spend quite a bit of the working day in the pub and go after work. These recent years I never do that and neither do most of my colleagues. People and ways of life just change.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
You make some interesting points mtenga and I certainly agree that the pandemic has been a social experiment and will fundamentally change the way we work. But I think my point is that, generically speaking rather than on your specific employment/work, if that work can be done entirely remotely then why can it not be done from much cheaper domains than the UK? This I think is where my company will be heading, certainly one of the headmarks likely to be presented to the Board in September is that there will be no UK employees whose work can be done exclusively, or extensively, at home.

I am also interested in your point on the four month assessment. We too found that at tactical level there has been minimal loss of output. Where we have foreseen impact is at the strategic level in pan-company relationships/integration and the consequences that flow out from that.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I think one consideration should be that cheaper doesn’t always mean better or more efficient. To me it is just one of the considerations with regards to location. But I’m sure that is a given.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
@Rasczak
Offshore work is nothing new and has been an option to employers for many years now. The company I work for had our first overseas workers in India nearly 20 years ago and now also have Poland as an offshore support centre. The company knows which jobs it wants to send overseas and which it does not. That route is well known and will continue as it has and I do not think the Covid experience will lead to any great change in that.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review, Filmmaker Mode, Disney+ $30 for Mulan, AV news and more

Latest News

THX Spatial Audio app brings 360 degree sound to any headphone
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Xbox Series X November launch confirmed
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Xiaomi OLED is world’s first mass produced transparent TV
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Tron 3 lands star and director for Disney
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Kef announces KW1 Wireless Subwoofer Adapter
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom