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Author Topic: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.  (Read 73263 times)

shaolin_monkey

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1380 on: 02 March, 2021, 06:31:08 PM »
That BBC 5 Live show above with Dr Gurdasani? Someone has taken the most crucial parts, edited it to 10 minutes, and turned it into an info cartoon of sorts. It is very good indeed - highly recommended:

https://youtu.be/vAEPTII_r2c

The Enigmatic Dr X

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1381 on: 03 March, 2021, 10:27:06 AM »
On a shallower note, I've been working from home now for just short of a year.

I am lucky enough to be full time, and busy, but I do miss being in the office. There seems a split between "Returners" and "Homers". What Block are you fighting with?
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Barrington Boots

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1382 on: 03 March, 2021, 10:55:18 AM »
Same here, coming up on the anniversary.

I'm surprised how much impact it's had on me - aside from the huge amount of weight I out on and am subsequently trying to work off, it's completely changed my working routine and therefore a lot of other aspects of my day and that's without factoring in all the other changes Covid has made.

I miss some parts the office environment but I don't miss a lot of stuff that went with it - commutes mainly. Part of me would like to remain at home full time, but I do miss interacting with people outside of my little socal bubble. I'd welcome a home / office split in the future.
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shaolin_monkey

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1383 on: 03 March, 2021, 11:02:03 AM »
I’m with Homers block, with the occasional foray into the office for a four-cred freeze whip and to say hello.

I much prefer working at home. I’ve just been watching This is Spinal Tap while writing a training course on financial regulation. Not possible in the office!

Plus I don’t have to deal with other peoples choice of music anymore. The bloody radio did my head in!! Shite music, interspersed with people talking absolute fucking drivel - it drove me mad! Now I can listen to Iron Maiden and as much classical music as I want.

Plus I don’t have to deal with people. I was (technically still am) the department subject matter expert, a referral point, but that meant people would wander up and ask me about ANYTHING - literally the kind of bollocks a 30 second Google would have answered. It got to the point where I’d say “I’ll email you the details” and then send them a Let Me Google That For You link. Of the 8 hours in the office I barely got four hours work done ‘cos of this.

And how much money have I saved?! No bus fares, no stupidly expensive cups of tea, no canteen that would charge you three loaves of bread for yesterday’s dry sandwich, etc etc.

And how much time have I saved?! Not just in terms of being able to do more work, but I’ve clawed back two hours of my day every day from travel time, and I bloody love it! I wake up at 7.30 and I’m working at 8. I finish my day at 4.30pm and I’m instantly at home. Bloody brilliant! More time with my partner, more time for my own studies - climate science courses, harp etc - more time to read, play games, go for a nice walk etc etc etc. It’s magic!

I hope that answers your question. 😄

So, why do you like going to the office then?

IndigoPrime

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1384 on: 03 March, 2021, 11:02:49 AM »
Having worked for home for 20 years, I’m in the “afford people the flexibility to make decisions that better their lives and properly support them” block. It’s a long name and not very catchy, but I hope it wins. I fear it won’t.

Most people I know want neither a return to the office nor WFH. They want a mix. Two or three days a week seems to be a sweet spot. But also, plenty of people haven’t been well supported. Companies expect them to use their own kit. They don’t supply workspaces. They don’t care about health and safety nor ergonomics. Companies pushing for WFH also need to figure out how to foster a sense of workplace community.

Personally, I think WFH also provides an opportunity to boost local communities — shift your social circle towards being more local again. But that requires opportunity, services availability and will — and the Tories have massively eroded two of those things. Moreover, it provides the means for workers to be more involved with their own families, if they’ve young kids. One friend used to commute into London daily and barely saw his daughter. Now, he’s home, present and involved with both of his children.

shaolin_monkey

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1385 on: 03 March, 2021, 11:09:28 AM »
Agree with the above, and I feel totally blessed to work for a company that quickly supplied its workforce desk, chair, laptop etc etc to get everyone up and running at home ASAP, and is now talking about making that permanent for those who want to - flexible working, a couple of days in, but you don’t have to, but equally allowing people to come in all week if they’re the type that crave company.

I kind of like other people, but ones I choose to hang out with, not ones I’m forced to endure just ‘cos we both have to earn a wage.

As such, I recognise how massively, hugely lucky I am with my workplace, because I know many won’t have that choice, haven’t had that choice, will never have that choice, and some aren’t even employed anymore.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1386 on: 03 March, 2021, 11:23:17 AM »
A company a friend works for has decreed from on high that everyone will have to return as soon as possible. His department is programmers. They’re all far more efficient working from home and can work whenever they like. It’s all about getting the job done, but a certain kind of middle manager — presumably now fearing for their very existence — wants to see bums on seats from 9 to 5. It’s so regressive and needs stamping out.

Barrington Boots

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1387 on: 03 March, 2021, 11:31:43 AM »
That's unfortunate and so backwards thinking. I work with a lot of programmers and most of them barely speak to anyone anyway!

My company is fairly progressive - they've happily given us laptops and all the support we need to stay home and have cheerfully been calculating how much they can save by reducing the need for office space, parking spots etc but there's certain old school people at the top who I think can't abide the idea of everyone at home all or even most of the time. We're pushing for two days in / three at home (with the option to come in every day, if so desired) but it remains to be seen really.

Whilst I feel a little cut off from my workmates, the time saved not commuting, and the stress not endured by commuting, is invaluable to me let alone the money saved. And being able to listen to my own music instead of the radio is absolute bliss.

Oversall this feels like a turning point for work attitudes and I'm hoping we take a progressive stance on this in general and companies make the shift.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1388 on: 03 March, 2021, 11:47:33 AM »
I remember the commute for my last ‘proper’ job. A grand total of 6.5 miles, and it’d take me 50 minutes to drive that distance. (There were no viable public transport options, and you’d only cycle if you liked the notion of dying on those roads.) One day, my manager got wind of this. She knew where I lived and asked me why it took so long. Traffic coming off of the motorway, I said; and if only I could rock up a bit late every day, I could leave the house 45 minutes later and cut my commute to well under 15 minutes. Her immediate response: “Well, why don’t you? You often stay late anyway.” (She rightly surmised that was down to the same traffic going the other way.)

Then I moved departments. By then, I’d started arriving at around 9:10 every day. I was a web designer back then. It didn’t matter a bit when I did the work, as long as it got done—which it did. The tech director one day, angry and possibly hungover, saw me come in and berated me in front of the entire floor. I was called lazy. Told I was setting a bad example for everyone. I shot back that he didn’t seem to mind—or even notice—I worked an hour late almost every evening. Cue: a trip to THE OFFICE. My (new) manager backed me up. The director was fuming. I kept my job, but he wanted me in on time every day or there would be consequences. The net result was I worked precisely to my hours, spent a lot more wasted time in my car, and lost all respect for the company.

This was around 2000. I’d hoped attitudes would be more like my old manager by now, but they really aren’t. It’s insane that the UK is still obsessed with people looking like they’re working hard rather than actual productivity. This is the same bullshit that’s for decades kept the entire country as one of the least productive of comparable nations and infused a lack of meritocracy. (My wife had something similar. Her desk was a mess at one job, because she had so much to deal with. Her co-worker did less work but her desk was neat, and so she was always praised as being great. No-one checked the data. It was all about appearances.)

Fuck all that. Things need to change. You don’t live to work—you work to provide for your life.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1389 on: 03 March, 2021, 12:13:31 PM »
Both, in my case.  I used to teach adults in a classroom, and now I teach them on Zoom.  I would be happy with a mix of both, really - the teaching is more effective face-to-face, and it's a much better way of getting to know my students - but I really like not having to commute.  I don't mind being at home, but on the other hand I live on my own in a boat and it's easy to go stir-crazy after a short time.  But I get out now and again for my other job.

I'm also a mural painter and have been very fortunate over the last few months to have had quite a few jobs to do that are not too far away, and where there aren't any other people around.  Even the giant games rooms complex I've been painting for a few months now has been empty apart from me since January.  Before Christmas, there were a few other people working there, including a full-on Covidiot who refused to believe that the coronavirus could kill anyone, and refused to wear a mask.  (He was also in the fake moon landing camp - finally our client explained to him that everyone was laughing at him.)
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Mister Pops

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1390 on: 03 March, 2021, 12:19:54 PM »
Plus I don’t have to deal with other peoples choice of music anymore. The bloody radio did my head in!! Shite music, interspersed with people talking absolute fucking drivel ...


On the radio or in the office? I would add peoples choice in TV shows here. I don't have to hear people bang on about I'm a Strictly X-factor on Ice or whatever other shite the terrestrial channels spaff out on Saturday nights.

As for people asking dumb questions? I actually got more of this in lockdown. It's my own damn fault, I failed to conceal how tech-savvy I am and became the de facto IT department when people couldn't get through to our clearly overworked, actual IT department.

... a certain kind of middle manager — presumably now fearing for their very existence — wants to see bums on seats from 9 to 5.

Had one of these, brought everyone in fulltime in September, and the Covid burned through the office like wildfire. I have made a lateral move since and thankfully my new boss is much keener on working from home, and has informed us that they will be looking into the possible likelihood of investigating whether there's any chance of doing a feasibility study on returning to the office in September, although that might be postponed. The final decision will be made much higher up the food chain, but the union (who were orchestrating a strike before this all kicked off), have made it clear they will be advocating for increased flexibility.

I never had a problem with commuting before all this, but I think a lot of people are waking up to the ballache of it all now. The illusion of a 9-5 working day being just 9-5 is out the window. I have an extra 2-3 hours of free time every day. That's 10-15 extra hours a week. I can enjoy a proper breakfast instead of just shoveling some weetabix into my guts*. I can have a freshly made sandwich at lunch, instead of one that's been sitting in the fridge with slightly stale bread which is also soggy from the tomato juices. I've never needed a full hour lunch break, but now I can take care of some homelife logistics instead of just sitting with my thumb up my arse.

The fly in the ointment however, is that all our systems have been going down for the last two weeks. There are unconfirmed rumours that this is due to a sustained cyber attack, personally I think it's the IT department shutting just stuff down because they're sick of dealing with computer illiterate people.

* I still have my weetabix, but I can savour its blandness now.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1391 on: 03 March, 2021, 01:01:32 PM »
What’s notable is how people’s work/life balance is often shredded by commuting. That 2–3-hour daily stint is, when you look at it now, fucking insane. Spending 15% or so of your weekday waking life on a train (and getting to/from the station) is nuts. But also, work spills into that time. One company I work with had to tell its staff to work fewer hours, because they’d just merged their commute times with their working days. So even if they were contracted 9–5, they’d do 7:30–6:30, like they were used to. That’s your time, not your company’s time—unless they pay for it.

One ex-manager also said she quite liked commuting, because it was her ‘me’ time. She’d tootle on slowly, in her car, listening to her music or her podcasts, free from family life and in her own space. Then she realised: she could keep the same thing anyway—it was being out of the house that was important. So she started ‘commuting’ to work again, by going for a half-hour run that started and ended at her house. Commuting eradicates such flexibility.

Also, I realise this comes from a place of entitlement. Not everyone has these opportunities. But the point is, many should have them. And by rethinking how we work and how we live, literally millions of lives will be better off in tiny ways.

shaolin_monkey

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1392 on: 03 March, 2021, 01:07:43 PM »
I
Plus I don’t have to deal with other peoples choice of music anymore. The bloody radio did my head in!! Shite music, interspersed with people talking absolute fucking drivel ...


On the radio or in the office?


Both, definitely. Some people I liked chatting to because they were witty, articulate, and I could learn a lot from them. Most have nothing in their lives but soaps and reality shows, which may be fine for them, but now I don’t have to feign interest.

Also, my workplace is one of those happy clappy places where they try to be fun and cool, which is just not me. I want to get in, work hard, do a good job, get the hell out, and back to my actual life. Although the company has tried very hard to retain that culture at a distance I’ve been able to duck out of most of it, and I know I’m not the only person breathing a sigh of relief.

Tjm86

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1393 on: 03 March, 2021, 02:20:41 PM »
And by rethinking how we work and how we live, literally millions of lives will be better off in tiny ways.

... and this is where we start to merge with the 'warm/wet/cold/hot/what ..' thread ...

My pet hate in the old environmental debate is where there is this incessant debate about how people travel.  What this ignores is that the 'how' is dictated by the 'why' and the 'where.

If you look at school-runners there are a lot of parents who kick their kids out of the car on their way into work.  The same is true at the end of the school day.  The car gets picked over walking / cycling / public transport because of necessity as much as anything else.

A lot of businesses have sold up their city-centre office blocks and moved to 'trading estates' on the outskirts, miles away from communication hubs.  Those old offices have, in turn, been turned into flats.  So now all those staff that used to catch the bus or train in are forced to use their cars.

One of the debates in these parts is about the M4 relief road at Newport.  leaving aside the political arguments, by the time it gets finished traffic will have grown beyond what the new road can take.

So the real question is "why are we spending a fortune on a road that will never be fit for purpose when we should be spending that money growing businesses where people live so that they don't need to drive to Bristol for work."

Simply put, transport is not a transport issue, it's a planning / business / health / education .... issue.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Day of Chaos 2: a.Covid-19 thread.
« Reply #1394 on: 03 March, 2021, 02:33:45 PM »
Quite. Most of our town’s primary schools sit at the far south of a several-miles north-to-south catchment area. A big chunk of the north end was supposed to get a school, but the Tories at the time said they’d instead forever fund a bus service. (I’m sure you can guess what happened there.) The route from those houses goes over a road that leads to the M3 and where a Tory councillor attempting one morning to prove the route was safe for children as young as 4 very nearly got killed by a speeding car.

Elsewhere, we have Tory county councillors fuming that people aren’t walking their kids to school, and there have been suggestions to enforce parking bans on all roads nearby. During normal times, my wife would drive to the school, park in a fairly nearby street (about a five-minute walk), drop off the nipper and then continue to work. She’d pick her up on the way back. Quite efficient. The Tory plan is that one of us should walk the 1.5 miles to the school, walk home, and then do the journey again at 3pm. That’s quite the assumption about people’s free time.

Cycling would of course be faster—approx. a 20-min round-trip for an adult vs. 50-min for a fast walker. But that doesn’t entirely work with children who are 4, along roads lacking cycle paths and where commuters have vary curious ideas about what 30mph means. Not that anything’s going to change. Our district council pedestrianised half of the high street due to COVID and the Tories went fucking ballistic. Everything got overturned and this one action will likely flip the council in May. Natch, said Tories nonetheless prattle on about “green pathways” around our town. How? How are you going to create those, if you can’t even stomach a small area of the high street being pedestrianised? GAH.