General Chat > Off Topic

Back to the Office

(1/8) > >>

Barrington Boots:
I'm back in today, doing 2 / 3 days a week in the office.

It seems a weird decision on the part of my boss: I'm now in here with just four other people, so there's not really the sort of jolly atmosphere that I think they want; I'm working in a less efficient way and I had to spend an hour getting here (I don't want to go into the various Covid risks that no longer seem to be being observed and threaten to derail things, but obviously that's a factor too). From those of us that are in there's a general feeling that it's a waste of time.

I know it varies from job to job but I can't see the benefits to the company of having this massive office sitting 90% empty when they could save money on rent etc and I'm wondering if 'the office' is going to get gradually phased out in favour of home working, regardless of pandemic. What do you guys reckon?

IndigoPrime:
Personally, I think flexibility and agility are key. For some people, there is no need to come into an office, but they might want to. For others, there will be some need, but they won’t want to. And then there’s everything in between. The problem right now is companies attempting to fit everyone into the same box by mandating some kind of faux flexibility (like three days a week in, but also stating which days they have to be). Plus, from what I’m hearing locally, rail travel is no cheaper when you head into e.g. London three days a week instead of five.

Companies need to be better. My fear is many or even most will push hard to revert to the status quo, for no obvious reason beyond ‘management’ thinking their employees don’t work unless watched, or through misguided notions about the ongoing and constant (rather than random) benefits of in-person conversations.

Right now, however, I think it’s a very different ask. We are in a pandemic with rapidly increasing cases. It’s reckless to expect people to return to office work, just because a hapless government says it’s OK.

Jim_Campbell:

--- Quote from: IndigoPrime on 22 July, 2021, 10:53:19 AM ---Right now, however, I think it’s a very different ask. We are in a pandemic with rapidly increasing cases. It’s reckless to expect people to return to office work, just because a hapless government says it’s OK.

--- End quote ---

I'm absolutely convinced this whole, unnecessary "back to work" drive is being pushed by lobbying from commercial landlords, who are absolutely terrified of a permanent and significant contraction in the demand for office space.

IndigoPrime:
There’s an element of that, for sure. But it’s also down to government ministers not empathising with anything outside of their bubble and increasingly limited experience (in terms of successive governments). So for them, so much of ‘work’ involves face-to-face and they struggle without it. They then assume that’s the case for everyone. We’ve seen Johnson bang on about this several times now.

Barrington Boots:
A bit of both for me, I think there's substantial pressure from commercial landlords (i've been told this morning several companies who rented floors in our office block have left over this year - landlord must be sweating it) but also I think both the government and a lot of industry leaders do think 'work' means 'in an office, in a suit, talking to people face to face'. Although my job is essentially IT based, the focus of the company is sales, as thus the higher ups are still in a sales mindset.

Flexibility is definitely key: I want to work at home, but I have a spare room, a garden and a cat, which all make the experience extremely nice. If I was in the skanky Birmingham bedsit flat I once lived in then I might feel differently.

I think / hope we will start to see that shift in working habits that we were talking about at the start of the pandemic, but I have a feeling it'll be a while coming,

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version