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Back to the Office

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--- Quote from: Jim_Campbell on 22 July, 2021, 12:51:50 PM ---This is exactly what I've said to my wife: every time they bring it up, ask them what the business case is for doing this. Sooner or later, they'll have to admit that there isn't one.
--- End quote ---
A friend works for a company that tried to push things, even when there wasn’t a business case. In the end, things derailed when the senior managers all stated they would continue to work remotely, because one of them had moved overseas and rather liked it there. Even so, they’re still trying to stipulate other staff should be in at least two days a week. It’s insane.

Mister Pops:
It's all a bit up in the air at my job. There's to be a review in September before the start of the new semester. My manager is quite happy to let us continue as is. In fact she was quite thrilled she was finally able to implement the paperless office the university had been pushing back against for the last few years. The only students we deal with are Visa applicants overseas*, whom we never saw face-to-face before this. However the decision will be made much higher up the food chain. I'd just like to know if it's worth investing in a desk for the spare room, so I can reclaim my kitchen table.

There have been several staff surveys over the course of this pandemic, the results of which have shown that the vast majority favour home working. There is still a sizable minority of absolute psychos who seem way to eager to get back to the office. Included is my former manager, who pushed to get everyone back last September and caused an outbreak which I got caught in.

My commute is the guts of two hours everyday, and this is by no means the longest out of my colleagues. Over the course of the year, morning meetings have commonly involved colleagues expressing relief that they don't have to drive with all that ice on the roads, or sit on a bus/train for an hour in that heat. Belfast rush hour is also hell on Earth. I remember hearing a report that it's actually the worst in Western Europe by contrast in journey time between on and off peak hours. There's a common theory here that the road system was purposely badly designed, so that traffic could be locked down easily during the troubles**.
Anyway, the point I've strayed off is that it seems needlessly cruel to take that free time off workers, just as things open up and we can fully benefit from that free time.

Many aspects of the office seem needlessly cruel, where once they were taken for granted. I would not choose to spend a single penny on the drab uncomfortable clothes mandated by the office dress code. I wouldn't be allowed to sit at my computer topless in shorts like I am today***. And I can also be productive over my lunch break, doing things like housework and posting rambly posts on weird obscure comic book forums. I've had time for proper breakfasts. I have prep time to make proper meals.

Before all this, there were several campaigns and schemes at my job, stressing the importance of good mental health among the staff. Posters everwhere. It will be interesting to see how that will work if the bring us all back in full-time. No I do not want mindful-fucking-ness classes! I want to be working in my nice comfy house, not dreading the commute and having to face chores when I get home.

I have a friend who is a bar manager who has told me to suck it up because he doesn't have the option to work from home. I have told him I am open to sucking it up, but only after I get the same length of paid holiday he got during furlough.

*many of whom are reconsidering coming here because of how badly Bojo's banjaxing it.

**now Bojo is telling all the victims to just draw a line under their dead relatives and move on with your life****. To be fair though, he has got all the parties here to agree that this is a horrifying thing to do.

***and for that mental image, you are welcome!

****This is probably how he will address the 100,000 families who lost loved ones during this pandemic.


--- Quote from: Mister Pops on 22 July, 2021, 02:54:18 PM ---I have a friend who is a bar manager who has told me to suck it up because he doesn't have the option to work from home.
--- End quote ---
Frankly, that mindset of “I have it worse than you, and therefore we should ensure our experiences are equally bad” can get in the fucking sea. Enough of that kind of thing, world.

Funt Solo:
Such an interesting topic, with so many issues:

 - Less commuting is (probably) good for the environment (fewer cars on the roads) and (definitely) good for the soul.
 - The CBD-supporting economy would suffer.
 - Would each household running a mini-office be better or worse than a centralized location, as regards environmental impact? I don't know the answer to this.
 - Sometimes, it is better to meet in person (e.g. much of teaching), and sometimes it's unavoidable (e.g. bus drivers).
 - Anecdotally, Valve are very keen on in-person working as their entire team structure is founded on an organic, drifting, what-are-you-up-to-now-oh-that-looks-interesting approach that rather requires you to be able to wander over, listen in and peek over shoulders.


--- Quote ---it's been suggested that I do this for a few weeks and we review mid-August.
--- End quote ---

That's just an excuse to restore the old status quo, at which point it will be harder to go back to working from home again.


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