Back to the Office

Do you think places should be open to the public again and the people all back to the office properly? Several places here including the Council Offices, the public still can’t enter.

Can’t see a reason not to, recently we’ve had to contact a company owned by Branson about a holiday we’ve booked, good job I’ve got unlimited minutes on the mobile it took over an hour for it to be answered, does no one work for them any more and once we got through the other person on the phone basically had to go and ask some one else . They can’t keep blaming Covid.

I think much will change and little for the better, COVID will be used as an excuse for many years to come.

Don’t they miss the camaraderie of their work colleagues. I can’t see how working from home alone, in your own domestic environment can be good for you.
They must become very isolated?

Everybody should be back in their workplaces now. It is quite ridiculous and unprofessional to be talking to someone you assume is in an office and you hear their dog barking or doorbell ringing.

Our local GP practice is also still blaming everything on covid.

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GP’s have got used to us the patient hanging on the phone on the off chance they will see uis and that will not change anytime soon if ever.

Went in for my Abdominal aortic aneurysm on check thursday, no one else in there, this was at 2 pm


Our surgery still has a very long recorded message you have to listen to before you can get through to the bit that says you are Number 15 in a queue!!

It tells us that due to covid they are experiencing an unprecedented number of calls. It tells us that the nursing team may be able to help rather than a GP. It tells us we can do certain things on the internet (making an appointment is not one of them!) and it rambles on and on for over 4 minutes.

Gosh, caricature, that sounds serious, l hope you’re ok.

Now l come to think of it, when l went for my injection, there were three other people waiting. Each one of them went into the Nurse’s room.
It makes me wonder if there was a doctor in the surgery at all?

When my son rang Curry’s head office re. a television he had ordered but it hadn’t been delivered. The person he was talking to said, he would go and have a word with his colleague.
Whilst my son waited for his return, he heard a baby crying and a dog barking.
My son confronted him on this, and the man admitted he wasn’t in an office at all.

Ah I worded it wrong it was a check up given to all 65 yr olds, I’m all ok and won’t need another, fit as a butchers dog, apart from me knee’s, elbow’s, arthritis, … :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Modern technology has enabled lots of jobs to be location independent and I think Covid lockdowns has probably accelerated the trend that had already begun for more people to work from home.

If a company or public authority is offering a service that requires the public to visit the office premises, it stands to reason there must be a core team of employees on the premises to serve the visiting public and to do jobs that can only be done from the office premises.

However, there’s lots of jobs that can be successfully done without going into an office every day.
The company I worked for started embracing new work practices at least 20 years ago, to take advantage of the changing technology that enabled many of our work colleagues to be location independent.
It was a great step forward towards a more sensible and balanced way of life, I thought.
In our team, we had a core group of about a dozen people who went into the office every working day - they undertook tasks that couldn’t be done away from the office. We also had about a dozen people who could easily do their jobs working from home and visiting clients at their home or office - they only came into our office occasionally for meetings or to touch base with the other staff.
Then we had a few people who needed to work with the office staff for part of the time but could do quite a lot of their work from anywhere. My job fell into this category and I was able to choose my own working routine to suit my work flow. I usually spent one or two days a week in the office - sometimes my boss and I worked together from her home office and the rest of time I worked from home.
I found that working from home was much more productive and much better for my work life balance, so it was a win-win situation for my employer and me.
I used to enjoy the freedom of being able to fit in a few domestic tasks in between working at my desk but that didn’t mean I wasn’t putting in my full working hours - in fact, I could work longer hours and get more work done in a day, without impacting on family life, because I was saving three hours driving every day through rush hour traffic, so I could start work much earlier and work later. I could focus better at home, without unnecessary interruptions and distractions from colleagues. If colleagues and I needed to talk, we had mobile phones and secure internet connections to access emails and work files and documents.

I expect location independent working / working from home is possible for even more job roles now and touching base with colleagues is even easier now that communication technology has improved even more, with instant messages and face to face chats and meetings via broadband or mobile signals.

When I chat to my kids and nephews/nieces, it sounds as though many of those who got used to working from home have no desire to go back to office working and I can understand why.

From what I’ve been told, there is staff shortages in a number of job roles that have been office-based until the pandemic forced them to work from home - the shortage of staff now willing to take on these office-based jobs enables workers to be more demanding about their working conditions.

A nephew who works in IT for an estate agent tells me that a number of his friends in the IT industry had either changed jobs or threatened to quit their job because their employer had told them to return to the office - apparently the current shortage of staff in their job market allows them to pick and choose.
When my nephew’s company issued orders to return to the office, he told them he would be looking for alternative employment if he couldn’t continue working from home, so they negotiated and agreed he only needed to come into the office 1 day a week.
His wife has also secured a similar deal with her employer.

A couple of council Planning Officers I know tell me that many of the Planning Office staff were reluctant to return to full office working, now they have shown they can do their jobs from home.
One of my nieces applied for a new job in another local planning office, partly for promotion but also partly because her boss refused to negotiate a work rota to split the working week between office and home. After she got her new job and gave in her notice, 4 of the remaining 5 members of her team also found other jobs they could do from home or as an office/home split, so the local council were having to advertise to fill 5 of the 6 job roles in that team.

My son works in Signals Communications, which used to involve him working from a head office most days and travelling to the BBC in London for meetings every week and to meetings in 3 different counties across England every month - during lockdown, he proved he could do the work effectively and be more productive working from home, so he has now negotiated a work from home deal with his employer, with zoom meetings to reduce the need for so much travel.

I guess employers can only afford to say “return to the office or you will be sacked” if they are confident there is sufficient trained people in the job market willing to take their place when they sack them - or they may end up even more short of staff overall.
From the examples I’ve been told about first hand, sacking those who have been working from home if they refuse to return to the office full time may be a case of an employer jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

And a lot of employers, especially in things like IT, are offering the home working option as a perk of the job, to attract the best candidates

It could end up with those employers who insist on office working end up with the dregs, with the best employees going for jobs that offer home working

And that means low paid jobs in council offices and civil services offices and private firms that insist on office working aren’t going to be popular and the best, most competent admin and call handlers will go elsewhere