Author Topic: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office  (Read 4003 times)

turnstyle

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I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« on: February 24, 2021, 02:18:31 PM »
Rona has been a bit shit really, hasn't it? Not being able to see friends, missing out on dinner with the in-laws (OK, that one I'm alright with), and fuck me, I have missed fingering my way through the local charity shops.

Having said all that, I've been working from home for nearly a year now. Got a little desk set up, dual monitors (yeah, get me), and aside from getting pretty damn bored with video calls it has been a treat.

- Getting up ten minutes before work instead of 90 minutes
- No commuting on trains and shit
- Saved thousands on rail fares
- Cheeky naps at lunch
- Cash in the Attic on in the background
- Saved loads of money on trousers

So that's probably why my first response to being on the verge of defeating the virus isn't wahey, but 'bollocks'. Obviously I want things to return to 'normal', but I want it on my own terms. The thought of commuting back to the office 5 days a week (5!) is genuinely depressing.

There has been a lot of talk about companies changing the way they work, encouraging remote working and generally being less twatty, but I worry that all this will be forgotten about in the rush to return to 'normality'. Already some of my colleagues are chattering excitedly about getting back, and I feel like I'm watching deranged crims trying to tunnel their way back into prison.

What say you, fellow 'whores? You pumped to get back to the office, or, as I suspect, are most of you dole scum that think the Office is just a shoe shop whose doorway you occasionally duck into for a crafty piss on the way home, after a night down the Greyhound with your Legend Gary mates?

icehaven

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Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2021, 02:50:40 PM »
I was wfh completely from March-late August and give or take a week I've been back in 2 days a week since then, and the thought of going into work 5 days a week seems completely untenable, even though it was what I did for 17 years before. To be completely honest I've become very, very lazy, I could have written this letter (apart from the bit about colleagues running themselves ragged);

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/feb/24/i-have-no-motivation-to-work-how-can-i-change-my-attitude

Quote
I have always had a problem with work, I don’t have much internal motivation to do any and a lot of anxiety about it. Now I am supposed to be working from home I feel even more disengaged. I get up at 11am, then procrastinate around the internet for a few hours.

I do appreciate having a salary and it would logically make sense to try and keep my job. My colleagues are all running themselves ragged working and home schooling and all that stuff. I hate the idea of all that rushing about. How can I change my attitude, and persuade myself do a few hours work every day?

I can't really do my job from home anyway so on my 3 wfh days I do virtually nothing except check and reply to any emails, and I know how incredibly lucky I am to be able to do this and to have kept a job at all over the last year, but it really has made me lazy and unmotivated. I can't believe there's going to be a time when I'm getting up at 6am Mon-Fri again (possibly earlier as we're hoping to move further away from where I work soon) and catching buses every day (not been on one since last August). It's going to be a right grind for a while until I get used to it again, if I ever do.
That said I literally cried with boredom several times during the first lockdown and at least coming into work a few days a week is a change of scene, but like you I would prefer it on my own terms, just a few days a week and to start later in the day, but once proper normality returns we'll be back full-time as our job isn't really do-able at home.



bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2021, 02:59:42 PM »
Grt back in that cubicle, boy.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2021, 04:15:18 PM »
Been completely WFH since March. Extra free time, being assessed on work done rather than looking busy and more control over my working environment have been great. I do miss seeing colleagues in person and the cycle of exhibitions and events that came with working at an arts uni. Fucking hate the endless accumulation of cleaning and washing up from making 3 meals a day at home. Loved being able to put on a stew or slow roast at lunch.

Sounds like we'll be going to a 3 in 2 wfh model at the end of tbe year, which suits me ok. A lot of the appeal hinges on social stuff being semi normal by the time we have to go back.


Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 05:31:58 PM »
Definitely enjoy the good bits of WFH, no commute, roll out of bed etc. But it's made my job a lot harder (engineering). Not being able to properly work as a team has slowed everything down. I now find myself tearing my hair out trying to work something out, that before I could probably have had a chat with someone and sorted out in 10 minutes. I think I've also realised I used to work a lot more collaboratively than I do now. Lots of spinning the chair around and getting a group of people talking over something to work it out. Do miss a bit of bantz as well when making cups of tea etc. So overall I'm ready to get back into the office sheep pen.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2021, 08:28:16 PM »
I don't miss a single thing or person about going in to work. If my colleagues vanished off the face of the earth, I would not give a fuck. I don't miss banter, or male colleagues talking like they're football managers, or female colleagues getting giddy about the latest ITV drama. I don't miss the tea fund, or the security guard who seems to get angry when you say hello to him, or people watching me. I miss ragging the photocopier and pilfering from the stationery cupboard but we've all had to make sacrifices.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2021, 08:46:16 PM »
I miss having a chair that's designed to sit in for several hours a day, rather than sitting at a dining table. And I REALLY miss central heating.

monkfromhavana

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Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2021, 09:47:49 PM »
Depending on the job, I suspect a lot of  employers would think, if I'm employing some c*nt to sit at home in their pants working and watching Homes Under The Hammer I might just as well offshore their jobs so some c*nt in India to work from 15 storey admin-farm death trap for a 10th of the money.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2021, 10:29:50 PM »
I think many employers are by now (if they've got any sense) drafting plans for a permanently flexible model. There are so many factors that can influence how any individual feels about working from home, many of which are likely to shift and change over the next few months (particularly for anyone with kids) - but if at least some employees have proven that not only can they functionally perform their jobs remotely for the best part of a year, they might actually be happier and more productive in some cases, it seems mad to forcibly yank that away (especially as by now there'll most likely be another employer round the corner who can offer remote working as an option).

And I've posted before about the wider implications it has for democratising employment and career progression prospects for people who would have found it physically, financially or otherwise challenging to be present in an office every day, especially with companies based in expensive city locations.

Having said all that, I'm over it. So, so fucking bored and lonely. I really struggled last year and assumed that was mainly because I was working from a cramped flatshare which just wasn't suited to spending all day in, let alone working from, but now I live on my own and have a bit more space - it was a bit easier at first, but I just really, really miss being around my colleagues.

I'm very very fortunate in that I enjoy my job and I like everyone on my team - I've been with the company for almost a decade, and I'm pretty close friends with quite a few of my colleagues - so I suppose it's a big chunk of my life and identity that I'm mourning at the moment, really. A few work friends have made fairly significant moves, enabled by remote working - i.e. moving out of London - and I feel childish and stupid for being sad that our regular impromptu after work pub trips or rambling nonsensical lunch break conversations are probably a thing of the past now.

I feel like I shouldn't be feeling this way. Everyone's going on about how brilliant it is that we can escape the rat race and break free from the tyranny of sweaty commutes and underwhelming Pret sandwiches snarfed down at desks, and instead work at leisure from nice homes with gardens far away from nasty grimy cities, but I don't want that. I want my friends to be happy, of course, and to be able to save money and progress in life and all that, but selfishly I feel sad and scared that I'm sort of surplus to requirements now, pathetic loser who needs to grow up and get an actual life and stop clinging to increasingly distant memories.


Beagle 2

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Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2021, 10:41:59 PM »
There's obviously great aspects to working from home, but seeing as it's been the busiest year at work in my life, often working all day and evening with no breaks except to shovel down some tea, we've had another baby and him, my wife and our three-year-old have all been in the next room for almost all of it, it's basically been hell on earth. I've managed to get another job now where it's going to be a mix of office, home working and travel (whenever that's allowed) and I cannot fucking wait. I don't miss being in an office but walking around, being not in my house and having a reason to shave does definitely cheer me up a bit, on reflection.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2021, 10:51:27 PM »
The DVT is probably the main negative

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2021, 11:47:05 PM »
I don't miss a single thing or person about going in to work. If my colleagues vanished off the face of the earth, I would not give a fuck. I don't miss banter, or male colleagues talking like they're football managers, or female colleagues getting giddy about the latest ITV drama. I don't miss the tea fund, or the security guard who seems to get angry when you say hello to him, or people watching me. I miss ragging the photocopier and pilfering from the stationery cupboard but we've all had to make sacrifices.

Seconded, the thought of work from home ending gives me mild anxiety.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2021, 08:35:56 AM »
Seconded, the thought of work from home ending gives me mild anxiety.

"We've kept your cubicle warm...by adding a further 2 colleagues in the space"

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2021, 08:46:30 AM »
The OP has articulated a lot of my feelings at the spectre of the office looms on the horizon - I have felt a little guilty over how much I've actually enjoyed the last year (people have died, been very ill and suffered in other ways, here's me thinking 'it's alright, this') because I'm an anti-social wanker.

I'm lucky enough to work with a couple of nice people, my manager is great, but I'm not looking forward to going back there when it does happen, which I imagine will be as soon as possible. Losing that extra hour in bed in the morn and not having to waste an hour of my evening sitting on a crowded bus... urgh. It's a very selfish mindset, I know, but I found myself envious of the chap who lives in the flat above me who has been told he's WFH throughout 2021 at the very least.

Norton Canes

  • Pick up the pace with your cracked-out face
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2021, 08:54:59 AM »
Seconded, the thought of work from home ending gives me mild anxiety

Thirded. Could manage one day a week in the office, possibly two every so often at a push, the campus itself is a nice place to be and I like my commute. But no desire to have social contact with any of my colleagues (shudders at thought)

Fortunately I don't work in an "innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture": Goldman Sachs: Bank boss rejects work from home as the 'new normal

Quote
“I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us. And it’s not a new normal. It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible,” he told a conference on Wednesday.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2021, 09:29:17 AM »
I have wondered what the percentage of people who would prefer to WFH permanently is, and whether a company who offered it as an perk of employment who benefit in terms of recruitment, assuming salary/annual leave being equal.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2021, 09:36:58 AM »
For the last 12 months I've not had that "Bullseye, Antiques Roadshow, Heartbeat, Radio One Chart Rundown" associated feeling of absolute dread that would occur every Sunday teatime when I realised the weekend was almost over and it was work tomorrow.

I don't want to get back to the normal 5 day week. I miss a couple of colleagues, but there's more that I don't miss. I miss the free cups of tea, free bog roll and heating; my dual monitors and my work desk. That's about it. If the company network connection was better and I had a better desk at home I could work like this forever.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2021, 10:58:08 AM »
I'm with Bently. There's not a lot I miss. I might consider going in one day a week or something (probably a Friday as it's a shorter working day), but the thought of getting up at 6 so I can sit on a crammed train into Cambridge and sit among people I have no real affinity with  and then get on a similarly packed train that gets me home at 7 in the evening for 5 days a week? Fuck that.

Butchers Blind

  • Adios pantaloons!
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2021, 11:59:56 AM »
Get back in that hamster wheel you lazy fucks.

turnstyle

  • His wife doesn't like the Sarcastic Butlers
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2021, 09:30:14 PM »
I agree with the OP, he makes a lot of sense. We should probably make him like, king or something. If that's too much, then deputy king.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2021, 10:11:15 PM »
I don't miss a single thing or person about going in to work. If my colleagues vanished off the face of the earth, I would not give a fuck. I don't miss banter, or male colleagues talking like they're football managers, or female colleagues getting giddy about the latest ITV drama. I don't miss the tea fund, or the security guard who seems to get angry when you say hello to him, or people watching me. I miss ragging the photocopier and pilfering from the stationery cupboard but we've all had to make sacrifices.

Pretty much this. Although I genuinely miss our lunchtime chatting shit (I can't bring myself to call it "banter", more chatting shit with some fellow curmudgeons really) and given any return would be phased and involve 'covid secure' procedures, it'd probably be the last thing to come back.

I think dealing over text-chat and a bit of conferencing (where I refuse to put my camera on) has made me a bit more assertive and pushy over things I would've normally begrudgingly let slide, which is probably good in some ways, but I fear that returning to face to face might make me say something I regret or lose my rag.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2021, 10:15:33 PM »
I think many employers are by now (if they've got any sense) drafting plans for a permanently flexible model. There are so many factors that can influence how any individual feels about working from home, many of which are likely to shift and change over the next few months (particularly for anyone with kids) - but if at least some employees have proven that not only can they functionally perform their jobs remotely for the best part of a year, they might actually be happier and more productive in some cases, it seems mad to forcibly yank that away (especially as by now there'll most likely be another employer round the corner who can offer remote working as an option).

Generally I think this will push institutional shifts towards home working, but in my experience a lot of flex-working is decided on a macro-level and it only takes a dinosaur boss to be workaholic or find it hard to work with their teenage kids in the house for them to foster a toxic culture of presenteeism amongst their team.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2021, 11:33:40 AM »

Generally I think this will push institutional shifts towards home working, but in my experience a lot of flex-working is decided on a macro-level and it only takes a dinosaur boss to be workaholic or find it hard to work with their teenage kids in the house for them to foster a toxic culture of presenteeism amongst their team.

Oh I'm sure you're right - last year my company put out an anonymous crowd survey thing (where you could see everyone else's responses) to gauge how employees felt about the future of remote/office work, and it was interesting (and a bit depressing) to spot the managers who clearly had a rather antiquated view of remote working (going by their comments like "But how will I know if people are taking extra long lunch breaks/logging in late" etc.).

I suppose I'm lucky as my own team had embraced flexible working a few years ago - it's definitely made easier by the fact that we all had laptops already and our roles are very "digital", but the attitude towards it makes a huge difference as well. When I was having weekly CBT sessions in 2019 (which were on weekday afternoons), my lovely manager said I could work from home those afternoons if I wanted (as she understood I might not be up for rushing back to the office straight after crying on a couch). A few colleagues already worked from home one day a week for childcare commitments, and they've always been great with letting me work from home at short notice if I need to be around to let in a gas engineer or something.

Of course some jobs lend themselves to remote/flexible working better than others, but as lots of employees are clearly thriving on this format, as long as they're doing the job why take that away? All the talk about bizarrely punitive measures for those who choose to remain working remotely (increased taxes, reduced salaries) are very worrying too - is the work they're doing worth less because it's done from a kitchen table?

Still absolutely fucking HATING it myself, but appreciate having the option. I Disagree With How You Want To Work, But I Will Defend To The Death Your Right To Have It. Or something.

I think it's worth bearing in mind too that there must still be loads of people whose living situations really, really aren't cut out for home working - lots of people  (including myself) have been lucky enough to be able to adapt their living situation and surroundings in the past year to be better suited for home working, but so many people just don't have that option and I can only imagine the mental toll of nigh on a year of this by now.



earl_sleek

  • National Program Director of the CHUM Group
Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2021, 12:34:06 PM »
I think it's worth bearing in mind too that there must still be loads of people whose living situations really, really aren't cut out for home working - lots of people  (including myself) have been lucky enough to be able to adapt their living situation and surroundings in the past year to be better suited for home working, but so many people just don't have that option and I can only imagine the mental toll of nigh on a year of this by now.

My previous employer decided a few months into the lockdown that every employee would work from whenever possible, and all non-essential offices would be closed, even after the pandemic. Apparently the top bosses were quite surprised when there was a big pushback from a lot of admin and business support staff, especially younger employees, as they'd assumed they would all prefer WFH. But the difference is the higher ups tended to be older, live in bigger houses and are more likely to have had their children leave home, whereas younger and more junior employees were more likely to have to share living space, less likely to be able to dedicate a space at home to work and more likely to have childcare commitments, making working from home a lot less comfortable.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2021, 12:42:51 PM »
Already nipped it in the bud with my manager via the medium of a grown up conversation, so I am now formally a homeworker and will only go to the office for vital meetings and I’ll be fucking of home again post meeting when it’s all back to normal

The MD of the company was basically heavily hinting (aka insisting) that the office based workers get back into the office last May and then got all het up when he was called on it citing mental health being his driver (bollocks, mate) so my boss sorted me out, fair play to him

Captain Crunch

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Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2021, 12:46:14 PM »
My current firm has been better than most but there is the constant cloud of senior employees saying “well why can’t they just buy a desk?” from the toasty warm comfort of their ridiculous £15,000 custom garden office. 

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2021, 12:47:12 PM »
All the talk about bizarrely punitive measures for those who choose to remain working remotely (increased taxes, reduced salaries) are very worrying too - is the work they're doing worth less because it's done from a kitchen table?
Johnson "assuring" the rail industry that we'll all be back in the office this Summer did make me wonder about this, whether anybody trying to buck the desired trend would be punished.

My own workplace did a staff survey last Summer to gauge how people felt about WFH - I gather it was quickly buried when the results weren't that we were all desperate to get back in.

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2021, 01:16:15 PM »
Johnson "assuring" the rail industry that we'll all be back in the office this Summer did make me wonder about this, whether anybody trying to buck the desired trend would be punished.

I just read that article and it filled me with dread. I wondered the same and assumed it's aimed at employers at a corporate level to focus them back on paying the rent for those big old office blocks.

2018-9 I worked mainly from home and enjoyed trips into the office from time to time but mainly on my own schedule if there was a physical need / advantage to being there. I also just enjoyed going there from time to time to see different faces. The project itself drove me literally[1] insane so I would never want to go back to that but I did enjoy being able to work largely according to my own patterns and got more done. On office visits I achieved less, I would say,  because there are canteens to sit in and people to talk to and just general distractions.

I am lucky enough to have somewhere separate to work and I can see the need to want to see other people but I don't want to be forced back into that culture of presenteeism.
 1. Not figuratively
« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 05:09:15 PM by paruses »

Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2021, 04:05:19 PM »
But the difference is the higher ups tended to be older, live in bigger houses and are more likely to have had their children leave home, whereas younger and more junior employees were more likely to have to share living space, less likely to be able to dedicate a space at home to work and more likely to have childcare commitments, making working from home a lot less comfortable.

Yep, 100% this. And presumably less likely to be earning enough to be able to afford to change their housing situation (even with any potential savings from not commuting or buying sandwiches or whatever, which some quarters are hailing as justification for forcing remote workers to cough up one way or another - as if the cost of paying rent, eating, raising kids and ensuring your home has power have all magically disappeared with lockdown).


Norton Canes

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Re: I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2021, 02:51:27 PM »
Covid: 'People are tired of working from home'


Quote
"Working from home for the first couple of months of last year when the sun was shining and people were enjoying perhaps a more flexible environment, there was a sense that this was going to be a short-term process. I think now people are really missing that opportunity to collaborate with and just see their friends in the office, to get your hair cut, to go and get a good coffee at lunchtime, and to do all the life admin things you can do in a city centre."

Fuck you. Just, fuck you.



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