I Would Rather Not Go, Back to the Office

Started by turnstyle, February 24, 2021, 02:18:31 PM

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paruses

Quote from: DrGreggles on June 19, 2021, 12:26:25 PM
The CEO sent out an email yesterday regarding what will happen post-pandemic.
We won't be returning to the office unless there's work that can't be done remotely.
So about 5-10% of staff (categorised as GREEN) will be onsite most days, with maybe another 5-10% (YELLOW) going in once a week.
Anyone else (RED) will need prior approval from management.
#NewNormal

I suspect we won't be moving to bigger premises after all then!

Those colour bands don't make sense do they? Why isn't Green in once a week and Yellow mostly in?

SpiderChrist

Started going in once a fortnight for my own mental health, and now it looks like I'm going to be asked to go in full time from the end of July - I work at an exam board and the appeals process this year is expected to be fairly batshit busy. So the announcement that mask wearing is no longer mandatory after 19 July has increased my anxiety, as I would have to travel into work on busy trains bound for That London. The idea of getting on a seven o'clock Kings Cross train full of unmasked cunts is one I am trying not to dwell on.

DrGreggles

Quote from: paruses on July 01, 2021, 08:28:22 PM
Those colour bands don't make sense do they? Why isn't Green in once a week and Yellow mostly in?

Someone tell Walkers that it's green for cheese & onion!

HR have finally made it official:
"the Government are expecting to end a large number of the COVID-19 related legal restrictions in England from 19th July, which will also include an end to the "work-from-home guidance".  With this in mind and in light of the growing numbers of staff we have in the UK, irrespective of whether the current restrictions are lifted, we would like people, where possible, to continue with your current working arrangements with regard to where you are working, until further notice"

checkoutgirl

Quote from: paruses on July 01, 2021, 08:28:22 PM
Those colour bands don't make sense do they? Why isn't Green in once a week and Yellow mostly in?

Green means GO into the office.
Yellow means YE might go in here and there.
Red means STOP, don't come into the office.

Makes sense to me.

Fambo Number Mive

QuoteDavid Abrahamovitch, founder of Grind coffee shops, said the relaxation on office-working rules was "very much welcomed".

He previously said the four-week delay to restrictions ending "killed the summer" for his London-based coffee shops, which rely on commuters for business.

"We are looking forward to seeing more people back in the city," he said. "I hope lots of companies will follow the lead of those such as Apple and mandate a return to the office for at least three days per week."

To be honest, I'd rather boycott businesses whose owner/s were lobbying for people to be forced back to the office. Also, if people don't want to return to the office because they are worried about getting covid, are they really going to want to go to a coffee shop at lunchtime.

Just another example of how capitalism and public welfare don't mix.

Sebastian Cobb

Do Apple even have much office staff in the UK? I thought they mostly just had shops/repair staff tbh.

I certainly get the impression most of the interesting stuff happens in Cupertino.

Pinball

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on July 06, 2021, 02:23:20 PM
Do Apple even have much office staff in the UK? I thought they mostly just had shops/repair staff tbh.
Probably just 2 accountants who organise the tax-dodging.

mothman

There's definitely a ramping up across the media of the "back to work, proles" messaging. Fucking cunts.

Ferris

Quote from: Pinball on July 06, 2021, 05:07:39 PM
Probably just 2 accountants who organise the tax-dodging.

They're about 11 miles outside of Dublin city centre. I know one of them (or did, he left because he hated it).

Allegedly.

MojoJojo

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on July 06, 2021, 02:23:20 PM
Do Apple even have much office staff in the UK? I thought they mostly just had shops/repair staff tbh.

I certainly get the impression most of the interesting stuff happens in Cupertino.

They have about 1400 in Battersea power station. The have a chip design team somewhere boring in the commuter belt north of London, and probably a few other tech teams about the place. They have an office in Cambridge now I think about it.

Cuellar

I honestly think the best thing about working from home is being able to just sit at your desk with your head in your hands and your eyes closed thinking 'what the hell am I doing with my life' for anywhere between 15 and 30 mins at a time. If you did that in the office someone might come up and ask you if you were ok, or tell you to get back to work. It's bliss.

mothman

Not in my workplace. I once went a whole day without talking to anyone, just to see if it was possible (easily, it turns out).

flotemysost

Going back in a few weeks once I'm fully vaxxed, for 2-3 days a week for now (entirely voluntarily on my part - my company seems to be adopting a pretty decent approach re: flexibility, which is something I've strongly advocated for. Think they realise they'd potentially lose an awful lot of talent if they started forcing people in, and also it would completely contradict all the inclusivity and diversity platitudes they've spent the past year harping on about.)

My main concern is that I need to start rethinking my shitting schedule, do I go for "early AM before leaving the house" or "ascertain an afternoon slot when everyone else in in meetings"? This is the stuff yer Canary Wharf bigwigs don't talk about.


SpiderChrist

Quote from: SpiderChrist on July 06, 2021, 09:02:43 AM
Started going in once a fortnight for my own mental health, and now it looks like I'm going to be asked to go in full time from the end of July - I work at an exam board and the appeals process this year is expected to be fairly batshit busy. So the announcement that mask wearing is no longer mandatory after 19 July has increased my anxiety, as I would have to travel into work on busy trains bound for That London. The idea of getting on a seven o'clock Kings Cross train full of unmasked cunts is one I am trying not to dwell on.

They said "get a later train to work and work later" because the trains will be quieter. Not really the point that the htrains are quieter if no fucker has to wear a mask. Virtually everyone else in the team has the option of getting to work without having to use public transport, which I don't. Had a row with my boss about on Friday, proper shouting and that. Told him that all the talk of looking after the mental health of staff was bullshit as the needs of the business will always come first. Now on a week's leave and feeling anxious about it pretty much constantly.

flotemysost

Quote from: MrMrs on July 10, 2021, 09:04:22 PM
dyou work for monzo?

Nope, are they known for being more sympathetic to employees' bowel movements?

Quote from: SpiderChrist on July 11, 2021, 09:57:18 AM
They said "get a later train to work and work later" because the trains will be quieter. Not really the point that the htrains are quieter if no fucker has to wear a mask. Virtually everyone else in the team has the option of getting to work without having to use public transport, which I don't. Had a row with my boss about on Friday, proper shouting and that. Told him that all the talk of looking after the mental health of staff was bullshit as the needs of the business will always come first. Now on a week's leave and feeling anxious about it pretty much constantly.

Really sorry to hear that. Is there a specific reason you need to physically be in the workplace during busy times - like something that can't be done remotely? If you're more stressed and anxious when you're having to get public transport then surely that's not conducive to being at your most focused and productive anyway.

I've always been clear that I do want to come back in, but with the caveat that if it ever feels like a bad idea at any point then I've got a right to sack it off, seeing as my job can definitely be done remotely (even though personally I've been pretty miserable working from home). Having my cake and eating it maybe, but whatevs. I can walk to my office so I realise I'm in a pretty jammy position here, I can't imagine how stressful it must feel to be forced to do something you're uncomfortable with.

Milo

The thought of having to go back to using the valleys train lines to and from Cardiff gives me terror. Back at the start of 2020 we were still waiting for loads of new capacity which has failed to materialise despite being due in 2019. I remember many times having to shove myself into the entryway and hope the doors would still close so I could get to the school run on time.

There's still only half the trains running at most. Absolute madness to be forcing people to use them where they don't have to.. We're at half the capacity we were when we were desperate for more capacity.

SpiderChrist

Quote from: flotemysost on July 11, 2021, 12:20:24 PM
Is there a specific reason you need to physically be in the workplace during busy times - like something that can't be done remotely? If you're more stressed and anxious when you're having to get public transport then surely that's not conducive to being at your most focused and productive anyway.

A lot of temps are apparently being brought in and they will need supervision. That's it. Let those who can walk/cycle/drive into work do the supervision, I say.

flotemysost

Quote from: SpiderChrist on July 12, 2021, 08:48:18 AM
A lot of temps are apparently being brought in and they will need supervision. That's it. Let those who can walk/cycle/drive into work do the supervision, I say.

Ah right, makes sense, and yep completely agree.

My work have put out some guidance on returning to the office and it's actually pretty sound from what I can see. Mask wearing and distancing still in place, no more than 50% capacity at any time, anyone returning on a regular basis has to get tested twice weekly, flexible start/finish times, and most importantly it's still entirely voluntary, no obligation to go in if you don't want to.

I'm still planning on going in part time as I'm finding it unbelievably difficult to focus or complete anything at the moment, but I'll be walking there and back so it's a doozy.

Need to invest in some decent headphones for meetings though. And probably some decent deodorant as well.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on July 22, 2021, 03:11:10 PM
Just this morning the boss announced they thought daily stand ups were a waste of time as we all generally take several days to do stuff and it's very repetitive. But they also thought about having us back in a day a week for the 'face time', most of the team were very enthusiastic and I felt the strongest opposition I was able to give was 'I don't mind coming in for collaborative stuff but also am fine working from home'.

In offices I generally just whack my headphones on and stay out of everyone's way. I did enjoy having lunches as a social thing but that was mostly across teams so some of the people I really enjoyed nattering with won't even be there.
:(

Shoulders?-Stomach!

Our office cancelled the back to work plan at the start of last week.

I think they sniffed that the pingdemic would leave them on the floor.

Prior to that I stood my ground and refused to go back until I get my 2nd jab, but this has now rendered that mini-drama moot.

Sebastian Cobb

Yeah we don't have to go back until we've got our 2nd dose. Mine's in just under 2 weeks time.

Fambo Number Mive

The latest attempt by the government to persuade more people to return to the office:

Quote...Asked about a return to offices, Mr Sunak told LinkedIn News: "I have spoken previously about young people in particular benefiting from being in offices.

"It was really beneficial to me when I was starting out in my career."

He said that on a visit to Scotland last week he met young people starting careers in financial services, an industry Mr Sunak has also worked in.

"I was telling them the mentors that I found when I first started my job I still talk to and they have been helpful to me all through my career even after we have gone in different ways.

"I doubt I would have had those strong relationships if I was doing my summer internship or my first bit of my career over Teams and Zoom.

"And that's why I think for young people in particular being able to physically be in an office is valuable."...

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/national/19485886.chancellor-says-office-really-beneficial-early-career/

greencalx

As usual, I seem to be coming in the opposite direction to most people on this thread. My working conditions are such that no-one pays much attention to where I am, as long as the work gets done and you don't fail to show to something really important like a class or exam-board meeting. However, the main thing I've learnt from the past year is how essential having an office is to getting my work done. A large fraction of my time is spent talking to people, so although I have - on paper - a single-occupancy office, more often than not there's someone else in there that I'm talking to. Since the pandemic, this has all been shunted online of course, and it kind of works, but means that I spend much longer staring at a screen than I did before. And I am highly allergic to low bit-rate audio.

When I'm not meeting with people, I need a distraction-free space if I'm to get on with real work, and it turns out my office is much better for this than the room I'm using at home, even though there's a decent enough desk in it, actually a better computer than the one in my office. There's a lot more desk space in the office (two desks, in fact), and a whiteboard, and easy access to all the reference materials I might need when doing research work. I can access most of the same stuff from home, but it always feels much more cramped and less ergonomic somehow. Luckily, most of the last year has been filled with 'busy work' of a type that I can get done from home - the kind of stuff that involves long Word documents with numbered paragraphs, for example. But we seem to have got to the end of that kind of work now, and I'm struggling to get any research work done from home, even though the summer is traditionally the time when most of that gets done.

In principle I've been able to work in the office since the end of the first lockdown, as we were all billed 'essential workers', but retained the option to wfh, which almost everyone has done. The main reason for not going in, other when I've being doing stuff like recording lectures, is because no-one else is there. Seems a bit pointless to trek into the office just to sit and have Zoom calls all day, particularly when the office wifi is misbehaving. But since there is a substantial 'social' component to my work (and I don't mean chatting over lunch or coffee, I mean collaborative problem-solving) I'd really like to get that back in person once conditions allow, and most of my colleagues seem to think the same way.

So I am a bit nervous about the institution talking about "hybrid" and "flexible" working, because the cynic in me sees this as an opportunity for managers to massively reduce the amount of office space on the estate. It would go something like this: people are offered the option to work from home on an agreed basis with their manager. In certain parts of the administration I could imagine people mostly working from home (if they have the space to do so) and coming in for team meetings, training etc. The institution then decides to audit room usage, and determines that it's, I don't know, 50% utilised, so decides that everyone has to hotdesk, two to a desk, most likely in a shared space. At a stroke, that's an end to the ability to hold all my meetings and get on with work undistracted. And I can bet that none of the money saved will be passed on to employees to establish a fully fit-for-purpose working space at their own homes.

I've been stung by "flexibility" before, where mandated holidays (e.g. Good Friday) were discontinued and added as extra days of annual leave "to take off when you want". Sounded good on paper, except I didn't realise that this meant you could then be expected to work on these traditional holidays (teaching, in particular). Which is maybe not a big deal, unless other people in your household are required to take these days off, which means you've basically reduced the amount of leave that you can use to spend with your family. Nice one.

So while I understand that most people don't have a job like mine, and wfh works way better for them, I've very nervous that we're going to see a one-size-fits-all approach that satisfies no-one.


Ham Bap

Still not back in the office but I feel it'll be coming in the next couple of weeks.
Eugh.

Anyone else back to the office grind yet?

Sebastian Cobb

Went in for one day but my desk had been flat packed and people weren't really able to tell me where I should be sitting, just that I shouldn't be sitting where my old desk was, sat at a desk for a colleague was on holiday and it had monitors/keyboard/network but couldn't use the monitors without a docking station which I told a new start they could borrow as I never took it home, boss is ordering more and told me not to bother coming back in until they've arrived.

Also not able to connect to some repository domains from inside the building, I suspect they're being blocked.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

Back in this week, partial return. 2 days a week.

Not happy with this development.

At least due to plenty of annual leave this works out as only 10 days between now and the start of November.

Urrrgggh. Why, what is this achieving

The Culture Bunker

I'm currently on leave this week (same as last) but I'm expecting to get a call on Monday that I'll be expected in at least three days a week from now on. I don't know a single person at work who's happy with this, but the big chiefs need us up in the city spending money. Quite frankly dreading it and am considering looking at options with other places that offer full-time WFH - not something I really want to do, as my job is bearable, I work with some really good people and there's other perks that I appreciate, but the idea of losing the best part of two hours of my day again through commuting - amongst the other issues I have with office working - just seems far too much to handle.

Bernice

Can't wait to get back in the office in a couple of weeks, fucking sick of this house.

Norton Canes

Quote from: Shoulders?-Stomach! on September 06, 2021, 03:10:43 PM
Back in this week, partial return. 2 days a week.

Same here. It's been on the cards for a few weeks but the plan to come in from yesterday was emailed round at... 3:30pm on Friday afternoon.

Quote
Not happy with this development.

At least due to plenty of annual leave this works out as only 10 days between now and the start of November.

Urrrgggh. Why, what is this achieving

Got onto campus this morning, straight into the same routine - lock up bike, get changed, dump stuff in locker, slump at desk... literally like the last 18 months had been a dream.