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WFH/Lockdown/Future of office work

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    WFH/Lockdown/Future of office work

    Keeping it in Business/Contracts because I'm hoping for a sensible discussion on this (probably would have got a better response on a football forum but here goes anyway!)

    Most of us that are still grafting are working from home.

    Most of us have read that even when this soft lockdown is lifted, social distancing measures will still be in place. How is your company proposing to deal with it? We had a chat on Monday and it was painfully obvious that it's not possible in our office given its layout. We could probably handle 40% occupancy and manage social distancing, which makes returning to the same office environment pointless. I can see a lot of companies/teams within companies getting together once a week at a venue that allows social distancing while being able to engage in face to face chat and meetings but the sorts of venues that support this tend to be the hotels that offer conference facilities

    General questions then:

    - Have your company/your client considered this side of things yet?
    - Have the likes of WeWork and other office renters considered this yet and are looking to juggle office space about?
    - How reluctant would you be to put yourself at risk in such a public space?
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

    #2
    Originally posted by LondonManc View Post
    Keeping it in Business/Contracts because I'm hoping for a sensible discussion on this (probably would have got a better response on a football forum but here goes anyway!)

    Most of us that are still grafting are working from home.

    Most of us have read that even when this soft lockdown is lifted, social distancing measures will still be in place. How is your company proposing to deal with it? We had a chat on Monday and it was painfully obvious that it's not possible in our office given its layout. We could probably handle 40% occupancy and manage social distancing, which makes returning to the same office environment pointless. I can see a lot of companies/teams within companies getting together once a week at a venue that allows social distancing while being able to engage in face to face chat and meetings but the sorts of venues that support this tend to be the hotels that offer conference facilities

    General questions then:

    - Have your company/your client considered this side of things yet?
    - Have the likes of WeWork and other office renters considered this yet and are looking to juggle office space about?
    - How reluctant would you be to put yourself at risk in such a public space?
    I'm waiting for the corporate bean counters to realise that they can keep the business running perfectly well with most people at home and start looking at how much money they can save by closing offices.
    "Being nice costs nothing and sometimes gets you extra bacon" - Pondlife.

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      #3
      Originally posted by DaveB View Post
      I'm waiting for the corporate bean counters to realise that they can keep the business running perfectly well with most people at home and start looking at how much money they can save by closing offices.
      My last 2 clients had already started an office consolidation exercise where they modelled their space requirement on having desk spaces for 80% of FTE-days, accepting that a number of people already worked from home. They were also pushing out a hot-desking policy at more parts of more locations.

      I too think that thus outbreak will only accelerate that thinking.
      Last edited by Paralytic; 22 April 2020, 08:32.

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        #4
        My company is quite happy with remote working and Teams meetings

        My client hasn't yet made their thoughts known on what they will do when the lockdown starts to ease.

        I don't have a need to use spaces like WeWork when I'm in London as I have a full office set up at home but I do occasionally find myself in other parts of the country and I would then want to use a co-working space. In my experience of using those, people don't sit close to each other anyway unless it's gotten very busy. With a bit of furniture jigging they should still be viable places to work.
        Last edited by ladymuck; 22 April 2020, 08:34.

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          #5
          Both Barclays and JPMorgan are currently trying to outdo each other with the size of their new office developments in Glasgow. Opposite sides of the river. Both aiming for bragging rights.
          ---

          Former member of IPSE.


          ---
          Many a mickle makes a muckle.

          ---

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by wattaj View Post
            Both Barclays and JPMorgan are currently trying to outdo each other with the size of their new office developments in Glasgow. Opposite sides of the river. Both aiming for bragging rights.
            Shouldn't be too difficult to keep socially-competent people 2m apart in Glasgow. All three of them will cope.
            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by DaveB View Post
              I'm waiting for the corporate bean counters to realise that they can keep the business running perfectly well with most people at home and start looking at how much money they can save by closing offices.
              Absolutely this. Any decent company should be starting reviewing how it's working and gathering evidence now.

              My client has already sent out a survey monkey on how it's going with a mix of mental health and well being questions with others around ability to work with good bad and stopper type answers. I'd imagine they are focused on the people right now but the ability to work and impact will get a lot of attention soon.

              - Have your company/your client considered this side of things yet?
              Nope. We've had the survey as mentioned above but not a peep on returning yet. That said my client is on the super careful side. We already had a day where everyone possible worked from home a week before the lockdown hit to be prepared and we shut up shop the very day Boris mentioned it so have been at home a week longer than most.

              I don't imagine they'll be asking us to do anything so no need for me to consider whether I'd need to do it to be fair.
              If you wanted my thoughts though, I won't be going back to the office anytime soon, allowed to or not. I work for myself so cannot afford to be sick so unless suggested otherwise (sensibly) by my client I won't be in the office until there are 0 new cases.
              Last edited by northernladuk; 22 April 2020, 08:43.
              'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by DaveB View Post
                I'm waiting for the corporate bean counters to realise that they can keep the business running perfectly well with most people at home and start looking at how much money they can save by closing offices.
                People have been saying a 100% remote gig is the dream for years, I wonder how many now still think that?

                I know I don't
                Originally posted by Stevie Wonder Boy
                I can't see any way to do it can you please advise?

                I want my account deleted and all of my information removed, I want to invoke my right to be forgotten.

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                  #9
                  Just to echo what a few have said I'm surprised it isn't more the norm these days. I was WFH full time in 2008 for Virgin Media.

                  Less people in an office is less bills, travel etc. which is good for environment aint it? I'm guessing there are a few dinosaurs left in management positions who are paranoid (to a degree justifiably so) that it's bunking off time.

                  My rubbish ideas would be:
                  - try and shift to a more deliverables driven way of thinking (like we are generally used to)
                  - move away from a bums-on-seats-irrespective-of-productivity mindset
                  - give people an arbitrary number of chances, perform reviews periodically etc. then back in the office for x months if they don't play ball
                  Permietractor (probably)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by SimonMac View Post
                    People have been saying a 100% remote gig is the dream for years, I wonder how many now still think that?

                    I know I don't
                    I don't think companies will go to 100% home working but I would hope they embrace better flexibility and stop being so anti. I love working from home/wherever but I do also believe that the odd day in the office really helps too as you get so much out of a side of the desk conversation. Meetings are 90% pointless so I'd rather do those at home where no-one can see me getting on with real work.

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