Returning to work (no more WFH)

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  • My work have a rota in place and are phasing people back in.
    The company director has asked me if I mind WFH for the duration of this initial phase (Aug+Sep) and then see where we stand for October.
    Will be pushing for minimal office time after that, but not 100% sure they will go for it.

    MrsDeth has been informed "an average of 1 day a week in the office" so she can do what she likes really.
    I think she is planning on the 1 day a week, but might start stacking, 2 days one week, 0 days next.

  • Is there a convenient list of WFH positives anywhere, that a person could use on an HR form requesting flexible working patterns? Just asking for a friend of a friend...

  • From my p.o.v

    • less stress = happier worker = better worker
    • better focus = increased productivity
    • less meetings = increased productivity
    • no commute = more time at home = happier worker = better worker
    • less days off ill = increased productivity
  • Office space and having people in the office is very expensive (assuming this is a business decision).

  • Apparently my employer has a new thing in the office called "collaboration" that they are really really keen for us to come back and try.

  • We’ve had this buzz word banded around as well. Literally never heard of it being a #digitalfirst brand 🤦♂️

    We can prove through our project management tool that we’ve been more productive in 2020 than previous years so of course… they want us back 3 days a week in the office - but I’ve definitely just moved the Manchester soooo good luck with that.

  • My place has said that we need to come back in for 2 or 3 days a week (basically 2 as there's no maximum). Given it was 100% in the office with no WFH previously that seems pretty reasonable.

    I've already been going in a day a week so won't make much difference to me to bump up another day or two and personally I'm old fashioned enough that some stuff I prefer to do in person rather than on a call.

    Showers and changing rooms are still closed though which is annoying.

  • This has happened too at my wife's work where there hasn't been effective communication between employer and employee. Examples of problems now surfacing include employees moving home to a distance where a daily commute is impractical and also purchase of a pet which cannot be left at home during the day. My experience is mainly in Manufacturing Engineering where WFH has been & is very limited so this situation is inconceivable! What do you think actual outcome will be?

  • Examples of problems...

    The logical response to this is that it's the employee's problem and 'tough luck', but it feels as though it's not as simple as that. It certainly does feel as though a lot of people have taken life by the balls and just thought 'sod it, I'll make it work' though.

    Saying this as someone that's been deliberating what to do about a future house move for the last year and a bit with the intended location being fine for one day a week in the office (it's just over 2hrs door to desk), just about doable for two days but not practical at all if it's any more than that.

    Doesn't help that there's no clear steer from anywhere on what the future holds, everyone's seemingly waiting for someone else to blink so that they can follow their lead!

  • There’s a small return to work at our offices, a multi national insurer, but only for people who want it. The general view is that working for home has been a massive success and from a customer service perspective we’ve seen an improvement in the customer experience over the last 18month. Even the phone based customer service staff are going to be able to option for a working from home contract now if they want.

    I hated it at the start but won’t be going to to the office other than for quarterly meetings and a couple of times a year in London.

    My wife is a university lecturer and there going to be doing lectures on site from September, seminars online, and all other time at home.

  • I think quite a lot of people may discover that they're not as indispensable as they thought. If employees have done this kind of thing without discussing it with the employers first then they may end up a bit screwed. A lot of companies aren't going to want to start making exceptions because of the precedent it sets.

  • I’ll be looking for a new job if they press the matter any further. That’ll be 7 years spent there, ending because they can’t fathom that bums on seats at home is better for a lot of people’s well-being.

    It’s really a shame as I had a verbal agreement with the next 2 people above me that I’d come in once or twice a fortnight - that tune has now changed and left me with a bad taste in my mouth about it. Just makes you realise there’s no loyalty at all.

  • We have an "average 30%" policy (majority of staff are totally fine with it) and leave it up to the staff to work things out. I have one team who just come in for 1 week in 3, others who do a day or two a week etc.

    The biggest problem we're getting is from people who WANT to return to the office but we have a couple of anti-vaxxers. Not unreasonably, the staff who have long-term health issues (or are shielding those with them) are not keen to mingle with the others. At the moment it's not too bad as the surrounding countries have extended the emergency tax legislation but once that ends, people MUST return to the office or they'll end up paying more tax or even falling out of our social security system (>50% work outside the country means you're not eligible).

    Real minefield of personal rights to negotiate...

  • We had a guy who moved (to buy a home) quite a long way away from the area during the pandemic too. Given the nature of cross border working and the tax regulations around it, he has walked himself into all kinds of problems. We'd allow him to transfer to our local subsidiary but it'd mean higher taxes which he wants us to boost his salary to compensate for which seems unfair on the other staff.

  • less chance of getting the Delta variant and long Covid = not putting staff at risk for no real reason

  • Hah, thats definitely a chancer trying his luck there. Comes down to nerve - is he really going to leave if he gets a no about his pay rise? Then again, im jaded from years of getting nominal pay rises.

    My work told me they wouldn't be paying for my travelling expenses, and I told them I wouldn't ask for it as long as they don't try and get me in more than was necessary.

  • Tell him to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. Surely he knew about the tax situation before the move (if not, he should have). Don't see why an employer should make up the difference. Every big life decision comes with pros and cons.

    I now work in Sweden but kept a lot of UK clients. The day rate here is much higher due to taxes being higher, but that doesn't justify me raising my rates in the UK.

  • Our place have come up with a policy that is 3 days in at least per week. The 1/2 remote days can't be in another country and the remote place is assumed to be employee home. It must also be within commutable distance of normal workplace. So can't do 3 days in the office then hotfoot it to Cornwall for four days every week. Apparently.

    It feels like the easiest middle ground they could reach. But for head office staff commuting into London it's no cheaper too travel in for 3 days. Annual/monthly season ticket is still the only real option for that.

    There's still lots of people with long commutes that won't like it. Some will leave, most will cope.

  • What's the point of remote if you can't be anywhere you want? Judge workers on performance not where they are.

  • our company is doing one day a week, but stupidly making it so everyone is in on the same day??

  • MrsDeth had an update on their "1 day per week", there are 250 employees and they are letting 50 desks per day be booked (not "your" desk, you get a random assigned desk)
    250 people, over 50 desks, is an average of 1 day per person.
    Some want to do more than 1 day.
    It isn't going to work.

  • we're having a 'discovery period' over the next few weeks, starting from a mandatory 1 day per week, ramping up to 3 days by October (2 set days, 1 flexible) with a mandated 'must be in the office' 2 days prior to project deliverables.
    I'm quite looking forward to getting my commute fitness back and ditching the extra weight accumulated over the last 18 months!

  • Getting quite frustrated with the multinational I work for who are too focussed on a recruitment drive (20% vacancy rn) than their current employees.
    We don't have any firm details on return to work, and I've asked for a permanent work from home contract. Not heard a peep back. It'd be really nice to know if they expect me to start dropping £800 a month again on a train in 2 weeks time.... not that I'm now even in the position to do that given only one of us is working. Sigh.
    The result > I'm actively job hunting.

  • The job market is going to be super active as things start to return to some sense of normality with so many people either being burnt or feeling massively underappreciated over the past 18months. I do wonder how truly flexible places will be including those that will allow truly remote working - I assume nowhere near as much as the success of WFH working suggested it could be.

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Returning to work (no more WFH)

Posted by Avatar for DethBeard @DethBeard