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Aibu to think there's one very simple thing politicians could do to boost the economy?

(35 Posts)
Graphista Tue 30-May-17 10:00:33

I wonder what you're thinking I mean.

I am thinking of properly paid and organised working from home.

With modern technology many jobs could be done from home yet employers are extremely reluctant to allow/support this.

Call handling (from technical support to phone banking to customer service)
Bookkeeping and accountancy
General admin
Mental health support/some physical health advice
Social media management
Web writing & editing
IT development and programming
Publishing & editing
Graphic design & other art/advertisement related work
Market research/opinion polling
Data entry
Some subjects tutoring...

There's loads. Be honest, could you do your job from home at least some of the time?

If employers were encouraged/incentivised to do this many people not currently working and claiming benefits would be able to work.

I'm currently not working as I have mh issues which one aspect is if I'm having a bad time I become agoraphobic but at home I would be perfectly capable of doing bookkeeping, editing, social media management, general admin etc (if I had the money to get a laptop/desk pc, printer. I already have unltd wifi, phones, I could easily set up a work area).

I am thinking it would work for many sahp and physically disabled people too. Especially for those who are relatively ok at home/their home is adapted whereas travelling to work, negotiating most work spaces is not feasible.

What do you think?

ExplodedCloud Tue 30-May-17 10:05:29

I do do my job mostly from home grin
I don't know if or how much it would boost the economy but it's saving me lots on commuting and because my journey is by car, reducing pollution. I think it's madness we aren't promoting online video conferencing and thumping great broadband to reduce travel.

mcdog Tue 30-May-17 10:06:43

I could do my admin from home no problem. The actual patient contact would be tricky though.

Sionella Tue 30-May-17 10:07:51

Frankly I think the best thing the whole lot of them could do is to resign and let some more competent people take over...

KanielOutis Tue 30-May-17 10:09:31

My job offers working from home. I prefer not to though. Local government admin. It's not an alternative for childcare you can't work from home with dependants in.

Sionella Tue 30-May-17 10:09:41

On a more serious note, I think some working from home is a good thing. But I would worry about the effects of isolation and gradual erosion of people skills if many people worked from home full time. I think employers should be more flexible about it, but I am not sure that it's for everyone to do all the time.

NennyNooNoo Tue 30-May-17 10:14:02

Same for schooling / university tuition. Most subjects could be taught online in a virtual classroom / lecture theatre.

araiwa Tue 30-May-17 10:14:19

i dont understand how you think this would help the economy?

youre not creating new jobs, its just the same job in a different location

BazookaJoe90 Tue 30-May-17 10:15:55

It would save the companies money that's for sure, but it wouldn't necessarily mean that the workers would get any more money to spend to help boost the economy.

treaclesoda Tue 30-May-17 10:16:34

A lot of stuff could be done from home, but I think people do actually benefit from the office environment as well. As a previous poster said, it can be isolating being at home. I can definitely see the benefits for people who have physical difficulties, or certain mental health problems though.

A very practical thing that could help would be if employers were forced to offer flexi time, provided that it didn't have an effect on their business. Obviously there are a lot of jobs where that just could never work (anything customer facing, or dealing with patients etc) but there are millions of people doing 'office' type jobs, eg accounts, admin, HR etc, where a lot of the time it would make no difference if they worked from 9 to 5 or from 10 to 6 etc. The difference it would make to people's lives with regards to childcare, and to traffic flow, because not everyone is rushing to start at 9am, would be huge, but with no overall cost to the economy.

blankface Tue 30-May-17 10:17:07

It's not an alternative for childcare you can't work from home with dependants in

Also, trying to get friends and family to understand you are working on those days as opposed to being available for face to face chit chat or frequent social phone contact can be very difficult.

Graphista Tue 30-May-17 10:17:21

Boost economy by getting people like me who COULD work from home but can't go out to work, working and paying taxes.

Not a replacement for childcare no but would likely reduce the hours of childcare needed (less travel time for parents, more flexibility in hours).

Reduced costs for employers (office space, electricity etc)

As for isolation I and many others in similar situations are ALREADY isolated and marginalised. It would actually mean me talking and interacting with MORE people than I do currently. The only person I'm with every day is my dd who will be off to uni (hopefully) in next few years, my cpn once a week (and that isn't permanent) and my mum couple times a week (she's carer for my dad and is elderly and not in great health herself).

Plus working from home doesn't have to mean never seeing people, people still have family and friends they see and could have hobbies outside the home that are suited to their circumstances.

SquinkiesRule Tue 30-May-17 10:19:49

Nice if you have the space to set up a home office, working at the dinner table would just add to the mess and clutter and mix in children it could be a disaster. All our bedrooms are occupied as are many peoples with children.

OfficiallyUnofficial Tue 30-May-17 10:21:21

I have a working from home contract, it works well to find skills that aren't prevalent locally, reduce office space requirements etc.

I do travel in once a week and feel this is important, you can't build relationships without it, can feel isolated and can't upkeep skills via learning.

A balance of both should be encouraged though, so hotdesking and remote working with just centralised meetings regularly/ local area management etc.

Would also open up jobs from outside the U.K. Which would boost the economy.

thecolonelbumminganugget Tue 30-May-17 10:24:36

I can and do work from home around 1 day a week on average but if I think of it this way.

When I go to work I walk to the train station and buy a coffee (helping to employ everyone who works in the coffee shop), I buy a ticket and get on the train (helping to employ everyone who works for the train company), I sit at my desk (cleaned by the cleaner, maintained by site services), I meet advisors (greeted by our receptionists, meeting room booked by p.a., tea and coffee provided by site catering staff, checked in by site security)...

The list goes on. I think more jobs would be lost than gained if the balance shifted in favour of people not leaving the house to go to work.

user1469914265 Tue 30-May-17 10:29:33

I'm not sure why you think this an issue for politicians?

I'm working from home right now, so do many people and many companies offer this.

Are you applying for these types of roles? Have you considered free-lancing? When I lived abroad I set up my own company so that I could work from home (my language skills weren't good enough for my industry in that country) and I continued that for a few months when I returned.

Graphista Tue 30-May-17 10:40:30

I have looked into numerous jobs advertised as working from home. Many are scams, several are not actually working from home but using home as a base (eg Avon type things which aren't much better than scams in my opinion). The few that appear genuine at first are low pay/unreliable pay. My last job (general admin) could easily be done from home but it's a company run by older men (male dominated industry) who think anyone working from home would shirk.

Graphista Tue 30-May-17 10:41:27

I've looked into freelancing/self employment but my confidence isn't great and it takes time to build a business and I've no savings or anything to fall back on.

user1469914265 Tue 30-May-17 11:43:55

Are you working at the moment?

TreeTop7 Tue 30-May-17 11:53:30

I agree that most advertised WFH jobs are pyramid schemes or cold calling. Rarely do decent admin/accounts/legal/HR roles come up.

I think that some people feel that WFH is a shirk.

I also think that some parents wrongly regard it as an alternative to paying for childcare.

All that said, it would be great for the environment and traffic congestion if more people did it.

LorLorr2 Tue 30-May-17 11:56:50

It would be ideal for me. Currently I find there's a surprising lack of anything appropriate when I look for WFH jobs online, you would have thought there's more going these days but there's a lot of competition from much more experienced folk sad everything else seems to be selling make-up.

sweetbitter Tue 30-May-17 12:10:45

I'm in adult education/training, and while it can be done via Skype, it's a lot less effective and more tiring than when done face to face IME.

peachgreen Tue 30-May-17 13:09:03

Problem is, there's more people than there are jobs. Letting people work from home wouldn't magically create loads of new jobs. In fact it would put childcare workers out of work so would make the problem worse!

A far more radical solution is necessary - like a 4 day working week, or universal basic income. But no party is ever going to be brave enough to suggest something like that as they'd never get elected.

Unemployment will continue to rise as more and more jobs get outsourced or become automated.

caroldecker Tue 30-May-17 13:44:04

Peach employment is at record levels

peachgreen Tue 30-May-17 14:25:10

@caroldecker The underemployed aren't counted in unemployment statistics. Nobody has measured underemployment since 2013 (because it's a bad statistic for whoever is in charge!) but it's been steadily rising, from 1.8 million in 2004 to 3.1 million in 2013. And those figures don't take zero-hour contracts into account. They are at record levels (almost 1m people, four times more than in 2000).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the Tories - there are lots of ways of manipulating employment statistics and every Government does it. But their short-term fixes aren't addressing the long-term problem of increased automation, out-sourcing and population growth.

(Another important thing to note is the fact that wages aren't growing (despite inflation). Good article here:

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