To have completely changed my mind about WFH?

(891 Posts)
MauvePinkRose Thu 16-Sep-21 07:30:17

I know there is a WFH thread but I mean this more generally than the specific things about it that are driving me to drink!

Pre pandemic, I would have said that WFH was a positive thing that employers should absolutely allow, reducing traffic and therefore pollution, allowing more quality time at home.

Now, I’ve changed my mind.

I think it’s having a negative impact on public transport, which in turn will lead to redundancies and reduced public transport, which is bad news for those who can’t drive. It is also having a knock on effect on things like coffee kiosks and sandwich bars.

Then, I’m not convinced that WFH is as productive as people think. I don’t know what’s going on with DVLA for instance but I am still waiting for a driving license I sent off for three months ago and you can’t get through on the phones.

It’s turned family homes into workplaces and thus impacts everyone. I’ve had some really stressful and unpleasant times because of it.

And I do think it’s not very healthy. Dp rarely leaves the house without me, has gained weight and falls ill all the time as I just feel he isn’t gaining any natural immunity.

I’ll probably be flamed by all the WFHers now smile

OP’s posts: |
Macncheeseballs Thu 16-Sep-21 07:33:23

I agree, a move back to a mixture of both would be better

nancy75 Thu 16-Sep-21 07:35:05

Actually I agree, it’s bad for the economy in areas where people used to work & it is terrible for the transport network.
I worked from home over the last 18 months & found I could never switch off from work - I might have had to odd break during the day to put a wash on or get dinner ready but overall I was starting earlier & ‘just quickly checking my emails’ much later & over weekends. Great for my boss, not so great for me!
Having now gone back I like the line between work & home

Pokhora Thu 16-Sep-21 07:36:40

I agree OP. It is a nightmare getting hold of anyone at our council at the moment. They are all supposedly working from home but never answer their mobiles. My DH now only showers on the days he has to go into the office, he just can't be bothered when he is at home all day.

Gorl Thu 16-Sep-21 07:38:21

I don’t really agree re sandwich bars - I don’t feel like the existence of 9 prets in the city centre is my job to maintain grin but I think it can be isolating and impact negatively on health.

I personally love WFH - without it I would spend 2.5 hours a day (that I currently get to spend with my baby) commuting. But I do make an effort to walk every day and to keep work to my office and not the rest of the house. I think if you’re conscious of these things it can be a much better way to work.

burritofan Thu 16-Sep-21 07:38:22

Or: for some people it works best to do full time in the office, for some people it works best to do full time at home, and for some people it works best to do a hybrid. Imagine!

Coffee bars and sandwich shops etc moving to a neighbourhood model would be good instead of clustering everything in the central business district. Not leaving the house and gaining weight is a person problem, or one borne out of poor working culture that keeps people tied to their desks and replaces commute time with work. Which isn’t going to be solved by a forced return to the office.

Just let everyone work differently and flexibly, it’s not that hard.

RandomLondoner Thu 16-Sep-21 07:38:26

I think it’s having a negative impact on public transport, which in turn will lead to redundancies and reduced public transport, which is bad news for those who can’t drive. It is also having a knock on effect on things like coffee kiosks and sandwich bars.

These points are silly. Services don't exist for their own sake, they exist to service demand.

You don't have someone making coffee because that's their job and if they didn't do it they wouldn't have a job. They make coffee to the extent that people are willing to pay to have it made, and when that demand goes away, the coffee maker needs to find something else to do, that is more useful than making cups of coffee no-one is drinking.

The interests of the barista are completely incidental to the coffee-serving business. If someone invents a robot that can do his job more cheaply, then his job can and should disappear. He needs to go away and do something else that robots can't yet do.


MauvePinkRose Thu 16-Sep-21 07:45:15

The point is though that without the demand things start to grind to a halt. That’s what causes recessions.

If everything else about WFH is positive then fair enough but I don’t think that it is.

And the problem with letting people choose is that people might choose what they feel is best for them as an individual but it isn’t necessarily what is best for their job, their family or the economy.

OP’s posts: |
Weirdwonders Thu 16-Sep-21 07:46:02

The points about city centre coffee shops and transport have been addressed above, they’re not new arguments and unfortunately that service model will just have to shift because we’re not working in the same way any more. Disagree about the DVLA as well, I applied at the height of the pandemic and my driving licence was back within about a week.
(Also what of this couldn’t have been said on the other thread?)

MauvePinkRose Thu 16-Sep-21 07:48:34

It’s interesting people are honing in on coffee shops when there are a number of other points to the thread.

No one is saying WFH is all bad but as with most things there are winners and losers and I think it’s a case where the person WFH is a winner but perhaps not all that many people.

OP’s posts: |
MauvePinkRose Thu 16-Sep-21 07:49:07

*perhaps not all that many other people are, that should have said!

OP’s posts: |
LadyWithLapdog Thu 16-Sep-21 07:51:38

You’re welcome to get back to the office. For DP this adds 2.5 hours commuting time. His office is completely silent and there’s no camaraderie. The commuting is very stressful. At work he sits in silence doing a job which can be done from home. He’d be out of the house 8am-7pm, waking up at 7. That’s a very long day. My days are as well, I have to go to the office. I don’t think it’s better for the kids to come home and fend for themselves till evening. We’ve done this for many years but there has been a better way. Let’s keep that.

If jobs have to change, why not? Time to rethink what’s important.

LakieLady Thu 16-Sep-21 07:51:43

I think it's great and I can say that circumstances have led to some very useful changes in the way we work that will continue even if we had to go back to being office-based.

But then we're a very small service in a relatively small organisation (1,000 staff). I agree that contacting any big organisations, like DWP or local authorities is a nightmare.

Weirdwonders Thu 16-Sep-21 07:54:19

OP if people aren’t able to make decisions that factor in the needs of their work and their family then I wouldn’t trust them with a spoon never mind with a job. As for the needs of the economy, while I’m mindful of the need to keep money flowing I also don’t see why I should make journeys I don’t need to make if I don’t have to now that the tech enables me to work differently. That’s progress, sorry.

Shurl Thu 16-Sep-21 07:56:12

Not exactly relevant to your post... but can you chase up your licence? I got mine back in just over a week when I moved 7 weeks ago.

PosiePerkinPootleFlump Thu 16-Sep-21 07:56:13

It's shit for young people who have no middle management to learn from properly because they are all sitting at home.
And really selfish on the part of people who learned loads from interacting with colleagues when they were more junior, but now can't be arsed to go in to help develop more junior staff.

Pinkclarko Thu 16-Sep-21 07:56:50

All good points I think. I would say though, that it’s really hectic in my office with constant interruptions and working from home twice a week allows me to catch up and get a break from everyone, so hybrid working suits me.

rookiemere Thu 16-Sep-21 07:56:52

As a middle aged person with a big house and garden and enough room for DH and I both to have separate work areas - I still hate it. I miss seeing my work colleagues and having meaningful banter. Like others I feel guilty when I log off and have had to work on boundaries to not check emails etc in non paid time.

Still I think it's worse for graduates and young people. They aren't learning how to behave in a professional environment or having the opportunity to bond with others.

I'm glad I'm near the end of my working life as I can't see it ever returning to how it was 18 months ago with teams in the office together- and even then if people wanted to wfh 2-3 days per week they were perfectly entitled to.

FantaCoke Thu 16-Sep-21 07:56:58

I hope to see all the big chain coffee shops and high street shops to shut down by the end of this, and we go back to local businesses, run by local people so I feel I’m helping someone who needs the money. Buses are ridiculously expensive, so if they have to cut their fleet, so be it. Drivers are needed everywhere at the moment.

WFH is brilliant. I can walk to work but I still prefer WFH. I can watch TV whilst I work, and get things done in silence without my colleague pulling me away to chat and have a tea every 2 mins.

ArblemarchTFruitbat Thu 16-Sep-21 07:57:06

I walked to work and took in lunch from home, so it makes no difference to the economy if I WFH.

niceupthedanceagain Thu 16-Sep-21 07:57:38

I think it's great that excessive consumerism and consumption is being challenged. Public transport is so overpriced perhaps it will force a funding rethink. I think a rethink of all the ways society functions is due (but probably won't happen because people want to get back to normal hamster wheel life).

MauvePinkRose Thu 16-Sep-21 07:58:08


Not exactly relevant to your post... but can you chase up your licence? I got mine back in just over a week when I moved 7 weeks ago.

I honestly don’t know how. They don’t answer the phones!

OP’s posts: |
Theworldisfullofgs Thu 16-Sep-21 07:58:57

Why does it have to be one or the other.

WFH can and does have a positive impact on parenting. Particularly of teens.

Goshitstricky Thu 16-Sep-21 07:59:52

Surely the key is choice, every employee who has WFH successfully should be allowed to continue and those who haven't managed to be as productive or those that don't want to WFH shouldn't have to and everything in between. I'm sure my DH would do a 50/50 split if he had the choice because there is a lot of positive and negatives of both.

Happy employees make for well oiled business machines right?

rookiemere Thu 16-Sep-21 08:00:33

It's not embracing hamster wheel life @niceupthedanceagain to actually want to be in the same physical presence as your co workers.

I feel my life now is much more monotonous than pre covid. I get up , force myself to go for a short walk, and then sit in my spare room for 8.5 hrs.

As I say before this people could very much choose to wfh most of the week, but vast majority of us chose to be in the office.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in