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Office working - is it over?

(26 Posts)
Sleepyquest Thu 04-Jun-20 20:46:23

Do you think office working is going to die a death? Will people be working from home more and more?

The reason I ask is because I'm wondering if it will open up the job market a lot for people who don't want to relocate. Additionally, where I live, salaries are on the lower side. I would earn double in London, but it isn't practical. Wondering if this will all change in the future.

OP’s posts: |
evilharpy Thu 04-Jun-20 21:09:47

I'm wondering similar. Where I would like to move to there aren't many jobs in my field and salaries are lower. I've been wondering if it'd be feasible to keep my job and work remotely on a permanent basis.

BrieAndChilli Thu 04-Jun-20 21:23:17

I don’t think it will work how you think, London companies aren’t going to pay high wages to people who don’t live in London. I imagine if anything it will mean London companies will relocate to cheaper areas and pay cheaper wages.

Sleepyquest Thu 04-Jun-20 22:26:37

You're probably right @BrieAndChilli about them not paying London wages but still it could mean more opportunities!

Another thought - will there be lots of empty office buildings and could these be turned into housing?
Will there be less traffic on the road? Will mothers be able to pick their children up from schools during the working day?

I am on mat leave at the moment but hoping when I go back, I'll be able to work from home some of the time!

OP’s posts: |
BrieAndChilli Thu 04-Jun-20 22:44:10

It might help decentralise the U.K. create a bigger spread of jobs and opportunities through out the U.K. I suppose the sticking point would be for things like client face to face meetings etc. People flying in from abroad are really o LG going to want to go to London.

Herbie0987 Fri 05-Jun-20 16:50:30

I wouldn’t think so until all companies sort out their IT systems, to cope with the demand. I have to go into the office once a week as unable to access all I need at home.

BeforeIPutOnMyMakeup Fri 05-Jun-20 16:57:38

Lots of companies who did WFH before this pandemic asked for staff to come in one/two days per week. So you had to live in commutable distance. If you are lucky like I was in one freelance role I managed to convince them to allow me to come in 3.5 days per month in one block. I then stayed in a B&B as it wasn't commutable. However I did end up being the one who did all the off-site meetings in London as I lived there.

dementedma Fri 05-Jun-20 17:00:33

Working from home is awful if you dont have enough space to set up a workstation, or you have other people in the house. I've been on sodding zoom calls all day. My back and bum hurt from working on furniture that isnt the correct height or designed for 8 hours of sitting. Cant put the washing machine on, dcs trying to tiptoe about to make sandwiches or cups of tea. No personal interaction with colleagues. Ears sore from bloody ear plugs. Really, really need to get back to a proper working environment and soon!

BiddyPop Fri 05-Jun-20 17:12:08

I think there will be a lot more WFH allowed now that employers have seen that it works - our productivity was maintained (and often higher in certain sections), and DH has also said that productivity in his organisation is also generally higher at the moment.

I think people will want to go to the office at times, for meetings, discussions on group projects etc, and to keep in contact with others. But I think there will also be a lot more people working a couple of days a week from home, at least. We've all now got set up with IT and some kind of workspace, and once DC are back in school, there will be peace and quiet as well.

Sleepyquest Fri 05-Jun-20 17:27:17

I have a zoom meeting coming up to discuss going back to work and I must say I would way prefer face to face. Some things are just easier in a proper meeting.
Think about all the money that could be saved by businesses if they had everyone work from home though! Or even half.

OP’s posts: |
EmpressLangClegInChair Fri 05-Jun-20 17:38:57

God, I hope not. I’d far rather be in the office.

Gwenhwyfar Fri 05-Jun-20 17:48:21

"Think about all the money that could be saved by businesses if they had everyone work from home though! Or even half."

Totally unfair to offload those costs on their staff!

Cupasoup76 Fri 05-Jun-20 17:51:54

I hope so, I would love it and be so much more productive. We have been wfh for 11 weeks now and nothing has been missed or left undone. Major multinational company who have historically been very anti working from home. I’m desperately hoping things will change!

Sleepyquest Fri 05-Jun-20 17:52:03

@Gwenhwyfar yes it is unfair but that wouldn't be a reason to stop them I wouldn't have thought! Also, employees commuting costs would be nil so swings and roundabouts

OP’s posts: |
cantgetmyheadroundit Fri 05-Jun-20 17:55:31

I've been wfh since just before lockdown started, and I absolutely hate it! I have no office space, it's made my sciatica so much worse because there's nowhere proper to sit... I can't wait to go back to the office!

WeAllHaveWings Fri 05-Jun-20 18:19:11

Once they work out these jobs can be done effectively from home they'll start looking at where it can be done remotely cheaper outside of the UK.

Other countries are waiting to provide services, working harder for less. We work with IT, finance and Market owners located in India and Budapest and these service providers have really upped their games in the last 5-10 years. They are less that 1/2 the cost of employing in uk. Costs me £450/day for an in-house business analyst, I can get a better one with up to date training I didn't need to pay for, for £190/day from Mumbai who delivers quality in less time.

Watch what you wish for.

Gwenhwyfar Sat 06-Jun-20 23:28:20

"yes it is unfair but that wouldn't be a reason to stop them I wouldn't have thought!"

It should be.
Not everyone has high or any commuting costs.

Iamthewombat Sat 06-Jun-20 23:37:57

How would my working from home constitute my employer ‘offloading costs on their staff’?

I actually prefer being in the office: easier to get stuff done when you can see colleagues face to face. However, if I were required to work from home permanently I would be happy not to be paying commuting costs.

EBearhug Sat 06-Jun-20 23:48:54

How would my working from home constitute my employer ‘offloading costs on their staff’?

Lower costs for power, heating, air con, water, loo paper, soap, cleaning, tea and coffee, telephones, telecoms. If we can clear a whole spur of the building, then we save on taxes. Apparently when you take all the costs into account, and divide them by the number of desks, it works out at about £20 000 a desk. Reducing the office space won't reduce all bills - still needs security staff, some cleaning, some power and so on, but it can save a lot.

fia101 Sat 06-Jun-20 23:57:50

I wonder whether it will change the way we arrange our homes in the future ie will a home office or flexibility to have one become part and parcel of new houses as en-suite and walk in wardrobes are now

I have a home office and because I work alone in my office at work being at home is no different at all. I took my computer from work and my office chair!

I love it. We went through a phase of lots of video calls but now people are happy to have phone calls again which is grand.

I speak to colleagues a lot either via video call telephone or email but can imagine if you don't or could be isolating.

I have a lovely wardrobe of work clothes that are hanging redundant - miss that!

Trevsadick Sun 07-Jun-20 00:13:09

Our company are becoming hugely flexible on the back of the pandemic. Previously, wfh wasn't ok apart from emergencies. They will cut office space and save money. It works really well. They will maintain head office, where I did work from. But our team will only work their occasionally. The costs for me are offset by what spent whilst at work on drinks, a sandwich etc.

TerribleCustomerCervix Sun 07-Jun-20 00:13:45

I work in HR for a bank and the consensus amongst my colleagues is that we’ll never go back to working from the office 5 days a week.

It works well for most of us- it’s a really female dominated team and most of us have dc, so cutting out the commute and having more time at home works in our favour.

However, if I was still in my early twenties, trying to get experience and prove myself, I’d be furious at the prospect of working from home!

Iamthewombat Sun 07-Jun-20 15:33:07

Apparently when you take all the costs into account, and divide them by the number of desks, it works out at about £20 000 a desk

According to whom? What building are you in? The Shard? I’m a finance director. No way would the total absorption cost of any desk in any of the buildings used by businesses I’ve worked for, even in prime London, get close to £20k per annum. Are you getting confused with the ‘seat cost’ for eg an IT help desk person, which includes salary?

My question was about what costs are being ‘offloaded’ onto employees, not which costs the employer might save by having less office space. The two are not the same. You mention loo roll, power, soap, tea and coffee and telecoms.

Would anybody really resent using their own loo roll and soap, rather than their employer’s, if they were working from home? Really?

Ditto using your own teabags. How much of a cost is that really? Most employers don’t provide free tea and coffee now anyway.

Telecoms: most households have WiFi anyway and calls can be done via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Where is the marginal cost?

Re power: if your house is entirely unoccupied from 8 am until 6 pm Monday to Friday, and you only turn the heating on when you get in, I can see that might be an extra cost (in reality, for most families, it’s unlikely that this would be the case). However, unless you walk to work every day it’s offset by savings on travel costs, plus you probably don’t need so many smart clothes and you get to sleep for longer; in lockdown, I’ve got back two hours a day just from not having to commute, and another half hour in the morning not having to do my hair and make up and make myself look very smart before leaving the house. Plus, you don’t have to heat and light the entire house, just the room you work in.

If the cost of a desk alone in your business is £20k per annum, please tell me how that could possibly be ‘offloaded’ onto employees working from home.

Iamthewombat Sun 07-Jun-20 15:37:27

It works well for most of us- it’s a really female dominated team and most of us have dc, so cutting out the commute and having more time at home works in our favour.

I mean this kindly, but have you considered that your employer, the bank, might prefer to employ somebody in a cheaper location to do the jobs of some of your team? Polish and Romanian service centres cost half as much as a UK equivalent and their English is usually really good.

Sorry to rain on your parade but if I were you I’d steer away from planning your new life WFH and scaling back the wrap around care, and think about how you prove your worth as a UK based employee who is physically present in the office.

EBearhug Sun 07-Jun-20 17:49:39

Not all the costs will be offloaded - but certainly some, especially in winter. My heating costs are only for water currently but I'd definitely need it in winter.

If you include costs of employing people at their desks, it would be substantially more than £20 000 a desk.

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