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Related: Lockdown Learning, discuss home schooling during lockdown.

You ‘must’ WFH if you can do so effectively
50

LittleRen · 01/11/2020 16:39

So how many people on here had made the switch back into the office and do you think you will be going back to WFH?

Last time I’m sure it was if you can work from home you should, it seems more certain this time.

I’m sure employers will find ways around it. Our company is busier than ever and has everyone back in a ‘Covid safe’ environment. We are perfectly able to work from home (office staff not warehouse staff) but communication was poor last time... one director hates WFH the other director agrees with it, so here comes the fight.

Will you be WFH? I quite like being in the office but understand the need to be at home... I think on balance I would rather be in work as it’s gives a nice difference for me two days a week, when everything else is the same day in and day out.

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TheGreatWave · 01/11/2020 16:55

Same situation as me OP. I guess I will find out tomorrow.

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ForBlueSkies · 01/11/2020 16:56

There is no such thing as a “Covid-safe” environment.

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Yawningyawning · 01/11/2020 16:59

Yea we’re deemed COVID safe, communication seems to be a problem for some... see tomorrow.

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LittleRen · 01/11/2020 16:59

@ForBlueSkies that’s why I said ‘Covid safe’ although should have used quotes really! It’s not Covid safe, just slightly reduced risk.

We are big in turnover but small in staff - only about 10 people in the office.

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BenchHench · 01/11/2020 17:02

I don't think the Government mandate is strong enough to 'force' employers to allow employees to WFH. I can foresee a lot of employers telling their staff that they need to come into the office "because it's essential."

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Sorryusernamealreadyexists · 01/11/2020 17:03

Same situation here.

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KitKatastrophe · 01/11/2020 17:11

My husband has been working from home 4 days a week and on the office for 1day, so I guess it will become 5 days at home. I'm self employed and usually go to peoples homes but I can and will be doing that from home.

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Feminist10101 · 01/11/2020 17:13

@ForBlueSkies

There is no such thing as a “Covid-safe” environment.

There is if you use the correct definition of Covid-safe
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Mindymomo · 01/11/2020 17:16

My DS1 worked at home last lockdown and has been back in the office for the past 2 months now. He is very busy and his department of 2 have loads of room between them and gets so much more work done being in the office with 2 screens. A few did continue working in office last time, so he’s hoping he can continue.

My DS2 works in manufacturing, the whole company of over 40 has been closed for 2 weeks due to 5 positive cases. I think they have to look to making it more covid safe, although 3 of these socialised of an evening. He has only been back 4 weeks, after being furloughed since March.

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Ohhgreat · 01/11/2020 17:17

Already had the message from our CEO that we're back to WFH. I don't mind, but it does make some things harder. More Microsoft Teams!

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ForBlueSkies · 01/11/2020 17:18

@LittleRen

*@ForBlueSkies* that’s why I said ‘Covid safe’ although should have used quotes really! It’s not Covid safe, just slightly reduced risk.

We are big in turnover but small in staff - only about 10 people in the office.

Oh I know, OP. Wasn’t having a go. Just a little mad at the government for perpetuating the fiction that people can ever be safe from this thing while working indoors!
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CoronaIsWatching · 01/11/2020 17:20

I work in a Covid secure office, don't want to WFH though I could if I asked

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maddiemookins16mum · 01/11/2020 17:27

I was one of 3 people who stayed in our office (normally 150) after March 23rd. As of September, the numbers increased to roughly 25. As of tomorrow, it’s back to 3 again. Gutted, back to double the work as nobody working from home can print or scan documents than then need posting to customers.

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salty78 · 01/11/2020 17:39

It's gone from 'should' to 'must', which to me says, whether your office is covid safe or not, you must go back to WFH. My employers will probably disagree.

Also what's the definition of 'effective'? If your productivity drops when WFH are you no longer working effectively?

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thecatsthecats · 01/11/2020 17:59

We only went back in for fortnightly brain storming meetings, and used the ideas to work through the other weeks.

Back to Teams it is, which is a shame, as it was a lot more fluid to chatter, however we did the rest of the work well at home.

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PTW1234 · 01/11/2020 18:01

I haven’t been in the office since March 16 Shock

I would love to go back for at least a couple of days a week and my mental health is shot, but not an option. And last time my company tried to open 3 people got covid in the first week.. promptly shut again

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OrangeBananaFish · 01/11/2020 18:29

I have been back in the office 1-2 times a week since July. Before that it was WFH full time. Last week I was in Wed, Thurs and Fri due to holidays. It did wonders for my mental health.

Before July it was optional to go in, but it did have to be cleared with the manager first. I'm hoping I can still go in part time and work from home the rest of the week. Our team get post and have phone calls to answer so I guess that will be the essential part, but they have installed softphone software onto our laptops so we can answer the phones through them instead and be at home more.

Will see what is said tomorrow or Tuesday (assuming those at the top will have to discuss it themselves first)

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Chickenfingers · 01/11/2020 19:21

My DP and a few others in his team have been asking for a laptop since the beginning, half his team are already work from home already so can easily, the only reason he isn't is because senior management have said they 'arent a priority for the budget' and has been chasing senior management weekly. This is a large financial business where the majority of the wider business are WFH and are sent company wide wellbeing messages about the benefit by HR.

He's been told so far by his direct manager that it's unlikely to still be sent one as they were working through the other lockdown so will likely be the same. There's also been covid positive cases in the office and we're still expected to go in without any cleaning done.

Very frustrating, I wish I could out them but I work for the same place. Not even sure what else he could do if even after this update they're still not given one.

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BBCONEANDTWO · 01/11/2020 19:34

@maddiemookins16mum

I was one of 3 people who stayed in our office (normally 150) after March 23rd. As of September, the numbers increased to roughly 25. As of tomorrow, it’s back to 3 again. Gutted, back to double the work as nobody working from home can print or scan documents than then need posting to customers.

Can't someone else take a turn this time - why should you not be allowed to work from home this time round?
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BunsyGirl · 01/11/2020 20:09

We went back to the office in September (on a part time basis) but our WFH days were increased a couple of weeks ago ans I presume that we will be back to full time WFH later this week (apart from a few skeleton staff carrying out back office functions).

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SATSmadness · 01/11/2020 20:37

@maddiemookins16mum

Most modestly priced home printers will scan in addition to printing these days. Why wasn't this sorted out back in March/April ? Wouldn't have cost the employer much money.

We were given £50 towards a home printer if we didn't already have one and told to ensure it could also scan documents.

School wanted the dc to scan and submit homework by e-mail if possible too so it was good to have a scan option.

I'm trying to find the exact wording of the official new WFH instructions, can anyone link to it please ?

Numbers were rising fast in our area but recently employers have been using the excuse that it "wasn't as efficient" for employees to work from home compared to being in the office so they didn't need to allow us to. It is only marginally less efficient, but team members noticed that working from home last time highlighted how overstaffed with managers we are given how much the teams can actually self-manage themselves when working remotely. This is why we're still expected to come into office premises which can never be Covid safe as there are too many staff in a small space with too few toilets, one shared kitchen and the main bottleneck being each shared print/copy facility is used all day long by up to 6 staff.

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DamitJanet · 01/11/2020 20:38

We were doing part time from the office and the rest from home (so reduced numbers in the office) but will be moving back to all WFH from Thursday.

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maddiemookins16mum · 01/11/2020 21:03

@SATSmadness

*@maddiemookins16mum*

Most modestly priced home printers will scan in addition to printing these days. Why wasn't this sorted out back in March/April ? Wouldn't have cost the employer much money.

We were given £50 towards a home printer if we didn't already have one and told to ensure it could also scan documents.

School wanted the dc to scan and submit homework by e-mail if possible too so it was good to have a scan option.

I'm trying to find the exact wording of the official new WFH instructions, can anyone link to it please ?

Numbers were rising fast in our area but recently employers have been using the excuse that it "wasn't as efficient" for employees to work from home compared to being in the office so they didn't need to allow us to. It is only marginally less efficient, but team members noticed that working from home last time highlighted how overstaffed with managers we are given how much the teams can actually self-manage themselves when working remotely. This is why we're still expected to come into office premises which can never be Covid safe as there are too many staff in a small space with too few toilets, one shared kitchen and the main bottleneck being each shared print/copy facility is used all day long by up to 6 staff.

But then the hundreds of letters and documents would need brought into the office for our post person to ‘mark them up’ for signing and then our post gets collected from here. Plus people would need headed paper for the top copy, plain paper for the documents etc. It would be a farce. In normal times each person just prints out their own on our massive 5 tray printers and put them in the out crate.
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Dontmakemegoback2office · 01/11/2020 21:11

The examples BJ gave of work that can’t be done at home was construction and manufacturing.

Most office based work can, and should, be done at home. That’s why we’re having a lockdown. To stop people mixing including on public transport. Making people go to an office for no good reason (control, obsessiveness) is hardly in the spirit of the legislation is it.

If your employer says you cannot wfh the questions that have to be asked are why not? What are the barriers? What can be done to remove those barriers?

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Samiad85 · 01/11/2020 21:19

I will be very surprised if my work say we are WFH tomorrow.
I work in the offices of a large food manufacturer. We are very busy but we can and did WFH effectively. My boss very much has his own interpretation of any rule or advice that comes out.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to WFH, I hated it last time but that’s irrelevant.

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