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Working from home. Please share your experience of this.


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Thought this subject was worth a new thread.

 

Due to the issues raised by Coronavirus, it appears that many companies and public sector employers are in the process of organising for staff to work from home on a permanent basis, where this is possible.

 

HMRC for example have most staff working from home according to the reports I have read online.  Many other central and local Government departments have done the same.  So you can work out how many laptops and PC's have been purchased in recent times.  But the costs will be more than recouped, if Government departments no longer need such large offices with all of the running costs.

 

The purpose of this thread is to share experiences and opinions on working from home.

 

If you have worked from home, have you been organised enough to ensure that all work commitments have been completed ?

 

Have you been able to work with your line managers and colleagues to ensure that the work you share is organised in an efficient way, so you can work normal hours, having a good work/life balance ?   

 

How have you handled work pressures and relationships with the people and animals you share a home with ?

 

Have you had to handle difficult telephone calls and emails/messages from customers, while you are sat at home, without the normal support of colleagues you would have had working in an office ?  If you have had difficult work situations to handle while working from home, had that ever impacted on other people you live with.

 

Are people happy with public sector employees working from home handling members of public sensitive data, using home broadband connections, even with robust security provided ?

 

Are people happy that Bank/Insurance company staff are handling customers personal data whilst working from home  ?  Would you be happy that a Bank employee is checking your personal accounts, while sat in their living rooms/kitchens etc ?

 

People have been working from home for years, but due to Coronavirus, it is going to be much more common and I just wonder how many realise that if they work in an office currently, that they may be working from home soon to.

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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If you are considering claiming Tax Relief on items purchased because you are working at home I think the form from memory is P87.

Beware,the words Wholly and Exclusively will mean HMRC will refuse most claims, for example Laptop,Desk,Chair,Ink,Paper etc etc from past experience proving Wholly and Exclusively is extremely difficult to prove as most items can be used for your own Private Use.

FS

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Needs to be a decent broadband connection also Fibre is preferable if using IP phones with relayed phone numbers that remain with the worker.  Citrix is also troublesome for Sysadmins, always had connectivity issues remotely with Citrix.

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It is possible I could be working from home at some point in the coming months. I would receive an increase in pay and not have any of the issues/costs with commuting, other than occasional trips for meetings.  

 

Sounds great in theory, as the work I do could be done at home, with interraction via skype etc.

 

But there are issues that some staff would have, particularly those with disabilities, where they have adapted workstations. It may not be possible for these staff to work from home, as they just don't have the space to accommodate chairs, special desks, IT equipment etc. Also from a health & safety perspective, it would difficult for line managers to have daily responsibility for wellbeing of staff, other than speak to them, to ask if they are ok.

 

And those staff who deal with vulnerable members of the public who can on occasions be very difficult to handle, as they threaten self harm or worse. How can the HR wellbeing responsibility for these staff be effective, if the staff are remote working ?

 

There is a danger due to Coronavirus, that organisations rush into enabling home working, without thinking through all of the issues and carrying out risk assessments. Not all staff will be able to work from home, as they may not be suited to this, for many different reasons.

We could do with some help from you.

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There is the conundrum UB, there may be some solutions available dependent on the disability and how it affects the staff member, It will have to have some serious consideration, as to what is possible.

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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BN. Agree.

 

Organisations looking at closing offices or reducing office space in use, as they will be enabling home working, are going to have to go through a process of looking at many different issues. Many of the issues they will not really have thought about.   

 

And the Broadband networks are going to have to increase capacity, as some are really struggling at the moment. With the number of people currently at home, there has been a sharp increase in data being processed.

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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The connectivity issue is the elephant, not everyone has access to a sufficiently fast connection, Fibre is preferable if there are others at home also on the pipe if someone is streaming 4K, there goes 15-20 meg bandwidth, Office use unless loads of media and online videoconferencing, multiple users in the house using wifi  with a home worker on 8 meg is dodgy.

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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  • 1 month later...

With social distancing measures now in place in many offices and other workplaces, there is very little scope for additional staff to be accommodated.  

 

New Zealand I think was going to implement a 4 day working week.   Labour have suggested this also.  Do people think this is a possible option ?  Are companies going to continue paying normal wages or will they attempt to cut wages due to  a reduced working week ?

 

Home working for experienced staff who can work unsupervised is part of the solution for Civil Servants, Council staff, Insurance staff, some Bank staff etc.  But for many companies, home working is not an option and therefore they may have to think of other solutions.  Perhaps those companies that generally work Monday to Friday, will have to include weekends within normal working pattern and spread the work/hours out.  

 

Does make you think how long Covid-19 issues are going to affect people ?  

We could do with some help from you.

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  • 1 month later...

Currently working from home

 

Internet hasn't been an issue yet however I'm using a 350mb connection, with an unlimited sim on one network and another 125gb sim on another for backup

 

Space has been a minor issue as I have 3 kids however I set up a home office in the caravan which has been working nicely

 

It also solves most of my confidentiality issues as I'm the only one in there

Please note:

 

  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
  • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts

if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful :eek:

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That sounds like a good arrangement, labrat. My OH works in a separate room that he only uses as an office so that he can walk away at the endof the day.

 

I know not everyone can do this of course.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I wonder how many members of the public realise that the public sector employee, Bank staff, Insurance Brokers etc that they are speaking to on the phone, are actually working from home ?  Perhaps, if they were aware, they would be a bit more understanding, as often these people are working from home alone or have family living with them.

 

Have heard stories of people being subject to verbal abuse  and then suffering from stress related illness, due to the number of calls where this has happened.  

 

Employers are going to have to review the effect of home working on employees and where it is required, arrange for them to return to office based working.  This then enables supervision and help to be available.  

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

I wonder how many members of the public realise that the public sector employee, Bank staff, Insurance Brokers etc that they are speaking to on the phone, are actually working from home ?  Perhaps, if they were aware, they would be a bit more understanding, as often these people are working from home alone or have family living with them.

 

Have heard stories of people being subject to verbal abuse  and then suffering from stress related illness, due to the number of calls where this has happened.

As a consumer who was on the other end of this at the worst possible time I can give another perspective.  I was stressed as hell but I was more understanding than usual if the person on the other end at least tried to be helpful - and the vast majority did.  It often felt better to be dealing with another human who was prepared to try and find a solution than the usual 'that's what we do' scripted answer.  This remained true even if we didn't find a solution, I was very grateful for any effort.  Just as in-house conference calls now include kids and pets as the norm, I don't think consumers do mind processes being slowed if it means they are individualised -  humanised if you like.  To bosses this may well seem less efficient, I do believe it can be more effective.

Edited by hightail
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You're right, hightail. I had cause to speak to M&S customer services and I asked if the lady was at home out of interest. She was and I was pleased she was safe. She had no problem resolving my problem and wasn't in a rush to get rid of me.

  • Like 1

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Yes this is certainly true of some consumer service situations.  Depends on the type of situation really, as if you are a public sector employee dealing with a difficult situation being encountered by a member of the public or  an Insurance company claims handler with a customer who is shouting verbal abuse because of a claim delay, then working from home is not ideal.  

 

 

We could do with some help from you.

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2 hours ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

Yes this is certainly true of some consumer service situations.  Depends on the type of situation really, as if you are a public sector employee dealing with a difficult situation being encountered by a member of the public or  an Insurance company claims handler with a customer who is shouting verbal abuse because of a claim delay, then working from home is not ideal.  

If WFH is what leaves people feeling unsupported then I completely agree that's not good.  I wonder if some organisations were better at keeping communication open, managing the situation and making their employees still feel supported and included.  It's likely there have been lessons learned.

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