Bye bye offices?

Discussion in 'COVID-19 Forum' started by Peter Cooper, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    That seems to work at present because only a few use it, but a pub or cafe need turnover to stay afloat and 5 or 10 people taking up a table each soon effect turnover . so if you accept that working out of the office is going to increase, the cafe idea may need revising
    Posted: Apr 11, 2020 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  2. CVRO

    CVRO UKBF Regular Free Member

    153 35
    That's easy. Alexandra can carry a mobile... The flexibility of working the hours that she wants should come with the responsibility of being available when other people needs her.
    Posted: Apr 11, 2020 By: CVRO Member since: Mar 25, 2007
  3. CVRO

    CVRO UKBF Regular Free Member

    153 35
    The WFH strategy works when the person hss a home big enough to allow the person to carve out a suitable space.

    So, if you solve the issue of a person buying one coffee and holding the table for hours, there may be enough of a niche in the right location.
    Posted: Apr 11, 2020 By: CVRO Member since: Mar 25, 2007
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    If it’s trivial it can wait.

    I ignore calls, texts and emails until lunchtime. By then I’ve usually finished everything I need to do for the day so now have time to answer questions. Not saying this will work for everyone but WFH allows you to be productive in a way that suits you. I’m at my best early in the morning so a commute each day would be counter productive. A mate prefers to faff about in the morning then start work at 1pm exactly.
    Posted: Apr 12, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  5. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

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    San Francisco is full of cafes with one person per table doing business for hours. I couldn't figure out how it works at all.
    Posted: Apr 12, 2020 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
  6. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I agree, in general, but there's also the benefit of external feedback that you often miss by having too formal an attitude to communication.
    Posted: Apr 12, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  7. SillyBill

    SillyBill UKBF Regular Free Member

    358 196
    I'd be surprised if a figure of -10% wasn't easily achievable in terms of total office floor space in the UK. That still means a huge number of us do need to be in an office most days to be effective but equally a very significant % should be allowed to work from home where possible. It is environmentally the right thing to do and will cut the commute time down for those that still need to. I am hoping that sort of number at least can be a target to work toward. I say that as someone who spends a lot of time on the roads, Friday on the roads is already one of the best days to get about...
    Posted: Apr 12, 2020 By: SillyBill Member since: Dec 11, 2019
  8. Nick Walsh Studios

    Nick Walsh Studios UKBF Regular Full Member

    156 19
    Remote working is booming and very, very cheap.

    We pay £72 per month for hot desking at Tech Hub Swansea 8-5pm ( and 10 cups of coffee for free!) and £15 per month for same hot-desking and hours ( no pods or recording studios ) at The Gates Business Centre, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3JW.

    Tech Hub membership allows you to use their offices globally so if you need to use London hot desking you can.
    Posted: Apr 12, 2020 By: Nick Walsh Studios Member since: Apr 12, 2020
  9. Bigyin362

    Bigyin362 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    I've run my business from home for the past 15 years. If I had to pay for accomodation, I would have gone under by now.
    Posted: Apr 17, 2020 By: Bigyin362 Member since: Oct 8, 2019
  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Perhaps time to look at increasing profitability of the business?
    Posted: Apr 17, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  11. Millerd

    Millerd UKBF Contributor Full Member

    40 9
    I think that this is the thin edge of the wedge and it will be a growing trend. There are already 1000's of businesses working completely remotely with staff from all around the world.
    People will just have to learn how to work from home or from a convenient co-working space/pub/coffee shop - and if you can't manage your partner, kids, dogs and distractions then what can you manage?
    Posted: Apr 17, 2020 By: Millerd Member since: Feb 24, 2019
  12. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Somehow people manage multiple distractions at work - they are different than the home distractions.
    If anything can set things up to have a lot less distractions at home.
    Posted: Apr 17, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

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    I can manage to make tea, feed the chickens, check if we have any mislaid biscuits, look out the window, count the sparrows on the feeder. Loads of things. Occasionally I will wander back to my desk and do something productive.
    Posted: Apr 17, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  14. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    This forum is probably made up of people with a bit of go in them, not the people with little interest just doing a day to day job with no interest in the job or company they work for

    A few more may well start working out of the office at home, but most will need the motivation to work and have to work in a office workplace type environment
    Posted: Apr 18, 2020 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  15. UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    3 2
    One thing that many people are forgetting, is that once we get back to some approximation of normal, even if we are under some restrictions for a while to come, schools and nurseries will reopen. The little (and not so little) distractions that many of us are trying to cope with at the moment will go back to the childcare spaces they were in before.
    Another aspect of having an office space is that it is good to have a work community, even if it's only once a week when everyone gets together. It could easily become more common to share space on a rota basis. Companies have a space to call "theirs", but don't have to shoulder all the expense when most of the time their staff work from home. This wouldn't work with companies that keep sensitive documentation, but most security concerns could be mitigated.
    Posted: Apr 21, 2020 By: Member since: Nov 27, 2019
  16. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Even sensitive documentation concerns can be alleviated. Locking cabinets, CCTV etc.
    Posted: Apr 21, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  17. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    414 128
    This is going to be industry dependant to an extent, as face to face meetings are better in some circumstances. I can't see everyone needing to go back into the office as before though, the video and work sharing technology is more than good enough now. With even call centres operating remotely now, many businesses do not need their employees in the office 5 days a week ever again!

    Having worked for/with many large companies, the open plan office culture leads to lots of time wasted, messing around, plus for many middle managers generated a "lets have meetings culture", which wasn't always that focused, or a good use of time.

    When I started my own company, we started by renting office space for a small team, we didn't use it all the time and quickly started working from home offices more. Expanding is more difficult and you need the tech in place to do it; e.g. decent broadband, collaboration software, conference call/video software.

    We also started to use more freelancers and made sure that deadlines are in place and that they can be reached via Skype/phone. Many of these work for us or with us regularly now and we are on Teams. I think not being able to get hold of someone or resolve an issue quickly can usually be got around with tech, but you do have to have the right people.

    We dropped the office rental completely at the COVID-19 outbreak and won't go back to it. We will probably use some shared/hot desk style office space when things return to some semblance of normal, but only for team or client meetings...
    Posted: Jun 10, 2020 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
  18. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

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    A few years ago a friend working in a London office with all the commuting and other hassle started working from a small room above a shop in her local high street. Her PA lived nearby so also gained by not commuting. This was not a small business but a major consultancy doing multi million pound government contracts. Within a couple of years they had built a network of out of town offices using the untapped potential of upstairs rooms above high street shops.
    Posted: Jun 10, 2020 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
  19. Airwolf1

    Airwolf1 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 2
    If working from home suits the company and things have worked out well in the lockdown, why not give up the offices? Or just lease 1 office and have a rota system for people going in? £100pm for people working from home is very generous btw. And if you just lease 1 office (or even 2 and they are next to each other so it could be merged together in the rating list) you could then qualify for SBRR.
    Posted: Jun 13, 2020 By: Airwolf1 Member since: May 5, 2020
  20. Stas Lawicki

    Stas Lawicki UKBF Regular Free Member

    355 145
    I wonder what the person who is working perched on their bed would answer to this? Or the person dealing with 1200 unread emails in their inbox? Or who feel completely isolated and demotivated from having little or no interaction with their colleagues or boss other than a grainy zoom call or dialogue in one of those 1200 emails?

    The mental health at work challenge was already costing the UK economy around £250m a day. Imagine that cost now and in the future where we are pushing people further and further away. We've removed a great deal of humanity out of our workplaces already, removing the last vestiges of human interaction by choosing not to operate teams from a singular location and the problem will grow and grow.

    For some, it's a revelation (where the novelty may or may not wear off). For others, it will be hell. And what will the managers and business owners do? Grade productivity and output without adequate consideration and deem workers useless or taking the pi55 because they don't know thier staff or circumstances well enough to factor in the suitability of wfh.

    A smart new chair or laptop is also not going to solve many wfh conundrums.

    I think a blanket policy of wfh to save office costs without the appropriate considerations and understanding of the consequences is shortsighted and ill-judged.

    It's easy for those of us on here who wfh (I've gone it for 8 years now) but you've got to consider the impact on those who will only thrive in the conditions and environment an office will provide.
    Posted: Jun 15, 2020 By: Stas Lawicki Member since: Nov 14, 2017