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7 minutes ago, Pandora said:

I live in London and the number of people I meet whose employers have  abandoned the traditional office  workplace and their staff working from home is quite staggering.

Network Rail are predicting  a scenario of a 40% fall in passenger numbers compared to pre-pandemic numbers, those cutbacks by the Treasury are not simply  lack of money,  but also lack of a requirement for spending the money. 

 

 

 

I'm sure we all discussed future traffic levels post pandemic a few pages ago. Short answer; no one can confidently predict what will happen. If as DY444 says road traffic levels in london are already higher than pre-pandemic as commuters are currently avoiding public transport, then it won't be long before the trains all fill up again once restrictions are lifted.

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Also begs the question; are those commuting into, or from, office jobs in London going to be using trains on HS2, especially through the day.  Obviously, there will be some at certain times of day, especially at the southern end, but that's surely not what the line is being built for.

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46 minutes ago, Pandora said:

I live in London and the number of people I meet whose employers have  abandoned the traditional office  workplace and their staff working from home is quite staggering.

Network Rail are predicting  a scenario of a 40% fall in passenger numbers compared to pre-pandemic numbers, those cutbacks by the Treasury are not simply  lack of money,  but also lack of a requirement for spending the money. 

 

 

If I were an employer in London and I could persuade my employees to take on all my office and infrastructure costs, I'd do the same.

 

Have you got a link for the Railtrack figure? It's not what I'm hearing from people who work planning rail services. 

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33 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

If I were an employer in London and I could persuade my employees to take on all my office and infrastructure costs, I'd do the same.

 

I wonder how long it will be before people working from home realise that they have been shafted by their employer and effectively had a pay cut?:)

 

Before the industrial revolution a large proportion of people worked from home, In what today we would call "cottage industries".

Mechanisation and centralisation changed all that and a home was where you lived, not where you worked as well.

 

At my age I'm out of all this stuff but I would not have wanted to have my work at home unless it was my own business.

 

 

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A lot of firms are locked into long term leases on office space, so I'm not convinced there's a massive financial incentive to immediately abandon physical offices as you'll still have to pay the rent for the next 5 years.  What I suspect will happen is a move towards hot desking and having fewer desks than people, and a slow contraction as firms need smaller/fewer offices.  

 

 

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I think the essential point though was made above: London commuting and HS2 have very little in common.

And a reduction in London commuting may improve the finances of the railway by reducing the peak loading which involves stock doing just three or four hours work a day. That has always been a very expensive part of the service to provide.

Jonathan

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3 minutes ago, melmerby said:

I wonder how long it will be before people working from home realise that they have been shafted by their employer and effectively had a pay cut?:)

 

Before the industrial revolution a large proportion of people worked from home, In what today we would call "cottage industries".

Mechanisation and centralisation changed all that and a home was where you lived, not where you worked as well.

 

At my age I'm out of all this stuff but I would not have wanted to have my work at home unless it was my own business.

 

 

I've been homeworking since 2016, I'm productive, no longer spend two hours per day in traffic, I see people when I need to via Teams or make the odd trip to the office.  In fact, 2019 was my last office visit when Covid wasn't even being spoken of.

 

How cutting my commuting costs counts as a pay cut I am not sure, I've had regular pay increases every year.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

I've been homeworking since 2016, I'm productive, no longer spend two hours per day in traffic, I see people when I need to via Teams or make the odd trip to the office.  In fact, 2019 was my last office visit when Covid wasn't even being spoken of.

 

How cutting my commuting costs counts as a pay cut I am not sure, I've had regular pay increases every year.

Is your company paying you for your office?

Edited by melmerby
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1 hour ago, Pandora said:

I live in London and the number of people I meet whose employers have  abandoned the traditional office  workplace and their staff working from home is quite staggering.

Network Rail are predicting  a scenario of a 40% fall in passenger numbers compared to pre-pandemic numbers, those cutbacks by the Treasury are not simply  lack of money,  but also lack of a requirement for spending the money. 

 

 

56 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

If I were an employer in London and I could persuade my employees to take on all my office and infrastructure costs, I'd do the same.

 

Have you got a link for the Railtrack figure? It's not what I'm hearing from people who work planning rail services. 

 

I would imagine that Network Rail are looking at a range of scenarios, of which a 40% fall in passenger numbers is but one.

 

Sir Peter Hendy, Network Rail Chairman, is quoted as saying;

 

..". commuter traffic on the railways could remain at around 80% for the next one to three years, although he said that Network Rail, which manages the UK’s rail infrastructure, were also looking at a range of possibilities between 60% and 100%."

 

Source: National Rail Recovery Conference, 23rd-25th February 2021.

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, melmerby said:

Is your company paying you for your office?

I can claim a tax rebate on homeworking and my equipment is company provided, the room is doubles as my railway room and the desk I use for other stuff when I am not working.

 

I don't think I do badly out of it.

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I haven't had a pay cut, my employer subsidises my season ticket which I haven't had to renew but I'm not paying to drive to the station and park, so am actually better off financially.  They expect a lot of us to continue to work from home some of the time for the foreseeable future, but this time last year I was already getting sick of all the, "This is the New Normal" being parroted.  Most of it was in articles being written by people who already worked from home at least some of the time.

 

200 years+ since the industrial revolution, people have been increasingly co-located as it it is more efficient and productive.  Even in the so-called Information Age, it has been known for years that the majority of communication is non-verbal - we "read" the person's body language - and the invention of Teams and Zoom hasn't changed that.  I now find 90% of my communication with colleagues is scheduled, so the quick questions and informal chats which take up a large proportion of office communication, rarely happen.

 

However, I am certain that within a year or two, we will have seen a drift back to offices as people realise that all the interesting projects and assignments (and therefore, promotions) are going to the colleagues who are always in the office, so are around to volunteer when those informal discussions take place that evolve into a project.  By the time it becomes a project, they are already leading it.  That is normal workplace behaviour; a short pandemic won't change that.

 

As for companies abandoning their large Central London offices.... mmm well very few actually have a large London presence.  Most of the offices in places like Canary Wharf are occupied by huge international employers, but only host about 50 people in them.  It's just their HQ where they hold top-level meetings with other top-level people, who can pop round to meet face-to-face in 20 minutes notice.

 

Again, this whole debate is skewed by the fact that the anti-HS2 campaign is based on three myths: (1) Only commuters travel by train, (2) Only wealthy businessmen going to "pointless" meetings, will travel on HS2, and (3) Everyone can do their job from home.  The last one must be particularly insulting to the people working in retail, like those now doing 18 hour-days driving a van delivering stuff to people working from home with no impact on their lives.

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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

I wonder how long it will be before people working from home realise that they have been shafted by their employer and effectively had a pay cut?:)

 

 

Or saving an absolute fortune not having to pay for travel.....swings and roundabouts :mail:

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2 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

.....Have you got a link for the Railtrack figure? ........


A slip of the keyboard Phil? :D

 

It’s nearly 20 years since that short lived entity was extinguished.

( Ooh I’m such a pedant.  Hat coat etc.....)

 

.

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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

Is your company paying you for your office?

 

Almost certainly not, but you can offset your income tax as I understand it as well against various household costs that you accrue in connection with working from home.

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Posted (edited)

Where are all these bricklayers, bus drivers and brain surgeons working from home?

 

You'd need a big garden shed for this, not to mention the 3-phase power supply:

 

 

 

 

Perhaps we need to re-define what constitutes real work?

 

Martin.

 

Edited by martin_wynne
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Posted (edited)

Anyone working from home can do that, we used to when J was a Childminder. (Reply to Frobisher!)

Edited by Hobby
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1 minute ago, martin_wynne said:

Where are all these bricklayers, bus drivers and brain surgeons working from home?

 

Perhaps we need to re-define what constitutes real work?

 

Martin.

 

 

It would be wise not to go there... ;)

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For some types of employment and for some types of employer, it’s only a short step from having your employee working from home, to having them work from home in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur or any number of places where pay rates are much lower.

Closer to home, rather than have to pay higher SE England and London salaries, employees could easily be based in the poorer parts of the UK, where pay rates don’t attract the London premium.

 

We’ve seen it with call centres and company service centres. We’ve seen it with outsourcing and procurement.

A significant shift towards home working, combined with improved connectivity, improved language skills and education, could open the door to many other functions being carried out from a distance.

 

 

.

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3 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

For some types of employment and for some types of employer, it’s only a short step from having your employee working from home, to having them work from home in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur or any number of places where pay rates are much lower.

Closer to home, rather than have to pay higher SE England and London salaries, employees could easily be based in the poorer parts of the UK, where pay rates don’t attract the London premium.

 

We’ve seen it with call centres and company service centres. We’ve seen it with outsourcing and procurement.

A significant shift towards home working, combined with improved connectivity, improved language skills and education, could open the door to many other functions being carried out from a distance.

 

 

.

A job doesn't have to be home based to make it exportable.

 

However, homeworking does allow us to cast nets wider when looking for suitable UK based employees, no longer do our night staff for example have to be domiciled within a few miles of a town centre near Manchester.

 

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6 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

For some types of employment and for some types of employer, it’s only a short step from having your employee working from home, to having them work from home in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur or any number of places where pay rates are much lower.

Closer to home, rather than have to pay higher SE England and London salaries, employees could easily be based in the poorer parts of the UK, where pay rates don’t attract the London premium.

 

We’ve seen it with call centres and company service centres. We’ve seen it with outsourcing and procurement.

A significant shift towards home working, combined with improved connectivity, improved language skills and education, could open the door to many other functions being carried out from a distance.

 

 

.

Back in another life when I worked for “Her Majesty” there was a lot of rumblings and even advanced plans for the DoE and MoD offices in London to move to Harrogate.......when the actual plans were leaked* an awful lot of quite older employees of these venerable establishments suddenly moved from their dusty desks, got off their piles and stopped it dead in its tracks......where would they lunch, where would they dine before going home?

 

*how strange eh?

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It goes back further. I believe that there were plans to move the National Physical Laboratory to the north west or the north east. Many staff suddenly decided they needed new jobs. Most of the NPL is still in Teddington, which was much more convenient than somewhere like Runcorn when I needed to visit.

Jonathan

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2 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

A significant shift towards home working, combined with improved connectivity, improved language skills and education, could open the door to many other functions being carried out from a distance.

 

All change has positives and negatives.

 

If home working means that less people have to work within commuting distance of the big cities - particularly London - then this could go some considerable way towards the Government's much-vaunted objective of 'evening-up' the regions.

 

My son works in IT software, and his company has no corporate premises; all staff work from home, with daily conferences on-line. Face-to-face get-togethers with clients take place as required.

 

This enables my son and his family to live in rural mid-Wales and enjoy the benefits of a commute-free, less stressed lifestyle. It also ensures that he and his partner can share childcare duties within a flexible work routine.

 

The principal benefit, though, has to be a very significant reduction in transport emissions - which has to be the overriding priority as far as future generations are concerned.

 

John Isherwood.

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2 minutes ago, corneliuslundie said:

 Most of the NPL is still in Teddington, which was much more convenient than somewhere like Runcorn when I needed to visit.

 

Out-moded thinking; in-person visiting has got to be a thing of the past if emissions targets are to be met.

 

We need a sea change in how we live our lives - and major investment in the technology to enable this to happen - if we are to leave a survivable legacy for future generations.

 

John Isherwood.

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2 minutes ago, corneliuslundie said:

It goes back further. I believe that there were plans to move the National Physical Laboratory to the north west or the north east. Many staff suddenly decided they needed new jobs. Most of the NPL is still in Teddington, which was much more convenient than somewhere like Runcorn when I needed to visit.

Jonathan

When was this?  The MoD/DoE “move” was about 1976 when it all went pear shaped, I assume the NPL was about the same time then?

Was that when NPL was investigated going to RAF St Mawgan when the field was being closed, it never would happen of course as far too remote for the establishment, now of course St Mawgan is Newquay Airport.

 

How long does the OSA last for?

 

I’m shutting up now :lol:

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