Advertisement
Private Profiles - an update on how they will be changing here
We've partnered up with Nixers.com to offer a space where you can talk directly to Peter from Nixers.com and get an exclusive Boards.ie discount code for a free job listing. If you are recruiting or know anyone else who is please check out the forum here.

Civil Service - Post Lockdown - Blended Working?

15052545556

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭ BhoyRayzor


    We were told details would be given mid May and online system live from June for applications on WFH. Still nothing and could be September at this stage.



  • Registered Users Posts: 31 onlydaughter30


    My manager told me that the portal is completed now. I didnt ask anything about it or how he knew.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7 PrettyVisitor58


    Hi, does anyone know if the DSP specifically Intreo offices are in the office full time or is it blended?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭ Burgo


    I have heard that the NSSO portal is a steaming pile of manure, and that our department are creating their own booking system for WFH applications and H&S checks.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭ NapoleonInRags


    Doesn’t change my point that the survey is too early.



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭ Burgo


    Yeah its not as if another survey couldn't be run in a few weeks months..



  • Registered Users Posts: 341 ✭✭ square ball


    Blended in the one I'm in, except for staff in the Ukraine Support Hub. Most of the staff that requested remote working moved onto NPT, processing online applications and are working full time from home and some are blended but their choice for the most part.

    I had been working 3/4 days a week at home in Activation.

    My manager sent an email at 17.45 to say I was due in the office the following day to meet customers which I only saw when I logged on at 9am at home and I haven't worked from home since.



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,452 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    What a knob... there's a reason people are queueing up to get out of DSP, I know people who turned down a promotion rather than move to DSP and I'd never work there again that's for sure.



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 10,474 ✭✭✭✭ snoopsheep


    ive heard from various sources that DSP were a major blocker in getting agreement across all depts originally on blended working and return to work.


    understandable on one side because so much of their work still demands face to face etc but thats where DPER had to show some bollocks but unsuprisingly let it just drag on.


    for other depts it seems to be Sec Gen preference driving how it works.


    id presume that in the medium term the sec gens who drag people in because they like the look of a nice full office will, between mobility and simply never getting anyone to sign the contract from a panel ever again, soon be looking at emptier offices than they ever dreamed of.



  • Registered Users Posts: 341 ✭✭ square ball


    It can be extremely frustrating, the work is varied and interesting but management at the top don't understand how the system works so have made life in Intreo centres very difficult for staff.

    They knew by 8.30 that morning that we were required and she emailed after we were offline instead of phoning us. It is my 5th time being seconded from my 'normal' role in 18th months. I signed up for the role because I was sick of being moved through Covid.

    Is there any talk of pro rata Flexi if someone has to go into a public office a few days a week? I've seen people working 9/10 hour days when they were on reception because they stayed on after to clear work they didn't have time to do at the counter and because they are on a blended pattern they end up losing the extra time.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭ Loueze


    @snoopsheep

    id presume that in the medium term the sec gens who drag people in because they like the look of a nice full office will, between mobility and simply never getting anyone to sign the contract from a panel ever again, soon be looking at emptier offices than they ever dreamed of.

    THIS.

    I've already heard of people running to make mobility applications and within my own section and Dept (despite being one of the more progressive ones) there have been a number of resignations.

    Folks just aren't prepared to go backwards to pre-covid working conditions.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,099 ✭✭✭ ondafly


    @TaurenDruid Thanks for doing the survey - but I'm curious about the ICT part - "What is your organisation's official policy right now, on blended working for most staff (not counting public offices, facilities, ICT staff)?"

    Are ICT departments/staff getting alternative WFH scenarios to the rest ? because without ICT there wouldn't be any WFH :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭ Loueze


    @square ball

    Is there any talk of pro rata Flexi if someone has to go into a public office a few days a week? I've seen people working 9/10 hour days when they were on reception because they stayed on after to clear work they didn't have time to do at the counter and because they are on a blended pattern they end up losing the extra time.

    Accrual of flexi hours has been the other big stumbling block in getting the final WFH policies put in place, and why it was left out of the DPER policy before publication. The plan now is for two pilot schemes to be trialed in different departments - one pilot where flexi hours can be accrued when and employee is both WFH and WFO, and another where only employees WFO can accrue flexi hours.

    But any extra hours accrued up to this point in time, I would consider them lost. (Unless you have grounds to apply for time-in-lieu).



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,823 ✭✭✭ Sarn


    It all depends on what your workload is like. For us, with various deadlines to meet, you could find yourself doing a lot of extra hours in order to get the work done at times. That wasn’t a problem when you knew you could take the time back as flexileave during a quieter period. It was a way to manage peaks and troughs in workload.

    The goodwill has started to run out. If people start sticking to their hours deadlines and targets will be missed.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,793 ✭✭✭ Addle


    Are people complaining? Being vocal to their Union reps? Colleagues giving out in our place, but no one actually doing anything about it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭ Loueze


    That is an example of where time / leave-in-lieu should apply.

    I worked literally hundreds of extra hours during the last two years that I didn't get flexi credit for, but on a few occasions when I knew in advance that I would have to put in extra long days to meet a deadline that would involve me working outside of regular working hours, or attending an extra day that week (I work a 4 day week) I applied to my manager in advance and got approval to claim time-in-lieu. This can either be paid or taken as leave. (I take it as leave).



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,823 ✭✭✭ Sarn


    In our place time-in-lieu was stopped when flexileave was suspended. They viewed it as circumventing the directive from DPER.



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭ Loueze


    Now that I would have taken to the Union, and I would have worked my regular hours only.

    I totally understand why you say the good will is running out - mine would too, if they had refused my time-in-lieu.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,793 ✭✭✭ Addle


    Any reasonable manager would know and understand what’s going on and apply time in lieu.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,555 ✭✭✭ TaurenDruid


    In my experience over the last two years in two different organisations, even where most people are or were WFH most of the time, those working in Facilities Management/Services areas, Service Officers, and those in ICT Units have had to have a presence in the office. If there's even a handful of people coming in, the building needs to be opened, heated, have someone on reception/security, someone to deliver, collect and frank the post, locked up, etc.

    I.T. staff were/are necessary on the ground to do everything from installing additional hardware, prepping laptops and phones to enable remote working, and for helpdesk work where something can't be fixed remotely, etc. Obviously I.T. staff working in development or programming areas can be fully remote.

    Why? Why not both? Flexi = flexible. As much as I might enjoy the ability to not start work until 10:00 a couple of mornings because I'm tired, or knock off at 4:00 some evening to beat the traffic, sometimes management need flexibility too, and they need me to work late because there's a deadline, or something urgent has cropped up unexpectedly.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,555 ✭✭✭ TaurenDruid


    The unofficial Civil Service/Public Service boards.ie Blended Working Survey, May 2022:

    125 responses gathered between 23rd May and 31st May. Boards doesn't like images so unfortunately I'm going to have post all of these questions/responses in multiple replies, where I include the charts from Google forms.

    Q1 Where are you working?

    • CSO - 3
    • CSSO - 2
    • D/Agriculture, Food and the Marine - 8
    • D/Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth - 4
    • D/Defence - 2
    • D/Education - 5
    • D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment - 6
    • D/Environment, Climate and Communications - 6
    • D/Finance - 1
    • D/Foreign Affairs - 1
    • D/Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science - 3
    • D/Health - 2
    • D/Housing, Local Government and Heritage - 5
    • D/Justice - 5
    • D/Public Expenditure and Reform - 4
    • D/Rural and Community Development - 1
    • D/Social Protection - 14
    • D/Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media - 3
    • D/Transport - 3
    • Local Authority - 10 (nobody specified which Local Authority they were working for)
    • Other civil service body with less than 500 staff - 11
      • CSSO - 2
      • Agency under D/ETE - 1
      • Agency under DOJ - 1
      • ISI - 1
      • OSI - 1
      • Unspecified - 5
    • Other civil service body with more than 500 staff - 12
      • AGS/Garda Civilian - 2
      • ATU - 1
      • NSSO - 2
      • OPW - 2
      • PRA - 1
      • Unspecified - 4
    • Revenue Commissioners - 15

    Q2 What is your organisation's official policy right now, on blended working for most staff (not counting public offices, facilities, ICT staff)?

    • Everyone back fulltime - 6
    • Four days in office, 1 WFH - 0
    • Three days in office, 2 WFH - 28
    • Two days in office, 3 WFH - 60
    • One day in office, 4 WFH - 10
    • WFH fulltime - 21

    Q3 What is your organisation's current working regime for staff in public offices/public counters, if applicable?

    • N/A - 46
    • Left to local management to organise and roster cover - 13
    • Back to office fulltime - 13
    • Four days in office, 1 WFH - 1
    • Three days in office, 2 WFH - 8
    • Two days in office, 3 WFH - 0
    • One day in office, 4 WFH - 0
    • Public office closed - 1
    • Don't know - 42

    And I must have left this one open to add in your own answers, as there was also:

    • Organisation is blended but local office AP refuses to allow WFH - 1




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,555 ✭✭✭ TaurenDruid


    Part 2

    Q4 Does your line manager/local management strictly apply the official policy, or do they allow more flexibility?

    • Strictly apply the official policy - 22
    • Keep to the policy, occasional exceptions allowed - 48
    • Once the work is done, there is flexibility - 55

    Q5 Where blended working is available, how does that work in practice?

    • We generally have fixed days where we have to be in the office - 51
    • There is a roster that can vary from week to week (or fortnight, or month) - 14
    • It's left up to us to decide when to be in the office, no need to book a desk or a room - 45
    • It's left up to us decide when to be in, and we need to book a desk or a room - 15

    Q6 Has your employer surveyed staff since March 31 about their preferences for blended working?

    • Yes - 27
    • No - 96
    • Don't know - 2


  • Registered Users Posts: 306 ✭✭ rostalof


    DSP must be a real two tier department in that case, with those who are kept informed and the rest of us who aren't told anything. I speak to my AP daily about this as all of our team (IT Developers) have been working from home full time since March 2020 and as yet, there is no policy. It's being 'worked on', 'developed' and 'imminent' but there is no policy. There have been vague 'updates' broadly outlining that nobody will work for home entirely, but with very little detail other than that. That's not an official policy, so I'm really interested to find out where this policy has been published?



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,555 ✭✭✭ TaurenDruid


    Part 5 - Flexi

    Q18 Did you have flexi, pre-COVID?

    • Yes - 101
    • No - 24

    Q19 What is your current situation with regard to flexi leave (i.e. building up time in order to take a half- or full day's leave)?

    • In the office 5 days/week & have flexi again - 9
    • In the office 5 days/week, flexi still suspended - 1
    • Blended working, have flexi again - 3
    • Blended working, don't have flexi - 90
    • N/A, didn't have flexi pre-COVID - 22

    Q20 What is your current situation with regard to flexi for start/finish times (i.e. can start earlier or later than 9:15, aren't restricted to 1 hour 15 minute lunchbreaks(!), can finish earlier or later than 17:45?

    • In the office 5 days/week & have flexi again - 9
    • In the office 5 days/week, flexi still suspended - 2
    • Blended working, have flexi again - 58
    • Blended working, don't have flexi - 38
    • N/A, didn't have flexi pre-COVID - 18

    Four people lost flexi between Q19 and Q20? It appears over half of us have flexi hours, anyway, even if we can't work up flexi-days.



Advertisement