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Civil Service - Post Lockdown - Blended Working?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,862 ✭✭✭HerrKuehn

    I think the issue with Miesian Plaza was that OPW mis-measured the floor space and have ended up overpaying rent as a result. In light of that I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in the "experts" at the OPW to save us money in the long term.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭salonfire

    I assume by @AndrewJRenko's refusal to answer this means he is not getting reimbursed for his commuting costs. In fact, I'd say he did not even ask for his years of commuting expenses to be reimbursed. So for the past year, he has been posting like the Internet hard man stating the employer should cover the employee costs WFH. But of course in real life, he will not ask his own costs of getting to work be covered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,601 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    The opw got a lot wrong with Miesian but they weren't the only ones who got thing wrong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 42 Rasher_Sausage

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,845 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    Do you need someone to explain to the difference between commuting costs and basic office provision costs for you? Employees were always responsible for their own commute - employer didn't care whether you were walking five minutes round the corner or driving for 2.5 hours from Roscommon. It was the employee's problem. Employer was always responsible for providing a safe work environment, appropriate furniture, heating the environment and powering the environment. That's the difference with WFH.

    Employees have one chance to make sure that they're not lumbered with the basic costs of providing a safe place to work.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭salonfire

    Oh, so you were happy enough to pay your costs of getting to work. Then those employees who are making substantial savings in not commuting can afford to pay for the extra light and heat.

    That way both the employees and the employer can benefit if wfh becomes the normal.

    I still find it strange that you are not as persistent in real life that your employer pay your commuting costs.

    What did they say when you persistently asked them to cover your wfh costs?

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,845 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    I've no idea which bits you are struggling to understand. Let me repeat again:

    I don't expect my employer to pay my commuting costs. My employer has NEVER paid my commuting costs or anyone else's commuting costs. Commuting costs are the responsibility of the employee, and therefore savings in commuting costs are ALSO the benefit of the employee.

    It's a preposterous idea that you could have three employees working on a team, one of whom is getting zero towards their out-of-pocket WFH costs because they used to walk or cycle to work, one of whom is getting €4 a day towards their out-of-pocket WFH costs because they used to get the Luas to work, and one of whom is getting €40 per day towards their out-of-pocket WFH costs because they used to drive from Roscommon to Dublin every day.

    Commuting costs are the responsibility of the employee. Savings in commuting costs are the responsibility of the employee.

    Out-of-pocket WFH costs like heating, power, broadband, furniture absolutely should be the responsibility of the employer, just like any other out of pocket costs necessarily during employment. Employment starts when you get to the door of your workplace. It doesn't include your commute.

    Employees and trade unions have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that savings in office accommodation costs aren't entirely snapped up by employers as additional profits, while employees are left carrying the can for providing extra space, power, heat, networking and furniture.

  • You've identified what I can see will be the biggest sticking point in forming a CS wide policy (due Q1 2022) and I can understand why, in fairness.

    Depending on what department/office someone finds themselves assigned too could really impact on someone's opportunity to WFH or not. We already know that some locations are much less flexible then others, less work-sharing friendly, staff can't get SWYS approved, and so on. In those places, WFH will be the same. That will trickle down eventually to the numbers of staff who will want to transfer from, or take up appointments / transfers to, these less flexible departments. (Particularly amongst new recruits or current staff awaiting mobility for whom WFH is a consideration).

    In my own Department, (which is very flexi / WS / SWYS / WFH friendly) we've been asked to go back in 1 day a week from the 27th. WFO days will be strictly managed so only one section or team will be in at the same time, which will allow the staff to distance themselves widely over the open plan spaces. We already have department issued laptops and no one will have an assigned desk going forward (we've already been told that). Single occupancy offices will also no longer be guaranteed (which is going to piss some people off big time!)

    Having said that, I still believe a full unrestricted 5 day return to offices won't happen until sometime next year - not with the unavoidable surge we all know is going to happen arrives this winter.

    If anything, I can see an announcement at the end Sept/Oct maybe it's not such a good idea after all. (But TPTB have to be seen to be trying).

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 377 ✭✭ThumbTaxed

    I'd have serious reservations about the motives of those with young children and their desire to work from home.

    Creche cost gone.

    Work effectiveness gone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭salonfire

    You don't give a toss about the employee's out of pocket WFH costs. If you were, you'd be calling for the paltry tax reliefs from Revenue to be vastly improved. Why are you not calling for the expenses to be reclaimable (in full, with receipts) through the tax system? Worried that the costs of this would have an impact on your own potential earnings in future?

    What's wrong with business making a profit and making savings? Are you just as opposed to other measures helping business such as reductions in insurance claims? Business owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their business is run in a sustainable way. Making profits is what makes a business viable. Its speaks volume of our civil servants to see some are so anti-business.

    So despite all your blow for the past year+ about having to pay WFH costs, you did not even ask to have yours reimbursed!! For the past 18 months, you subserviently paid your own WFH costs and for the years before that you paid all your own commuting costs. Seems you're not quite as persistent and bullish in real life as your posts here demanding this and demanding that suggest.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,036 ✭✭✭✭Rikand

    If the civil service wants to give me an allowance for having to be in the office 5 days a week, I would be open to that :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,168 ✭✭✭SortingYouOut

    From my experience, those with kids are the ones mainly pushing to get back to the office, not the other way around.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭salonfire

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,845 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    The reason why I'm not calling for paltry tax relief to be improved is that I don't want to be getting 20% or 40% of my WFH costs back. That's how tax relief works. I want my employer to pay the additional out of pocket costs for me and other employees, specifically heating, power, broadband and furniture.

    There's nothing wrong with businesses making profits. I'm not anti-business or anti-profit. I'm anti businesses exploiting their employees and making a land grab for space and utilities in their employee's property at zero cost, fuelling windfall profits at their employee's expense.

    You know nothing about what I have or haven't done to get back my WFH costs from my employer, so anything you say on this topic is pure speculation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,017 ✭✭✭StevenToast

    Is this the thread for how you can make your cushy number even cushier?

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,168 ✭✭✭SortingYouOut

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭gordongekko

    You can just tell your employer that once the pandemic is over you want to work 5 days a week from the office. I know I'm happier with the time saving and the improved quality of life working from home rather than wasting the best part of 6 hours a week travelling to and from work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,930 ✭✭✭salonfire

    You're right. It's not my place to speculate what discussions you had regarding WFH costs with your employer.

    I do know one thing though, not one cent was given to you to by your employer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 CivilServantCP

    Try 4 hours a day, on a good day! There’s no way I’d go back to that though. 2 days a week tops is what they’re saying. But that’s still tough on ppl who wanted to move home and log on through a hub or other dept and attend HQ as needed and the Gov are looking for people to move to rural Ireland too not just a less busy commuter belt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,845 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    In the ideal world, yeah, that's great. But most back to work plans I've seen seem to be predicated on the assumption that no-one wants to get back to the office and everyone wants to stay home. While my position might be a minority, it is still a valid position. A recent Journal poll had about 20% wanting to get back to their workplace.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,601 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,168 ✭✭✭SortingYouOut

    It is in mine. They want to get away from their children, they can't get a tap done when they're home. When school returns it isn't as bad but it definitely doesn't seem to be a viable alternative to child care if you want to be in any way productive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭Sarn

    Childcare is a necessity when WFH, and I would imagine future implementation of WFH will stipulate that it is in place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,267 ✭✭✭caviardreams

    But the issue is, some are fine with not being productive as there are often no real consequences. So you save on childcare and can even pull the "tied up with the kid" / had to pick up the kids excuse no and again, and the lack of accountability / consequences mean you can get away with low productivity.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,601 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly

    We provide daily verifiable stats on our work. Obviously other departments are different

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,267 ✭✭✭caviardreams

    Yes, I would say in other areas it's harder to quantify output, and things like developing projects, growing an area and developing new services etc. are less easy to specifically call out in a way that the unions won't criticise / question.

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 CivilServantCP

    I see the DECC have a survey on sustainable goal development (SDG’s). Short few questions with a comment section. Good chance for anyone who likes WFH’s impact on their carbon footprint to make their feelings known. Only open till tomorrow though. Should be in everyone’s inbox.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,317 ✭✭✭Aisling(",)

    No sight or sound of a return to the office in my department.

    Usually after a Taoiseach's lockdown measures announcement we'd get an email from the heads of the department saying what it means for us but they've stayed quiet since the reopening timeline was announced.