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Civil Service - Post Lockdown - Blended Working?

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Comments



  • I echo with everything DublinMeath said in that the Government will be pushing for civil servants to return to the workplace sooner rather than later.





  • I can understand that some people want to be back in the office for various reasons such as those who are renting and may not have an adequate set up, like the social interaction and being in town so they can head to the pub after work etc. The few times that I used to go in were just to have a long lunch with some of the team, but given 3/4 of my team work in other European countries and the states, it's not like I can physically interact with them in an office anyway.

    It also means that local businesses receive the money that I would otherwise spend in Dublin. When I used to have to go to the office daily, I did my shopping including food in the nearest places to the office and only used the local shops for items that might have been forgotten or need at the last minute for a meal. Same as eating out in restaurants, going to the cinema etc all done in Dublin on a Friday night, because I was already there and the missus could drive up and drive us home afterwards. Since I've been working from home over the last five years or more, we now do all these activities in the closest local towns to us.

    There are other long term benefits to blended working for those that can do it, for both the employees and the employer. These include increased staff morale and improved productivity, better physical and mental health, reduced expenses and environmental benefits amongst others shown in multiple studies around blended working for those that want to cite them to their union representatives and push them on blended working become the norm.

    It won't be popular with some people in the general public, but given some people just have a bee in their bonnet because they either failed to get a job with ye or just swallowed the whole U.S. based libertarian economics bs, and will complain about ye even having jobs in the first place, so ye might as well fight for something that has benefits both for you, your families and your local communities among others.

    Blended working isn't going to be possible for people like my wife who due to the very nature of their work simply cannot do it from home. She does however see the benefit of it being in place for others and wouldn't begrudge them it, as she does the job she does because she loves it. I would however like to see additional benefits either financial or additional statutory leave given to those in both the private and public sector who simply cannot do their job from home.

    Such a practice is in place where a friend of mine works. Their field service engineers have to travel to customer sites and cannot work from an office never mind from home. So they get an additional five days annual leave compared to the office based staff, and given that they have at times to do twelve hour plus days due to travel time to and from customer sites, can head home but be on call until four o'clock on days they manage to get their calls finished early.





  • Is this an internal transfer or mobility Katien111? as you have to be in the role/position two years before you will be accepted for mobility.

    Once your probation is over, go straight to your HEO and; have a word with them, that sh1te should not be accepted at all.





  • Thanks for your support! I'm looking for internal transfer as I know mobility is not an option yet. It's been particularly difficult as I'm far from home, there is only me and my EO in the section, and the rest of our dept are not returning to the office until 26th October, none of whom I've met...I have a number for the employee support person, whatever the official name is, so will start with her. I'm completely demoralised, and any effort to seize the initiative and think for myself is stamped on. I'm not confrontational, despite the bravado in my previous post! I'm happy to have my role explained to me and just get on with it. Honestly, if I could get my old job back I'd take it.



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  • Unfortunately there's a lot of that going on in the CS. Your happiness in a role is directly related to your manager. And from what I hear things are crap in a lot of places. People who are good at filling in an application form and interviews aren't necessarily good at actually doing what they say they can do in the interview.





  • I hope you applied fro mobility on your first day. You are stuck in the role 2 years





  • I did it a few weeks later but at the rate of current movement it will be at least another two years before any of my choices come up. Hoping to get garda civilian or social welfare in my home town...only two choices available.





  • True enough. My fear is because my EO and me are the only two in the unit I won't be allowed to transfer. Roll on my permanent contract...





  • So has anyone can back to the office yet on a full time or blended basis and has it been optional or mandatory?



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  • I see Dept of health allowing staff to wfh indefinitely. Interesting. Even if they want greater office attendance in an eventual blended policy will be hard to roll back from this, I'd say.





  • I believe most departments have staff back in the office at least one day a week (mandatory), including Health. My dept were planning to increase the number of days in November, but due to increasing case numbers it was decided to continue the "cautious" approach for now.

    However, the decision taken by Department of Health to tell its staff to return to working from home full time indefinitely in response to rising case numbers, may change this.

    Department of Health staff told to work from home indefinitely (irishexaminer.com)





  • We're 1 day a week and it's totally voluntary.

    Most opting to stay home. Will be reviewed again next spring





  • It will be interesting to see if anything changes now, that Health have pulled back.





  • I think too much is being made of the "indefinitely" thing, all that may mean is no defined end date for pandemic related WFH. If Covid cases/hospitalisations were to drop dramatically within the next month, some senior people will be gagging to get staff back to offices. And any complaints about "but you said indefinitely" could be brushed off.

    Statements, assurances and predictions mean nothing. How many times have Tony Holohan and others been way off with what they said during the pandemic

    That's why, In relation to WFH I keep coming back to the Right to Request Remote Work legislation. If this legislation is strong and there is the prospect of a trip to the WRC, that is the only thing that will dissuade public service managers who are dead set against WFH.





  • Isn't there meant to be a civil service wide blended working policy published shortly?





  • Yes, but I get the impression that civil service shortly and everyone else's shortly run to different timelines.





  • DPER and the Unions are currently in negotiation on the framework that all Departments must work within. That framework is due to be delivered this month, and Departments have been instructed to have their blended working policy in place by Q2, 2022.





  • Notified by email this evening that the one day a week in the office is cancelled and everyone is back to full time WFH with immediate affect, indefinitely. No one can attend the office unless it is approved in advance by their PO, and for strictly necessary purposes only.



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  • We prepared our offices for returning staff 3 weeks ago after building works. Out of approx 200, maybe 50 came back staggered over 2/3 days. Next week, that will prob drop to about 20 per week. POs and APs most likely to show and a few with crap broadband. I'm still in 5 days pw...🤨





  • I understand that DPER telling their staff to expect to be in the office for a minimum of 3 days a week, with at least one 'anchor day' where the team are in together.

    I expect that different Departments will end up with more or less than that, depending on their needs. It might also give rise to an internal war for talent, and I think people are more inclined now to articulate the type of flexibility they want or move to another Department which might suit them better.





  • I 100% agree with your point about internal wars for talent, and said much the same myself to colleagues when we were talking about it.

    Positions in Depts or offices with customer facing roles which won't be able to be done from home, will find it hard to retain staff, when they can look for mobility to a Dept with a more flexible policy. Of course, some won't mind full time in the office, but a lot will.

    Thats going to be a major sticking point.





  • How is this working in places effected by the cyberattack? We had our one day WFH taken away because of that, and they are not going to be providing any WFH going forward for security reasons.





  • Still no word on the Right to Request Remote Work. The report on the public submissions was published in August and the legislation was supposed to be in by the end of this year. Another Varadkar spoof job?

    If, as speculated in this thread, the CS/PS is planning a minimum 3 days a week in office for everyone, that is pathetic.





  • I doubt the 3 day a week will come into play until March or April anyway the way this virus is spreading.





  • I deal with all departments in my job and its interesting how things have changed. Last year people hated WFH. Now no one wants to go back and those who are in the office generally wish they weren't. There are of course rare exceptions





  • No idea, the HSE is not part of the civil service (that's a totally accurate yet completely useless answer, but I did do PQs back in the day 😀 )

    Bring back the :pac: !





  • Six months on from starting this thread, and not far away from 2 years since we have been working from home and the number of days that will have to be spent in the office every week in the future is no more clear than it has been at any stage!

    Any update on that WFH Policy that DEPR were apparently working on?



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  • We were told on several occasions by spoofer Varadkar that legislation re: the right to request remote work would be in place by the end of 2021. No sign of it. I wonder if this delay is related to the WFH policy for the public service that DPER is apparently working on.

    There is speculation in this and other threads that PS WFH policy will be 3 days minimum in the office. That would not surprise me as it would give comfort to the anti WFH dinosaurs that all staff are in the office for "most" of the week and therefore not "getting away with too much".

    3 days per week in an office for staff who could objectively do their work just as effectively at home would be a load of rubbish.



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