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13-05-2020, 21:39   #16
The Student
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Twitter announced today that going forward anyone who wants to work from home can do so.

In my own case, 100% of my job can be done remotely. I've been doing so since March 13th. Most likely will be until September 1st at the earliest.

If I could continue to do so, i could move closer to family and pay a third of the rent i currently am for somewhere twice the size, if not bigger.
I would say most office based roles can be done remotely but I still can't see it happening in any significant numbers fulltime in the medium term. A lot of the decision makers are not as forward thinking as you may wish.

Some are of that there is no question but I would imagine that is the minority at the moment.
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13-05-2020, 21:43   #17
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I would say most office based roles can be done remotely but I still can't see it happening in any significant numbers fulltime in the medium term. A lot of the decision makers are not as forward thinking as you may wish.

Some are of that there is no question but I would imagine that is the minority at the moment.
The decision makers are making decisions right now. It's their job to look long term.
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13-05-2020, 21:47   #18
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One interesting thing to watch in all of this is the impact on small businesses in town and city centres. If there's a notable move to increased WFH, then there'll be less people buying sandwiches in cafes, lunches in pubs, doing a quick bit of clothes shopping on their lunch break etc.
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13-05-2020, 21:55   #19
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The decision makers are making decisions right now. It's their job to look long term.
Economic factors will play a significant part in this. If a business has a number of years left on leases there is no benefit of wfh to them. Light and heat for the office remains the same as does the lease cost.

There maybe additional costs to firms which a lot of them may not have the funds to use for the medium term

Just because you can do something does not necessarily it will happen. There are other factors that may play a part in the decision.
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13-05-2020, 22:01   #20
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I would say most office based roles can be done remotely but I still can't see it happening in any significant numbers fulltime in the medium term. A lot of the decision makers are not as forward thinking as you may wish.

Some are of that there is no question but I would imagine that is the minority at the moment.
That's exactly what I think the change that Covid has accelerated. It's not so much that they are suddenly forward thinking, but they have been forced into a live cost benefit analysis.

To take one example - my insurance brokers, well established old school firm with about 30 employees - brokers/accounts/admin - working out of a Georgian building in Dublin.

Recently renewed car insurance. Dialled their office number and same receptionist as usual answered. I asked her out of curiosity, are you working at home, yes she said but makes no difference. Put me straight through to the broker I deal with. She was at home too. Gave her my card number to pay and she said thanks I'll get the cert in the post. It arrived 3 days later.

As per usual. Same as I do every year. For all I know, she could have been in her pyjamas watching netflix and just paused it to take the call.

It doesn't matter - I got the service I wanted, exactly the same as I get whenever she is in the office.

I'm assuming the vast majority of that firms business is exactly the same. Phone calls to get quotes for new policies or renew existing ones.

And just as I think the couple renewing their lease will start looking at the cost of an apartment in Blackrock versus a 3 bed house in Wexford I'm sure the bosses of the insurance broker will weigh up the cost benefit of renewing the lease on the big Georgian building.

Do they really need the costs of rent, rates, insurance, heat, power just so they can be 100% sure the brokers aren't sitting watching netflix.

Or do they save all that money and concentrate on making sure they only have staff who get the job done regardless and who cares if they can do it multitasking watching netflix?
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13-05-2020, 22:04   #21
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One interesting thing to watch in all of this is the impact on small businesses in town and city centres. If there's a notable move to increased WFH, then there'll be less people buying sandwiches in cafes, lunches in pubs, doing a quick bit of clothes shopping on their lunch break etc.
Good point, and then the range and quality of amenities that are currently so valued in the city gradually decrease incrementally.

As little by little they increase outside of the city.
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13-05-2020, 22:11   #22
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Re increasing amenities, where I live 40 years ago was considered rural with piss poor amenities compared to city.
30 years ago it was beginning to come on radar of commuters priced out of the suburbs.
20 years ago it was on the Dart line to serve increasing number of commuters
Now people from the city come out here on the weekends to enjoy our amenities and it is considered a very desirable place to live for people who work in Dublin.

Last edited by schmittel; 13-05-2020 at 22:33. Reason: typo
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13-05-2020, 22:19   #23
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That's exactly what I think the change that Covid has accelerated. It's not so much that they are suddenly forward thinking, but they have been forced into a live cost benefit analysis.

To take one example - my insurance brokers, well established old school firm with about 30 employees - brokers/accounts/admin - working out of a Georgian building in Dublin.

Recently renewed car insurance. Dialled their office number and same receptionist as usual answered. I asked her out of curiosity, are you working at home, yes she said but makes no difference. Put me straight through to the broker I deal with. She was at home too. Gave her my card number to pay and she said thanks I'll get the cert in the post. It arrived 3 days later.

As per usual. Same as I do every year. For all I know, she could have been in her pyjamas watching netflix and just paused it to take the call.

It doesn't matter - I got the service I wanted, exactly the same as I get whenever she is in the office.

I'm assuming the vast majority of that firms business is exactly the same. Phone calls to get quotes for new policies or renew existing ones.

And just as I think the couple renewing their lease will start looking at the cost of an apartment in Blackrock versus a 3 bed house in Wexford I'm sure the bosses of the insurance broker will weigh up the cost benefit of renewing the lease on the big Georgian building.

Do they really need the costs of rent, rates, insurance, heat, power just so they can be 100% sure the brokers aren't sitting watching netflix.

Or do they save all that money and concentrate on making sure they only have staff who get the job done regardless and who cares if they can do it multitasking watching netflix?
I think you are missing my point. Typical commercial leases are for 25 yrs , a tenant can sell the lease to another tenant the landlord does not care who is renting once the rent is paid.

If there is a drive to wfh who does the existing tenant sell the lease too? He is liable for the term of the lease.

The staff maybe just as productive wfh but the business cost has not decreased. It may actually increase if they have to supply IT support that requires the engineer visit the staff members home instead of just walking up the stairs of the office.

I am not dismissing there will be an increase of wfh but I can't see it being as dramatic as some think it will be.

It is a massive change that I can't see happening. I may be proven wrong I just can't see it happening.
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13-05-2020, 22:21   #24
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Whilst this will become more prevalent I have a few issues:
  • Companies still have leases to fulfil, lots won't plan for major changes whilst they are still paying for a big office
  • Its about to become an employers market with large unemployment, so the worker who wants to push for WFH may not have a choice unless it also suits the employer
  • Not everyone actually wants to WFH anyway. Our office are currently conducting a poll, will be interesting to see the results. From talking to people I think it will vary largely based on age groups. The younger people actually would rather be in the office for the social element
  • How do you bring in new staff if everyone's working from home? Someone made a good point in the other thread - part of the reason this is working fine for most offices is because of the relationships which had been previously made, how will that happen now?
  • There are tasks and projects which will simply be performed better if people can meet up and discuss them in person

So I can imagine most places becoming flexible and offering a couple of days a week from home but not full time.
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13-05-2020, 22:21   #25
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I work in IT and I’ve been wfh since start of March and no issues. My entire company is wfh and plans to stay that way until September at the moment.

Most of the companies we work for are changing from traditional no wfh to now long term wfh policies where after the current lockdown employees can continue to wfh if it suits them.

There are benefits to companies in this approach as office space is expensive and if all of your staff wfh 1 day a week you need 20% less office space for example. As more companies move to cloud based services like O365 etc it becomes even easier for employees to work remote and as they are paying for the cloud based services anyway it’s no added cost to remote working.
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13-05-2020, 22:32   #26
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I think you are missing my point. Typical commercial leases are for 25 yrs , a tenant can sell the lease to another tenant the landlord does not care who is renting once the rent is paid.

If there is a drive to wfh who does the existing tenant sell the lease too? He is liable for the term of the lease.


The staff maybe just as productive wfh but the business cost has not decreased. It may actually increase if they have to supply IT support that requires the engineer visit the staff members home instead of just walking up the stairs of the office.

I am not dismissing there will be an increase of wfh but I can't see it being as dramatic as some think it will be.

It is a massive change that I can't see happening. I may be proven wrong I just can't see it happening.
I'm not missing your point at all. I am saying that it will happen incrementally and 25 leases are one of the reasons.

But they will also serve to hurry it up. What about the business whose 25 year lease is up for renewal in January next year?

They're going to take a long hard look at the benefits of renewing it for another 25 years if there business has been operating just fine with bulk of staff WFH.

If there is a drive to wfh who does the existing tenant sell the lease too? He is liable for the term of the lease.

Very good point. I think some businesses who are seeing WFH benefits now will decide to offload the lease sooner rather than later before any sort of shift becomes widespread and the lease becomes harder to sell.

It won't happen overnight but it will be looming large on the minds of business owners about what their company will look like in 5 or 10 years.

And it won't take too many early movers that make a success of it to reach a tipping point.
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13-05-2020, 22:32   #27
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I work in IT and I’ve been wfh since start of March and no issues. My entire company is wfh and plans to stay that way until September at the moment.

Most of the companies we work for are changing from traditional no wfh to now long term wfh policies where after the current lockdown employees can continue to wfh if it suits them.

There are benefits to companies in this approach as office space is expensive and if all of your staff wfh 1 day a week you need 20% less office space for example. As more companies move to cloud based services like O365 etc it becomes even easier for employees to work remote and as they are paying for the cloud based services anyway it’s no added cost to remote working.
But what happens to the lease the office has based on the pre wfh. The business may need less space but the lease still has to be paid based on pre wfh numbers. Rent is probably the second highest business cost after wages.
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13-05-2020, 22:39   #28
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But what happens to the lease the office has based on the pre wfh. The business may need less space but the lease still has to be paid based on pre wfh numbers. Rent is probably the second highest business cost after wages.
Exactly that's the point.
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13-05-2020, 22:40   #29
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I'm not missing your point at all. I am saying that it will happen incrementally and 25 leases are one of the reasons.

But they will also serve to hurry it up. What about the business whose 25 year lease is up for renewal in January next year?

They're going to take a long hard look at the benefits of renewing it for another 25 years if there business has been operating just fine with bulk of staff WFH.

If there is a drive to wfh who does the existing tenant sell the lease too? He is liable for the term of the lease.

Very good point. I think some businesses who are seeing WFH benefits now will decide to offload the lease sooner rather than later before any sort of shift becomes widespread and the lease becomes harder to sell.

It won't happen overnight but it will be looming large on the minds of business owners about what their company will look like in 5 or 10 years.

And it won't take too many early movers that make a success of it to reach a tipping point.
It will happen over time but it is a big risk for any business especially during these times. If the lease is up then yes it makes sense not to renew but if you are only started or in the middle of a lease it is more difficult.

There is no doubt how/where we work has changed and will be an interesting work practices.
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13-05-2020, 22:41   #30
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Exactly that's the point.
You still have to pay it, if you don't you are sued for breach of contract.
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