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Federal Government & Union spar over returning to office

McG

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I’ve heard speculation that this return to the office policy was a pressure tactic to force other concessions from the union during the ongoing pay negotiations. I’ve heard other speculation that union members brought a government-wide standard themselves as a result of employees under some organizations complaining that they were being asked to do more/different as compared to peers in other organizations.

Regardless of what drove the policy, the government is going to run into an office crunch if it demands more than two days from everyone. It has been realized how much money can be saved if the cost of a workspace footprint is shouldered by the workers themselves. A lot of office building leases have been cancelled or set to expire. Either the leases need to be re-established, employees told to stay home, or we get ready for the least productive days of the week to be those days people are in the office & milling about without space to do their jobs.

Will be interesting to watch and see where this goes.
 
I suppose the cost of a "workspace footprint" varies according to work. I saved thousands of dollars a year on commuting costs and gained roughly 350 hours of leisure time. Life being finite, it's hard to put a price on the latter. The costs saved by my employer were irrelevant to me.
 
But you can bet that the cost saved by employer matter to, in this case, the federal government.
 
I suppose the cost of a "workspace footprint" varies according to work. I saved thousands of dollars a year on commuting costs and gained roughly 350 hours of leisure time. Life being finite, it's hard to put a price on the latter. The costs saved by my employer were irrelevant to me.
I wouldn't say that too loud around the employer (organized shops excluded).
 
My employer knew full well the value of reducing its real estate footprint. Also, the value of employees being able to work from home during events which limit access to traditional workplaces.
 
I don't know why we need force people back to an office. If they are productive with WFH what's the problem?
 
I don't know why we need force people back to an office. If they are productive with WFH what's the problem?
Because for a significant part of the public service they aren't, or more importantly, they cause those workers who have to be on site to be less productive. It really comes down to bad management not demanding that the entire team come in when required. I quit the public service largely because we would have a coord to plan the weeks activities on Monday morning, get a full schedule of work and then sit at the coffee table staring at each other.

Mostly due to employees who are normally WFH having a sick kid or something and not coming in because they abandoned their care program and management doesn't require them to have one now. They suffer no consequences so it becomes normal.

Poor management and exploitative employees and overall public leadership who won't admit anyone is fault.
 
I don't know why we need force people back to an office. If they are productive with WFH what's the problem?

The poor productivity mentioned in this article nicely matches what I've heard from alot of my public service clients. One good quote I heard from a stressed out boss "I've got 60% of the people doing 110% of the work. The rest have just gone dark."

It seems that, when your workplace treats you like a uselsss piece of lying garbage, you return the favour when you get the chance ;)


Remote work and people in government​


The public servants who answered the Duke Survey reported themselves as up to 40% less productive while working from home during the pandemic. These results are highly related to lack of self-control (Duke Remote Work Survey, 2020). In this context, finding ways to improve self-control as a means to raise performance and well-being outcomes is relevant and can be done by adopting strategies of goal-setting, planning, and measuring results.

 
Do the federal employees get a tax exemption, write offs, for using there residence as office space? Probably.
 
A dollar a day, I believe. Same as anyone else.

There can also be more detailed calculations, but those require that the remote work be mandated in writing by the employer.
 
The ability to hire anyone, anywhere should be a game changer for federal departmental HQs, breaking away from the NCR centric mindset and bringing in perspectives from across Canada.

Or back to the old status quo.
"The workforce would be more diverse." How'd you find so many cats to set among the pigeons?
 
I don't know why we need force people back to an office. If they are productive with WFH what's the problem?
There in lies the issue does it not? Some people are great performers in or out of the office.

Others not so much and I would daresay they are the deadwood at the office to start with.

ADDING: those that are dunderheads at home were probably the "employed at max supervision" in the office.
 
Imagine some sort of system that lets people keep their jobs even if their spouses get posted or people not having to be posted physically or relocate to certain jobs.
 
The other issue is, depending on the job, is that while that one person might be more effective at home working at different schedule and getting their tasks done....they are not available when any team project or subject matter expertise is needed by the rest of the team/section. So now a simple request usually dealt with immediately or in a short turn around needs to wait a day for the other person to log in at night/after their dog walking chore/cooking supper adding big delays.

Had to work from home for 9 months due to COVID rules. Best case was 80% efficiency because you spent hours each day trying to track people down to ensure the total package of work was coordinated OR you ended up taking calls pre/post normal work hours because that was what the other person work but now you're on OT.

Don't get me wrong...work with lots of motivated folks that at times, yes, working from home is needed or the ideal solution. But it's a shorter term solution with everyone aware of the impacts of others (for example who gets all the calls from public walking in if you're not in the office?) and most aware they have multiple bosses/priorities.

The other part folks sometimes forget as a public service is that you work for an employer that is dictated by politics. So that place of employment was chosen for political means, supports another layer of taxpayers/voters (restaurants/shops/gas stations), and has implications if you're not there.

Personally I like what some of the IT firms have done...establish a number of core working days (i.e. T/W/R) and hours (i.e. 10-3). During those core days and hours everyone is present and available...and is also the only time slots available for meetings. Everyone else has the ability to adjust their work schedule to meet their needs based upon certain assumptions (40 hour work week, minimum 4 days a week present) and can work remote or odd schedule as long as performance is done. The meetings only be allowed 2/3 of a day maximum alone was a huge saver for making things more focused and organized instead of blowing whole days of work.
 
Personally I like what some of the IT firms have done...establish a number of core working days (i.e. T/W/R) and hours (i.e. 10-3). During those core days and hours everyone is present and available...and is also the only time slots available for meetings. Everyone else has the ability to adjust their work schedule to meet their needs based upon certain assumptions (40 hour work week, minimum 4 days a week present) and can work remote or odd schedule as long as performance is done. The meetings only be allowed 2/3 of a day maximum alone was a huge saver for making things more focused and organized instead of blowing whole days of work.

If you applied the same selection standards/ performance criteria to the public service that most (very non-unionized and highly individually motivated and accountable) IT firms use, the PS would lose tens of thousands of employees overnight ;)
 
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