Tomorrow's Business Today
Gentle, and not so gentle, encouragement to stop WFH
I just checked my office voicemail for the first time in 18 months. There were scores of messages, including about ten in a row from the same exasperated flak who went from “I’ve a great story for you” to,“you’re a hard man to get hold of” to “please ring me back I beg you”.
They were from April. Poor bloke.
Where is the most likely place to find your hack of choice so you can chat him up/soundly berate him for being an idiot?
Well The Times has told news reporters they should be in two days a week and acquiescence is expected. Department heads have mostly been in throughout.
At The Telegraph, editorial are expected back in five days a week, a ruling that I gather has not been met with universal joy. “Healthy encouragement” to get back in is the phrase used, which is Telegraph speak for “do as you’re told”.
The Daily Mail has mostly been in for the last year, with WFH an occasional aberration.
At the Evening Standard, the official word is back in four days with Friday at home, with a general understanding that you can be more flexible than that.
The Standard has a particular issue in that the business model, for the paper anyway, entirely depends for success on there being lots of people in town. Starting with their own staff.
But since at the Standard the key bit is the first 7am till 10am slot, it may make most sense to do that bit at home, then come in, which is what some of us will do.
At The Guardian, the hacks are on a “phased return”. That means one day a week in the office during September. Then two or three days a week from October. And a big squabble over who does which days.
Management might prefer everyone back tomorrow, but this being the Guardian, are too polite to say so. The FT sounds similar.
It will be interesting to see how the papers deal with refuseniks who tough it out and say they simply won’t come.
There are legal battles brewing here it seems to me. A lawyer friend points to a legal concept called Variation by Conduct.
Your contract might say your place of work is the office, but for the last 18 months both you and your employer have agreed that wasn’t the case. So they have to strike a new deal with you…
Press release of the day
The Job Retention Scheme comes to an end after September 30. Figures out today show 1.6 million workers are still furloughed. What happens to them?
This from the GMB Union warns of a cliff-edge.
Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “Ministers, unions and employers must come together and agree a successor package to avoid the devastation of mass redundancies. There needs to be a package of support for harder hit industries such as aviation, which continues to be directly affected by travel restrictions set by the Government.”