Are the government entering dangerous territory with home working proposals?

My first reaction when I read the headline was have they totally and utterly lost their marbles?

“Employers to have at least 13 grounds to refuse remote working requests”

Before I say any more can I state clearly that I am all for home working and have every intention of continuing to do this for both myself and the fantastic team that we have at Fuzion Communications……BUT it is very early days and way way way too early to start introducing anything as we are all still reeling from 22 months of uncertainty and confusion.

The government should not be weighing in on this conversation now, creating rules and guidelines at this very unusual time where everything is still in a flux and at a time when many businesses could be thinking about restoring some long overdue social contact, reigniting comradery and cohesion without battling with an extra psychological obstacle caused by this intervention.

Yes we have all had to work from home in anything from our comfortable homes with oodles of space and spare rooms we were never using to our bedsits where our bedrooms and kitchens are now offices, and we have got used to it and of course it is very convenient (for some) as well as being time and cost effective.

However, we still don’t know the long term affect of this on us both personally (we are social creatures) and professionally as it is way too early in this change experiment. Covid has done huge incremental damage to everyone and we need to start healing and being human again and professionally meeting each other is a necessary part of that.

Am we missing a simple point – If I offer you a job to do work in this proper place of work because that is how I want this work to be conducted (for whatever reason) and you accept then these not the conditions of employment?

If the “working from the office” scenario no longer suits the employee in this fluid marketplace where there is huge demand for talent then they will move on and take a role where an employer is happy with that flexibility. If an employer loses great talent and cannot attract new talent then they are the big loser and the open market will quickly correct itself with those offering the appropriate flexibility winning out.

We don’t need government intervention on this – do we?

Imposing a new rule book about entitlement to home working (what they are constructing is exactly this cloaked in other language) on employers will be hugely problematic and is a very unfair imposition and this will only lead to unnecessary stresses and tensions in workplaces throughout the country as we all grappling with these conversations already.

Team spirit, a learning environment, collaborating with colleagues, personal development, positive atmosphere, having fun, confidentiality and even in some cases pure supervision are just some reasons why an employer might want to insist on office working, but then again maybe we don’t need to give one and shouldn’t have to?

This is the job, this is where the work is to be done, would you like to accept it? Isn’t that how it works and isn’t that the contract we both signed up to?

If that doesn’t suit, employees will vote with their feet and find a different employer.

In a good positive working environment there will be flexibility about this and other issues – this makes total sense BUT we are still figuring out and as I said already, trying to land on guidelines and rules now when we are still in flux is premature at best.

In a hybrid culture you will 100% lose out as an employer with this approach but surely you are entitled to determine the conditions of work without having to worry about workplace circumstances that are totally out of your control?

The idea that you may have to appear in the labour court to justify to a judge why you are insisting that a certain employee works from the office is just crazy and 1,000 steps too far.

Government ….home working is great and will sort itself out all in good time.

Please…leave us breathe

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: