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Sir Humphreycrats term the move towards open plan offices as an assault on their human rights

cyberianpan

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Let them eat cake

RTÉ Mobile - Top civil servants to resist open-plan offices
at present, principal officers and assistant principals had their own offices.

... and would either have to share offices or move to open-plan arrangements.
...
She said backing the motion would send a strong signal that they had the right to a decent office, and that there should not be a "race to the bottom".
The motion got overwhelming support

Apparently having an office is a civil right for certain civil servants

Such crass and venal obsession with status is merely the tip of the iceberg on the malaise in the Sir Humphreycrat world...they insist, that all of us, politicians included...serve them. They refuse ever to take risk, and will never show initiative or courage, and they know exactly what that enables

'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'
Edmund Burke

Cyp
 


asset test

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Ah here, where would they have their post prandial nap LOL.

Anyway, I had the experience of a single office and I did not like it one bit. So isolating. Much preferred a desk in the melee, but a bit apart for my sanity all the same! But each to their own.

It's a status thing in the CS.PS I reckon.
 

The Field Marshal

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The highest aspiration in the deeply hierarchical Irish civil service is to have your own
private office.

This is related to degrees of accountability.

If you have your own office then nobody can check whether or not you are in it.

Shared office spaces leave public servants open to a degree of scrutiny that is deeply unwelcome and is usually circumvented by group skiving.

This following story is about a civil servant in Spain who managed to skive off for 6 years without being discovered.
If you tried to report this in Ireland you would be slapped with a writ
Spanish civil servant off work unnoticed for six years - BBC News
 
Last edited:

Gin Soaked

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Ah here, where would they have their post prandial nap LOL.

Anyway, I had the experience of a single office and I did not like it one bit. So isolating. Much preferred a desk in the melee, but a bit apart for my sanity all the same! But each to their own.

It's a status thing in the CS.PS I reckon.
A post lunch nap room would be awesome....

Just some wingbacks and ottomans and hot water bottles....
 

asset test

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A post lunch nap room would be awesome....

Just some wingbacks and ottomans and hot water bottles....
And a large port and a cigar before heading back to the coalface to make the big decisions I suppose.

Better put my head down quick now, cos that sounds very old school, male and sexist. But you started it!
 

TakeitAll

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Let them eat cake

RTÉ Mobile - Top civil servants to resist open-plan offices


The motion got overwhelming support

Apparently having an office is a civil right for certain civil servants

Such crass and venal obsession with status is merely the tip of the iceberg on the malaise in the Sir Humphreycrat world...they insist, that all of us, politicians included...serve them. They refuse ever to take risk, and will never show initiative or courage, and they know exactly what that enables

'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'
Edmund Burke

Cyp
Must say I'm with them on this one. Work in private sector and for years the open plan didn't bother me but for the past few years it has due to some very annoying and very useless people who distract those who actually do some work. Even in the US open plan has some element of privacy and noise barriers.
 

Gin Soaked

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And a large port and a cigar before heading back to the coalface to make the big decisions I suppose.

Better put my head down quick now, cos that sounds very old school, male and sexist. But you started it!
I wasn't excluding women from the wingbacks and snoring between 2.30 and 3.30....

Seriously, Japanese culture allows you to fall asleep in meetings or at dinnner.
 

Expose the lot of them

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A post lunch nap room would be awesome....

Just some wingbacks and ottomans and hot water bottles....
Visited a company in China last year and the after lunch nap was the norm. Blinds down, lights out, beds pulled out and sleepy time for about 45 minutes.
 

asset test

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Introverts like myself like a bit of space away from the hordes, not necessarily my own office, although I did have that and didn't like it strangely enough!

Teams are what it's all about these days, so PODS are fashionable. They are ok for staff if they have some privacy, but can still interract.

Depends on the person really.

We are stuffing people into open plan environments with no personal space nowadays, because it is all TEAM work. Doesn't suit everyone either. That has to be acknowledged.
 

asset test

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I wasn't excluding women from the wingbacks and snoring between 2.30 and 3.30....

Seriously, Japanese culture allows you to fall asleep in meetings or at dinnner.
But you have to wake up quick for the Karaoke after work though!
 

asset test

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Visited a company in China last year and the after lunch nap was the norm. Blinds down, lights out, beds pulled out and sleepy time for about 45 minutes.
I was in Madrid on a work thing a few years ago, and honestly I was gobsmacked. For the coffee break they all had alcohol with their coffee and smoked cigarettes like it was going out of fashion. That was 10.30 am.

I don't think I have recovered from the shock of such a laissez faire attitude like that to this day either! Although speaking to Spanish colleagues since then, the smoking has been banned, but not the alcohol! YET.
 

Half Nelson

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I was in Madrid on a work thing a few years ago, and honestly I was gobsmacked. For the coffee break they all had alcohol with their coffee and smoked cigarettes like it was going out of fashion. That was 10.30 am.

I don't think I have recovered from the shock of such a laissez faire attitude like that to this day either! Although speaking to Spanish colleagues since then, the smoking has been banned, but not the alcohol! YET.
The City of London and further afield was renowned for the lunchtime pints - office workers, builders... everybody. Don't know if it's still the case.
 

asset test

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The City of London and further afield was renowned for the lunchtime pints - office workers, builders... everybody. Don't know if it's still the case.
Don't know either, but if it is still going on, I bet it is a lot more discreet than before the Stockmarket Crash back in the day.

In my younger days at work it was ok to go for lunch and have a few drinks. But now. Not a chance.

That's good though I think, so the after work time is now the lunchtime. Maybe not so good for those with families though. As I have seen too. But I am not their mother/wife/husband either, so feck it. It's up to you.
 
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A post lunch nap room would be awesome....

Just some wingbacks and ottomans and hot water bottles....
I've seen them and used them in some places.

I need a controlled workplace. Open plan is a pain because of the interruptions and often in the event that I need to concentrate while various conversations go on around me. I parse them all; I cannot shut them out. Yet I've hated having my own office too.

The norm I've discovered these days is a mix of working from home and hot-desking. The days of having the same desk day in day out are going.

Fred "The Shred" in RBS was noted for his attention to detail (while at the same ignoring the things which destroyed his bank). Go into an RBS office and you won't see and flat surfaces on the storage cabinets. That is to eliminate the possibility of anyone leaving cups, mugs, or paperwork ther. There is a "clean desk" policy, and nobody is allowed to leave anything at "their" desk because someone else might use it the next day.

Forget about a provate office; in many places you're not even guaranteed a desk space on arrival at work. It's even worse in places which don't have a desb-booking systems; I've been in places where it is a complete free for all.

All that said, I'm for the flexibility that allows to me to work from home every day, with only the odd visit to the office for essential reasons - two weeks time in Edinburgh; a week in Jo'Burg in July. The thing is that even operating in a purely domestic capacity, working at distance is good for everyone. Good fr the family, good for productivity, saves money on office space. The biggest problem with my daily commute is a potential queue on the stairs or at the bathroom.

It's the model to work to where possible, and would sort out the privacy problem - when privacy is required.
 

asset test

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I've seen them and used them in some places.

I need a controlled workplace. Open plan is a pain because of the interruptions and often in the event that I need to concentrate while various conversations go on around me. I parse them all; I cannot shut them out. Yet I've hated having my own office too.

The norm I've discovered these days is a mix of working from home and hot-desking. The days of having the same desk day in day out are going.

Fred "The Shred" in RBS was noted for his attention to detail (while at the same ignoring the things which destroyed his bank). Go into an RBS office and you won't see and flat surfaces on the storage cabinets. That is to eliminate the possibility of anyone leaving cups, mugs, or paperwork ther. There is a "clean desk" policy, and nobody is allowed to leave anything at "their" desk because someone else might use it the next day.

Forget about a provate office; in many places you're not even guaranteed a desk space on arrival at work. It's even worse in places which don't have a desb-booking systems; I've been in places where it is a complete free for all.

All that said, I'm for the flexibility that allows to me to work from home every day, with only the odd visit to the office for essential reasons - two weeks time in Edinburgh; a week in Jo'Burg in July. The thing is that even operating in a purely domestic capacity, working at distance is good for everyone. Good fr the family, good for productivity, saves money on office space. The biggest problem with my daily commute is a potential queue on the stairs or at the bathroom.

It's the model to work to where possible, and would sort out the privacy problem - when privacy is required.
Delira for ya.

That's a contracting job I would think, and apologies if I am wrong on that. It is not the norm though. Nor will it be for many. But still, you are fortunate that it works for you, and you CAN!.

I'm happy with my setup now. Took a while to sort it out. Each to their own, if they can. But not everyone can.

Still it could be the model for the future. I'll be pushing up the daisies before your description becomes "normal" though!
 
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Delira for ya.

That's a contracting job I would think, and apologies if I am wrong on that. It is not the norm though. Nor will it be for many. But still, you are fortunate that it works for you, and you CAN!.

I'm happy with my setup now. Took a while to sort it out. Each to their own, if they can. But not everyone can.

Still it could be the model for the future. I'll be pushing up the daisies before your description becomes "normal" though!
Yup, I'm acontractor, but what I have seen in my industry - IT in banking - is that hotdesking is rapidly becoming the norm across Europe. Banks are - for obvious reasons - divesting themselves of their property footprint. That's not just for contractors, though. It goes for the permies as well. It's not exactly a norm yet, but is become almost prevalent everywhere. Last time I had to spend a period of time in London I shared an apartment with a lecturer who had discretion to work from home on any day or part of a day when he had no lecturing duties.Of course many jobs don't allow for that degree of flexibility, but when you're speaking of admin or other jobs which aren't customer-facing then the option is not only there, but one which will become even more common.

In my career I started with a punch-clock; the dreaded insertion of the card with pulling of a lever. Fixed hours, with a boss kicking you out of the office at close of business. Flexitime then came along as an impossible dream, but over time it seemed to work.

In the last 20 years I haven't had to register my arrival or departure in any single job I've held.

Flexible working works; some of the people I work with work compressed hours; they do their work in four days. In one case I worked beside a guy who did his hours in three.
 

asset test

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Yup, I'm acontractor, but what I have seen in my industry - IT in banking - is that hotdesking is rapidly becoming the norm across Europe. Banks are - for obvious reasons - divesting themselves of their property footprint. That's not just for contractors, though. It goes for the permies as well. It's not exactly a norm yet, but is become almost prevalent everywhere. Last time I had to spend a period of time in London I shared an apartment with a lecturer who had discretion to work from home on any day or part of a day when he had no lecturing duties.Of course many jobs don't allow for that degree of flexibility, but when you're speaking of admin or other jobs which aren't customer-facing then the option is not only there, but one which will become even more common.

In my career I started with a punch-clock; the dreaded insertion of the card with pulling of a lever. Fixed hours, with a boss kicking you out of the office at close of business. Flexitime then came along as an impossible dream, but over time it seemed to work.

In the last 20 years I haven't had to register my arrival or departure in any single job I've held.

Flexible working works; some of the people I work with work compressed hours; they do their work in four days. In one case I worked beside a guy who did his hours in three.
Not everyone is a contractor though! Although I take your point.

The day will come though. How soon that will be for non contractors I dunno. But I work two days at home and three days in situ. It was offered, and I took it!

I find it hard to get used to the isolation on the two days TBH ( even though I am an introvert lol). And to get out of my duds and get properly dressed too! Discipline goes out the fekkin window on the two days, but I do my work, albeit a bit haphazardly it has to be said!
Still, it is early days....

I like the camaraderie and the nonsense that goes on with people in the office environment. Work is also a collegiate thing IMV.

I have the option to revert soon if I wish. Must think about that!
 
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Not everyone is a contractor though! Although I take your point.

The day will come though. How soon that will be for non contractors I dunno. But I work two days at home and three days in situ. It was offered, and I took it!

I find it hard to get used to the isolation on the two days TBH ( even though I am an introvert lol). And to get out of my duds and get properly dressed too! Discipline goes out the fekkin window on the two days, but I do my work, albeit a bit haphazardly it has to be said!
Still, it is early days....

I like the camaraderie and the nonsense that goes on with people in the office environment. Work is also a collegiate thing IMV.

I have the option to revert soon if I wish. Must think about that!
I see the day coming when workers will be all but forced to work from home. When I see desk-booking systems which don't provide a guarantee of static desks other than in exceptional situations I get the impression that there is a drive to that. Working from home two days a week means that there must generally be one day a week when you have persocal contact with each member of your team - no matter their or your working pattern.

In my current contract I have colleagues in several countries: SA, India, Poland, Scotland, England, and others. Sitting at a desk in any one of those locations confers no special benefit.

I myself prefer the office. It's easier to swap ideas and obtain benefit from the collective experience. The "bllody hell, I've never seen this" moment can be sorted in minutes rather than hours when colleagues are beside you to laugh at you.

All that said, as a contractor I've generally found that working from home was often perk reserved for the permies. Often contractors are obliged to be in the office.
 

statsman

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I've seen them and used them in some places.

I need a controlled workplace. Open plan is a pain because of the interruptions and often in the event that I need to concentrate while various conversations go on around me. I parse them all; I cannot shut them out. Yet I've hated having my own office too.

The norm I've discovered these days is a mix of working from home and hot-desking. The days of having the same desk day in day out are going.

Fred "The Shred" in RBS was noted for his attention to detail (while at the same ignoring the things which destroyed his bank). Go into an RBS office and you won't see and flat surfaces on the storage cabinets. That is to eliminate the possibility of anyone leaving cups, mugs, or paperwork ther. There is a "clean desk" policy, and nobody is allowed to leave anything at "their" desk because someone else might use it the next day.

Forget about a provate office; in many places you're not even guaranteed a desk space on arrival at work. It's even worse in places which don't have a desb-booking systems; I've been in places where it is a complete free for all.

All that said, I'm for the flexibility that allows to me to work from home every day, with only the odd visit to the office for essential reasons - two weeks time in Edinburgh; a week in Jo'Burg in July. The thing is that even operating in a purely domestic capacity, working at distance is good for everyone. Good fr the family, good for productivity, saves money on office space. The biggest problem with my daily commute is a potential queue on the stairs or at the bathroom.

It's the model to work to where possible, and would sort out the privacy problem - when privacy is required.
I work from home when not travelling. Maybe drop into the office for a day each week if not away. The worst part of the travelling is having to spend every day in another office, to be honest. And I am not a contractor.
 


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