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Reports Circulate of Christmas Work From Home Order in England

08 December 2021 | Updated 09 December 2021
 

As Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urges employers to keep their staff working from home, is a similar mandated order on the way in England?

Given the uncertainty around the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the Scottish government is encouraging companies to “support a greater degree of working from home than pre-COVID-19” and businesses should consider at this time whether staff need to be in an office at all.

Leaders in England, after mandating face masks in public places and placing tighter travel restrictions, have been regularly questioned on the possibility of more restrictions, such as a call to work from home.

According to The Telegraph, new work from home plans are being drawn up, as Britain currently has the highest number of confirmed omicron infections in Europe. Rules may echo earlier “Plan B” restrictions.

This comes as the government repeatedly deny that a Christmas party took place at Downing Street in 2020 while lockdown rules were in place.

 

“The governments work from home edict designed to the slow of the transmission of the newly announced variant may represent the world we are all going to have to get used to, with differing levels of ‘hybrid’ depending upon the infection risk requiring us all to work at home for prolonged periods."

–Andrew Mawson

Founding Director, Advanced Workplace Associates 

 

 

The Return of Plan B?

 

Andrew Mawson, Founding Director of global consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), feels that employers should prepare for hybrid working, whether its mandated by the government or not:

“The governments work from home edict designed to the slow of the transmission of the newly announced variant may represent the world we are all going to have to get used to, with differing levels of ‘hybrid’ depending upon the infection risk requiring us all to work at home for prolonged periods. So, is this the new normal? Can we really see an end to the evolution of variants?   

“It seems to us that all organisations need to be preparing themselves for a hybrid model forever, with managers upskilled to managing teams remotely, new practices and processes for recruitment, people development and performance management, new ways of conveying corporate identity and culture online and technology and networks beefed up to support high performance working into the long run. This is the new normal.”

 

2022 Lockdowns

 

Angela Love, Director at Active Workplace Solutions, a company which specialises in workplace change, feels that we have to accept that COVID is part of our personal and professional lives now:

“Much of the workforce has already adapted well on more than one occasion, proving that it can work effectively from just about anywhere. However, the conversation will again turn to what the role of the office is with less and less people coming in five days a week. We certainly cannot have another lockdown. There’s too much at stake when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, and it may also be the last straw for some businesses, particularly those operating in the hospitality sector which has already seen numerous Christmas parties cancelled across the UK. We must be cautious, sensible, and find the strength to live with the virus.”

Picture: a photograph of Boris Johnson 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 December 2021

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