How have you skived whilst working from home

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
The only downside I have to working from home is, erm. Nope. Nothing.
Actually not strictly true, visiting client sites and training in person is easier. We also have a shite phone forwarding system.
Personally I can't wait to get back into the office; not that I expect to be doing a full week there, as the successful operation of the business over the last year has accelerated the company's plan to divest themselves of office space by 5 -10 years (at a guess), so I envisage working from home at least 2-3 days a week and (say it with disdain) "Hot Desking" when I'm in London. It's a bit sh1t, but from a business point of view It's unarguably the way to go.

I foresee the usual massive corporate enthusiasm for the new shiny process being translated into discouraging anyone coming into town at all, followed by a backlash several months later when reality bites and the realisation that some things do need hands on presence leading to a requirement for everyone to be in for 4 days a week or so, and then finally settling down into a workable arrangement dependent on specific work requirements.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
We've just had a major refit here (a data centre) where they cleared the 4th floor of data halls, refitted to office space for 350 including a roof terrace bar and fully functioning restaurant. Construction started Sept 19, got stopped Mar 20, recommenced July 20 and ended Dec 20, expecting to repopulate the area around Jul 21.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Around June last year I was pulled out of my usual job of being the maintenance manager on a nuclear plant and given a project to lead on how the entire business is going to work in the future.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but we discovered that a huge amount of the working day was actually wasted. While you may be at work for 8 hours per day, you probably spend a fair chunk of that moving between meetings, chatting shit at the water cooler or just messing around. Of course there are also people who literally just look at the Daily Mail website for 8 hours a day, safe in the knowledge that being present at their place of work is enough.

So we came to the conclusion that there isn’t really much difference between paying people to do nothing at work, or paying them to do nothing at home. People will always take the piss but at least we aren’t paying their electricity bill now.

As such we’ve moved to an “outcomes” based work ethos. People are measured on what they deliver and the outcome of their work. Not on how many hours they’re sat at a desk or are present in the office. As long as you’re delivering what you’re told to deliver, it doesn’t matter if you work at home, come to the office, or do it from your car on a BlackBerry. If you want to smash out all your work at midnight then spend all day in bed that’s fine. You just need to be delivering work and remain contactable during your contracted hours.

It’s actually working. People are happier, there has actually been an uplift in productivity in some areas. The gimps who used to sit in the office for 8 hours a day doing **** all, are now held to account because they aren’t delivering any work. We have eliminated the clipboard ninja who is able to look busy without actually doing anything.

And for me personally, it’s great. I lead a team of very keen graduates who are all trying to impress. I basically just point them in the right direction and take all the credit for their hard work.

I’m not dossing or skiving, I’m just using those 3 or 4 hours of water cooler chit chat and walking between meetings to do stuff I want to do instead.

More time on the farm, more time tinkering with old machinery. I’ve even taken on another part time job that I can dip in and out of when things are quiet.

I’m winning at Covid.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
As I only get paid for the work I deliver, opportunities for skiving are minimal. That's one of the joys of being a company director.

My "skiving" has been limited to the odd "power nap" at 3pm or an hour doing the odd bit of DIY or model railway.

Even then I tend to make the time up during the evening as I'm a bit of a night owl.

I no longer go into the office other than to pick up post or for a brief meeting that can't easily be done over the phone. Two of my colleagues, however, have gone back to office working as they don't have good home working facilities as I do.

On the up side, it saves me 40 minutes a day driving time and half a gallon of fuel.

ETA: @Ravers, I know that place of which you speak [P4 holder]
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
Personally I can't wait to get back into the office; not that I expect to be doing a full week there, as the successful operation of the business over the last year has accelerated the company's plan to divest themselves of office space by 5 -10 years (at a guess), so I envisage working from home at least 2-3 days a week and (say it with disdain) "Hot Desking" when I'm in London. It's a bit sh1t, but from a business point of view It's unarguably the way to go.

I foresee the usual massive corporate enthusiasm for the new shiny process being translated into discouraging anyone coming into town at all, followed by a backlash several months later when reality bites and the realisation that some things do need hands on presence leading to a requirement for everyone to be in for 4 days a week or so, and then finally settling down into a workable arrangement dependent on specific work requirements.

Our general manager doesn't trust anyone to do anything without him looking over their shoulder.
His stock answer to anything I say on H&S is "I will have to check with legal" as he can't accept that I may actually know something.
Any document will have to be edited after he's seen it - it's like cleaning the block before going on leave.
Documents have been sent back , recently it was the font colour, left for 3 hours without any editing whatsoever, sent back "edited" and then are accepted (grudgingly)

We will be back in the office other than days on customer sites.
Online training is no doubt going to continue. he wants us to travel in to work to sit in a busy and noisy office so we can continue with online training which we can all do from home...
 
That would be most SO3's across all three services out of a job.....

Add people who just attend meetings to avoid doing work, and that would be a huge swathe of the public sector made jobless
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
That would be most SO3's across all three services out of a job.....

When I was presenting this to some very senior people, they couldn’t quite believe that there are people brazen enough to do that.

Quite naively they just assumed everyone in the world loved coming to work and digging out.

I’m a firm believer in starting your career on the factory floor. It’s only in that environment that you get to see all the tricks in the book and the lengths people will go to to get out of work.

In my last team we had an old engineer who’d come through the apprentice route as opposed to the grad route.

He was likeable enough and he permanently had a pot of tea on the go. Most days he was first in the office which gave him a veneer of hard work and efficiency.

However it quickly became apparent that he did absolutely **** all. He’d sit at his desk and potter about with paperwork or massive ring binder files, but never actually deliver anything. Whenever there was a big job on, he’d just take leave or pull a sicky

No one ever questioned this. Because he always made the brews he was pretty crucial to the team. No one wanted to **** him off because it meant they’d have to make their own tea.

One day I unplugged his keyboard just to see if he’d notice.

He went for over a week without logging into his PC and realising.

We were basically paying a bloke 50 grand a year to make tea 4 times a day and read books.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Our general manager doesn't trust anyone to do anything without him looking over their shoulder.
His stock answer to anything I say on H&S is "I will have to check with legal" as he can't accept that I may actually know something.
Any document will have to be edited after he's seen it - it's like cleaning the block before going on leave.
Documents have been sent back , recently it was the font colour, left for 3 hours without any editing whatsoever, sent back "edited" and then are accepted (grudgingly)

We will be back in the office other than days on customer sites.
Online training is no doubt going to continue. he wants us to travel in to work to sit in a busy and noisy office so we can continue with online training which we can all do from home...
That was the mindset amongst the engineering hierarchy in my company; the last year has proven that the majority of staff can be trusted to work from home at least as conscientiously as when in the office. Of course some work just can't be done at home, but the IT solutions are pretty amazing, and it has certainly surprised me how much has been achieved over the lockdown.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
Fortunately our team is small enough that anyone not pulling their weight doesn't last long.

We had one who was allowed to work from home but used to disappear off to a local church hall where there was minimal phone signal (evidently he was on some church committee and could make use of the place). His comment was that his kids made it difficult to work from home, but he was effectively "off grid" for several days a week.

That would not have mattered if he had actually delivered decent quality of work on time, but he didn't. He got rumbled by both myself and the MD in fairly short order and after a series of verbal & official warnings walked before he got pushed.

We have a few who are home based and pull a good shift with no issues.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Slight thread drift but I have a good mate who spent his career as a civvy technician at an RAF base.

The bulk of his work was running the SAT Range or DCCT or whatever it’s called now.

Pretty much all he had to do was run the machine when people were using it (which was very rarely) and fix the occasional defect.

There were other aspects to his job like cleaning the place that he’d just sacked off completely. He’d somehow created an air of mystery around the whole thing and his boss seemed to think he was the busiest man on base.

The reality was he’d bought a flat a few minutes away, which meant he could go home and sleep, but be within arms reach just in case his boss phoned him to see where he was.

Within 5 minutes of a call he could be back at the range carrying a bag of tools or something.

“Sorry boss, just had to head to the other side of the base to borrow a soldering iron.”

He styled it out for over 30 years.
 
Slight thread drift but I have a good mate who spent his career as a civvy technician at an RAF base.

The bulk of his work was running the SAT Range or DCCT or whatever it’s called now.

Pretty much all he had to do was run the machine when people were using it (which was very rarely) and fix the occasional defect.

There were other aspects to his job like cleaning the place that he’d just sacked off completely. He’d somehow created an air of mystery around the whole thing and his boss seemed to think he was the busiest man on base.

The reality was he’d bought a flat a few minutes away, which meant he could go home and sleep, but be within arms reach just in case his boss phoned him to see where he was.

Within 5 minutes of a call he could be back at the range carrying a bag of tools or something.

“Sorry boss, just had to head to the other side of the base to borrow a soldering iron.”

He styled it out for over 30 years.
A role model for us all I think you'll find.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
That was the mindset amongst the engineering hierarchy in my company; the last year has proven that the majority of staff can be trusted to work from home at least as conscientiously as when in the office. Of course some work just can't be done at home, but the IT solutions are pretty amazing, and it has certainly surprised me how much has been achieved over the lockdown.

We deal with a lot of engineering/maintenance people, in all kinds of industries. Obviously many of their staff can't work from home. Taking the beef people for example , apparently it's just not practical to take a cow home and turn it into pieces of beef. Nor can they maintain the factory that way. However so much of the admin for them can be. We've managed to get a lot of new custom from people who need/want to manage things off site (or centrally for multiple sites)
 
We deal with a lot of engineering/maintenance people, in all kinds of industries. Obviously many of their staff can't work from home. Taking the beef people for example , apparently it's just not practical to take a cow home and turn it into pieces of beef. Nor can they maintain the factory that way. However so much of the admin for them can be. We've managed to get a lot of new custom from people who need/want to manage things off site (or centrally for multiple sites)
Perhaps you could manage some factories in India, or even provide online help for Indian IT users.

Karma would then hopefully be a complete and utter bitch.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
Perhaps you could manage some factories in India, or even provide online help for Indian IT users.

Karma would then hopefully be a complete and utter bitch.

I did some online training for an Indian user of one of our systems (UK company with factories throughout the world) Actually a nice chap, with excellent English. He'd booked three full days and only needed a half day on day one and a couple of hours on day two.
Great skive leaving the teams session open while I snoozed
 

Blogg

LE
Mostly it's fine: have worked from home for years and the last round of hot desking in 2019 drove many others to it as well.

New joiners prove a challenge, need to really to make a strong effort with them.

However younger ones don't seem troubled: they have spent most of their lives doing online gaming chat so it's just an extension of that!
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
today I answered about 20 emails from my week off. Ignored everything in the group email inbox as nobody has touched them while I've been away. attended the H&S teams meeting and even got things agreed without the general manager using his usual 'I'll have to check with legal'

oh and I've spent most of the day listening to spotify and cocking about on arrse.

I don't think I can manage another cup of tea right now...

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I'm definitely having a skive right now: Microsoft Teams is down globally.
 

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