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How To Fix 'The North'?

I think the North is going to get a surprise, this year has seen people and companies prove that working from home is both sustainable and has minimum effect on peoples productivity. I can see more Londoncentric companies either hold a small head office or move lock stock and barrel out of the capital to towns where rents are cheaper.

It is London that should be worried because it has had its bubble burst and it isn't the be all and end all.

Worldwide working from home has seen people's real working hours increase, once employers latch onto this they might have a lightbulb moment and think working from home, this could work
 
Worldwide working from home has seen people's real working hours increase, once employers latch onto this they might have a lightbulb moment and think working from home, this could work
I'm paid for 20 hours a week. The laptop and phone are switched on only during those 20 hours. Anyone who does more than they are paid for is a mug.
 
I'm paid for 20 hours a week. The laptop and phone are switched on only during those 20 hours. Anyone who does more than they are paid for is a mug.
Yes and no, I work in IT so some days I might get 2 calls and only do a few hours, the next day I could do a 12 hour stint, but overall it balances out
 
Yes and no, I work in IT so some days I might get 2 calls and only do a few hours, the next day I could do a 12 hour stint, but overall it balances out
Providing you don't do more than you get paid for. The 9-5 job is a concept long since dead surely?
 
I live in a city and frankly only go into the city centre to visit the bank maybe once or twice a year. There's nothing there I need that I can't get locally or online and the anti-car council has made it a nightmare to get to anyway, so why bother? Throw in the Clean Air Zone that is supposed to be getting implemented which means I'll have to pay to go inside the Ring Road in my car and that's yet another nail in the centre's coffin as far as I'm concerned. It won't just be the centre of London that'll get a pasting in the next few years.
Thinking more on this:

Now: Fred crawls out of bed at 0600, puts on a clean shirt that his Mrs has had to iron, ponders on waking the kids to say goodbye and drives to the station, parks and pays his daily £10. The train is late and when it comes in it‘s rammed, £5,000 for a season ticket to stand for 90 minutes with someone else’s armpit in his face.

The open plan office is just one big distraction whilst he’s got a lot on, ringing phones, people wandering about and just a dull place when he gets a slack day but he’s still got to look busy because there’s always some turd snooping about, checking on the drones. Tina from accounts looks fit but oh shit, here comes Bob, no doubt he’s buggered up the contracting for that latex consignment needed for the outsize dildo contract that’s overdue. Again. They try to sort it but everyone else is chipping in, secretly happy that it’s not them on the rack. The boss is gonna be pissed.

Lunch. Yay. Walk down the street in the noise and dirt, jostled in the queue for £8 of sarnie which tastes of ingredients he’s never heard of and back to the office for the afternoon which is a repeat of the morning.

The train home is a repeat of the train in. He gets home and the kids are in bed and the Mrs has a load of shirts to iron so Fred microwaves the food his Mrs did for the kids as she isn’t cooking twice and ate with them. Everyone is tired so a petty squabble kicks off so a sneaky w%nk it is then.

Next day, Fred crawls out of bed at 0600.....

The future?: Fred gets out of bed when he feels like it, based on how much he’s got to do today. He sees the kids off to school, maybe even takes them in himself. He’s got no zoom meetings today so shorts and yesterday’s T shirt will do, save on the washing for the Mrs. She’s in a better mood these days what with him helping around the house when he’s got a slack day and what with the kids being at school, maybe a “back to when we first met” style quickie is on the cards? Tina from accounts may be fit but she’s thick as shit and a one off with her would be talk of the office inside 5 minutes and divorce / financial ruin sure to follow and anyway, I’m getting plenty at home now so why bother?

Oh, it’s Bob on the phone. Yep, he’s cocked it up but Fred is sat in the garden with a brew and no distractions so they can have a proper chat and get it sorted, save the deal and the boss will be impressed.

Lunch is a couple of sausages he’s found in the fridge and maybe a bit of her mother’s fruit cake. Proper old trout she is but she’s mellowed now Fred and her daughter are getting on better. Hey, quiet afternoon, so maybe take the kids out for a walk after school and have a chat about a holiday? Fred is looking to push the boat out as £10 a day on parking, £5,000 season ticket and £8 on a sarnie each day adds up to some serious spare cash.

Maybe teach the kids a bit about cooking something other than spaghetti hoops tonight and have a meal together, bit of play afterwards, help them with homework. “My dad’s the best dad” never gets old. Not got to get up early tomorrow so perhaps a pint or two with the lads tonight?

It’s got to be a no brainer.
 
Last edited:

endure

GCM
Targeted on the South, thus fixing the investment overnight. Nothing left except radioactivity in the South, so everything has to be in the North :)
That would leave that Laandan as a glowing heap of radioactive ash...

2fb1f0ff1589fb03ffa4814f3aef0929.jpg
 
Thinking more on this:

Now: Fred crawls out of bed at 0600, puts on a clean shirt that his Mrs has had to iron, ponders on waking the kids to say goodbye and drives to the station, parks and pays his daily £10. The train is late and when it comes in it‘s rammed, £5,000 for a season ticket to stand for 90 minutes with someone else’s armpit in his face.

The open plan office is just one big distraction whilst he’s got a lot on, ringing phones, people wandering about and just a dull place when he gets a slack day but he’s still got to look busy because there’s always some turd snooping about, checking on the drones. Tina from accounts looks fit but oh shit, here comes Bob, no doubt he’s buggered up the contracting for that latex consignment needed for the outsize dildo contract that’s overdue. Again. They try to sort it but everyone else is chipping in, secretly happy that it’s not them on the rack. The boss is gonna be pissed.

Lunch. Yay. Walk down the street in the noise and dirt, jostled in the queue for £8 of sarnie which tastes of ingredients he’s never heard of and back to the office for the afternoon which is a repeat of the morning.

The train home is a repeat of the train in. He gets home and the kids are in bed and the Mrs has a load of shirts to iron so Fred microwaves the food his Mrs did for the kids as she isn’t cooking twice and ate with them. Everyone is tired so a petty squabble kicks off so a sneaky w%nk it is then.

Next day, Fred crawls out of bed at 0600.....

The future?: Fred gets out of bed when he feels like it, based on how much he’s got to do today. He sees the kids off to school, maybe even takes them in himself. He’s got no zoom meetings today so shorts and yesterday’s T shirt will do, save on the washing for the Mrs. She’s in a better mood these days what with him helping around the house when he’s got a slack day and what with the kids being at school, maybe a “back to when we first met” style quickie is on the cards? Tina fTom accounts may fit but she’s thick as shit and a one off with her would be talk of the office inside 5 minutes and divorce / financial ruin sure to follow.

Oh, it’s Bob on the phone. Yep, he’s cocked it up but Fred is sat in the garden with a brew and no distractions so they can have a proper chat and get it sorted, save the deal and the boss will be impressed.

Lunch is a couple of sausages he’s found in the fridge and maybe a bit of her mother’s fruit cake. Proper old trout she is but she’s mellowed now Fred and her daughter are getting on better. Hey, quiet afternoon, so maybe take the kids out for a walk after school and have a chat about a holiday? Fred is looking to push the boat out as £10 a day on parking, £5,000 season ticket and £8 on a sarnie each day adds up to some serious spare cash.

Maybe teach the kids a bit about cooking something other than spaghetti hoops tonight and have a meal together, bit of play afterwards, help them with homework. “My dad’s the best dad” never gets old. Not got to get up early tomorrow so perhaps a pint or two with the lads tonight?

It’s got to be a no brainer.

You’ve just described the last 10 years of my life :)
 
Well @Toastie I wouldn't say my life has changed that much since March but

Falling out of bed whenever I want on work days
Having an early lunch whenever I want
Not being constantly mithered by office mongs
Not having to endure the latest corporate "training" session
Not having to ever "look busy"
Saving on fuel/car wear and tear
Being at home when a parcel arrives and thus not having to go and pick it up from some depot in the arse-end of nowhere
Surfing during work hours without looking over your shoulder to see which little sneak is watching
Not ironing work shirts (would I EVER trust her to do it right?!)
Knocking off when I want
Running the odd errand during the day if needs be

does have it's attractions.
 
Thinking more on this:

Now: Fred crawls out of bed at 0600, puts on a clean shirt that his Mrs has had to iron, ponders on waking the kids to say goodbye and drives to the station, parks and pays his daily £10. The train is late and when it comes in it‘s rammed, £5,000 for a season ticket to stand for 90 minutes with someone else’s armpit in his face.

The open plan office is just one big distraction whilst he’s got a lot on, ringing phones, people wandering about and just a dull place when he gets a slack day but he’s still got to look busy because there’s always some turd snooping about, checking on the drones. Tina from accounts looks fit but oh shit, here comes Bob, no doubt he’s buggered up the contracting for that latex consignment needed for the outsize dildo contract that’s overdue. Again. They try to sort it but everyone else is chipping in, secretly happy that it’s not them on the rack. The boss is gonna be pissed.

Lunch. Yay. Walk down the street in the noise and dirt, jostled in the queue for £8 of sarnie which tastes of ingredients he’s never heard of and back to the office for the afternoon which is a repeat of the morning.

The train home is a repeat of the train in. He gets home and the kids are in bed and the Mrs has a load of shirts to iron so Fred microwaves the food his Mrs did for the kids as she isn’t cooking twice and ate with them. Everyone is tired so a petty squabble kicks off so a sneaky w%nk it is then.

Next day, Fred crawls out of bed at 0600.....

The future?: Fred gets out of bed when he feels like it, based on how much he’s got to do today. He sees the kids off to school, maybe even takes them in himself. He’s got no zoom meetings today so shorts and yesterday’s T shirt will do, save on the washing for the Mrs. She’s in a better mood these days what with him helping around the house when he’s got a slack day and what with the kids being at school, maybe a “back to when we first met” style quickie is on the cards? Tina fTom accounts may fit but she’s thick as shit and a one off with her would be talk of the office inside 5 minutes and divorce / financial ruin sure to follow.

Oh, it’s Bob on the phone. Yep, he’s cocked it up but Fred is sat in the garden with a brew and no distractions so they can have a proper chat and get it sorted, save the deal and the boss will be impressed.

Lunch is a couple of sausages he’s found in the fridge and maybe a bit of her mother’s fruit cake. Proper old trout she is but she’s mellowed now Fred and her daughter are getting on better. Hey, quiet afternoon, so maybe take the kids out for a walk after school and have a chat about a holiday? Fred is looking to push the boat out as £10 a day on parking, £5,000 season ticket and £8 on a sarnie each day adds up to some serious spare cash.

Maybe teach the kids a bit about cooking something other than spaghetti hoops tonight and have a meal together, bit of play afterwards, help them with homework. “My dad’s the best dad” never gets old. Not got to get up early tomorrow so perhaps a pint or two with the lads tonight?

It’s got to be a no brainer.
And pretty much how it has been for me this year, saved £3000 in fuel costs and £1000 in lunches. doesn't include wear on the car. Photography has been boosted and earnt a bit from that this year, am defintley less stressed and if we were allowed to go places would probably be enjoying things a bit more.
 
I'm paid for 20 hours a week. The laptop and phone are switched on only during those 20 hours. Anyone who does more than they are paid for is a mug.

They are a mug, but it also employers expectations these days

I do more work working from home that I did contracting, the pay off is that I have no commute, and have more leeway when I work, ie I can disappear up a mountain and its not an issue unless work has an emergency, otherwise as long as I get my hours done I am expected to flexible when those hours are

I don't work unpaid hours, although I do work related research out of hours usually something tech related
 
Well @Toastie I wouldn't say my life has changed that much since March but

Falling out of bed whenever I want on work days
Having an early lunch whenever I want
Not being constantly mithered by office mongs
Not having to endure the latest corporate "training" session
Not having to ever "look busy"
Saving on fuel/car wear and tear
Being at home when a parcel arrives and thus not having to go and pick it up from some depot in the arse-end of nowhere
Surfing during work hours without looking over your shoulder to see which little sneak is watching
Not ironing work shirts (would I EVER trust her to do it right?!)
Knocking off when I want
Running the odd errand during the day if needs be

does have it's attractions.
And pretty much how it has been for me this year, saved £3000 in fuel costs and £1000 in lunches. doesn't include wear on the car. Photography has been boosted and earnt a bit from that this year, am defintley less stressed and if we were allowed to go places would probably be enjoying things a bit more.

And you two.

As I was writing it I was thinking “this really is perfectly achievable”.

Even on a busy day, tell the Mrs you’re going to be in the back bedroom all day but she knows it pays for the stuff they want and the slack days are pay back. I’m lucky in as much as I’m either away away or at home. I get the occasional days rostered in the office as I have other roles in the company and when I think of tge times I’ve traipsed literally half way across the country to sit in an office and do precisely nothing except watch the above “before” scenario unfolding it makes my eyes bleed.

I‘ve been doing the above “after” scenario most of this year and I’ve genuinely done twice as much in half the time. Zoom etc forces discipline into meetings as one person talks and others listen you don’t spend time reinventing the wheel. Our lot have stripped out half the HQ head count and nobody has noticed the difference. People are asking how that can be? Check the browsing history of those that have left and you’ll learn something, mainly about their hobbies and shopping habits.
 
And pretty much how it has been for me this year, saved £3000 in fuel costs and £1000 in lunches. doesn't include wear on the car. Photography has been boosted and earnt a bit from that this year, am defintley less stressed and if we were allowed to go places would probably be enjoying things a bit more.
Not so much of a saving for me as I live quite close to the office and only work part time. Still reckon I'm at least £600 a year better off though, even allowing for the extra lecky/coffee consumed at home. Stress down to next to nothing. Winner.
 
There we all were picturing @Toastie as the left-hand seatedness sky god, cool shades and hostie rubbing oil into his tanned shoulders and...

Turns out he’s actually a full-on neck bearded ‘railways enthusiast’ who smells of sandwiches...
From bloody Crewe after all!
 
There we all were picturing @Toastie as the left-hand seatedness sky god, cool shades and hostie rubbing oil into his tanned shoulders and...

Turns out he’s actually a full-on neck bearded ‘railways enthusiast’ who smells of sandwiches...
From bloody Crewe after all!
Shit.

Busted.
 
I'd like to improve the North.
We have far fewer stabbings up here that our rivals in the South.
Please send more Imported tribes from the South so they can stab each other on our streets, you posh, selfish southern stabbers.
 
Yes. I mean, running up and down the same stretch of track and finishing your shift in Llandudno Junction with just a flask of tea for company knocks spots off flying round the world and finishing your shift on a tropical beach with a few beers and and clutch of lovelies.

I funded some of my training working on the track gangs and being lightly basted with aerosol toilet waste every time a train went past so a bit of knowledge, yes, a passion for it, I’ll get back to you on that.

Point taken. :headbang:
 
The bit about working from home means working longer overall hours is true. I roll out of bed, 0600-0700ish, and 15 minutes later I’ve checked my email. I know what fires need to be put out (or not) and can plan my day accordingly. So I’m working at say 0700, and when cooking dinner (we always eat at 7.30PM), I will often check my email again, as my HQ is two hours behind us in timezone.

But that doesn’t mean I’m working for 12 hours. It gives me the flexibility to do some laundry, or food prep, or run an errand, or just plain old take an afternoon nap if I feel like it. I don’t feel guilty about going in the workshop and varnishing something for a bit. It’s completely different to being slaved to a desk. As I mentioned above, I’ve been working like this for the last 10 years, and had three and a half jobs in that time.

I don’t think office work will ever be the same again. Only those that need to handle something physical, like warehousing, airlines, hotels, food service, construction etc will *need* to go to a place of work regularly. Office work will change, and it’s for the better from both the individual’s, and the company’s POV. The losers will include the service industries that support office buildings.
 

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