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I cannot wait to get back into work mode frame of mind again"
 

This shouldn't be underestimated. I never realised how important this was until I was permanently working from home. I've always been a self-starter, but 18 months cooped up in a tiny study the size where I could touch both walls with arms outstretched drove me potty, and left me referring to it as my prison cell.

I'm writing this now and there are workman hammering away revamping one of the offices, the lawyers in the office opposite have their telephones on too loud, and behind me I can here a gaggle of women laughing about something irrelevant.

But it's all marvelous. It's the noisy distractions of an office environment where I am in full work mode. Then when I've decided I've done enough or achieved what I wanted to, I lock the door and go home 

Edinburgh Removals 26th May 2022 2:08 PM

Welcome aboard 

If you are ever interested in becoming Trading Standards vetted, our sister business manages Edinburgh Trusted Trader on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council. 

NATO Salesmen of the year 20th May 2022 9:02 AM

nicked from FaceAche...

We live in strange times, from Brexit to Pandemic, and a cost of living crisis exacerbated by a war in Europe.

But one of the biggest changes has been to our working habits and patterns, aka flexible working. 

The concept is fantastic, flexible work patterns that allow you to fit work around your lifestyle and circumstances, rather than a traditional 9-5 office location. It gives huge opportunities for working parents, can increase well being and morale, productivity, reduce business costs and take cars off the road and reduce pollution. It sounds win win, or so it should be.

Ok, if you drive the number 5 bus, perform brain surgery or work in Tescos, then flexible working options may be limited, beyond varied working hours or shifts. But for those driving a laptop and using a phone, then the world of work has dramatically changed. 

The buzzword of the moment is hybrid working, meaning a combination of working from home, with an expectation that you will work from an office one to two days a week. I've been a fan and advocated flexible working for a long time, and prophesied that once millennials started reaching middle management and beyond in suitable numbers, this form of working would be embraced and gradually rolled out.

So what's the problem?

  • It happened overnight, we had a worldwide pandemic and were all told to work from home, with businesses desperately trying to adapt and enable their employees to remain productive. Some did an incredible job, others more lacklustre.
  • Employees found themselves free from the constraints and discipline of the office, with no travel costs so a relative pay rise. For a lot of people, this meant less work and more money. 
  • We weren't mentally prepared to move to a fully flexible workplace, trying to adapt old-fashioned concepts, to a new agile way of thinking. Who says you need to work 9 - 5 if you can do your job from a remote location.
  • Organisations have become incredibly inefficient, hiding behind Covid era excuses for lack of customer service, poor response times. Think Passport Office or DVLA to name a couple. Access to secure internal systems isn't available or correctly configured for a lot employees, limiting their effectiveness and requiring them to transfer queries to the few colleagues who are office-based.
  • HR teams are struggling to comprehend the new way of working, implementing daft policies such as forcing workers to come to the office a day week and sit in hotdesk environments, to comply with mental health guidelines. In reality, employees end up forced to travel to work to then sit at a temporary desk amongst unfamiliar colleagues from a variety of departments they have no connection with, just to tick a corporate HR box.

Is there a solution?

A huge segment of the UK workforce has now had extensive experience of home working or elements of flexible working and knows what works and what doesn't work. They need to feed this back to their bosses, or bosses need to analyze the data.

  • If you can't do 100% of your job from home, then you need to work from a location where you can. End of story.

This goes for all the civil servants working from home, as well as the smallest businesses to the largest corporations. 

No more excuses, no more packing your kids off to school, then sat with your laptop on the sofa, with Loose Women on the TV. Then hiding behind the disclaimer that staff are having to work remotely and there may be a delay in getting a response.

Flexible working is a powerful tool - if done correctly

The days of someone saying we need to work from 9 - 5 are going to fade into history. This may have been a good idea when we all worked in factories, but with a flexible workforce, choosing to slot work around busy family schedules, we will move to a task-based model rather than 9 - 5. 

For example, a lot of people (me included) live by a daily "to do" list. This may be working through a list of issues, a case load, or a set of daily requirements that comprises your normal job. 

  • Is there an expectation from your boss or peers that you will complete a percentage of your "to do" list during the working day before knocking off?
  • Could this expectation be converted to a number of tasks that would be completed?

If the answer is yes, then you have just removed the need for the constraints of the traditional 9-5 working pattern. For child care reasons you may wish to start at 10, and finish at 14.30. Maybe you will work through your lunch. Maybe without the 30 minutes water cooler waffle about last nights East Enders, you will have been more productive and finished your tasks, than you would if sat in the office from 9-5. Alternatively, you might do a couple of hours in the evening when the kids have gone to bed.

There are going to be plenty of examples of workplaces that are required to operate traditional working hours, and the bus driver is never going to work from his living room. Well until the autonomous bus arrives in about 10 years. Then the bus driver is now retrained as a cognitive engineer working from his living room

Flexible working has shone a torch on a sea of endless opportunities, particularly for part-time workers, working parents or even those with disabilities. But you can't overlay new flexible working ideas over 20th-century working practices and mindsets. A lazy employee will be a lazy employee regardless of whether working from home or the office. Granted they may have more opportunity of being lazy at home, but it is up to managers and team leaders to measure and monitor performance. Something a task based economy lends itself to rather than an old fashioned 9-5 hours based economy.

  • What do you think? Do you agree/disagree?
  • What are your experiences of flexible working, positive or negative?

Even with war underway and taking on the Russians, the spamming industry is still going strong in Ukraine...

My Local Services USA is refreshed 10th May 2022 11:33 AM
I still visit from time to time , but as you say there are never really any good posts anymore.. I still report spam when I see it like the mortgage spam with 3 posts .. Didn't look as though the page redirected to report spam  though”
 

Always happy to see you Andy. Spam wise, the notification does work and pinged me in the back admin. Luckily, 99% of actual spam never makes it onto the site unlike other forums. So even in an unloved state, it still remains spam free. 

Posts wise, it's a rock and a hard place. Rebecca is unable to moderate anymore as she is so busy with her business which seems to go from strength to strength. My own team of admins are all busy with no spare time to spend on the forum, which leaves just me, and I tend to get pulled in different directions.

I'm going to strip it right back, get rid of the forums that have had little activity in recent years, and stick to a few  topics that encourage comment, are informational or perceived as useful for business owners and marketeers, whilst ensuring we don't get buried with lots of low-level self promo. Having the intro forum should take care of that.

I just need to take a thumb out of my bum and crack on 

My Local Services USA is refreshed 10th May 2022 11:10 AM
Good Evening Andy.C

Sorry, you feel like that @Andy-C reference to Rockstar Mortgages Post (x3), this is our first post on 'My Local Services platform, it's unfortunate the platform needs a little tweaking.”

 

It's not a problem, people like to add a self promo post, which is why I re-opened the Introduce your business forum, and moved your post there (and deleted the duplicates).

Welcome aboard

Graffiti Thai Massage 6th May 2022 5:21 PM

Welcome aboard. How lucky are you, a wife as a masseuse???

Or more likely you get told to put the kettle on because shes knackered

Well it has been on the "to do" list for a while, but we have finally refreshed our USA Directory - mylocalservices.comWith just under 2 million businesses onboard, it was time to spend some TLC and give members more functionality. 

Maybe I can tempt some USA based members onto the forum 

Meanwhile forum wise, I'm still scratching my head, talking to myself, and wondering what on earth to do with it . It gets lots of visiting traffic, helps the rest of the site ranking wise, earns a few quid from adverts,  but has little interaction as most people get their fix these days on Quora or YouTube. 

Good news is spam is minimal and takes minimal time to administer, which is a good job as I seem to be the only one available to do it.

Answers on a postcard, head-scratching continues...

Cost of living woes... 29th April 2022 2:08 PM

Nicked from Facebook

  • The economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
  • I ordered a burger at McDonald's, and the kid behind the counter asked. "Can you afford fries with that?"
  • CEO's are now playing miniature golf.
  • If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them.
  • Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than General Motors.
  • McDonald's is selling the 1/4 'ouncer'.
  • A truckload of Australians was caught sneaking into New Zealand.
  • The Mafia is laying off judges.
  • BP Oil laid off 25 politicians