Work from home

Is the rest of the world still working from home?

Scout’s honour Thousands of teenagers were evacuated from the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea as flooding, a heatwave and then the threat of a typhoon affected the event. What exactly is a ‘jamboree’? – Lord Baden-Powell adopted the word for the first gathering of scouts at Kensington Olympia in 1920. But the word itself can be traced back to the mid-19th-century American West, when it was used for a drunken revel – presumably not what Baden-Powell nor subsequent heads of the scouting movement would encourage. – The first documentary evidence for use of the word is in the report of a murder trial in the New York Herald in

James Dyson is right to urge us back to the office

I have almost no clue what office life is like. And I really mean ‘almost no clue’. Over several decades of professional work, my entire experience of office life consists of four hours working as a receptionist at a shipbroker’s in the City. I was so bad they sacked me by lunchtime: I didn’t even make it through the first day.  Chastened by this trauma, I thereafter vowed I would never do another hour of paid work in an ‘office’, and I have stuck to my principles. I have never been woken by a horrible alarm at 7am; instead, for all my life, I have heroically kept on sleeping until

Does ‘Johnson’s law’ explain why people won’t work from home?

Even after the one metre rule and the limits on numbers are removed on July 19th, we will not be back to anything approaching normal life. From self-isolation to travel we will not be returning to the status quo ante. Another way in which life will be different, as I say in the Times today, is that offices will still be nowhere near as busy as they were before the pandemic. Ministers will end the work-from-home guidance next month. But there’ll be no national ‘back to the office’ day. It will be left to employers to decide how much they want to push the issue. Most ministers think people won’t

When will Boris urge workers to return to the office?

One of the big post-Covid unknowns is whether people will return to big city centre offices or not. As I write in the Times today, the truth is that no one in government can be quite sure of what is going to happen. The Government does have some levers it can pull if it wants to nudge people back to their desks. At present it is instructing people to work from home, advice that’s not due to be reviewed before 21 June. There is also the question of social distancing. If the one-metre rule remains in place after 21 June, it will restrict how many staff any business can accommodate.

Boris Johnson changes ‘work from home’ advice

Has government policy on going back to work just shifted? Today at his “People’s PMQs”, the Prime Minister was asked about support for universities and the social distancing measures that will be needed to make it safe for students and faculty to return. But Boris Johnson applied his response further than the university sector, turning the formal guidance – ‘working from home where possible‘ – on its head: ‘I want people to go back to work as carefully as possible – it’s very important that people should be going back to work if they can, now. I think everybody’s taken the ‘stay at home if you can’. I think now we should