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News and Comment March 2020

Index: 2020

18 March (Part 2) - Hot desk high risk

I don’t know many people of working age but those who can are working from home. An accountant, an HR manager, a BBC journalist and a veterinary surgeon who assesses pet insurance claims are all successfully bashing home keyboards but the school secretary and the laboratory technician at a private school are not so lucky.

The physical training instructor is soon going to find herself out of work but not the doctor in a hospital, Transferred from poking cameras where the sun don’t shine to Corona critical duties.

My son in his home office thought he would be relatively immune from the crisis but meetings in Sweden and Belgium were replaced by conference calls which he says were not a satisfactory substitute.

His work on autonomous vehicles in London is on hold because there is no longer enough traffic on the road to make for realistic testing conditions.

Almost everyone will be facing problems and in some cases facing the unknown and God help those in the hospitality industry.

I worked my entire life in offices although I was fortunately not glued to my desk all the time and looking back I don’t see how I could have got much work done if forced to work at home, but at least I had a desk of my own with none of this ‘hot desking’ business.

Hot desking must be a sure way of spreading COVID-19 and where do they specialise in hot desking? Bexley’s flashy Civic Offices. Not such a good idea now is it? The staff are put at additional and unnecessary risk. One worried employee found time to dash off this quick note…

Whilst people are advised to stay at home by Prime Minister Johnson, Chief Executive Jackie Belton isn’t doing the same.

For a number of days she has been procrastinating about what to do and while sitting in a clean office like her fellow Directors staff share desks as part of flexible working. Or should that be risk working?

No one has heard about the emergency plans so staff are risking their lives and those of their families as no one in a leadership role can lead. She told us yesterday she was discussing things. Staff like myself are asking how long do you need to take. It’s a crisis. Worst case is 500,000 die. Act! You are being paid enough.

Could you please post? Staff are rightly worried. If shops are closing why can’t staff work from home?

Whilst I do not consider myself to be at especially great risk I am behaving as far as possible as if I am infected already in order to protect the vulnerable people around me. Yesterday I came in contact with no one. Today I drove to B&Q to buy what passes for creosote these days. I may as well spend some time attending to a badly faded fence.

Plenty of jobs at Bexley Council must be suitable for home working and maybe that would free up enough space to get rid of germ ridden hot desking. This pesky little virus must absolutely love that system.

Meanwhlle very expensive managers dilly dally and lives are put at risk.



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