I’m old fashioned and grumpy.
This, I accept.
Having said that, I don’t have a problem with change when it is logical, helpful to the company, if the alleged benefits make it worthwhile and if it has been fully explained to those caught up in the process.
What I don’t like is if change is introduced because it is trendy, the latest thing that every company should adopt because everyone else is doing it even if it isn’t necessarily the right thing and doesn’t consider the needs, wider or otherwise of those caught up in the process.
I am talking about hot-desking or “non-reservation-based hoteling” as I have seen it described.
The building I am in now has adopted this way of working, as they want to promote a flexible working environment which means you are free to sit anywhere within your team zone. Fine, not a problem, but we are creatures of habit and every day, my colleagues will sit at the same desk if they are in the office in time to claim it (never a problem for me because I’m at work before God wakes up, so I always bag the best seat).
Which brings me to the next issue I have with this.
I get that if you have the space, it makes sense to provide somewhere for visitors coming to London for a meeting or training session and who want to check their emails etc. These points only have a power socket and a USB port, and as no one has a desk top computer anymore, you can go to any point, plug-in and play.
What I don’t agree with, is that if you can’t get a desk within your zone, or any other zone, (if you arrive after 9:30, you can sit anywhere if yours is full and there is space) you are then forced to sit at one of these free areas and trust me, the majority of us have to work with at least two different systems simultaneously and look at bloody large spreadsheets, not easy on a laptop and imagine how your eyes, neck and shoulders feel after being hunched over for a few hours! Yes, I know one should get up, take a break, move around etc. etc. but we all know the opposite is true and you forget to do this.
And another thing…
It’s all very well for the company to bleat on about wanting a more flexible work attitude, move around the space, sit in a different chair every day and chat to someone you don’t really know, and please feel free to work from home, blah blah blah.
The vast majority of us are only based at HQ, our jobs are not mobile, and travel is not required. We get to spend time at the start and end of every day walking to and from our lockers to set up and break down our desks (which includes the morning ritual of farting about with the chair height, tilt etc.) because we are not allowed to personalise them in any way. And lets not get started at how some people are thoughtless and leave their crap from the day before for you to clear up and can you be sure they washed their hands after going to the toilet? I don’t want to have to spend time each day disinfecting my keyboard and telephone from the previous occupant!
This also doesn’t take into consideration those who have health/mobility requirements and need to have a fixed desk. I brought my chair over with me from my old office and I have a big sign on the back asking that you don’t change the height etc. as it is set it to suit my bad back.
As for working at home, pfft! I’m not disciplined enough to bother, and I would rather dust! When I am not in the office, feel free to sit where I sit and including your laptop, you’ll have three monitors to play around with. You can even use my chair, just don’t adjust it.
Why can’t those of us who are based solely at HQ have dedicated desks? I’ll tell you; because YOU, the company, choose to live in one of the most eye watering expensive parts of London when instead you could have taken one of the buildings we own outright and made that our HQ and you are too tight to pay for enough sodding floor space/desks for all the daily derrières.
But as I said at the beginning, I’m old fashioned and certainly grumpy.