Covid-19: These employees find it hard to return to the office, they say

This article is from Management magazine

“Open space has become the commercial cafe”

I have always worked in a poorly designed and noisy open space, but it has never bothered me because I have a great ability to abstract myself from my surroundings and I like to evolve in a space where there is life. But as we move to two days of mandatory teleworking, in the office it is a fair: everyone meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, to socialize, and the open space has become a kind of commercial cafe.

Management responded by providing noise-cancelling headphones which did not prove to be very effective. He also had a kind of small cabins installed in the heart of the open space so that he could isolate himself in peace. But since they don’t have a door, they quickly became what I call “CSA rooms,” referring to reality TV shows. Or places where people make their personal phone calls, laugh and share the latest gossip. And because they’re comfortable, they’ll sometimes squat for over an hour while you’re working on a project.

Elsa, 38, luxury sector project manager

“It feels like Ceausescu’s Romania”

My box owns the building where we work. Under the pretext of modernity, he decided to rent half and locate us in the remaining space. According to our leaders, with telecommuting we no longer need as much space, and employees no longer need a fixed and assigned office. Every night, therefore, we store our belongings in lockers. But it is strictly forbidden to store your PC there! So we have to charge it every day. Not only is it heavy and cumbersome, but it’s also stressful because you’re afraid you’ll forget it at the restaurant or it will be stolen.

The canteen has also been reduced with all this: we still have the same service provider but with a much smaller offer. It feels like Ceausescu’s Romania. With this new organization, I feel like I’m on the go, like an interim ready to jump in at a moment’s notice. It is not comfortable and motivating. I no longer feel part of a whole.

Enzo, 28 years old, consultant

“Acute reunionitis is rampant”

My box is a prestigious institution but it has a little problem with the new world. So with telecommuting. However, we had been assured by management that they were very happy with our performance during the lockdown and that we would now be entitled to three days of telecommuting per week. So I bought a house in Charente-Maritime, because the idea of ​​being able to escape to work in the fields with my husband and children was on my mind.

But at the beginning of September, our department heads told us that in the end we would prefer to have three or four days of mandatory attendance. And another for telecommuting… Our department heads can’t stand having their herd out of their reach. If it were only that: the acute reunion virus is wreaking havoc again (this forced presence must be justified) and the requests for complaints are incessant. It is very childish, it is as if the confinement had never existed.

Soraya, 32 years old, responsible for digital communication

“And the ironing of the shirts…”

I work for a financial auditing firm that is very concerned about our appearance. It was never cleared up, but we have to be in a suit, clean shaven, short hair and shiny shoes. The same goes for women: well-groomed hair, not too much makeup, and small heels seem to be in order. After so much time teleworking barefoot in jeans and a T-shirt (obviously I made an effort for video calls), going back to face-to-face is very difficult. I realize how much time I waste every morning, not to mention ironing shirts on Sunday nights… Our boss, who is completely nerdy, gave us a huge email announcement giving us a “dress allowance” on Friday. The boy discovers the concept of Friday wear in 2021… it gives you an idea of ​​its modernity and its openness to the world.

Olivier, 38 years old, tax advisor

“An eye of Moscow atmosphere”

The law firm I work for is stifling and very guilt inducing. We always have the impression of not doing enough, not fast enough and not good enough. The two associate bosses create an “eye of Moscow” atmosphere: we don’t even dare to go on Facebook, and I am convinced that they are the kind that install snitches on our computers and read our emails. Since the return to “normality”, I have managed to get two days of teleworking a week, a real achievement.

Of course, I don’t have the right to take Monday or Friday, but most of all, they give me unlikely Zoom meetings at 10, 2, and 7 pm, just to check that I’m working on the files and not take it easy. on the terrace. Also, I was specifically instructed not to enable the “background” option during visualizations.

Anais, 36 years old, lawyer

“Must have been tampered with by an IT intern”

The return to normality is logistical hell. My box asks us to reserve our three face-to-face days for insurance stories and space management. You know the hassle of software to ask your RTT and walk away? These are worse! In my opinion, all of this must have been cobbled together in one day by an IT intern who doesn’t know what corporate life is all about. It already takes long minutes to update (so that the day the chosen workspace is no longer available), you have to wait for a confirmation email that never arrives and you end up calling the DHR to find out if our request has been met. bill. A bust!

Half of the employees have stopped using this software. Result: there is a shortage of places because many people come every day, without declaring themselves, despite the ban. Also, some leave their computer hooked to a desk, to block their spot for the next day. It’s anarchy!

Selim, 36 years old, data analyst

“The lobby has become a Deliveroo hub”

I work in the reception of a computer group in Paris. Since the lockdown, employees have maintained the custom of having lunch delivered to the office, despite the reopening of restaurants. My colleague and I find ourselves in shifts every day having to ensure the reception of meals for about fifty people. The reception room has become a Deliveroo hub, we are overwhelmed with bags.

We spend a crazy time managing delivery people, getting them in and out, keeping bags, notifying employees, and all this in an unbearable smell of food that permeates our clothes and hair. We feel like we’ve become waitresses. We feel very discredited and it begins to be very difficult morally. Especially when some employees walk by behind our desk to rummage through the bags for their order without so much as a glance or a word.

Sophie, 33 years old, receptionist

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