Gransnet forums

News & politics

AIBU in thinking they should get back to work?

(151 Posts)
Sarnia Thu 14-Oct-21 09:51:38

The DVLA who have a monumental backlog, currently have 3,500 of their 6,000 workforce still working from home. A new strike is being called for because those reluctant to go back to work feel threatened by Covid. I appreciate the virus is still here but the country seems to be coping with it pretty well at the moment and life is gradually getting back to normal. Amongst those 3,500 at home there will likely be some with health issues but I suspect the vast majority can reasonably be expected to go back into their offices now. Going on strike with the winter and Christmas coming up is wrong to me. We are already experiencing empty shelves and queueing for essentials. Striking will just bring more misery.

Galaxy Thu 14-Oct-21 09:56:59

Why are people obsessed with other people going back to the office. I dont really understand what's going on with the DVLA at the moment. I applied for a provisional licence last week and received it within 4 days yet other types of licence are taking months. It might be worth asking why that is and if it is linked to hone working.

Smileless2012 Thu 14-Oct-21 09:58:19

No, I don't think you're being unreasonable. I know a couple of people who need to renew their driving licence, and despite beginning the process in good time, are still waiting and very concerned about not being able to drive if the one they have expires, before the new one is received.

Taking strike action is just going to exacerbate the situation and what I don't understand is, if they're working from home, why is there such a huge backlog when so much is done on line anywayconfused.

Casdon Thu 14-Oct-21 10:02:01

There’s a government policy in Wales for office based staff to continue to work from home where possible to reduce the spread of covid. Staff management systems need to be improved to ensure that staff work as productively at home as they do whilst in the office, because there’s no reason why productivity should fall just because staff who are working on IT systems all day aren’t physically in the office.

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 14-Oct-21 10:04:37

I’ve just remembered that OH is 70 in January so will have to reapply for his license. I suppose he had better get on with it!

MaizieD Thu 14-Oct-21 10:13:40

You are BU.

But, as Casdon points out, Wales actually retains some sanity in regard to its handling of covid.

When I upgraded my licence this summer there was a notice n the DVLA website that said that it could take 6 - 10 weeks. So I expected a delay. I had rather be personally inconvenienced than have people forced back into offices to be a greater risk of catching covid.

Isn't there some sort of leeway allowed for the fact that licences could be delayed. Like the leeway allowed on MOT tests last year?

lemongrove Thu 14-Oct-21 10:27:27

You are completely reasonable Sarnia and there are so many of the aspects of the job that can’t be done at home, so unless staff have health issues then time to return to the office.

Casdon Thu 14-Oct-21 11:06:06

What exactly can’t be done at home in this job lemongrove?

Sarnia Thu 14-Oct-21 11:07:14


Why are people obsessed with other people going back to the office. I dont really understand what's going on with the DVLA at the moment. I applied for a provisional licence last week and received it within 4 days yet other types of licence are taking months. It might be worth asking why that is and if it is linked to hone working.

In reply Galaxy the article this morning said that homeworkers cannot access all their work at home. Not sure if that would be linked to confidentiality.

Galaxy Thu 14-Oct-21 11:43:42

I am dealing with highly confidential information relating to children at home there are numerous ways of ensuring this is safe. I am just wondering what the issues actually are, and why it's different for different licenses.

JenniferEccles Thu 14-Oct-21 11:46:57

If working from home is just as efficient as being in the office, why is it that there is an unprecedented backlog at the DVLA?

It’s not just the DVLA either is it?
How many of us have endured frustrating delays phoning various companies because so many staff are ‘working’ from home?

If it’s just as efficient as being in the office there should be no delays, or at least no more than there might have been pre-pandemic.

I see the government is now strongly urging GPs to return to the surgery, and actually SEE their patients. Fingers crossed.

GillT57 Thu 14-Oct-21 11:55:34

Why are people so obsessed with getting other people back into the office? 3 of my 4 adult children work from home, very efficiently, and actually doing more hours than they would if they were in an office, plus saving the commuting time. There obviously is something else causing the hold ups, probably understaffed like every other public body I would guess.

AGAA4 Thu 14-Oct-21 12:10:15

The organisation my son works for has found that th y have been more productive with home working. A lot of time is lost commuting which is now being spent working. Also sickness levels have reduced.

FarNorth Thu 14-Oct-21 12:22:09

Understaffed & inadequate computer systems would be my guess at why there are so many delays.

ayse Thu 14-Oct-21 12:28:54

The trouble is we have little idea of the issues involved!

Listening to LBC the other day the TU representative said at the DVLA members of staff have to ‘hot desk and there are not enough desks for everyone. If anyone here has ever had to hot desk you will know that this can cause difficulties. The first thing you have to do is to find a free desk. Another issue is the management of Health and Safety. Not the usual problems but those associated with Covid. Members of staff do not feel safe and protected. I’m not aware of other issues but there may be more.

Having been a civil servant for 15 years I’m very aware that the computer programmes used can be very inconsistent and often fail to function.

My DDs were lucky to be able to work from home during lockdown. They were both doing crazy hours and seemed to work harder than at work. One of them pointed out there was no one to chat to in the tea room at home. Both DDs work with sensitive data and their laptops are provided by their organisations.

The problems at the DVLA are very like previous problems when we don’t hear both sides of the dispute!

I do sympathise with those who can’t get their licences sorted out and hope it’s resolved shortly.

ayse Thu 14-Oct-21 12:31:06


ayse Thu 14-Oct-21 12:32:02

Far North

The thumbs up are for you. The quote copy didn’t work. ?

MaizieD Thu 14-Oct-21 12:43:29


Understaffed & inadequate computer systems would be my guess at why there are so many delays.

Didn't they have a lot of staff off sick with covid? And the 'pingdemic'?

Herd them all back into the office and it'll happen all over again.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 12:48:31

The mood music by this ragbag of a government does not match that from business.

Both mine C work from home, have done since Mch 20.

Both working effectively. Saving on carbon emissions and time.

Dinosaurs are so living in the past.

Oldwoman70 Thu 14-Oct-21 12:48:39

I have no problem with people working from home - as long as they are working!

I wonder if the problems are down to slower internet connections - the more people using the internet in an area of poor internet connectivity will cause it to slow down and even drop out. Most offices are centrally located in towns and cities where the internet connection is strongest and therefore more reliable.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 12:59:55

No business would be content for their staff to work from home if they thought that they were not working.

But the opposite appears to be the case. People are in fact working over and above, because for one thing they don’t have the evening commute in front of them. The temptation to just finish a report or reading etc is always there.

JenniferEccles Thu 14-Oct-21 13:19:29

But what about the adverse effects on town centres now offices aren’t full of potential customers for the shops cafes and restaurants in the area?
Isn’t there a real risk that our town centres will become ghost towns with more and more businesses struggling to survive with fewer customers?

Then there’s the social aspect for workers. Yes they don’t have the daily commute, but permanently working from home could be a very lonely existence for some, especially those who live alone.

I realise things probably won’t go back to how they were pre pandemic but I do feel more people should be encouraged to return.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 14-Oct-21 13:22:34

It’s all well and good working from home if you have a dedicated space/office with an appropriate chair and desk along with peace and quiet.

A different scenario is a young couple with under school age child/children maybe a one/two bedroom inner city flat, no outside space. One working from home, maybe in the bedroom or on their lap in the living room. What is the other parent meant to do with regards the child/children whilst their partner is working?

Imagine the stress especially going into winter, is the non-working partner meant to walk the streets with the child/children in all weathers in order for their partner to have the space both physically and mentally to be able to work?

Working from home is all fine and dandy for some, they are saving money at the same time as saving commuting time. It is not ideal or even practical for all.

growstuff Thu 14-Oct-21 13:29:42

No, it isn't ideal or practical for some, but why not give workers the choice? That's what my daughter's organisation is doing - about 10% prefer to work in the office. They've been told that nobody will be forced to return to the office until at least the New Year. There are currently negotiations ongoing, so it's likely there will be some form of flexi-working even after the pandemic is effectively over.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 13:30:16

My DDs contract/project was only awarded on the proviso she worked from home.

She in turn partners someone in Argentina who also works from home.

They are very well paid professionals.

It is the way business is progressing. It is a global economy. It doesn’t matter where people sit, and global business is not concerned about such parochial things like the high street etc.

Things are changing and just like it has done in the past business must adapt.