New working norms

How should the workplace evolve to suit your needs as the economy recovers?

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish Government has committed to engaging with the public and is interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

by ScottishGovernment on October 05, 2020 at 08:56AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 7 votes


  • Posted by Marion99 October 05, 2020 at 20:44

    I've been working from home since March and I'd love my employer to take seriously the idea of changing my position to home-based so that I could move out of the central belt permanently but stay in my job. I will never be able to afford to buy in Edinburgh, and I don't particularly want to, but I'm trapped here by a job that we now know I can do from anywhere with an internet connection.

    Noone in my six person team wants to work from the office ever again but my employer is deadset on cramming all 300 of its employees back back into one and a half floors as quickly as possible.

    Can we provide incentives to employers who actively enable WFH for previous home-based staff?
  • Posted by WKD234 October 05, 2020 at 21:02

    There should be much more working from home where possible. This would have positive impacts on environment reducing the need for travel. Needs to be more standardised as policies vary across businesses even in public sector.
  • Posted by HappyPumpkin81 October 05, 2020 at 21:21

    Ongoing support for employees who want to work from home.
  • Posted by Elfie October 05, 2020 at 22:34

    Recent graduates/apprentices/other people in the early stages of their careers need to be given particular thought. Home working may be working well, and even welcomed, for those in established careers, but this prospect provokes huge anxiety in several young people I know. The mentoring and support of those in early careers should be a top priority.
  • Posted by OliverGoodfellow October 06, 2020 at 09:15

    Agree. Follow the model proposed in Germany, making it a legal right to work from home where possible.
  • Posted by rmk October 06, 2020 at 10:35

    Continue working from home where possible and where the employee chooses it. Numerous advantages such as reduced pollution, more family time and in our experience people have actually been more productive as a whole working from home.

    Offices should still be available for those who prefer that environment, but I envisage big changes in these spaces, there is no reason to cram hundred into a building just so they can all sit at desks. Make these more flexible spaces, people will need to meet for work or to work together on projects at times which are better in person than remote, but "going into the office" should become based on a need or desire to do so to actually achieve something specific, not a default position for a daily commute.

    Other European countries have introduced legislation which effectively gives employees the legal right to work from home where possible, and I'd support similar introduction here accompanies by incentives to business owners to encourage home working.

    The "office" is a natural evolution of a factory, offices used to be colocated with factories or other production facilities, then we moved into more service-focussed industries but the concept of "going to work" was entrenched deeply in our culture that it continued and for a while this was necessary, offices had computers (homes did not), offices had switchboards and many telephone lines, spaces were needed to collaborate. These days almost everyone has the capabilities of most modern offices in their home, remote collaboration has made the traditional office obsolete for most day-to-day activities.

    We will still need collaborative spaces to work, that's a given, but there's potential to redefine a typical "office job" for the better.
  • Posted by APragmatist October 10, 2020 at 16:31

    I do not agree that working from home should become the default . I have continued to work from my NHS office throughout the pandemic. Let's remember that working from home is not suitable for public facing work which requires confidentiality.
  • Posted by gwenny33 October 10, 2020 at 17:02

    working from home should be made default for industry and companies who do not need public interactions while still having the options to go to the office for people who are just starting or prefere working in an office environment.
    This would help the environment, families and also disabled people who will be able to enter the workforce ( no need to worry about building access, health and safety).
  • Posted by Sharontest1 October 11, 2020 at 14:07

    Offices should be allowed to open in a safe way, much like cafes etc are should they wish. There is no alcohol involved that could cause issues with people sticking to physical distancing, and spaces can be controlled. In terms of public transport, we should be pushing cycling initiatives in congested areas anyway irrespective of COVID-19 for environmental issues. Much like going to a cafe and having a chat with a friend may be a release in isolation for some people, a work environment where you can freely communicate with one another can be for others. If employees are uncomfortable working from an office, of course that’s a consideration, and employers should rethink - but in actuality there are lots that want to get in and more involved. Zoom and other online communication tools do not adequately replace human connection. When you have young people being on boarded to a company it also takes away that experience of welcoming, the initiation they deserve and team spirit. In terms of management of teams, this can also be a difficulty and don’t forget people in offices are paying rates to the government which I imagine is important at this time, and typically rent to landlords - who would then need to replace their income. Why should they be punished when other industries can open in a safe way? It should be completely down to the employer/employees
  • Posted by Erifit10 October 11, 2020 at 14:30

    Offices are important for creating a supportive working culture and for anyone starting out in their career or living alone it is incredibly isolating to work from home all the time. A working pattern of 3 days wfh/2 days in office or something similar would still reduce dependence on public transport but allow city centre economies to recover and enable staff to interact face to face and rebuild the social support networks within the office
  • Posted by mofirth October 11, 2020 at 15:29

    Home working were feasible as part of a mixed weekly model. Face coverings to be worn at work
  • Posted by Alasdair_Deasbad October 11, 2020 at 18:53

    Remote/home working should become standard practice wherever possible going forward and the right to work at home should be enshrined in legislation as other countries, such as Germany, are now doing. The pandemic has demonstrated that many jobs can be easily performed with this style of working using the modern communications technology and platforms we have all now become so familiar with.

    Remote/home working has many well documented benefits for both the employee and employer such as promoting a healthier work/life balance, increased efficiency and a heightened sense of commitment and loyalty among a workforce. There are also many wider societal benefits. For example, increased levels of remote/home working would help hugely with challenges such as reducing traffic congestion and meeting climate change related emissions targets due to the concomitant reduction in private car commuting. It would also allow people not to be tied to residing in particular locations just because they need to be within commuting distance of an office. This in turn could encourage repopulation of rural localities which currently struggle to maintain populations of working age people.

    It would be a hugely regressive step if we just went back to outdated and archaic models of traditional office based working after the experiences of this year. We should embrace the modern and progressive remote/home working approaches which - although we have been forced to adopt them for unusual reasons - have been shown to work so well for many employees.

  • Posted by ScottishLady1 October 11, 2020 at 18:55

    Offices should begin planning to return. Humans need contact and we already have a mental health issue in Scotland. People need to see people. Working from home isolates us. Plus, it will have a seriously detrimental impact on the economy.
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