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Slumming it at The Guardian

Changes to the facilities in the newspaper’s King’s Cross headquarters have also sparked controversy.

In November, the NUJ called an “urgent meeting” after bosses said hot food would no longer be served in the canteen.

The backlash forced The Guardian to rethink the plans, but staff remain angry that they will no longer be able to access free barista-made coffee.

The pain, eh? The pain.

14 thoughts on “Slumming it at The Guardian”

  1. Speaking of cvnts, over at TRUK:

    “Christmas blogging

    blogs will continue, as will moderation. I enjoy the discourse here, and it is certainly a lot more entertaining than most of the rubbish on television that so many will be watching in the days to come. If you want to call in, you will be welcome.”

    There you are then all you concentration camp guards, Stasi members, North Korean apparatchiks. It’s a festive invitation to fill yer boots and get posting!

  2. Does this imply that professor potato’s family aren’t visiting the puffed up prat for Christmas? Instead he will work on a brave new report on taxing Christmas presents.

  3. Why on earth would you do that, in King’s Cross? The last few offices I worked in, we had a couple of bean to cup machines. Made pretty good espresso and cappucino. Beyond that, you want barista coffee, you go to one of the dozens of coffee outlets within 100m of their office.

    I can’t think of a single office in town I’ve worked that had a canteen in over 20 years. Most businesses that still have them are about being in the middle of nowhere, inconvenient for staff to go out and get food or drinks.

  4. Guardian staff fear for their pets in work from home crackdown

    It was never going to be their children, was it?

    Rhiannon Lucy Corset is the only one there who still knows which genital is supposed to go where.

  5. About 15 or so years ago, I went for a contracting job at the Hraun which in those days was at Farringdon.

    I think the killer blow was when I saw the noticeboard and said to the interviewer “Oh you still have unions here. How quaint.”

  6. I don’t get this “3 days in the office” thing. Everyone is doing it. It’s like the worst of all worlds.

    The big benefit to businesses with remote work is that they can reach a wider pool of talent, Both in terms of how people live and also where they live. People who live over an hour away can work for you. But at 3 days per week, people who live over an hour away aren’t going to do it. You’re going to get exactly the same talent pool.

    And a lot of the people will come in and because they’re all doing different 3 days, you’ll get some people sitting there and none of their co-workers will be in. So, you might as well make it mandatory return to work.

    Or, treat workers like responsible adults and let them decide when it will be productive for them to come in and measure output accordingly.

  7. It’s usually not three different days. My daughter has to go in Tuesday and Wednesday plus one optional day.

    She much prefers it to 100% work at home, but likes the flexibility of some days choice

    Online meetings are a hot mess, as the less involved merely chill out. Productivity has risen with the hybrid system.

  8. @WB

    Provided you spread the days in the office around between staff, it does let you get away with smaller premises than if you have everyone in at once. And the talent pool is a bit wider, in that you now reach people who’d be prepared to do 2 or 3 days in the office but not all 5. You even get a bit of extra geographical reach – there are some trips you’d be prepared to do a few times per week but not every day.

    I agree on the whole with your point: this kind of hybrid working comes has a “worst of both worlds” problem. I wouldn’t say it’s totally indefensible, at least the picture you paint is a bit too bleak and I do know people who prefer working this way and are going to include it as a criterion in future job searches. But I’m struggling to see which contexts it would make sense from the business point of view. In the long run, if you can make the work hybrid you can usually make it fully remote, and once that’s the case the UK may not even be the logical place to get your workers from.

  9. Anon,

    “I agree on the whole with your point: this kind of hybrid working comes has a “worst of both worlds” problem. I wouldn’t say it’s totally indefensible, at least the picture you paint is a bit too bleak and I do know people who prefer working this way and are going to include it as a criterion in future job searches. But I’m struggling to see which contexts it would make sense from the business point of view. In the long run, if you can make the work hybrid you can usually make it fully remote, and once that’s the case the UK may not even be the logical place to get your workers from.”

    I’m not against people wanting to go into the office if that’s how they like it. Personally, I quite like doing 1 day per week or fortnight just to keep some connection. It’s more a thing about it being a blanket rule rather than it being based on need. Like I have one client who doesn’t care where I work, or when I work, just that I have a 4pm meeting with him every working day on progress and that I get the shit done.

  10. Yeah, to clarify, by “this kind of hybrid working” I meant the compulsory 2 or 3 days/week type. Letting people come in more flexibly I can more easily see the point of. The office space implications of the 2-3 days in-office model are still going to be significant compared to either “work mostly from home” or “work mostly in office” so I guess it’ll be a few years before it all settles down, as more employers have to make long-term decisions about their premises.

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