We, as in our office (which is in a separate location from the “head office”), got an update on the policies regarding telecommuting during this health crisis, scare, whatever you wanna call it.
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, telecommuting policy said that we could telecommute up to 40% of a work week (two days) and that could only be done on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I have talked about before how my job could literally be done from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, so 40% for my office is a ridiculous restriction.
Now, with COVID-19 being a thing and recommendations from every level of government (techinically I am a public employee) stating that employees should stay home and telecommute if feasible (again, it is totally feasible for my office) the “head boss” has issued new permissions for telecommuting.
Yesterday’s email said, in effect, “we are allowing telecommuting on Mondays and Fridays now, but we are still limiting overall permission to 40% of the work week, per board policy.” In other words, we are still required to go into our office three days a week! So, if I may paraphrase…policy over people. I gotta say, that right right there is some crappy ass leadership.
I have said it before and I will maintain that I am not an alarmist by any means. I am going about my daily life normally. I went out to eat last night and supported a local business near my home.
This issue I have here is that a public institution is going against the recommendations of the government, the one that funds it, and demanding adherence to a policy which they clearly have been given the green light to alter in this extraordinary time. There is no expectation by me or my colleagues that the alteration would adjust regular practice in the future (though we would like to see that). We just want acknowledgement that our government agency is recognizing the recommendations of the government and that isn’t happening.
I am in the office today. Nearly all of us are. But none of us are happy about it.