Working from home

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Communist
Working from home
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I keep reading these articles on the Guardian and other bleating liberal publications complaining about how office workers aren't being listened to in their desire to work from home - is this desire really as unanimous as they seem to think it is, or is it only amongst those who think of themselves as high-powered career people as opposed to wage-workers? (FWIW, I don't believe such a distinction exists in reality)

My company decided to put us working from home in early March. We thought we'd all be back in the office by July. Most of my colleagues, including myself, were really looking forward to going back and socialising and feeling like work was a collective effort once again. For months, we were strung along, told we'd be going back soon, before it was eventually announced that the office would be closed permanently and a raft of job cuts would accompany this. 

Many of us were highly annoyed at this. And yet, no meaningful discussion of how to resist this ever occured. Everyone just kept their head down for fear of being implicated in the cuts. Is this the future, all of us, just atomised, following our own little 'career', no solidarity, no workplace banter, nothing...

Just online work, online shopping, Netflix, miserable TV news and fear of germs.

It's bloody shit!

jk1921
So, working from home isn't

So, working from home isn't necessarily the privilege the media would have us believe?

Communist
jk1921 wrote:

jk1921 wrote:

So, working from home isn't necessarily the privilege the media would have us believe?

Well yes, and no. Most of my working life up until this year I'd been doing various jobs in warehouses and other hands-on type stuff, so if I'm honest, that version of me would probably tell this version of me to quit whining! In all seriousness though, I think it will potentially have some very negative implications in terms of class consciousness, solidarity etc, which even to me as a communist, are starting to feel like quaint notions of yesteryear. This whole coronavirus and accompanying economic fall out has accelerated the process of atomisation and alienation which exists in society today. That's what I think anyway.

What is your opinion?

Communist
jk1921 wrote:

jk1921 wrote:

So, working from home isn't necessarily the privilege the media would have us believe?

Well yes, and no. Most of my working life up until this year I'd been doing various jobs in warehouses and other hands-on type stuff, so if I'm honest, that version of me would probably tell this version of me to quit whining! In all seriousness though, I think it will potentially have some very negative implications in terms of class consciousness, solidarity etc, which even to me as a communist, are starting to feel like quaint notions of yesteryear. This whole coronavirus and accompanying economic fall out has accelerated the process of atomisation and alienation which exists in society today. That's what I think anyway.

What is your opinion?

jk1921
Communist wrote:

Communist wrote:

 

jk1921 wrote:

So, working from home isn't necessarily the privilege the media would have us believe?

 

Well yes, and no. Most of my working life up until this year I'd been doing various jobs in warehouses and other hands-on type stuff, so if I'm honest, that version of me would probably tell this version of me to quit whining! In all seriousness though, I think it will potentially have some very negative implications in terms of class consciousness, solidarity etc, which even to me as a communist, are starting to feel like quaint notions of yesteryear. This whole coronavirus and accompanying economic fall out has accelerated the process of atomisation and alienation which exists in society today. That's what I think anyway.

What is your opinion?

On the one hand, it feels like privilege not to have to risk exposure to the virus as often, but on the other being isolated at home is very depressing, not to mention stressful in that you have to bring the work environment into your home. There are reports of how employers are using the work at home option to increase hours, but also surveillance of employees through various online monitoring technology. The issues you raise about the effects on consciousness and solidarity are real I think, although we have seen some sectors of the class agitate for more telecommuting options in the context of the pandemic (teachers, etc.), even as many parents have said that online learning doesn't work very well, especially when everyone in the home has to compete for bandwidth.

There are very real questions opened up by this pandemic about how to balance risk and safety, while maintaining some semblance of sociality. Its one thing if these measures are temporary (flatten the curve to keep the hospitals from being over run), another when it is intimated that they may be indefinite (until we get a vaccine, but when will that be?) or even permanent if no effective vaccine is found. However, this has all proven very contentious and it is not clear what the communist voice on these questions would even say.

Tagore2
According to Spanish and

According to Spanish and Italian studies, confined workers were more contaminated than non-confined workers. it's counter-intuitive but it's the simple reality of the numbers.

Regarding teleworking, its development is quite inevitable, because its cost is often lower (reduction of incidental costs related to transport), and it promotes international competition (a telework employee can usually work from anywhere in the world). Probably, we need to help organize teleworkers.

I myself am a teleworker, and it's true that it's a very lonely professional life.

KT
Isolation exploitation

Communist wrote: "This whole coronavirus and accompanying economic fall out has accelerated the process of atomisation and alienation which exists in society today. That's what I think anyway." I agree. Think the ICC agrees.

I have three children all working from their homes. Of course, they are fortunate to have rooves over their heads and an income stream (work).  But, for two of them (their partners also now work from home), space is an issue, a conflict. And for all, the work starts in bed, from the laptop, with the first email. There is no longer a 'working day'. Or an end to it. Nor the 'weekend'. This is exacerbated by the global nature of communcation and business: up early for China, later for the US; stay  awake for South America (or is it the other way around? Whatever). You don't like it? Plenty more to take your place.
It's a real issue, the productivity extruded and the isolation imposed.