Work from home? They’ll cut your pay!

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Businesses are still trying to find ways to make workers pay. Curtis Daly calls for a new way of working.

Video transcript

Working from home? Maybe you’re getting paid too much. I think we’ll cut it. 

Seems fair? 

Well, Whitehall officials have had ‘high level talks’ discussing scrapping a wage top up for civil servants if they refuse to work in the office. 

Predictably, this debate managed to find it’s way to all workers…

Mike Parry (Yeah, I don’t know who he is either) was arguing for a wage cut on Jeremy Vine. 

Read on...

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Jeremy Vine: “Cut the pay of people working from home… you obviously don’t think you can”

Mike Parry: “I think you should”

“You think you should?”

“Yes, I do, because if you’re making yourself available for work, and somebody’s an employer whether it’s the government or it’s a commercial operation, you sign up for them, you make yourself available for work, and then your employer tells you where you work to best utilize your skills and your talents.”

“If I go into an office I might have half an idea, and I sit down with somebody, you know, in a morning editorial meeting or something, and somebody else has got a quarter of an idea, and somebody else has half an idea, and we put them together and we got an idea.”

Sorry, did he just say that people come up with a quarter of an idea…

There’s another word for that, it’s called an idea. 

I get his point about mental health, that being at home all of the time with no human interaction is not good.

But what’s also not good is forcing people into the office and spending time and money on commuting, forcing many to pay for expensive child care. You think that would be good for people’s mental well being?

Although, maybe Mike is entirely correct, since this is what he does at home…. 

“Count you down, 3…2…1..”

**Cough and choking**

Rentier Capitalism is the driving force behind pushing people back to work. There is a financial incentive to keep offices open; a profit is to be made.

Does anyone actually enjoy the office? A place where you’re monitored constantly, in tiny, crammed spaces.

Surprisingly, it seems working from home has had a positive impact when it comes to productivity as it seems it has increased. 

“When employers  (directors, senior executives or business owners) were asked what unexpected benefits had been provided by working from home, 30 per cent reported that their teams have been more productive, while 35 per cent said they had been more collaborative.” 

Talk Talk chief executive Tristia Harrison, suggested that their productivity levels are so high, that they can achieve a week’s worth of work in four days.  

Allowing people to choose to work from home, even on a part-time basis, has a positive impact on society. Whether it’s less crammed buses, trams, or trains, to less pollution. 

I can talk more about the benefits to the economy, or the benefits for the business… but I won’t. 

Why? 

Because we need to stop seeing this as a myopic through the eyes of those who own capital or those in power. What we should be seeing this through – the point of the view of the worker.

Maybe we should strive for happier workers. I know – such a controversial idea! 

People should be given the flexibility and the option to work from home, not because it’s good for productivity, but because it’s good for employees. 

It seems the political narrative is still beholden to Thatcherism, that we are not making the moral argument, but one of economics and business. 

The reality is, wages are rubbish, and bossman at the top is richer than ever. Austerity has caused 120,000 unnecessary deaths. Covid has ravaged society, and this government’s negligence has allowed 130,000 people to die. 

We need to be looking at a new relationship to work – one of a better work life balance – and the use of technology at our disposal to do that.   

The counter proposal should be:

Work hours included in the commute time: employers should be paying for the workers to get to work.

A four day week with no loss of pay. It’s time we had more leisure time.

Finally, the minimum wage needs to be a living wage. There is absolutely no excuse for people working full time in poverty. We can stop that.

Our rights are being stripped away, and the next great idea is to cut wages? Don’t you think we should finally call time on making people’s lives worse?

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  • Show Comments
    1. Basically it boils down to the nature of the work, but rather a lot of people have yet to work that out. For years I worked partially from home, partially on location and partially in the offiv=ce, it all depended on what my tasks were. And that included being self employed. Most employers welcome reducing the need for expensive office space.As for “Whitehall officials have had ‘high level talks’ , that was on the instructions of Cabinet ministers and refers specifically to London weightings. i.e. if you don’t live in London you don’t need subsidised accommodation. Whilst I agree with the general arguments you made, basing them on subsidised living wasn’t a good starting point.

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