Open Plan Office

Is working from home really voluntary?

*Update 21.09.2022 links to assistance for those facing financial difficulties  added [6]* *Update 09.09.2022: the colleague who requested reimbursement of the teleworking-related internet and phone costs  during COVID-19  has lost case T-486/21, see judgment (07.07.2022).*

There’s a disconnect between the image presented in the working time and hybrid working (WTHW) decision and the reality for Commission staff in terms of choice of work location and working-from-home (WFH) costs.  First on choice, the WTHW states that WFH/teleworking is voluntary (Article 9(3)) while the Commission simultaneously pursues a building policy of reducing overall office space and open-plan/hot-desking environments. Would there really be a desk for everyone if all Commission staff chose to work from the office at the same time? Continue reading Is working from home really voluntary?

It’s only for 2 days a week! hot-desking and buildings: lunchtime conference

*update 09.03.2022 15th edition of the teleworking guidelines the 2 days of presence in the office is pro rata for part-time staff (see footnote 3 in the guidelines) So, if you work 50% then you are required to be in the office 1 day per week only.*

*update 22.02.2022: colleagues are changing DG in order to avoid open space/hot-desking. Is this you? Get in touch, we’d like to hear from you!* Continue reading It’s only for 2 days a week! hot-desking and buildings: lunchtime conference

The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 28.10.2021

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*This FAQ replaces the 11.10.2021 version*

28.10.2021 we had one more social dialogue meeting on the latest working time and hybrid working rules. HR stated that this is the last meeting on this topic. As before, there are many questions still outstanding on how this ‘new normal’ Continue reading The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 28.10.2021

The ONE: is this the future of the European civil service?

*update 22.02.2022: we’re hearing that colleagues are changing DG in order to avoid open space/hot-desking. Is this you? Get in touch, we’d like to hear from you!*

No assigned desk and a cold pasta Bolognese from the vending machine: is this the future of the European civil service? If you want a glimpse of the latest building being showcased as the future the administration is designing for the EU civil service, come with us and visit ‘The ONE’, aka L107. This, the future workplace of some 1700 Commission staff from next year, comes not long after the dynamic open spaces set up in DG BUDG, DG TRADE, and is soon to be followed by the new Publications Office (OP) (POST-Mercier) and the Jean Monnet 2 (JMO2). Continue reading The ONE: is this the future of the European civil service?

The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 11.10.2021

*This FAQs is superseded by 28.10.2021 version*

We had the second of a proposed two social dialogue meetings on the implementation of working time and hybrid working yesterday (Monday 11.10.2021). HR agreed to a third meeting: there are many questions still outstanding Continue reading The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 11.10.2021

Hot-desking: do not mistake the finger for the Moon!

*update 22.02.2022: we’re hearing that colleagues are changing DG in order to avoid open space/hot-desking. Is this you? Get in touch, we’d like to hear from you!*

In the COVID information meeting of 30 April 2021, the Director of Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels (OIB), Mr Marc Becquet, accused trade unions and staff associations (OSPs) of spreading fear and discontent among staff by sending too many messages and tracts on hot-desking and workplace arrangements. Continue reading Hot-desking: do not mistake the finger for the Moon!

New teleworking scheme: longer working days and more micromanagement?

During our 13 months of compulsory 100% teleworking for almost all of us, Generation 2004 has submitted to DG HR countless requests to start a dialogue on the conditions under which staff were and are expected to work from home – both in the current force majeure global-pandemic situation and when staff are able to go back to the office. DG HR finally reached out to the trade unions and staff associations (OSPs) for a social dialogue meeting focusing on teleworking (16 April) which we very much hope to be the first of many such meetings. Continue reading New teleworking scheme: longer working days and more micromanagement?

Latest on COVID: vaccines a little behind initial estimates

Commissioner Hahn said in his video message (16.3.2021) that ‘we are all impatient to be free again’. At this stage, please allow me to modify his message and stress that ‘we are all impatient to be finally vaccinated’ (at least most of us). After 1 year of teleworking at home we are all fed up with this situation and cannot wait to resume a normal life. While entering the third wave, we are facing yet another lockdown. As most countries begin to tighten the restrictions, the vision of going to visit our loved ones over the Easter period seems to be vanishing. The pressure is high, our workload has increased, some of us at the brink of burnout, digital overload is a hard reality and some of us are worried about our family members in other Member States, which are currently fighting for their lives. Continue reading Latest on COVID: vaccines a little behind initial estimates

The ONE: the latest casualty of the hot-desking policy of the Commission

A silent revolution, without the involvement of staff and staff representatives.

One year ago, on Friday 13 March 2020, we were all told to go home and start teleworking. No one would have imagined at the time that by now the vast majority of staff would still be doing compulsory 100% telework.

However, while we are sitting at home doing our best to continue delivering on our objectives in spite of all the difficulties created by the pandemic, in our empty buildings things are moving fast. A silent revolution, already well under way, pre-Corona, continues full steam ahead: from DG BUDG, to DG TRADE, to the new Publications Office (OP) (POST-Mercier), to the Jean Monnet 2 (JMO2) and now rue de la Loi. Continue reading The ONE: the latest casualty of the hot-desking policy of the Commission

CPPT: keeping up the good work to safeguard the health and safety of staff

The Committee for prevention and protection at work (CPPT) recently agreed on the need to request more detailed information – including technical data and the proof that staff have been consulted and agreed with the project – before giving an opinion on two requests to transform office space into an open-plan environment. Continue reading CPPT: keeping up the good work to safeguard the health and safety of staff