back to article 'Anything' related to remote working is a winner for Euro disties, but classic enterprise hardware? That's another story

Tech distributors' sales jumped 9.5 per cent to €5.9bn in Western Europe for the four weeks ended 22 March with a raft of lines including virtualization and database software helping to swell their coffers, as well as kit needed to help employers switch their workforce to homeworking. According to Context, multiple areas did …

  1. Dave 15 Silver badge

    But if there is ever an end to this...

    It looks like there will be piles and piles of junk to recycle because it is clear that the moronic unthinking dinosaurs in middle management are already planning to have us chained back at our desks after fighting through the same rushhour pollution creating mess as before because otherwise we cant work as a bloody team (except of course those cheapie people frmo Bangalore and Romania who of course can work as part of our team remotely without any problem because they are so much cheaper)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

      I'm also wondering what the long term effects on commuting and office based productivity will be. Yes, everyone on a virtual team WFH is maybe a bit slower and clunkier, but the cost savings by not having an office could be massive to some employers (some of those costs passed onto the home workers, obviously). Once we start to climb out of the inevitable recession it will be interesting to see how much more accepted home working is, and whether the rush hour commute is changed in anyway.

    2. David Lewis 2

      Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

      Sadly probably true.

      However this predictable response, by some levels of Manglement, might be offset when the Bean Counters realise the potential savings to be made by reducing all that city centre office space that they haven't actually needed!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

        They may also start wondering if they need the moronic middle managers.

        1. Kevin Johnston

          Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

          Oh yes please....if any company needs a quick boost of income just run a raffle with the winner being the one to pass on the "and don't come back" message

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

        I remember a quote from some business leader who said if he was challenged on the basis of cost by the accountant, was to say "if we do this it will increase profits by at least 1%" which in a global company makes it a pretty much "I win" move.

        I think most companies would save a hell of a lot more than 1% by reducing the number and sizes of offices, not to mention saving on leases, rental and utility costs.

        All it will take is a large name to do this and everyone will, or I hope they will.

      3. TwistedPsycho

        Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

        To be fair, I have never understood what the essential mentality is of everyone needing to go to one square mile of London everyday.

        All they do is moan about the commute, moan about the tube, and moan about how they miss their kids bedtime!

    3. Duffaboy

      Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

      Trust me there are big corporates who are now evaluating home working as it will save them a bucket load of cash on building costs. They just needed a nudge to encourage them to explore this, and the longer it goes on they will be very reluctant to go back to having it's staff in large offices that they will have to heat and pay rent on.

      1. ExampleOne

        Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

        Last year I am sure there were many companies interested in WFH, but felt there were unresolved risks in moving to a more WFH friendly policy. Any change has risk associated with it, and as the current have everyone in the office was mostly working ok, why take on risk?

        This year, all of those companies have basically had a risk free pilot because everyone is in the same boat.

        It will indeed be interesting to see how many companies move to a far more WFH friendly stance in the next couple of years.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: But if there is ever an end to this...

      >"It looks like there will be piles and piles of junk to recycle because it is clear that the moronic unthinking dinosaurs in middle management are already planning to have us chained back at our desks after fighting through the same rushhour pollution creating mess as before because otherwise we cant work as a bloody team"

      But you are only looking it this from one viewpoint; middle management will have discovered that whilst working from home is a bit of a pain (partner and children), working from somewhere else, like the Golf Club etc. is perfect because with tools like Zoom they don't actually need to be in the office to do their job, and at theGolf club they don't need to mingle with "oilk's" , in fact a little distance might help give them a better perspective on just how little their meddling is actually needed. Additionally, without having middle management constantly on the prowl, more real work might actually get done quicker and more efficiently than was previosuly the case.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Cloudy destiny

    The cloud will be expanding so fast that in places it will thin out a bit leaving holes for the unwelcome to come innand poke around.

    I can see WFH thing is going to not only change the view of some bosses regarding work space requirements but also terms of employment, there is likely to be a whole new style of contract coming soon.

    There is also the thought that if you have to dedicate a part of your home as a workspace, you should be paid for it, in the same way others receive a tool allowance.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Cloudy destiny

      "if you have to dedicate a part of your home as a workspace, you should be paid for it"

      Prepare for business rates. And insurance. And tax for benefit in kind.

      1. Glennda37

        Re: Cloudy destiny

        There is no tax on this - its called use of home, its a pain to work out but its already there

        https://www.gov.uk/simpler-income-tax-simplified-expenses/working-from-home

        No business rates on houses etc and can potentially reduce insurance costs as they house is left empty less. As long as you are not having customers/visitors to your house.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "shortages in areas such as notebooks will start to feel this pressure"

    I don't think it matters all that much. It's funny how nobody is talking about the consequences of notebooks "flying out the doors", namely the fact that, when the confinement is lifted, workers will be going back to their cubicles, hand in their laptops and get back to regular work. All those laptops that have flown out will still be out there, companies are not going to throw them away. They'll keep them as replacements.

    Which means that the laptop market is going to tank, and soon. If everyone who needs one has one, then no one will be needing one, so sales are likely going to pancake.

    That's what I'm guessing anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "shortages in areas such as notebooks will start to feel this pressure"

      Had very little impact in the use of Notebooks/laptops round here. (Large US corporation, although I'm in the UK).

      As far as I know, all employees (in the US and UK at least). already had a notebook or laptop, as it makes estate management easier/cheaper. No local rebuilding is done anymore (local tech support staff re-purposed, moved or made redundant :-/ ).

      If you need a laptop rebuilt now, they post you a USB stick with a fresh image on it and you do it yourself. If it's a hardware fault, they post a replacement laptop and some data transfer instructions (assuming you can access your data of course, if you can't, it's assumed lost [1]), you then send the old laptop back in.

      1: The company officially tells everyone to store all data in formal team or project spaces (i.e. in Sharepoint), and anything else you are working on, or your own notes etc. keep them in your company OneDrive, i.e. do not use local 'Documents' dir for anything. But for some people, old habits die hard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "shortages in areas such as notebooks will start to feel this pressure"

        I work for a large outsourcer with a massive presence in India. Last month we had to move about 1000 staff of my account to WFH. Only a small minority already had a laptop, and we were competing with other accounts in the company for spare ones. I guess we blew the yearly laptop budget in 2 weeks. Obviously when people come back to the office (and they will as soon as they can, our clients only accepted WFH because they had no choice), the shelves will be filled with brand new laptops.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange Times

    For years I've worked for a company selling Learning Management systems (so Schools and Universities can conduct lessons, exams etc online).

    We've been used to customers using it as a useful addition to normal teaching, or a "Nice to have we might try as an experiment".

    With Coronavirus overnight the situation changed totally, with more and more countries locking down, and closing schools and Universities, we have been inundated with existing customers asking for large increases in capacity, and new enquiries and sign ups.

    A depressing and unwanted way to get an increase in business, but hopefully online education and businesses in general having staff regularly working from home may at last become mainstream, for years I've thought the thousands of people commuting to big cities every day to sit at a desk with a PC in some office was a terrible waste.

    Who knows in a few years time you may be able to get a seat on the train to London during rush hour, we can only hope out of this tragedy we get some changes in work practice that will make life better for everyone and the environment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strange Times

      The ideal outcome would be no rush hour.

      One major implication of a large switch to home working would be the collapse of London (and other city) house prices meaning that people who have to work in large groups (such as, obviously, the NHS) may be able to afford to live closer to work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strange Times

        Indeed, around 2000 I was working in Bracknell, at the time large tech companies around the M4 corridor had inflated rental and property prices to such an extent that emergency services staff (police, NHS, fire) were refusing to work there as they couldn't find cheap property and the costs were too high, or so the local papers reported.

        Can only hope this reshapes things positively in all areas where this has been a problem.

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