Entrepreneur John Caudwell has condemned the pandemic-induced work-from-home culture as “a catastrophe for the British economy” and an “epidemic of inefficiency sweeping the country” as he demands in the Mail that civil servants get back to their desks.
Up and down the country, large parts of life are not functioning as they should, causing enormous frustration as we carry out our daily tasks.
From delays of as much of three months for renewing a passport or driving licence to finding it impossible to speak to a human to pay a bill or make a complaint, the pandemic has left a trail of destruction that Britain is still reeling from.
And I’m sorry to say, this situation seems to suits some people rather well.
Part of the problem is the continuing trend for working from home, which some see as an absolute windfall that allows them to walk the dog, have a long lunch, look after the children and still collect full pay.
But there is something else, too: a growing sense of entitlement on the part of workers who believe that jobs exist for their own convenience rather than to serve customers or the public.
And it is the civil service who particularly benefit from this privilege of convenience.
Whitehall workers enjoy job security and generous pensions – and all for hours that allow them to clock off at five o’clock.
But while customers can hold private companies to account for sloppy service by simply going elsewhere, they have no such option for the Government departments that run essential parts of their daily lives.
Worse, their taxes pay the wages of our enormous public sector workforce, leading to a growing sense of resentment when they are put on hold for the umpteenth time – or simply don’t get put through to a human on the phone at all.
The sheer scale of the epidemic of inefficiency sweeping the country means Boris Johnson’s plans to tackle the overstaffed public sector by taking a knife to more than 90,000 civil service jobs in line with pre-pandemic levels is hugely welcome.
There can be little doubt that the civil service is now hugely over-staffed and in desperate need of pruning back. But with so many working ‘flexibly’ from home, is it any wonder they need so many to get the job done?
Worth reading in full.