Jayne, the Chief People Officer
Dear all, 

After Boris Johnson’s announcement that people should work from home, I thought I should clear up some confusion over company policy on returning to Thrust and my own writings on the subject. Please stop forwarding my blog post. I'm an Inbox-Zero person, now at Inbox 10,000. 

First, our utmost concern is your wellbeing. After all, a happy workforce is a productive one. On this matter, can I remind managers to send this month’s data on their team’s working hours? There was a glitch after one employee appeared to have worked 24/7 but it turned out they’d stuck a fork to a toy woodpecker’s beak, continuously hitting the keyboard. This is fixed and the Panop-T-Con™ electronic monitoring service is fully operational again.

To keep you safe, we want staff to stay at home, in line with government advice. Which brings me to my blog on returning to work. I’d like to point out that the title “GBBO (Get Back or Bugger Off)” was obviously a joke — I’m sorry if some of you took offence. When I said absence from the office would be taken into account in this year’s performance review, I meant of course that it would be considered a signal that you are an independent, risk-conscious self-starter. 

To apologise for any misunderstandings I am sending a Pret voucher redeemable in the Square Mile by mid-October.

On the matter of treats, I know that news reports have suggested that Christmas will be cancelled. Well, not here it isn’t! Send us your ideas for this year’s remote Christmas party. The only barrier is your internet connection. 

Jayne

Ronald, the self-appointed hygiene tsar

Dear Jayne,

You will recall from our lengthy exchanges about recycling and about the security of keepsake mugs in the workplace that, like you, I am a detail-oriented person with the best interests of my co-workers at heart, even if they sometimes fail to appreciate it.

I must, however, take issue with your interpretation of the prime minister’s latest remarks. With proper oversight, a safe return to the office is possible, nay, ECONOMICALLY VITAL!

You gave me special dispensation to return to Thrust in May. The stress of working from home with three younger housemates with questionable surface-hygiene standards was weighing on me. They are not used to living with a 46-year-old with my life experience (20 years in Financial Control and counting)!

Far from ducking the challenge of office work at the first uptick in infection, we should be doubling down on controls over colleagues to make a safe return possible. I’m happy to volunteer to chair, on a pro bono basis, an equivalent of the PM’s Cobra committee — known as Tobler (Thrust Office Briefing on Lockdown Emergency Responses) — meeting twice daily.

Agenda item one: equipment. I have devised a Covid-toolbelt — with Velcro-secured holsters for masks, wipes, gloves, a trigger-action disinfectant spray-gun, and a roll of my self-designed “Clean Machine” stickers for application to freshly douched laptops, tablets and phones.

Agenda item two: mask protocol. Please use your next blog post to alert the co-worker who gave me a one-fingered salute in the lobby following my barked “mask up!” admonition that I am ON HIS CASE. His mouth-only covering may have fooled the facial-recognition software but I have requisitioned CCTV footage and this weekend will analyse the video for elements that will allow me to track, trace and tell off the unidentified offender.

Meanwhile, stay well and remember: Hands, Face and OFFICE Space!


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