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Town ….. July 30, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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My Office is in the City Centre and yesterday we had a call about the Office reopening. There’s no need to go back to the office for the time being and I can’t see too many wanting to do it either. Talking to some family members that also work in Town and they have been told it will be 2021 at the earliest before they are expected back in their office. Have heard a lot of companies say that the majority of their workers have no need to come to the Office.
Even then, the extra hour in bed in the morning, being home to cook the dinner, the lack of commute and so on will make Working from Home more attractive.
I have been in Town once since this all began, I drove in , parked and met someone to get some political material off them. I made a quick exit. Town was dead that day though.
The amount of businesses dependent on office workers, from cafes, restaurants, pubs,shops, barbers and so on is huge. It’s going to be very hard for many of these business’s to keep going whilst the offices are empty.
In a way too it shows that Dublin isn’t really a living City, it’s too dependent of people coming from the Suburbs and I suppose Tourists to support many of the businesses.
If people aren’t working in Town and also nervous about using public transport it will also impact the shops in the main shopping areas. Hard to know what the solution is.

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1. WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

Definitely agree with your point re living city and Dublin not being one. I park my bicycle – well I used to, on the corner of STephen’s Green just across from the Bank of Ireland there, or even up a bit of a ways quite often if going for a beer in Buswells. It’s unbelievably quiet all the way back to the canal at any time after 8 or 9 pm. And as you say that has a real knock on effect in relation to businesses there.

I like working from home, but I do miss – and think I’ve said it before – the small scale interactions with people at the gates, reception, etc, etc. Even more so weirdly than people I’d be in contact daily because I still am in contact with those folk reguarly.

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irishelectionliterature - July 30, 2020

I miss that too, the human interaction. Still even if we ever get back to normal I can’t see myself or indeed most of my colleagues wanting to return to the office full time. 2 days a week maybe.
Has huge implications for a lot of businesses.

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2. Joe - July 30, 2020

Interesting times. The mood music from management in the public service appears to be changing from ‘work from home if you can’ to ‘come back to the workplace unless we tell you not to yet’. If that makes sense.
But town… yeah it’s different. All those coffee shops and lunch places around where I’m based. Their business has fallen off a cliff. Dublin city centre definitely isn’t lived in, mainly just worked in and socialised in.
Won’t ever be the same as it was, I don’t think. Why would any business or organisation insist on someone coming into a city centre office if they can do the job equally well from home or remotely?

All those businesses though, all those jobs… the looming recession is gonna be hard for an awful lot of people.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

I wonder if that mood music will change Joe when as crocodileshoes notes, schools and students go back? Buses are a nightmare even at the moment. The instructions from my place and my union are clear – work from home until further down the line precisely to alleviate pressures on public transport, but I know what you mean about mood music, that’s an undertow that is definitely there.

It’s going to be awful tough, it really is. Actually it already is.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

here’s the guidance I got yesterday:

…staff who can work remotely from home should do so. In
addition to the public health risk, it is also acknowledged that the capacity of public transport … may not be adequate to accommodate all staff in making their way to work … consequently a reduced on on-site capacity is required.

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3. crocodileshoes - July 30, 2020

My experience similar. Can be hard to get public transport because it’s at half capacity. What happens when students return? Very noticeably, there are no pensioners on trains, usually a high proportion of passengers. Anyone heard what is proposed in the line of increasing capacity/frequency?
Regarding the death of city centre businesses – why not open restaurants etc where people live? Papers have these features about : ‘10 great places to eat outdoors in Dublin’ – and none of them is west of Smithfield. Over 200,000 people live in Tallaght, Lucan and Blanchardstown and the food website allthefood admits it can’t find anywhere to write about in any of those places. Hospitality industry is going to have to be nimble; if people won’t come to them, they’ll have to go where people are.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

Heard nothing about upping capacity, but how can this work otherwise?

And that’s very true re Tallaght, Lucan and Blanchardstown.

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4. Joe - July 30, 2020

“It’s going to be awful tough, it really is. Actually it already is.”

Yes it already is. Easy to forget that when one is still working and on full pay. A colleague’s husband was laid off and then taken back on the government scheme but paid nowt by the employer – the employer can top it up but they don’t have to. This colleague is struggling financially and is of the view that the lockdown/close down approach has gone on too long. They can’t see why everything isn’t opening up again. Easy for me to think that that’s rubbish but I’m not in their position. Hundreds of thousands of people unemployed – that’s a major health risk too. Balancing risks is where we’re at and where we’ll be at for the foreseeable.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

I suspect that that is precisely why they will keep people abhaile for the mean time if they can because it will keep numbers down and perhaps allows things to reopen a bit more easily.

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5. irishelectionliterature - July 30, 2020

On a wider level, Theatres, music venues and other places associated with the nightime economy are mostly still closed.
That has huge impact on employment in those industries and of course pubs, restaurants etc that people would go to if they were off to a show, gig and so on. Similar with Sports events and associated spending.
It really is a long way back to normality, if we ever get there.

Liked by 1 person

rockroots - July 30, 2020

Indeed – a cinema I’m somewhat associated with has decided that city centre footfall is so low, presumed demand is so low, and admission numbers are so restricted that it’s pointless reopening under the current circumstances. I can’t blame them. My job there depends on access to the building and remains on indefinite furlough – that’s ok, I have another job to fall back on for now, but many colleagues have absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel. Short of a successful mass-vaccination you’d have to imagine most such businesses will simply give up if this stretches beyond a year.

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irishelectionliterature - July 30, 2020

Friends opened a Cafe in town a few years ago. They have decided to close after giving it a go at Reopening. There was literally no business and given the place was small, the capacity was something like 6 people. They could have trundled along making a loss but couldn’t see a time in the next year or two where they would make a profit. There were also terrified of a second wave and having to close again.
They are devastated.

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

This is genuinely part of the human cost.

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6. Gearóid Clár - July 30, 2020

Joe says:

Dublin city centre definitely isn’t lived in, mainly just worked in and socialised in. Won’t ever be the same as it was, I don’t think.

I am living in London and the online discussions all seem the same as that.

Pre-work from home, my office was in the City and the missus was based near St James Park/Buckingham Palace area. Every second ground floor unit in both our areas is a Pret, Wasabi, Nero’s Café, etc.

Most of our friends live in Zones 2 and outwards. Most of my team are priced out to Zone 3 and outwards. Our betters in Whitehall and Westminster are now telling us to return to offices because their owners have instructed them to do so. They’re suddenly seeing that pricing almost all of London’s inhabitants out of its central few square miles has a downside!

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WorldbyStorm - July 30, 2020

It’d be funny in a way if it wasn’t so serious taht people are being forced back to workplaces.

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