MPs, like many business, might be turning their backs on what’s possible…
MPs’ attempts to follow the government’s own advice to work from home has, by all accounts, been a success. It’s an example of the fascinating dynamics at play with MPs using Zoom to remote-into parliamentary debates while using a web platform to hold parliamentary votes securely. Surely, in moments like this, therefore, there must be a catch… but none came.
Despite the Palace of Westminster being seen as more old fashioned than the more modern regional assemblies, the project has been comprehensive.
The UK’s virtual parliament has been a success and MPs have been able to work effectively. Then, the gotcha. The ‘hybrid’ House of Commons has been “such a success” that it has been ditched in its entirety.
Parliament had seen light, embraced the change but, as soon as they saw progress, drop it again. 350 votes to 258. No more video conferencing debates, no voting remotely, just dump the tech that House of Commons staff have built, installed and tested, amazingly over just four weeks. Madness! MPs, many of whom are in the “at-risk age group” once again have to travel from all over the UK into COVID-19 central – London.
This sends a terrible message to UK businesses that have in part embraced remote working. Whilst some will now let their staff work from home indefinitely, many are just waiting it out “to get back to normal”.
Parliament has seen the benefits of remote working and rejected it for “going back to normal” but given the leap in productivity, flexibility and time, through not having to commute, the new work from home “normal” seems a brilliant alternative!
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