If you have postdocs working for you

(11 Posts)
googlepoodle Sun 24-Jan-16 17:24:44

Are you happy for them to work from home part of the time? I'm asking because my boss doesn't seem bothered where I am when I'm working as he can see my outputs. But spoke to a researcher in another department and they have been told no working from home except in exceptional circumstances. Surely this is one of the 'perks' in academia - although hardly a perk as there is so much work to do but you know what I mean.

MedSchoolRat Sun 24-Jan-16 20:20:23

I'm a career RA.
I think there's no official policy at our workplace; the faculty work from home a lot themselves so some don't keep very good track of their RAs. I think faculty are only accountable for things like share of admin jobs, grants & pubs, and beyond that they can work at home. We have a mega-pressure on desk space, but lots of empty desks every day confused.

My main Prof very pointedly says he doesn't give a toss about Process, only results (publications). I could only turn up in office 1 day/month for all he cares.

disquisitiones Mon 25-Jan-16 08:07:09

But doesn't it depend a lot on the field, and the nature of the research within that field?

I expect my post-docs to be in the office most working days, although the hours they work are flexible. I wouldn't be happy about a post-doc working from home several days per week on a long-term basis. I wouldn't mind a post-doc working from home one afternoon per week and working flexible hours.

But this is in a research field where the post-doc is expected to work together with students/staff, organise seminars and working groups and where some work cannot be done as well off campus. My attitude could well be very different if they were working primarily on their own. BTW virtually no postdocs in my field have children.

MultishirkingAgain Mon 25-Jan-16 12:33:10

As long as my post-docs do what's needed, I don't mind where. But in my field that's as likely to be a library or archive, as their office. As long as we get to meet in person or by phone about once a fortnight, I don't mind.

googlepoodle Mon 25-Jan-16 17:50:45

I think it's probably related to if outputs can be measured even if you are not in the office. We have an open plan office so I often find it very distracting to work there.

getyourgeekon Mon 25-Jan-16 20:57:05

I'm not bothered and nor is my dept - would rather people work where they are most productive and happy working. Most people (where I am) work well over their contracted hours so it seems like an appropriate 'perk'. I would want to discuss It with a postdoc/RA but as long as they were producing solid outputs etc I would always be fine with it.

worstofbothworlds Wed 27-Jan-16 12:14:57

My postdoc collects data overseas so it would be a bit pointless asking them to work in the lab/office in the UK...

Parietal Thu 28-Jan-16 16:48:08

as long as my postdocs get the work done, I don't much mind. I expect them in the lab for lab meeting once a week and for important talks / meetings, but I work from home 1 or 2 days per week, and it is fine if they want to as well.

jclm Fri 29-Jan-16 21:45:37

As an RA I always worked remotely apart from the times I had to be in the office.

MarasmeAbsolu Sun 07-Feb-16 15:13:11

depends on duties.
My post-doc is responsible as a co-supervisor for junior students (BSc, MSc) and is a safety officer for the lab - so no, no work from home unless arranged (I do not work from home myself when I have students of mine in the lab, and noone else is there for them)

impostersyndrome Sun 07-Feb-16 22:05:24

Mine work a day a week from home and flexi time the rest of the week. I too judge on results, rather than presenteeism. The main thing is they're available on email unless they need to be in an archive or conference etc, obviously.

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