Working From Home - AIBU

(29 Posts)
nicknamenovice Mon 14-Nov-16 16:32:27

Help - need some perspective!
Started working from home a couple of months' ago. Same company but a different role on a secondment period. I was in an office local to me but I was having a lot of problems with another woman who worked there (another story!). They are now looking to close that office and move it 30 odd miles away, so I can't go back to that job.

I do 2 days in the head office and 2 at home - the days vary each week. I have a study I work out of but it's off our bedroom and DH works shifts, including nights. When I'm at home and he's working nights, I work in the dining room but today he was off during the day but working tonight. This afternoon, he decided to try and get some sleep and said to me, you can go and work downstairs.

Thing is, all my stuff was upstairs as I thought I was working up there all day and the light downstairs is not good in the dining room. Also, he had left all his "stuff" all over the table.

I tried working downstairs but there wasn't enough room and I couldn't see properly (I need new reading glasses!) so went back upstairs and was trying to be quiet.

He obviously got annoyed me and an argument took place. He said that me working from home is not working. I tried to discuss with him what he thinks I should do but he didn't want to talk about it. Thing is, I like my job, the money's not bad and I was having such a bad time before I changed roles.

Now I'm really confused. I can't go back to my old job, I've spent a couple of hours looking for a new job but nothing stood out that I like that was a similar salary to this job. I would work more hours at the head office but the cost of travel doesn't make it worthwhile.

Feeling a bit stuck at the moment.... anyone WFH that has territorial issues? After a few teething problems, I thought we had it all sorted but not so sure now

Sirzy Mon 14-Nov-16 16:35:47

How come being downstairs was more of a problem today than normal though?

He should have cleared his stuff from the table, but if you have a routine where you work downstairs when he is working nights I can see why he would assume that would happen when he is working tonight as most night workers I know try to get a few hours the day before the first shift.

Can your home days be worked around his shifts at all?

NoSunNoMoon Mon 14-Nov-16 16:36:22

It's your home as much as his. Tell him that him trying to sleep in the day isn't working and he needs to find a new job, see how he likes it.

JaniceBattersby Mon 14-Nov-16 16:37:00

1) Make sure he cleans up after himself if you're going to need the table.
2) Buy better lighting for the dining room
3) Get new reading glasses.

Then, if it's still not working you might have to come up with a better solution.

Poocatcherchampion Mon 14-Nov-16 16:38:46

Is there a reason you can't work downstairs more?

We have an upstairs office, I only work there when the kids are home, otherwise I work in the kitchen.

If you were waking me from my sleep (or even a nap) id have been pretty annoyed too

It can be difficult- I wfh sometimes and OH is a childminder. You need to agree boundaries and areas and both of you stick to them.

Is your bedroom the only bed in the house? Ieither your DH needs to sleep elsewhere during the day or you need a workspace downstairs which is defined as yours. He doesn't get to strop at you when his job is as much the issue as yours- these days I would guess as many people work at home as work nights, but you weren't shouting that him working nights isn't working...

OhNoNotMyBaby Mon 14-Nov-16 16:42:13

I think you're both over-reacting somewhat OP. Of course you can't work in the bedroom/study if your DH is trying to sleep.

Why couldn't you have just moved his stuff? Or work in the kitchen? or in the living room?

It shouldn't be a major problem - just a bit of accommodation on both sides...

mumonashoestring Mon 14-Nov-16 16:42:30

NoSun is spot on - why on earth are you tiptoeing around in your own home? If your DH wants you to work downstairs he needs to make sure he doesn't foul that up by leaving stuff all over the table - equally though you do need to be flexible if your days on/off are changing as well. How much 'stuff' do you need to move to work effectively downstairs? Is that something you can work on (e.g. have one tray or basket that you keep active projects in that can just be moved around with your laptop so you're not carting tons of files around)?

The thing that worries me though? The 'he doesn't want to talk about it'. That is not how marriage is supposed to work. Does he shut you down/show this lack of respect often or was it just tiredness/bad timing?

nicknamenovice Mon 14-Nov-16 16:58:49

"Stuff" was robot he is building with wires and cables etc so I don't like to touch it!
Working downstairs is ok (chair makes my back ache though) but it was the having to move after I had been there half the day and had all my work spread out - there's quite a lot of paper and several files plus laptop, calculator etc that all needed to be brought downstairs. Plus it's not as warm downstairs.
Mumonashoestring - that's what concerned me as well. It's like he's feeling resentful about me working from home. I know he gets stress when he goes on to nights but usually he is full of advise.

HerOtherHalf Mon 14-Nov-16 16:59:06

Surely it can't be that hard for you to organise a suitable workstation so that you're not interrupting his sleep. It sounds like new glasses and a desk light would solve the majority of your problems.

golfbuggy Mon 14-Nov-16 17:02:50

Can you put a mini workstation in the corner of the dining room? And fix the light and get new reading classes. Upstairs clearly doesn't work as a home office if DH is using the adjoining room to sleep in some of the time. Alternatively, if you have a spare bedroom, maybe DH needs to sleep in there?

Ohyesiam Mon 14-Nov-16 17:04:20

Sound like you need to discuss it again when he s had more sleep. Could you buy a bright desk lamp for the dining room, and have all your stuff in a box, to be carried up and down?
It sound like a good compromise can be reached.

SapphireStrange Mon 14-Nov-16 17:09:56

I can't really get past 'He said that me working from home is not working' TBH. What the jeff does he mean by that?

PlumsGalore Mon 14-Nov-16 17:15:28

I have worked full time from home for thirteen years. It simply doesn't work effectively unless you have a designated office space and appropriate equipment and furniture.

If you are working when DH is sleeping you need to be away from him. Ideally on a different floor but definitely a different room.

I agree with the PP who suggested an area of the dining room if you don't have a spare bedroom. A small desk with all your connectivity there permanently and adequate lighting together with a full adjustable office chair. If you are employed by a company your workstation should be DSE compliant.

You need to review your working practices, sorry.

ClarkL Mon 14-Nov-16 17:18:43

Working from home is much harder than many people acknowledge and a big adjustment for the person working and for the people living with you.
Im self-employed so don't have any restrictions but if you are working for a company they may have a policy that indicates how your workstation needs to be, for example a suitable chair, a 2-metre square space (am thinking back to my corporate days)
Do you have to have a dining room, can it not be converted to an office?
If they have a policy, think how you would be set up for a home assessment, what could they provide to help you - like a chair.

I'd also recommend investing in daylight bulbs - I use them, originally for filming, but actually they are brilliant for saving my eyesight and I don't get achy eyes like I did with standard bulbs.
This is your job, but it's also your home and you need to find solutions that work for you an your husband

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 14-Nov-16 17:19:27

There's issues on both sides. He needs to treat your job seriously. If he wants you to work downstairs he clears his stuff and you get a better light, chair and glasses.

You need to reinforce boundaries. Don't tiptoe around. He lets you know what his plans are and you work accordingly.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 14-Nov-16 17:28:44

Can you put a door on the upstairs office, and close it when he's in bed? And get him some Nytol.

I feel your pain; I was WFH when I married DH and he was then working shifts. It was awful - I was forever creeping about, or he seemed to be at home all the time. I went and got a p/t job in a shop just to avoid it!

Lalsy Mon 14-Nov-16 17:31:00

OP, get yourself a small desk with pull out extra bit, a halogen heater (v cheap to run, bathes you in pool of warmth and light) and a really good reading lamp. You should get all three for not much more than 100 quid. Get a robust concertina filing box to help keep papers organised and out of the way (and locked if relevant). WAH is doable but you do need a proper space.

expatinscotland Mon 14-Nov-16 17:34:33

Get him some earplugs and a fan for white noise. What are you doing that keeps him up, using a chainsaw? I wouldn't give up my job.

LizB62A Mon 14-Nov-16 17:40:18

To be honest, if you knew he was working tonight, I think it would have been a reasonable assumption that he might want to get some sleep during the day.

I've got a home office (it's the box room) and I know if someone was trying to work in the bedroom next door that I would disturb them (lots of conference calls and phone calls), so you probably do need to figure out a better working environment downstairs.

Or, can you schedule your working at home days for when your husband won't need to be asleep during the day?

Also you said you can't go back to your old job - why not?
How long is the secondment for and what is due to happen at the end of the secondment period?
If the plan was that you went back to the local office at the end of the secondment, then they need to discuss this with you anyway if the local office is closing.
What is happening to everyone else who currently works at that office.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 14-Nov-16 18:02:58

I WFH and wouldn't dream of having a workstation so close to a shared bedroom as to make it impossible for both to be used at the same time. You need a workstation downstairs, maybe take over the dining room. It's also important to set yourself up properly, decent chair, all the ergonomic stuff. If you don't you'll be sorry in no time. I had my workstation checked by a professional and it was well worth it.

As for your DH's remarks, that's less simple. He doesn't get to decide about your job. It's a recent setup and it's clear practical adjustments need to be made, but he needs to back right down. As PP have said, you would be just as within your rights to tell him his shift patterns are inconvenient so he needs to find a new job.

When he's not so tired I'd make the comparison. "You think I should change jobs because you find it inconvenient. Well, guess what, your shifts make my job difficult. Why is it me who has to change?" His reply will reveal a lot.

HairyScaryMonster Mon 14-Nov-16 18:26:11

Are there any other office spaces you could use? Anywhere offer hot desking?

BewtySkoolDropowt Mon 14-Nov-16 18:33:21

Would your office rent a desk space, if there is such a facility nearby? At my work we had a desk space rented for a valued member of staff close to where they lived, I think it cost iro of £160 per month.

BewtySkoolDropowt Mon 14-Nov-16 18:34:15

Hah, yeah, Hairy wrote the same thing while I was still reading, sorry Hairy!

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 14-Nov-16 18:35:35

I see there another room he can sleep in?

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