Yes I am lucky to be able to work from home

(71 Posts)
MoaneyMcmoanmoan Mon 22-Apr-13 05:40:59

No I cannot look after your DD while you go to work angry angry angry.

No I cannot go out with you for the day. If I take a day off, I have to apply for it, just like you do.

No father-in-law, I am not happy you popped in for a coffee. I AM WORKING ffs.

And no I do not like all of you getting huffy when I repeatedly explain this to you.

OhTheConfusion Mon 22-Apr-13 05:56:39

Been there moaned about it too sad.

In the end I told everyone that regardless of the car being in the drive or me being home 8.30-4.30 were working hours and the front door would be locked. I explained to the lady next door who took the huff that I would not accept her 3-8 deliveries a day that I could not be disturbed and I was sorry.

Sometimes you need to be firm, I did but it was not easy and took a while.

I'm with you.

There's a mum at school who makes pointed comments about me "working from home" and I know she doesn't believe I actually WORK. It makes me so so cross.

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Mon 22-Apr-13 07:23:20

I am going to have to get a sign for my door.

Just had friend who lives nearby come over, with her boys in tow and ask me in front of said children if I would look after them next week.
I said yes because I am a coward on holidays next week. But the annoying part is SHE DIDN"T KNOW THAT! She assumed I was working from home and would have them.

I think she wanted to stay for a cuppa and chat, but I ushered her out, telling her (yet again) that I am working.
And yes, I know I am on Mumsnet, but to me it's the equivalent of having a chat with the person in the next cubicle. You lot are my office-mates grin.

But seriously, how to get this through to people? Surely working from home is going to become increasingly common (unless you happen to work for Yahoo). But perhaps we need an education campaign or sumfink?

Areyoumadorisitme Mon 22-Apr-13 07:35:09

I'm sure many people don't believe I work because I usually do the school run in jeans. If I have a meeting I arrange for 9.30 or later.

It is frustrating, I agree.

I work for myself. I organise my work so I can do school runs (most of the time not this week I'm mad busy)

There's this mum at school who very pointedly said "That's XXX she manages to do the school run but she works from home. I mean, she really works from home"

I wish I had thought of a suitable retort at the time but my mouth was just hanging open.

Oddsocksrus Mon 22-Apr-13 08:00:15

Oh! Soooo with you!
I have several sahm friends who just assume that my working time is entirely flexible/pretend or something.
I've had four conversations with one friend now about how her staying over onto Monday might be great for her getting home but entirely buggers up a days working time, child care (dd doesn't want to leave her friends paying with her toys and go off to nursery) and the silent rant that it gives her dear children an additional 24 hours to break stuff, smear the walls and terrorise the cat!
I have an office it just doesn't involve a commute!

Ffs indeed!

MrsBeep Mon 22-Apr-13 08:01:43

I have a friend who wishes she could properly work from him but doesn't have the support of her DH who doesn't work. They have a 1 yr old DS and of course so that she can do some of her web design and graphic design work she does need the co-operation of DH, but she'll get only 10 minutes into her work sometimes and he gets bored! He then tries to get her to take DS or watch a film with him on the sofa. It's so frustrating for her! She wants to make something of herself, and she's got some damn good skills!

freddiefrog Mon 22-Apr-13 08:05:20

I feel your pain. Both DH and I work from home and we get this all the time.

DH at least has an office in the garden so can't hear the phone ringing/door knocking and isn't actually inside the house but he still gets all sorts of barbed comments.

I don't know the answer, if I'm busy the phone gets switched to silent, and I ignore the door but that's as far as I've got

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Mon 22-Apr-13 08:13:01

Yes yes Oddsocks I'm sure some people think I am pretending.

Er... the mountain of work next to me suggests otherwise.

MrsBeep I feel very sorry for your friend and her DH sounds a bit of an arse. This would be so much more difficult without DH's support.

I am quite liking the sign idea though... I used to put one on the door when my children were asleep that read 'Shhh! Baby and mother asleep. Please do not knock'.
Maybe a simple 'Feck Off I'm Working'.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 08:13:13

Well that's a good start freddiefrog. I'm quite resistant to the phone ringing and the front door is only opened if I've had a peek through the blinds and seen that it's the postie or eg the occasional meter reader. People soon learn.

MammaTJ Mon 22-Apr-13 08:30:32

Oh, and while we are it, yes, I do work and I work FULL TIME!! I just work nights. That means I am available to MY DC should they be ill or on holiday, not anyone elses. I will just about go without sleep for my own, that is why I work nights, so I have that option.

OH, and DP is not babysitting while I work, he is looking after his own children, so I can contribute to the family finances. This is in the same way that I do the child care while he is at work.

That feels better. Hope you feel better too OP!! grin

I keep my curtains closed at the front of the house and don't answer the door unless I am expecting a delivery. Same with texts and phone calls.

There was a man doing some sort of survey the other week and I said "I'm sorry I don't have time" and he kept wittering on being very pushy - I shut the door on him blush

wordfactory Mon 22-Apr-13 08:35:52

It is very hard to get people to understand how working from home works.

I really notice that on the days I workout of the home, everyone accepts that I am unavailable, yet when I'm here, I'm considered free.

That said, I am my own worst enemy...

Tailtwister Mon 22-Apr-13 09:12:54

YANBU OP, it's infuriating. I've worked from home in the past and often had 3-4 client tc's per day. You simply can't answer the door to anyone during a meeting, but an elderly neighbour of mine just wouldn't give up. I actually had to excuse myself from the call to get rid of him! We had to move in the end he was so intrusive.

I feel your pain, people just don't get it do they? I run a cake business from home and its amazing the amount of admin thats involved! Had a friend turn up last week, told him I was working, told him to help himself to the kettle (he's the kind of friend that usually would so not being rude) but he then got huffy when I went back to the PC to get on with my admin! He soon left again

Torrorosso Mon 22-Apr-13 09:27:20

Can you get a security camera by the front door? We have one so that dd can screen callers when she's home from school and we're at work and also allow me to avoid annoying pensioner next door who rings the bell as soon as we get home on with some thinly-veiled excuse to get away from his wife.

BIWI Mon 22-Apr-13 09:30:39

You just have to keep saying 'sorry, I really can't [insert requested activity] because I'm working', and say the same thing, over and over and over and over again grin

YoothaJoist Mon 22-Apr-13 09:37:13

I feel your pain.

My mother has actually referred to a day I was due to work from home as 'your day off'!!!!!

Trillz Mon 22-Apr-13 09:44:55


stealthsquiggle Mon 22-Apr-13 09:47:35

Home phone goes to answerphone and I only answer the door if I am expecting a delivery.

Cordless phones and the 'mute' button are essential sometimes for getting a coffee answering the door during conference calls - but I have to say that parents at school are largely accepting of the fact that I do, in fact, work FT even if I do look incredibly scruffy casual most mornings. This may be because a lot of them are farmers/otherwise self employed, so there is no expectation that working = going into an office every day. God only knows I have missed enough school stuff (every single performance poor DD has been in for the last year or more sad) to get the message through (I have been away - if I were working @ home I would normally manage to shift calls around to make it to plays and the like).

Trillz Mon 22-Apr-13 09:48:28

I am a big advocate of more people being able to work from home - not all jobs require you to be actually in the office in order to get work done.

But if people continue to have the attitude that "working from home is not really working" then it'll continue to be difficult for those of us who want to work from home.

curiousgeorgie Mon 22-Apr-13 09:48:40

This is really frustrating. My DH works from home quite a lot and he'll get 'skiving off today?' from his parents or friends that pop by...

Yes, skiving off, in his study at 8.30, lucky to leave the room at 6...

lurkingfromhome Mon 22-Apr-13 10:01:23

My mum calls practically every day, either at 10 am ("it's time for a coffee break!"), at 1 o'clock ("you should have stopped for lunch by now!") or mid-afternoon ("time for tea!"). She cannot grasp the fact that because for her 10 o'clock automatically means time for coffee and a 20-minute natter with somebody, in my world I could be rushing to make a deadline, in the middle of a Skype conference, concentrating really hard on a complicated spreadsheet or, gasp, just not feel like a cup of coffee ... note that when I had an office job, she never once called me at work because "I don't want to disturb you when you're working". Aaaargh.

It is totally infuriating. I don't know why people think working at home is slacking - it's much easier to procrastinate at work, with lots of pointless meetings to attend and colleagues to chat to.

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Mon 22-Apr-13 10:38:33

I agree TravelinColour. I do have a desk at head office, but as we are woefully overcrowded and my desk is basically in a thoroughfare, I find I spend most of the day constantly interrupted, exchanging pleasantries with people.
And arguing with the selfish git opposite who likes to set the thermostat to Arctic.

Working from home with the cat on my lap is perfect.

BIWI Mon 22-Apr-13 11:05:06

Make sure you have Caller ID on your phone, and if it's your mum/friend/dad etc, simply don't answer it.

StuntGirl Mon 22-Apr-13 11:42:37

I'm quite lucky in that all my friends work Mon-Fri 9-5's, so there's no on around to bother when I'm working grin

I don't mind re-jigging my own day around to fit something in if I need to (if I can!) but I won't rearrange it just for others benefit.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Apr-13 11:46:21

I blame 'Mummy businesses' grin

You know when someone sticks a few glittery beads and shit on a photo frame, and claims to be running a business from home?

Far too much of that around here instead of just admitting to being a SAHM

yaimee Mon 22-Apr-13 11:49:48

what kind of jobs do you all do? <nosy>

ThinkAboutItOnBoxingDay Mon 22-Apr-13 11:55:46

My MIL is the worst. They stayed with us for a few weeks and DP got so behind on his work because she just expected him to be able to chat to her all the time.

It's the fact people act like you're being rude when you try to get on with work though. I just don't get it.

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Mon 22-Apr-13 12:01:05

Yes yes people DO act as though I am being rude.

Yaimee I work in PR/marketing. Not a glittery bead or scrapbook in sight grin.

BIWI Mon 22-Apr-13 12:02:21

I'm a market researcher so - very thankfully - no glittery shit here either!

ThePendant Mon 22-Apr-13 12:03:49

I think people do believe that I genuinely have work to do, but think that I can be endlessly flexible and so can fit in chats, coffeee, odd jobs etc.

I find the best thing to say is "Sorry I can't I'm working to a deadline". They seem to understand that.

yaimee Mon 22-Apr-13 12:07:59

People can't possibly make any money from glittery shit can they?

Trillz Mon 22-Apr-13 12:11:00

If you make back the cost of your glitter then you have "a hobby that pays for itself". Not a business.

Kiriwawa Mon 22-Apr-13 12:15:29

I am a single parent and self-employed so I don't get a lot of grief, presumably because people realise I must actually be working to be able to afford to go on holiday!

I also don't know anyone who would 'pop in' for a coffee or dream of asking me to look after their kids - I'm terminally unsociable though grin

Pendeen Mon 22-Apr-13 12:19:32

"what kind of jobs do you all do? <nosy>"

I'm an architect.

Although not at home all day (due to site visits, surveys and meeting clients) I'm at here often enough to be fed up with casual callers who assume because I'm at home I couldn't possibly be working.

It's even worse in some respects because as I work for myself, the assumption seems to be I don't have anyone 'above' managing and pressuring me and therefore the time is all my own! sad

PrincessOfChina Mon 22-Apr-13 12:21:10

I work at home a couple of days a week. I only live a mile away from the office but my manager is in the states and my role is global so I'm usually on the phone, not in face to face meetings.

I get son much more work done at home it's not true and fortunately everyone in my life respect my hours when at home. I do get the snide comments from people in the office sometimes, particularly those who believe that being in the office is the only way you can possibly work as though they're not really wandering around drinking coffee and chatting every day.

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Mon 22-Apr-13 12:24:08

That's what I don't get Kiriwara. I am KNOWN for being unsociable grin.

The looking after children thing out of desperation I think. I know how hard it is to find childcare during the school holidays. Doesn't make it any less annoying though...

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Mon 22-Apr-13 12:24:30

is out of desperation.

Doubtitsomehow Mon 22-Apr-13 12:26:34

I finds that 'I am just about to go into a conference call' deters most impromptu callers / visitors.

Or, 'I was on a call' to explain why I didn't answer the door / phone etc.

Worst comment so far from MIL: 'so handy you work from home dear, you'll be able to do all the housework and laundry and take some of the pressure off DH'.

Wtf. Think my reaction could be the reason it hasn't been mentioned since.

Kiriwawa Mon 22-Apr-13 12:30:32

You want to move to a new town where you don't know anyone Moaney - that's what I did wink

Actually this thread has reminded me of a recent incident. I did have something happen recently where a friend asked if I could meet up with her for the day (on a day where she doesn't work) and checked several times in the week running up to the day that I could actually make it. So I rearranged my entire workload around the day and 48 hours beforehand, she texted me to blithely tell me that she'd forgotten she'd booked her car in for a service that day so couldn't make it angry

So I lost a day's work/pay for no reason. I'm still a bit cross about it (and haven't rearranged)

I have a confession... I have an office job that is flexible enough for me to "work from home" a couple of times a month... but on those days not a lot gets done blush. Perhaps I'm the exception that makes the rule.

Oh and MammaTJ I could not agree more. When it's your own kids it's not babysitting FFS it's parenting!!!!

Dotty342kids Mon 22-Apr-13 12:33:58

Oh, I get this too. I'm a website manager for a national charity so work part time from home. I think it's the combination of "part time" (though that is pretty much all the school hours) and "from home" that gets people. I can rearrange things to fit around school plays / requests to go in for things but that doesn't mean I can rearrange things to go for a long dog walk wtih a friend, or go shopping for a couple of hours! But yes, often get friends who assume I can do these things and that I'm being anti social if I don't.
And don't get me started on the irritations of my office desk being by the window in the room right next to the front door so there is NO chance of avoiding the Jehovahs / cold callers / postman etc etc.

Trillz Mon 22-Apr-13 12:35:21

That's not called "the exception that makes the rule", that is called "making it harder for people who want to work from home and actually work to get permission to do so".

motherinferior Mon 22-Apr-13 12:37:25

Hmmm....nobody ever assumes I'm available for stuff during the day because I am ferocious about the fact I'm not. I've worked from home for far too long, and have always been totally unavailable during work hours (with the odd exception of school events) so it's just not up for discussion. Ever.

I am a journalist, btw.

Trillz Mon 22-Apr-13 12:39:31

DP works for a company where some people "work from home" a day or two a month in the way that has those quote marks around it.

If someone else asked to work from home it would be assumed that what they were asking for was actually paid time off. So they would not be allowed unless their boss thought they deserved special treatment. What should really happen is that if the boss thinks that the work can be done from home, they should agree. Instead "working from home" is a privilege for the select few, rather than a perfectly valid way of getting work done.

Trillz Mon 22-Apr-13 12:42:16
Callisto Mon 22-Apr-13 12:44:44

I have worked from home for years and I have never had this problem. Maybe I am just really anti-social anyway and this is why I never get visitors. Though I don't know anyone who doesn't work either.

Kiriwawa Mon 22-Apr-13 12:46:06

Yes I did Trills. I think it's undoubtedly true that some people take the piss. I work in a very deadline-related role though so if I'm not actually working when I'm at home, people would be v pissed off!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Apr-13 12:47:43

My Mum actually says "Well you should still do the school run and make DH his dinner."

angry angry angry


motherinferior Mon 22-Apr-13 12:48:35

I do do the school run, but that's mostly because I enjoy it grin and then I go back to work.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Apr-13 12:50:31

I can't seem to do that Mother....the DC get the idea that I'm up for grabs and nag me and nag me....I have to keep working till 5.30. Then they are welcome to me.

DeafLeopard Mon 22-Apr-13 12:56:10

I used to get the "oh you're working from home" hmm looks when I was working from home in a previous job. Everyone assumed it was one massive piss take and it really used to frustrate me.

When I worked nights people thought I was up for looking after their poorly DCs as I "was home anyway not doing anything".

Now I work for a very small company where we all work from home so colleagues not an issue, but other school run parents still think I'd be happy to look after their cherubs / wait in for a delivery for them etc.


toboldlygo Mon 22-Apr-13 13:20:42

I get the same thing when I'm working nights. No, I will not be available to do X during the day. I will be asleep. No, that does not mean I am a lazy toad who is /lucky/ to be able to fart around blissfully napping and doing household jobs all day.

PicardyThird Mon 22-Apr-13 13:30:32

YANBU, OP. I feel your pain.

In my case it's mainly a friend who is soon to be a neighbour <scream>

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 22-Apr-13 13:33:30

Oh, I share all your pain!

I recently said to someone that I didn't think our neighbours having one late-night party on a Saturday night was an end-of-the-world problem as at none of our household had to get up early with kids or go to work for a 7am shift.

I was airily informed that 'weekends are your relaxation time when you work full-time.'


Sorry for shouting grin

elQuintoConyo Mon 22-Apr-13 14:14:03

Where I live you can rent a space in an office with desk/ phone line(optional) for a decent amout per month - for the woman whose DH doesn't work yet won't let her work crom home, would that help? I think your timetable can be flexible.

Pigsmummy Mon 22-Apr-13 14:24:50

I also wfh a lot (on maternity leave currently) it isn't a breeze/skive it's purely because our company don't provide offices, I visit customers too. I have loads of conference calls when home, plus calling customers plus emails/reports and admin, the only thing I don't do is commute to an office, I normally start as at about 730/0800 and finish about 1800, but leave my laptop looged in longer in case of a distressed customer, whilst connected to the corporate network I have a messenger client open so that my boss/colleagues know that I am around.

Yet people still think that I don't work! I find that answering the door whilst always on the phone helps, I don't mind taking in parcels but I do mind a friend assuming that I am doing nothing and wanting to come around.

You have say no to the disruptions, your work will suffer otherwise. Also try to get a walk at lunch time or some other time?

Unami Mon 22-Apr-13 15:22:01

Ugh. It's the worst. Sometimes I have to be in the office, sometimes I work from home. I get more useful work done at home, I work more intensely with fewer pointless distractions. I don't give a crap if my neighbours and local friends think I am lazy, I just hate the assumptions my family make.

What are you doing tomorrow, will you just be in the house?

To make it even worse I do actually have a pretty flexible schedule which involves a balance of very routine, quick tasks and mid to long term deadlines, some very busy periods and some very quiet spells - so it's hard to put my foot down and say, no I can't do an airport pick up for a family member, or cover childcare in a tight squeeze when I know that half the time I actually could do it and make up for it later - I just don't like the assumption that I can.

SlimFitWellies Mon 22-Apr-13 15:47:12


I work from home one day a week. My main role is working with our US office, and i have a long commute. So, on Wednesdays when I WAH, my typical routine is this....

up at 5.30, get online to see what has come in from overnight. Work until 7.30, DCs up, and ready for childminder and pre-school. Do school run, back home by 9.30. Work 9.30-3, do the run in the other direction, deal with DCs, dinner, bath, bed, at 8 pm, then online again until usually 11pm-midnight etc.

We had a summer 'guest' last year who said to me at one point 'well, it is hardly really working is it? '

DH had to lead me out of the room.

Trillz - That's not called "the exception that makes the rule", that is called "making it harder for people who want to work from home and actually work to get permission to do so".

I take your point.

Everyone on this thread obviously works very hard at home. I have a hard time doing it, I am the first to admit it. I do tend to save "easy stuff" for my home days (emails, reading legal docs etc), and there are certain parts of my job I can do much more efficiently in the office.

I do think there are a lot of people - not just me - who goof off on their work-at-home days. I'm just the only one who has said so here. I think all the other goofers-off are just not on this thread!

You've got me thinking though. Most of my WFH days are due to other factors than me just "wanting to take a paid vacation day" e.g. child off school, worked late the night before, need to wait for the plumber...

WilsonFrickett Mon 22-Apr-13 17:47:05

So this isn't maybe the most subtle way of going about things, but on my top rate which I don't always get and I'm certainly not getting for every hour I work I can earn £50 an hour. Now of course, that is as a freelance, so tax etc still has to come off, and I work part-time so I don't get £50 x 8 hours a day x 365 days a year, but it sounds like a lot of money. And, tacky as it is, I have told people how much I earn. Because it was the only way to make them understand that no, I couldn't just look after their kids, or make DH's tea, or take in their parcels.

I know a lot of people will be pearl-clutching at my common ways. But at least I get peace during working hours.

Trillz Mon 22-Apr-13 18:20:09

If your employer doesn't mind you not-really-working-from-home then you're not doing anything wrong as such, but you aren't helping the cause, IYSWIM smile

Meringue33 Mon 22-Apr-13 18:23:30

I am on mat leave at moment and people keep saying, Ah, you'll save so much money on childcare since you won't have to put the baby in nursery, since you work from home!!!

Meringue33 Mon 22-Apr-13 18:25:31

I am a home based worker but have an ordinary 9-5 contract. I need to have my head down during those hours or work would quickly pile up! I also need to attend teleconferences and regular meetings with travel.

Arcticwaffle Mon 22-Apr-13 18:34:20

I've always worked from home about half the time, but I don't get any grief, I must have a particularly unfriendly demeanour when interrupted.

I do find I have to NEVER be available on weekday daytimes, if I do the occasional school trip or anything really, people start getting ideas that I'm around and available, so it helps to be quite rigid even if you don't absolutely have to be. And if I am going to meet a friend for coffee or lunch it's usually out somewhere, like office-based people might do.

Dippyeggsrock Mon 22-Apr-13 18:41:57

I work from home 50% of the time and run a business with DH and my MIL law asked if I would mind taking her to the dentist. I asked her whether her daughter-SIL who works part time and has a day off midweek could take her but she said she couldn't possibly ask SIL as she works but because I don't I could take her! hmm Funnily enough I have been very very busy lately. grin

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 22-Apr-13 18:50:33

Wilson I'm the same! I had to tell my Mum "Mum, I've earned x amount today...I can do the same tomorrow IF you stop phoning me for a chat."

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Tue 23-Apr-13 01:17:04

I agree. It's the ASSUMPTION that we are available that is the most irritating.

Today my daughter is going to the dentist. Yes I can take her, but I've been up working since 5 bloody am to be able to get there.

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