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To get cross at people who think working from home means you can do other stuff during the day?

(63 Posts)
bettycocker Tue 30-Apr-13 08:55:18

Why do people think that I will be able to do odd jobs, house work, run errands and have visitors round during the day, just because I work from home? DP is not the main culprit here and DC are teenagers now, so they are relatively self sufficient. It's everyone else.

Say I am working 40 to 50 hours that week, why should I take a break for a few hours and work late into the night? Do people not realise that it is exactly the same as working in any other environment?

If someone works from home, they might actually want to finish at 5:00 - 6:00. And no, I don't want to talk to people on the phone about non-work related things. I don't want visitors during my working hours. I can't pop out for the day, make it up in the evening and work through into the night. I can't spend an afternoon or morning doing odd jobs and make the time up later. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?

Yes, in theory I can be flexible if I need to be, but I like to be flexible on MY terms.

AIBU to be pissed at people's attitude to my working life. I have tried to be polite and it doesn't work.

isitsnowingyet Tue 30-Apr-13 09:02:27

Why are you on Mumsnet now then? Shouldn't you be hard at work grin

MissFredi Tue 30-Apr-13 09:05:16

Yanbu. I know exactly where you're coming from. And people seem to think that when I am not online on fb chat, because its closed, because I'm busy, it's still okay to hound me with messages and make my phone go mental...?hmm And then if you don't reply because you're ducking working and trying to ignore them they hound you again acting like you're being a cock to them instead of the other way round.

These being the same friends who would complain if you didn't earn any money to go out for meals and stuff with them.

Drives me mad. I'm glad you posted tbh, it winds me up so much and I feel a little better now wink

annh Tue 30-Apr-13 09:12:00

So stop being polite. If you can screen calls, do so. If you can see who is at your door, don't answer if it's a friend. If you do end up speaking to a friend, keep it brief e.g. "sorry, got to go, expecting a phone call". People will get the message pretty quickly.

TwoForTuesday Tue 30-Apr-13 09:14:28

Yep, I work from home and I get that, but from my DH. I generally only work part time but sometimes I do have to do the equivalent of full time hours. My youngest is at nursery every morning but sometimes I end up working either whilst watching a DVD with him in the afternoon, or in the evening after he's gone to bed. DH seems to think because I'm 'at home' then all the domestic stuff is mine to do. He thinks I should make a call, shove a bit of washing in, do a bit of work on the laptop, hang the washing out etc. He also has very firm 'ideas' of what I 'should' earn each month "Oh wouldn't it be great if you could do a few extra hours this month, that would be X amount extra in the savings"

He just doesn't get it.

QuintessentialOHara Tue 30-Apr-13 09:16:16

She is on mumsnet now because she wants her breaks to be on HER terms.

I am the same.

annh Tue 30-Apr-13 09:20:08

TwoforTuesday, how very irritating! I would be tempted to respond by saying 'Wouldn't it be great if you weren't so useless around the house, then I could earn more money for us"!

DoJo Tue 30-Apr-13 09:22:57

I suppose it's probably because a lot of people (like me - sorry grin) can and do move their work around, and work from home specifically so that they have the flexibility to do things during the day and move work to the evening etc. Unfortunately I think that people will always assume that working from home makes you more flexible, so you have to cut off their means of bothering you rather than hoping they will cotton on any time soon.

NKffffffffabeee2d7X127640abcce Tue 30-Apr-13 09:27:09

Not BU at all. My DH did this when I was working at home before maternity leave, and continues to give me 'jobs' now - "maybe you could cut the lawn/take the car for a wash/finish painting the spare room today". Presumably in my breaks from breastfeeding a newborn and entertaining a 3 year old, whilst keeping the house tidy, doing the constantly self perpetuating pile of laundry in hand and having dinner read when he gets home....grumble, grumble.....

FruOla Tue 30-Apr-13 09:28:26

YANBU. A good friend of mine works from home. I know that she can be flexible about what she does during the day sometimes - but it's definitely on her terms and I wouldn't dream of assuming that she is free to socialise, unless she specifically tells me that she is.

ShowMeTheYoni Tue 30-Apr-13 09:31:11

This gets me too OP. YANBU. I work from home and a lot of people assume that I can just stop when I like! Yes I am there for school, sick days and so on, but if I have a deadline, I have a deadline. I can't "just do coffee".

givemeaclue Tue 30-Apr-13 09:36:45


Also , its not possible to look after children at same time. So yes, I do still need child minder to pick up bete, school, holiday club etc.

We need a homeworkers forum!

Tee2072 Tue 30-Apr-13 09:39:32

There is one, it's called freelancers/self employed.

And personally I work from home and for my self so I can work as and when I want. If you don't want that, work elsewhere.

TheSmallPrint Tue 30-Apr-13 09:40:07

YADNBU I work from home but am apparently the only person who does anything child related or house related too. My DM is also a big culrpit at expecting me to be available at the drop of a hat and pop over to her which is a 35 mile round trip.

LunaticFringe Tue 30-Apr-13 09:44:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnonYonimousBird Tue 30-Apr-13 09:44:51

It so depends on the work culture you come from. But YANBU from where I am standing

In my work culture/company, working from home really means working from home. I love those days - get masses and masses done compared to office days. If I am busy, I work at home, plough through. Kids went into child care when they were pre-school age and yes, I might change the washing machine over whilst waiting for the kettle to boil but I worked.

DH's company if you "work from home" you dilly dally, and no one actually expects you to work - it's how it has always been, and he can do stuff like mow the lawn, fix his bike bla bla.... just how it is! Working from home is a kind of treat day you get if you have, say, been on a long overseas trip or whatever.

ImagineJL Tue 30-Apr-13 09:52:28

Well I have several friends who "work" from home. And yes, they work hard at times, but they also pop to the shops, the gym, even day trips on some occasions.

The bottom line is that those of us who can't work from home are jealous, I know I am. People who work from home can load and unload the washing machine, open their post, make home-related admin phone calls etc. These things take a matter of moments when spread through the day, and would easily be incorporated into little breaks. But it feels entirely different to work a full day at an office, then come home and have all that domestic stuff to deal with in one go.

So yes, managing your own time in your own home on your own terms sounds like a relatively easy way of doing it to me, and that's why people ink you have more free time.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 30-Apr-13 09:58:35

'People who work from home can load and unload the washing machine, open their post, make home-related admin phone calls etc.'

I work from home and most of the time, actually, I don't have time to do that kind of thing.

I end up doing it over breakfast, in the evenings and at weekends like most people.

What really fecked me off was when DP said the other day 'I bumped into [friend] today and she said she's got Tuesdays off at the moment. You and she could go for lunch!' hmm

RainyAfternoon Tue 30-Apr-13 10:12:13

Yes! YANBU! I have contracted hours that I work from home. I am expected to be at my computer, with no distractions and available on skype during those hours. There is no scope for doing anything else. The way I see it, working from home is a privilege that I have been trusted with, and I don't want to abuse that. Lots of people don't quite get this... But I do put a washing load on occasionally - I don't think it's any different to someone having a quick chat by the coffee machine. And I never get called into superfluous meetings, so my work rate is pretty good... (But lonely sometimessad)

Tee2072 Tue 30-Apr-13 10:21:22

Sorry, I was walking down the phone typing that on my phone and did not express myself well or finish my point!

My point, and I did have one, was that if you're going to work from home, you need to toughen up. "No I can't." is all that needs to be said if someone says 'You work from home so you can...."

If you're not tough enough to say that, then perhaps working from home is not for you.

Tee2072 Tue 30-Apr-13 10:32:06

I was walking down the phone? hmm I am talented...street, obviously!

ZZZenagain Tue 30-Apr-13 10:33:33

I get this on the days I work from home. I do come on MN inbetween but it is awkward when people want to drop by and discuss their problems since I am home. I love a good natter but I can't keep stopping for an hour or two or I don't finish what I have to do.

StayAwayFromTheEdge Tue 30-Apr-13 10:39:02

I agree. I have two jobs one from home and one "real" job as DH likes to call it. He is of the opinion that I can take a few hours off for shopping, cleaning etc and that no one will know or care if I don't work my contracted hours - for a start I will!

Anyway break over - back to work.

AliBingo Tue 30-Apr-13 10:48:43


I have the same problem, I WFH and friends and my mother ring up for long chats, why can't they understand that we are working!

Pigsmummy Tue 30-Apr-13 10:53:44

T2072 I don't have the choice to work "somewhere", I am employed and wish to remain so, our company sold off buildings back in 2002 so there just isn't offices a available for us to use daily.

OP just get tougher and say no to interruptions, I won't answer home phone when WFH and if someone calls to the house I wouldn't normally invite them in. Some of my colleague have lovely chalets (posh shed) in the garden where they work from, I might do the same when I return from maternity leave.

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