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about working from home?

(24 Posts)
georgyporgyy Tue 30-Jun-15 13:06:53

I work in a small team.

Until a few months ago I had never had systems access to allow me to work from home, was told it couldn't be set up etc. Turns out that was nonsense, and I do now have it, as do the rest of my team.

One of the team had an accident a few weeks ago and their mobility is limited. So they're now working from home for the next 6-8 weeks minimum.

That leaves 2 of us.

One of us has to be in the office at all times.

You can prob see where this is going. Other colleague has basically got the whole wfh sewn up, they have a constant stream of appts, school plays, assembly, open afternoon, sports days, you name it for which they say oh I'll go to X in the morning taking that as hols, then wfh in the afternoon. Or vice versa.

This week they'll be in the office for one day, all the rest are wfh. Which means even if I wanted to, I now can't. And I expect the next few weeks will be similar, even once school hols start it will be appts with gp, dentist, optician, hospital, and so on.

The other issue which is a bit irrelevant at the mo as I cant wfh anyway, is the way colleague does it now makes me feel like I have to give a reason for wanting to wfh. Which I don't really have, other than not wanting to sit in a stuffy office every day and save myself a 2.5 hr round trip commute.

Id just like one day where I can wfh if I want to, get more done, be spared constant interruptions and use the extra 2 hours I gain to do something useful... AIBU?

DoJo Tue 30-Jun-15 13:12:35

How does your manager feel about this? Can you approach them and ask if you can work out a system whereby you get to wfh as well as this other person? It sounds like you are getting the short end of the stick simply because you are not being proactive about asking for time at home, so you need to make your voice heard and make it clear that you would like to take advantage of the opportunity.

DoJo Tue 30-Jun-15 13:12:35

How does your manager feel about this? Can you approach them and ask if you can work out a system whereby you get to wfh as well as this other person? It sounds like you are getting the short end of the stick simply because you are not being proactive about asking for time at home, so you need to make your voice heard and make it clear that you would like to take advantage of the opportunity.

georgyporgyy Tue 30-Jun-15 13:17:50

My manager doesn't really agree with the whole wfh thing, in their 5 years of managing me on and off I've never known them to wfh themselves. That said my colleague seems to have the hide of a rhino and just says when they'll be in, at home etc meaning I don't get a look in.

When we first started working from home, about 4 years ago, we had a big problem with the managers' expectation that we would 'ask permission' and 'have a reason' to work from home. When the company had reduced the number of desks available; it was a huge issue!

I think it was hard for some of them to let go and get into the habit of a different style of working. I still see it in some of the teams but it's okay in mine now.

There should be some sort of decision made and policy created in your situation, where there has to be someone in the office. You will have to talk to your manager to ask that it is made fairer for you.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 30-Jun-15 13:28:46

I'd suggest booking wfh for half the time and then if she decides she has an event you can offer to swap with her. Avoiding a two hour commute sounds perfectly legitimate.

I'm suspicious of people wfh if they have children at home unless there is proper childcare in place. DH and I are wfh today, but DD is in nursery so I can actually get stuff done and mumsnet because it's lunch time.

rallytog1 Tue 30-Jun-15 13:28:59

Your manager needs to sort it out. Regardless of whether your colleague has the hide of a rhino, it's up to your manager to manage his wfh arrangements so that it's fair to everyone.

NorahDentressangle Tue 30-Jun-15 13:30:10

Are they really taking all this time as hols? Or actually counting it as wfh.

Can you check that that is being correctly recorded.

How will the company check that someone wfh is actually working. Is there a log in time check or something.

Is there an It person logging work done or something.

Why is someone needed in the office, can calls be forwarded instead?

carrie74 Tue 30-Jun-15 13:32:10

I WFH once a week (I do 3 days in total, so 2 in the office), but this is a formal arrangement. There is a lot of working on the move (most execs are across different locations in the week), so it's definitely seen as acceptable. We also have a system in place that tracks whether we're doing anything while logged in, which probably has an effect.

I think maybe you could approach your manager and suggest one day a week as your day WFH if you need/want to, and give your reasons - more time, more productive, particularly when you're "holding the fort" the rest of the week, and presumably can't be quite as productive?

wafflyversatile Tue 30-Jun-15 13:38:56

What did many appointments woman do before wfh was possible?

badg3r Tue 30-Jun-15 13:51:04

That would make my blood boil OP! I would explain to your manager how little time is now being spent in the office by your colleague. How is productivity assessed?

Is yours a team job where you need to be in touch throughout the day? I would be so tempted to try and call and catch them out at the shops etc when they were supposed to be working wink

butterfly133 Tue 30-Jun-15 14:20:44

also wondering what the other woman did before wfh was enabled.

there needs to be a fair assessment of who gets to wfh when. the reasons are not their business. Is it the case that you can literally do the job the same way at home? In that case, there is no reason you can't take turns with others.

I must say, I am really sick of companies not implementing wfh properly when they can. Think how much better trains and roads would be!

millymollymoomoo Tue 30-Jun-15 14:29:56

I have spent many years either wfh one or 2 days a week or 5 days a week even supporting global and European teams. I don't need to be in the office as most of the work is via email and phone calls. I do take time out to go to sports day or an assembly or meet with a builder or accept a delivery or whatever, and I don't feel like I need permission to do so. Reason being is I work way over my contracted hours, have calls with the USA at 10 at night and Singapore at 5 am, so if I need to have a hour out in the day that's fine! its about flexibility and being professional enough to manage my own workload and the time to do it. Same goes for all my team -- i wouldn't dream of questioning what they were doing every minute of the day as i know they also work long hours. Its give and take and they all deliver to expectations on time.

I think it fully depends on the type of work, the roles being performed and fairness for all. So in your case, its not right that you have to justify it if others don't, or if you are expected to man the office when they aren't or if you are expected to pick up work if they are not doing it. If that is the case then your manager and your company need to have a much fairer and transparent policy.

georgyporgyy Mon 06-Jul-15 17:46:47

So, went in today ready to ask to work from home either Tues or Thurs this week...

Tues I have a meeting to attend, so need to be in. On Thurs you've guessed it, my bloody colleague is off again, wfh because of an appointment.

So another week where they wfh and I don't.

I am utterly sick of it

Scoobydoo8 Mon 06-Jul-15 17:49:06

Can you have some urgent days off for family funerals/christenings or whatever so no one is at the office and see what is said? It might force a decision about who is off when.

Littlebigcat Mon 06-Jul-15 18:02:43

Can you speak to your manager and ask for some guidelines to be put in place, ie nobody wfh more than 1 or 2 days a week? Quite a lot of companies with flexible working policy's have this rule as it's not good to lose touch with the office environment (obviously depends on your job). Also, I would be tempted to invent a few evening activities which make the commute inconvenient so you have a reason. Obviously you shouldn't have to do this but if it feels as though you have to have a reason then have one ready.

georgyporgyy Mon 06-Jul-15 18:13:32

As a rule no one is meant to work from home. In reality it's just me that never does. Colleague is only being allowed to because of the plethora of appts etc they have.

I presume if I claim appt or other pressing reason I'll be allowed. My problem is that colleague always seems to get it first. Like this week...Tues and Thurs are days when I didn't have meetings so shouldn't need to be in. So could have asked to wfh. Except one day I'm now stuck in a meeting and colleague beat me to it on the other day.

Colleague is also off imminently for 2 weeks annual leave (when I cant take any holiday or probably wfh either).

SolidGoldBrass Mon 06-Jul-15 18:20:40

Get 'ill'. But have an illness that won't necessarily stop you working while at home (depends on what you do - you could lose your voice or have a mystery rash or something). Then your lazy, selfish colleague will have to step up, or be shown up as useless.

Wotsitsareafterme Mon 06-Jul-15 18:23:25

Sounds like you need a formal duty system and or work phones which can be diverted. Your colleague is taking the piss and your manager needs to grow a pair!

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Mon 06-Jul-15 18:31:13

I worked for a company for a while which involved at least 2.5hrs travelling per day, and they were rubbish about letting me work remotely in spite of a robust Remote Access infrastructure in place. I only worked from home when my manager decided she was going to hmm

Was there any reason why you picked Tue or Thurs as your wfh days though? What about Weds or Fri?

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Mon 06-Jul-15 18:32:30

What SGB said - a highly contagious stomach bug ought to do it! wink

Purplepoodle Mon 06-Jul-15 18:35:51

Does this colleague have a medical condition or children with a medical condition?

I would be email boss and colleagues that in future u intend to work from home on a Monday (for example) and see what replies you get. If colleague emails back saying g she needs Monday for X appointment, email her back asking what day she would like to swap later in the week so she will be in the office and you can work from home

georgyporgyy Mon 06-Jul-15 18:38:11

Tues and Thurs were the only days I didn't have meetings booked in.

I'm wary of claiming illness because we have really strict disciplinary processes around sick time off, I've already been off twice in the last 9 months, another absence would trigger a formal meeting.

Cheby Mon 06-Jul-15 18:46:02

This is easy to resolve. Plan your diary for the month ahead. Block out wfh days before your colleague and inform your manager. If a meeting later gets put in the diary for that day then you can always come in to the office for it.

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