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AIBU to visit a colleague outside of work?

(61 Posts)
whattodowiththepoo Thu 11-Feb-16 19:48:27

Name changed and pretty sure I didn't do anything wrong, I'm definitely not in any trouble just wondering about opinions.

My assistant has been off work for 3 days sick, one morning I had a cancelled appointment and was very close to her house so I tried calling to see if I could stop by and say hello.
She didn't answer but we have a good relationship so I picked up some food and took it to her house, she is really poorly but seemed happy to see me and was happy about the food and thanked me.
But, her mother is visiting her and made it very clear she thinks I should not be visiting her daughter outside of work because it's inappropriate.
Exactly how inappropriate do you think it is?

BillSykesDog Thu 11-Feb-16 19:51:11

Very inappropriate. It smacks of checking up on her. You could potentially find yourself in hot water with HR. I take it you didn't even call ahead? That's not on.

whois Thu 11-Feb-16 19:51:37

Boss checking up on someone they think is skiving - not appropriate.

A friend from work who you socialise with outside of work - fine.

Muskateersmummy Thu 11-Feb-16 19:52:04

Depends. Are you friends? Would/have you have visited her at home before?

Personally other than a close friend I wouldn't want anyone calling round unannounced when I was poorly, but that's aside.

If I was pretty close to you at work I would be happy with you visiting me at home. I had one boss do this but we were close and she was with me when I fell ill at work. Otherwise it could be seen as checking up on her. That she wasn't trusted.

I wouldn't have called in without speaking to her first tbh.

morningtoncrescent62 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:53:17

It's inappropriate - I'm not sure how to quantify inappropriateness, but this is not something you should be doing. Unless you're close out-of-work friends with your colleague (which by the sounds of things you're not), then you should stay away while she's sick. Although kindly meant, your unsolicited call, and your visit without invitation, could be construed as harassment. She's your assistant, and it might be difficult for her to seem anything but pleased to see you, when really she's at home and shouldn't be troubled by anything to do with work. Don't do it.

duckbilled Thu 11-Feb-16 19:59:34


gleekster Thu 11-Feb-16 20:05:31

Oh dear YABU.

I wouldn't have done this. Hopefully she won't make a complaint and you can chalk it up to experience.

PrettyBrightFireflies Thu 11-Feb-16 20:09:17

Your HR policy should set out the responsibilities for contact with staff while they are off sick - including home visits if they are necessary.

While well intentioned, your visit could cause the company problems if the staff member is off on long term sick and/or there are performance issues that need to be addressed.

As a senior member of staff with management/supervision responsibilities, you probably need to brush up on your companies HR procedures.

Gattabianca Thu 11-Feb-16 20:09:41

Very inappropriate

ScarletForYa Thu 11-Feb-16 20:10:42


You went to a sick colleagues house? Unannounced? Uninvited?

You really have to ask. That is a terrible invasion of privacy. I would have been furious. I'm pretty sure it's harassment to contact sick employees while they're off.

Are you her manager?

CooPie10 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:10:55

Yabu, if she didn't answer that must have been a hint she doesn't want to engage. I think turning up with food was crossing the line. She might have just been polite because you are her boss but absolutely inappropriate on your behalf.

whois Thu 11-Feb-16 20:16:47

Oh I didn't see that she didn't answer your call! Yeah that makes it more bad.

I wouldn't want a 'real' friend turning up to my house if I had ignored their text/call when I was ill.

FarrowandBallAche Thu 11-Feb-16 20:19:14

Do you socialise out of work? Text each other about non work issues? Are you friends? If yes then I think it's ok to pop in and see her.

StickyToffeePuddingAndCustard Thu 11-Feb-16 20:20:30

I'm assuming you must see her socially as you know exactly where she lives; I couldn't tell you where any of my work colleagues live even though I go to work socials with them.

If you relationship is much more familiar than a regular manager/assistant and you've been to her house before socially, I can see why you thought you were doing a nice thing.

I can also see why her mum thought it inappropriate.

It really depends on how close your out-of-working-hours relationship is.

Sits on fence pending more details.

GreenShadow Thu 11-Feb-16 20:21:55

It would be fine where I work, but then there's only two of us in the office so we've become quite close.
Depends so much on the circumstances.

origamiwarrior Thu 11-Feb-16 20:22:37

YABU - terribly inappropriate, unless you are very good friends (which you're clearly not given your AIBU is focussed on her being a work colleague).

ilovesooty Thu 11-Feb-16 20:22:42

I can't imagine why you would think this was appropriate.

VimFuego101 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:23:42

You say she's your assistant, so really she's your employee, not your friend. Did she give you her address or did you get it from somewhere work-related? I would have assumed she didn't want visitors since she didn't answer her phone. I would definitely not have just showed up on her doorstep.

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 11-Feb-16 20:24:00

Gosh, it's a lovely gesture, and I'm sure your heart was in the right place. But it's really inappropriate.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions....

EweAreHere Thu 11-Feb-16 20:24:22


Inappropriate. You may get blowback from HR on this if she complains.

MammaTJ Thu 11-Feb-16 20:30:08

Once I tried to phone in sick and the deputy manager said 'I'll be there at 4pm and I'll bring lemsip, you'll be fine'

We are really good friends though and there was nobody else available to do my night shift. She also knew I needed the money!

I think as long as she herself was ok with it, then it's fine.

Glitterspy Thu 11-Feb-16 20:34:22

Agree with pp, she's your employee not your friend. Of course she acted pleased to see you and for the food, you're her boss and she was being polite because she has to

You overstepped a line there and acted in an unmanagerial way. If she was a peer it would still be borderline unacceptable but still more understandable as she would have been able to open the door and say "I still feel like shit, that's why I haven't been at work for 3 days and I need my mum to look after me. Now bugger off". She clearly can't say that to you, with being her boss and all. You put her in a bad position when she was already feeling bad. When she gets back to work she deserves an apology from you.

Iwanttokillthem Thu 11-Feb-16 20:34:49

Wow. I would be horrified if my superior turned up unannounced while I was home sick.
I would be wracked with anxiety that there was some reason behind the visit other than 'just popped in for a cuppa' because it would never normally happen.
It was during work hours so surely you must have left work on a mission to check up on her - thats what it would seem like to me. And I do get on well with my manager I just dont want her in my house thanks.
You must speak to her and let her know you've messed up unintentionally so you are on an even keel when she returns to work. Otherwise it could get very messy.

Glitterspy Thu 11-Feb-16 20:36:20

I just re-read the op - you called, she didn't answer so you turned up on her doorstep hmm

The line is a dot to you.

ilovesooty Thu 11-Feb-16 20:37:50

I don't know how you can say you definitely aren't in trouble. She might well make a formal complaint when she returns to work.

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