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Just had a rather interesting argument at work...

(129 Posts)
YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:32:27

We work for a pretty large firm, as part of a team of 10 people. Working from home is allowed within the firm - some more senior people do it when they want to, other people have negotiated it as part of their contract. IT etc is all set up to allow complete WFH.

WHF is not part of any of all of our team's contract but our manager is happy to allow it occasionally. One of us WHF one set day a week. Others do it occasionally. Reasons generally include standard things like waiting for large deliveries and workmen and attending doctors appointments. This has also included less urgent things like attending a child's school play, a vet appointment, and half day WHF when juggling caring for an ill child (i.e. both parents doing half days from home).

Our manager is fine with this. Our work couldn't be done all the time from home, but it can be done a lot. I imagine she sees it as part of treating her team like adults and acknowledging we all have lives as well.

At a team meeting this morning (without manager, which is probably relevant) one member of staff kicked off about it. They feel it is unfair that some people can just WHF with little notice. Their main issues as that they cannot, or do not need to, WHF. They don't have a laptop or PC at home they can work on, don't have any dependents that might need care (childcare, vets etc) and live in a rented property so don't need to stay in for tradesman. Individual concerned is very irate and even threw the word "discriminatory" into the conversation.

I can slightly see their point as some reasons for WHF are far less important or urgent than others (want to see your kids play? take a half day). However, when any of us ask to WHF, our manager could always say no if it is a problem - and does not. Most of the rest of the team operate on a "don't ask, don't get" mentality. There is no reason why this individual could not ask to WHF, or as IT if they can borrow a work laptop.

WIBU - is our team discriminatory, or are they U for complaining?

BackInTheRealWorld Tue 16-Feb-16 09:33:50

What is WHF

BackInTheRealWorld Tue 16-Feb-16 09:34:14

Oh, work home from?

infife Tue 16-Feb-16 09:36:05

He can come into the office then and sit in his own. It'll be exactly what the wfh lot are doing. he is being unreasonable

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:36:39

Ha! Yes, WHF blush

Twitterqueen Tue 16-Feb-16 09:36:54

Neither or you are BU. WFH is down to management policy and clear guidelines - which aren't clear at all in your org from the sound of it.

Not your problem - refer upwards

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:37:01

Can you tell I've not had enough coffee yet this morning? grin WF sodding H!

Alasalas Tue 16-Feb-16 09:37:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Okiedokiefanokie Tue 16-Feb-16 09:37:50

If this person has asked and been refused because they have no children then yes it is discriminatory. I used to get mighty pissed off pre-children when other people with kids could fuck off at 12 on Xmas eve but I had to stay til 7, or I was sent to another branch 20 miles away and they weren't as I didn't need to do a school run

Ubik1 Tue 16-Feb-16 09:38:10

You need a clear policy. Your colleague is right. It's unfair.

thebiscuitindustry Tue 16-Feb-16 09:38:58

brew Have this OP!

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 16-Feb-16 09:39:26

It's work from home, Back.

I let my team work from home for whatever reason they like. I don't care if they just fancy being at home, or they are under the weather, or they are going to the doctors... It doesn't matter. As long as they are actually working, the reason is irrelevant.

How on earth could it possibly be discriminatory, as long as everyone can request to WFH? It would be discriminatory if you could only WFH if you have children, or only the women, or anything else that actually involves discrimination...but if anyone can ask, it's totally fine.

If the person doesn't have any reason to ask and actually can't WFH anyway due to lack of equipment, that's not discriminatory, it's just their personal circumstances. They should suck it up, or sort our their own equipment so they can WFH too.

This is a really bizarre thing to complain about and if I was the complainants manager, I'd be talking to them to try and find out what they are really so unhappy about. I suspect this is probably a ruse because they feel hard done by in some way.

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:39:56

I should add we all commute quite far into work (London-based) therefore WFH for the doctors etc came about because our manager worked out the firm actually loses less time worked. As in, if you have a 10am appt at home and then came back into the office, you might not get in until 11.30 and the firm in theory would lose 2-2.5 hours work. WFH means you can work 9-9.50, then 10.15-5 and as a whole a lot less work hours are lost.

GreenSand Tue 16-Feb-16 09:40:09

They are U.
They COULD work from home, if desired. The fact that they haven't chosen to is irelevent. They are not being stopped, are they?

vestandknickers Tue 16-Feb-16 09:40:41

Company does seem a bit slack if you can come straight out of a meeting and start gossiping on Mumsnet!

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:40:59

Individual has never requested WFH. Anyone could ask. They are the only person who has never asked.

fuctifino Tue 16-Feb-16 09:41:05

We had similar where we could take time off in lieu, within reason.
One fella accrued so many days that he wanted weeks off, management wouldn't let him. He then created such a stink that everybody was stopped time off in lieu.

Petty idiot was my thoughts.

He has now left and (reasonable) time off in lieu has been reinstated.

No, it's not discriminatory, the guy is being childish.

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:41:11

Vest grin

Mistigri Tue 16-Feb-16 09:41:41

Your colleagues is being very U.

We have an almost identical set up in our team (big company, team of about a dozen worldwide). Some of us including me work almost entirely from home (I'm contracted to do so as is one other colleague), others work mostly from local company offices but will work from home for the reasons you give, or simply because they need concentrated work time ahead of a deadline. It's a very efficient flexible way of working that means you get low absence rates and high employee satisfaction re work/life balance.

TooMuchOfEverything Tue 16-Feb-16 09:42:07

We've had a similar issue at my workplace. One person (me) bothered to ask for a flexible working arrangement then the people who hadn't all started moaning that it wasn't fair. 'one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us'.

What should have happened is the boss explaining that if they wanted to work flexibly they should apply to. Instead the boss was a spineless twat and I got horrendously bullied over the whole thing.

FUCKERS I tell ya.

NuckyT Tue 16-Feb-16 09:42:18

Would this team member get to WFH if he asked for it?

I manage a small team and work from home once a week per an arrangement with my line manager, as one of my DCs is still pre-school. Some managers in our organisation allow that, some don't - it's all at the manager's discretion and what they feel works for their team.

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:43:34

Yes, Nucky, they definitely would. Manager is very nice, and would happily let team member request a work laptop and WFH if they needed to.

None of us who have WFH do so regularly. We're generally talking once every few months at the most.

Junosmum Tue 16-Feb-16 09:43:40

Team mate is being ridiculous. It isn't discriminatory because if they had a need to work from home they'd be allowed. The fact they can't as they don't have the equipment is their own issue. It's like saying no-one in the team can eat homemade lunch because one person in the team doesn't have time to make it.

Okiedokiefanokie Tue 16-Feb-16 09:44:13

In that case why hasn't he/she asked? It's easy enough to borrow a works laptop or buy one if he's that bothered. It seems like there's something other than wfh going on in his head.

YouSaffBridge Tue 16-Feb-16 09:44:39

Mistigri - or simply because they need concentrated work time ahead of a deadline - yes, this is allowed too if there is a big report to write etc.

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