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To ask whether employers generally don't have a problem with parents working from home?

(111 Posts)
SuperTrumper Tue 17-Jan-17 18:50:37

I'm on maternity leave at the moment and hoping to return to work in April.

I'm really starting to worry about how the childcare will work; I do have options and I'm sure it will be fine but I am guess I am just anxious about how it will all work until it's in action.

I'm remaining full time; my plan is to utilise MiL for 1.5 days of the week, nursery for 2 days and then I'm hoping to work from home for 1.5 days.

I work for a large well known bank and generally they don't mind home working. I haven't yet asked my boss if my proposal to work 1.5 days at home will be ok, ordinarily I know he wouldn't mind as he knows I work hard at home and don't just sit there in my pyjamas watching daytime tv, however now I'm a mum to a small baby, he might be dubious about how much I can actually get done with a nearly-1 year old

In your experience do employees understand that parents will work at home with their baby in the background and do they just trust that your work gets done?

If he asks me how I propose to look after DS and do my work at the same time I don't know what I'll say other than I'll make sure i work whatever hours I have to work to ensure my work gets completed.blush

Are there parents here of young babies or toddlers working from home on some days and do you/the employer just accept that there are some days you are just not productive but that you make up for it??

Ps I can't ask my MiL to come over on the days I propose to be home as she has SILs kids on the other days and can't cope with a baby on top

LaMontser Tue 17-Jan-17 18:54:06

I work for the civil service who are remarkably forward thinking, but they are very clear that WFH is work, not childcare. I had to basically show proof that my kids were in childcare/at school in order to be allowed it. Also, my girls are nearly 10 and even they are distracting when I'm working at weeekends or if they're home early. I honestly couldn't see it working with a baby.

ChuckSnowballs Tue 17-Jan-17 18:54:23

Erm, you can't work from home and look after a baby at the same time. Either or.

If you are working from home, someone needs to do the childcare whilst you are working from home.

Crinklecut Tue 17-Jan-17 18:55:19

Hi, I think your employer will still expect you to have childcare when you work at home. Working from home is just that, working - not working and looking after your child. From my experience it is virtually impossible to concentrate on work and a child at the same time so you end up doing a poorer job of both, and no one is happy.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Tue 17-Jan-17 18:56:42

You really can't work from home and look after a child, it's unfair on your employer and unfair to the child. You need to get proper childcare in place I'm afraid.

sugarmonster64 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:57:52

I think you'll struggle to do any work with a baby in tow and in my experience if you're working from home you also need to have alternative childcare in place. I would be very surprised if you were allowed to go ahead with the set up suggested. Can you put the baby in nursery but shorter hours on the day you're at home?

Kerberos Tue 17-Jan-17 18:58:30

Agree entirely. It's not possible to look after DC at home and give your job the attention it needs. Neither is it possible to do your job and adequately look after a DC!

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 17-Jan-17 18:58:37

Erm, you can't work from home and look after a baby at the same time. Either or.


I really can't see them agreeing to this.

LadyPenelopeCantDance Tue 17-Jan-17 18:59:02

I'm not sure how much work you propose to do when WFH and looking after a baby. They might sleep for some of the day, but not enough for you to do a full days work. Of course you could make up in the evening but it depends on what your role is. Would your colleagues resent you if you aren't seen as pulling your weight?

If you are going back full time could you use the nursery for the other days you need?

TaggieRR Tue 17-Jan-17 18:59:20

Honestly I don't think you can work 1.5 days with a 1 year old at home. What on earth do you expect your child to do while you're working?watch tv? Play alone? Mine only slept for 2-3 hours a day!! Not enough to do a days work

Munchkin1412 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:59:45

My employer is hugely flexible but they'd never let me wfh as a regular thing while looking after dd. They have occasionally as a one off when she's been ill and it's been impossible for me to get in. I doubt any employer would allow you to do it ( if they knew about it that is.)

OublietteBravo Tue 17-Jan-17 18:59:53

My company would only allow this if there was another adult in the house to look after the baby. We are not allowed to work from home whilst in sole charge of a child. I'm not allowed to do this even though my DC are 11 and 12 (and thus don't require much supervision).

So yes, I think YABU.

LIZS Tue 17-Jan-17 19:00:12

Realistically you cannot work at home and do childcare, your productivity will suffer. Either find childcare for those days or go pt.

CMOTDibbler Tue 17-Jan-17 19:01:08

I work from home, and its only since ds turned 9 that I can work effectively with him in the house. WFH makes life easier in terms of no commute time, being able to chuck a load of washing in while the kettle boils, or being in to recieve the online shopping, but you need childcare!

Floralnomad Tue 17-Jan-17 19:01:28

Agree with everybody else , WFH is work ,you still need the baby to be in childcare or looked after by someone else at home . The company that DH works for has more or less stopped all WFH mainly because people were taking the piss and just playing lip service to the working part .

Violetcharlotte Tue 17-Jan-17 19:01:48

Where I work people do wfh a lot, but there is a policy that says you can't wfh at the same time for being responsible for dependants. If it's a one off and the baby is sick it's normally ok, but wouldn't be allowed as a regular arrangement

lokisglowstickofdestiny1 Tue 17-Jan-17 19:02:02

One off working from home days with no child care is fine with my employer but they would expect childcare to be in place if it's a regular arrangement. A previous employer required evidence.

RebootYourEngine Tue 17-Jan-17 19:02:04

Its impossible in my job to work from home so dont have experience but common sense says that your employer will expect you to focus 100% on your work during your work hours. You wont be able to do that with a baby there.

TaliDiNozzo Tue 17-Jan-17 19:02:49

I don't really understand how you can do this. I'd be very surprised if any employer allowed you to tbh. What you are proposing, in effect, is to work part time (3.5 days a week).

maybeshesawomble Tue 17-Jan-17 19:03:01

I also work for a large well known bank at HQ. They are very committed to 'dynamic working' and I work from home twice a week...BUT the children are at nursery/school during that time and there is no way I'd be allowed (nor allow my team) to have children at home during working hours.

ButtonBoo Tue 17-Jan-17 19:03:18

Another one who thinks it unlikely they'll approve WFH with a child. Can you ask for compressed hours e.g work 2 longer days, half hour for lunch and then have a day off during the week?

Crumbs1 Tue 17-Jan-17 19:04:39

They might consider you working flexible hours so when you can't get work done you can make up hours in evening or at weekend. If you are permitted to work from home, then they are not permitted to ask about child care arrangements because of equality legislation. That said, by the time you finish maternity leave the baby will be more demanding and want you to interact with them. It might be hard for you to try and juggle.
You may want to use nursery for an extra day or reduce your hours.

Tiberius12 Tue 17-Jan-17 19:05:04

I only work 3 days a week and the 2 days I'm at home with my little one I barely get a minutes peace to do housework etc. There's no way you would get a full days work done

titchy Tue 17-Jan-17 19:05:47

Agreed with everyone else sorry. And I work in a VERY flexible public sector environment. Can you do compressed working at all - say four x 8 hour days rather than five x 7 hour days? What about your dp?

Cookiesandcream99 Tue 17-Jan-17 19:06:03

Echo above. I also work for a large bank who are generally flexible about WFH, however, not as a childcare option. Although, they were ok with the kids being three just after school (primary age) when I recently made a request for 1 day pw.
When I asked for a regular agreement to working I had to have a full work station assessment to the standards of work...desk chair monitor etc. (Despite when it's adhoc, sitting at the dining table/on my bed on the laptop ). Something to consider if you don't have an office set up at home.

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