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just been told I have to go back to the office

(359 Posts)
Sarah510 Thu 06-Aug-20 11:53:45

and I don't want to!!!!! Have been wfh since lockdown and I love it. The freedom of it, and just not having to spend 2+hours commuting. I really thought I would be allowed to keep wfh as my job is not customer facing - I can do everything on teams, and a lot of it is with people in the far east so most is virtual anyway. But my team leader is the leader of another team as well, and she said to me today that she has put me on the rota for coming back to the office. I tried to say that I was happy to help out at busy times but that my priority had to be my own job, and that that wasn't people facing, and that it was going to be difficult to have these team meetings in a large office setting. She was unmovable though. I feel it's unfair. I mean, I'm not on that team, I'm a separate team, just me, the TL and a part-time person who is shielding so will not be coming back. I know people will slate me on here, but I really thought that things would change after lockdown. Team Leader is very anti wfh - she had denied requests even before Covid. She seems to be oldfashioned - like she always made a point of checking if I was in at 9am and telling me off if I was 5 mins late kind of thing. Never mind that I've been working weekends, late nights, early mornings since wfh, she just seems to want everyone back in the office under her watchful eye even though everyone is saying productivity is way up since we have been wfh.

Feeling miserable sad I guess I can 'see how it goes' and maybe put in a formal request to wfh. I tried to say to her that it was matter of being flexible but she's just not - she said no.

OP’s posts: |
Tekaloid Thu 06-Aug-20 12:05:55

Imagine how your colleagues in the office are feeling having to commute to work each day while you have a leisurely breakfast and enjoy fiddling about at home.

It's a massive bone on contention in my office - I spend 1 1/2 hours commuting and about £15 in fuel a day, 5 days a week and it annoys me that others are "wfh". I'd love to be able to spend that time with my family and save the cash but I can't.

Glitterb Thu 06-Aug-20 12:09:09

Unfortunately if this is what the company wants, then it’s kind of tough 🤷🏻‍♀️

CopperBeeches Thu 06-Aug-20 12:18:12

Maybe you could work out a compromise? Either your boss is "old-fashioned" etc (and you seem to have very little respect for her), or she has good reason for wanting you to see you at work sometimes.

It can be really hard to run a team when people are wfh. And certainly when people believe that their own work is all that counts and can't see the big picture.

Yes wfh is an option but it isn't always the best thing for the whole organization.

It is also often true that those who want to wfh, (not saying you OP as I don't know), want everything their way yet are quite happy for others not to have the same leeway. They are usually the first to complain that supermarkets have put up their prices or deliveries are a bit slow or their kids aren't being educated properly.


4amWitchingHour Thu 06-Aug-20 12:24:49

It's only hard to manage a remote team if you're a crap team leader - people make too many excuses to not change their working habits to accommodate remote working using the reason that it's difficult. It's not. You just have to be willing to adapt.

As for the "fannying about at home" - get into the 21st century! Why should we continue 1950s working practices when the technology is available to work in a better way.

If I were you OP I'd be looking for a new job.

WhatATimeToBeAlive Thu 06-Aug-20 12:27:00

You say there's a rota, does that mean you're not in 5 days a week? If that's the case, that's probably a fair compromise.

4amWitchingHour Thu 06-Aug-20 12:27:00

Also @Tekaloid - if it bothers you that much, change jobs. Sounds as though you work in a field where wfh is possible, just not for you in this role. That's your responsibility to change.

strawberrypip Thu 06-Aug-20 12:28:06

I work in a large company that have offices all over the world. they are big office of hundreds of people. I completely get you OP - I have no drive to return to the office when our productivity has also remained the same, and in some areas, improved.

it's called micromanaging, it is outdated and, especially in my team where we are not going to be able to have meetings anymore in meeting rooms as there are over 20 of us, completely unnecessary. mental health has improved amongst my team and people are logging more hours actually as the commute is not being taken into account.

I would like to be treated and trusted as the adult I am too, this is not school and i do not need to be watched. those who say yabu are probably those who miss being in the office or those with jobs that cannot work from home and find it unfair that some of us have this ability. otherwise, in office jobs where you can work from home at the same level, it is a waste of office space and rent money that they could put into the company and its workers instead.

highlandshortbread Thu 06-Aug-20 12:30:51

I know businesses have been told to get their staff back into work.

But is there any likelihood that once businesses get their staff back into the office - they’ll be advised by the government to WFH again because of rising infection rates and schools having to remain open?

I’m just thinking about this scenario. And I keep worrying I’ll be back in the office for about 5 weeks and then told to WFH again.

I don’t mind either way. I miss my colleagues

JacobReesMogadishu Thu 06-Aug-20 12:34:04

Maybe it’s causing so much resentment from the people who do have to go in that it’s causing Problems?

Before lockdown I was wfh as had no reason to be in the office. My job is quite senior and has always had the flexibility to work from hom e if I choose if I don’t need to be in for a meeting. Then as cases were going up the admin staff complained everyone at my level was wfh and they still had to go in. So we all got an email telling us we had to come in....even though Boris was saying wfh if you could.

It was the easiest option for the managers due to the complaints. I’m not saying it was the best option but sadly managers often do what’s easiest.

Roundtoedshoes Thu 06-Aug-20 12:34:05

I understand where you are coming from OP. The TL clearly wants to assert power even though it’s been working very well (from your perspective). Could you put a business case forward in writing outlining the positives? Maybe loop HR in (if you have a department).

People are quick to shut others who have been WFH well rather quickly. Yes, we do realise that supermarket workers and NHS front line staff haven’t had this luxury, but they are jobs that cannot be done from home. My FIL has a non desk job and slates offices workers all day as he has been toiling away. But he also works locally and has his own work provided transport. It’s a bit different commuting 2 hours + each day on public transport rather then a 20 minute drive in a private vehicle!

@strawberrypip makes a good point as well. I think middle management types are scared of losing their small grip on the power. There are people who sadly can’t be trusted, but a good manager should be able to deal with those individuals without being a dick. I’m sure most of us can manage our workload at home.

Youngatheart00 Thu 06-Aug-20 12:35:15

You’ve got to meet them halfway here and show willing, they are your employer and pay your wages, I’m assuming the job was office based when you accepted it.

Unsure if you are full time or part time, but asking to wfh 2 days a week (if full time) and in office 3, or at a push vice versa, sounds like a reasonable compromise.

Sparticuscaticus Thu 06-Aug-20 12:36:13

Team leader is putting you on a rota for going back into the office. Sounds like you'll get to WFH more often now than before. The business may need office manned. I can equally WFH everyday to do my work but office cover for those queries that need someone to answer phones and deal with on-site is also important

I don't think you get to argue it with her, just express how efficient you are at home and keep up the good work, but take part in the office rota your job requires as asked.

wizzbangfizz Thu 06-Aug-20 12:37:37

Leave and find a job which allows you to wfh, work for yourself or do what your employer demands.

DDiva Thu 06-Aug-20 12:38:00

I love the fact you're saying she needs to be flexible when you're not at all !

I also wouldnt be being difficult with such job uncertainty at the moment.

ilovesooty Thu 06-Aug-20 12:38:29

You don't seem happy working under her. Perhaps if you're unhappy with her line management and don't agree with her viewpoint on business needs you could look for another job.

ScrapThatThen Thu 06-Aug-20 12:41:53

Play the long game and put in a reasoned wfh request when the dust settles. Make it work for them by accommodating overseas meetings at funny times.

BlueJava Thu 06-Aug-20 12:42:23

I can see your point OP, I am also not looking forward to going back. Mainly due to the cost of the commute, the time it takes - not to mention the fact that I have been into the office all day sometimes (pre lockdown) - only to not speak to anyone, but just be on calls/teams to Asia and the US which seems a big waste of effort.

Patch23042 Thu 06-Aug-20 12:42:37

Anyone who can’t manage remote workers adequately is a pathetically poor manager. I used to report to someone in a different time zone and it worked fine! She sounds out of her depth.

strawberrypip Thu 06-Aug-20 12:45:50

@Sparticuscaticus of course people are allowed to request flexible work. it is in law - management can refuse but they need to put it in writing as to why and demonstrate why it would be damaging to the company for flexi hours/working from home etc. to be permitted.

Skyliner001 Thu 06-Aug-20 12:46:44


Imagine how your colleagues in the office are feeling having to commute to work each day while you have a leisurely breakfast and enjoy fiddling about at home.

It's a massive bone on contention in my office - I spend 1 1/2 hours commuting and about £15 in fuel a day, 5 days a week and it annoys me that others are "wfh". I'd love to be able to spend that time with my family and save the cash but I can't.

Sounds like your manager is on this thread OP 😂😂😂


funnyonion1 Thu 06-Aug-20 12:50:25

So commuting 2+ hours never bothered you before lockdown then?

Nanny0gg Thu 06-Aug-20 12:51:43

As a customer, all this wfh lark has been a nightmare!

I appreciate why it happened, but getting hold of people has been really difficult. If you need to speak to someone else they can't just transfer you, you have to hope that someone will ring you back.

It's been frustrating and time consuming.

burritofan Thu 06-Aug-20 12:52:29

I would imagine the commute did bother the OP prior to lockdown, but Wfh full time was probably prohibited. Whereas now, we've all demonstrated that it can be done, which is why it's such a shitter when companies start demanding workforces come back to the office for no reason other than "because".

updownroundandround Thu 06-Aug-20 12:52:42

Just go back, stick to doing your hours, no more early morning, evening or weekend work.

Keep mentioning what you haven't had time to do, and how you got SO much more done at home casually, and regularly, and how much you'd like to WFH again, even just some days a week................

Hopefully, the reduction in productivity will make the powers that be reconsider. (At the very least, it'll mean she's getting flack from management about the reduction in work done)...........

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