flexibility while pregnant?(5 Posts)
Am currently on two weeks sick leave from office based job as am struggling w morning sickness, exhaustion etc. This runs out next week and go likely to say ok to go back but with adaptations.
I'd like to suggest to my employers that I work from home (entirely possible as
male colleagues others do it too) so that I avoid stress of commuting, can be near toilet/'comfort facilities'/bed if I need a quick break, can make sure I eat properly in my own kitchen etc. All of my work is online so in theory it shouldn't matter where I do it from. I have a work phone that calls can be redirected to. I can do Skype/FaceTime meetings where needed and will suggest being in the office for the weekly team meeting each Monday.
I do line manage one person and the query would be how I do that from afar.
Has anyone else done something like this? Any tips or other suggestions that I can give to my employers to help convince them that I should be working at home? Any tips about managing people remotely?
I do want to go back to work but I simply can't face being in the office
and putting a brave face on the sickness. If I was at home at least I could do the work at my pace and without the extra bother of getting to and being in an office.
I think their concern may be how long this would continue for and whether it would then become custom and practice for you to work from home and be difficult to change back. And 2nd concern, whether you are actually fit for work. So they may be very sympathetic and say fine or, with good reason, they may ask you to continue working in the office instead. I work in HR we would likley say no to this arrangement as our concern would be at you aren't actually fit for work if you need to near your own bed etc. But we would agree a variation on your hours of work to accommodate.
The biggest issue you have is just prejudice. People don't believe that employees can work effectively from home when they are not visible. Totally unfounded and it's usually perfectly possible. (How many teams sit around the same set of desks yet still communicate with each other by email?!)
There is also a fear that if they allow one employee to wfh then "they'll all want to do it". And?
I used to run a sales team of 6. They were in one office 400 miles away, I worked from home. I went into the office each Wednesday for the sales meeting in the morning, team lunch and board meeting in the afternoon. I was always available by phone and email. We would have messaging conversations throughout the day. It worked very well.
WFH full time might just e a step too far for them. Could you propose a mix of office based and home working, subject to the agreement of your direct report? How will that person be coached, supported, motivated when you're at home? (could present as a development opportunity for them?). Put yourself in their position and think of all the objections they might have, and then construct robust responses to every one.
Best of luck
Thank you both for your helpful ideas and points. I think I'm going to chat through things with GP and also line manager and see if we can find a happy medium. At the end of the day we'll have to come up with a plan for my role when I'm on maternity leave anyway and how it will shape up for returning to work afterwards, so this might be a helpful starting point.
On the other hand, it took me 2 hrs to schlep round Tesco today as I was so shattered, so maybe I'm a bit too optimistic about getting back into the swing of things soon.... Looks like it's back to online deliveries!
Many thanks - will keep you posted
Do not feel guilty for taking time off work sick when you are ill. It doesn't sound like ypu are well enough to go back at the moment.
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