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Working from home - negative affect on seniority?

(9 Posts)
theressomethingaboutmarie Wed 10-Sep-08 10:11:39

I work as an Operations & Resource Manager for a small City consultancy. I'm on the management team (blah blah) but am finding it tough managing to work full-time from the office in addition to having a happy daughter and happy marriage! My daughter, who is nearly 1, is very settled with our child minder. My husband and I tend to argue alot more though as our days are very long and we don't get time to be together.

My boss has made it clear that I am okay to work from home a few days a week and has said that anything up to 3 days would be fine. I work very effectively from home and as a good deal of our staff are based on client site, this has no negative affect on my relationship and interaction with them.

Does anyone have any experience of remote working having a particularly positive or negative affect on their rank and status within their organisation?

OLIVIASMAMA Wed 10-Sep-08 20:01:54

I don't have experience of home working but something that sprung to mind is that I have worked with people who have worked from home and the general opinion with the office based employees is that the ones that work from home are "the slackers" and have it dead easy.

Not true in the majority of cases I know but it does have this stigma attached to it and therefore I feel that you have to be seen to be working super efficiently if you are to take this avenue.

I'd be terrible - "easily distracted" always appeared on my school report and has stayed with me ever since.

Good luck.

ataraxis Wed 10-Sep-08 21:34:03

I am a senior manager for a project management team. I don't know if it makes a difference, but my team is remote (client site) based as well so it's not like everyone else goes into the same office every day.
I have found working from home much more than the rest of the team (who generally get a day at home a week but not guaranteed) has made no difference to my rank/status. I make sure I talk to people regularly, have team meetings once a month and have regular contact with my managers (COO & MD).
I work for a FTSE 100 male dominated company - the area I work in is somewhat different to a lot of the rest of the company but it does give me hope for the rest!

theressomethingaboutmarie Wed 10-Sep-08 22:04:49

Hmm - thanks for the perspective. I think that my productivity is very evidently higher when I am working from home due to fewer distractions. My boss works remotely quite a bit so it would not affect our relationship and communication (and, as mentioned, my increased productivity is evident to him). I simply don't want my need for home working to negatively affect the career I have worked so hard for.

However, without the home working, I'm quite certain that, over time, I would start to find the balance of full-time work, home management, relationship with my daughter and relationship with my husband all too much to handle. Something's got to give so home working it is.

I might suggest three days a week on a two month trial basis to ensure that it works for all parties. I've discussed it with my team and they have no concerns.

OLIVIASMAMA Thu 11-Sep-08 07:05:28

I think the trial period is a good idea - it just gives all parties the option to voice their opinions on the change.

....and you to prove what a great idea it was to change in the first place and managing your home life too.

Go for it, it makes sense all round.

cashy Thu 11-Sep-08 10:40:36

I am a Senior Director for a PR company, based in London and I work from home in Bristol. My DD is 7 mths old and goes to nursery 3 days a week.
I don't think there's an effect on seniority in my experience, only downside (although i see this as an upside!) is you're not as involved in the office politics and resulting decisions made about the business etc.
I feel that working from home gives me the best of both worlds - I can do a high level job out of London, can drop and pick my DD up at reasonable times and DH and I aren't shattered from ridiculous commutes!

MrsMattie Thu 11-Sep-08 10:47:29

It depends on your workplace, your boss (how supportive is he or she of you generally?), your relationship with colleagues, and how important 'being there' is in the whole scheme of things ie. the politics of your firm.

I know that for my ex-boss, working from home was the death knell of her career for that particular organisation - a big broadcasting corp. with an extremely politicky, competitive vibe. She wasn't 'there' for all the general hob knobbing that went on over coffee or around the water fountain or whatever, and was gradually and increasingly left out of the loop on key decisions.

However, I have friends in other situations who find it a great way of juggling all their commitments.

Could you have a trial run, say for 3-6 months, and see how you find it?

BellaLasagne Thu 11-Sep-08 10:56:11

I'm a project manager in a team of 6 and work from home 2 days out of 4. Homeworking is positively encouraged and, in fact, we now all hot-desk as accommodation is so tight.

I agree with all the comments made above, but can only add my perspective to MrsMatties's comments wrt the general decision making processes that happen. I do find that decisions are made without consulting me simply because I'm not there. It's not intentional, it's just happened as a decision has had to be made quickly in the dynamic environment we work in. The real problem is that other team members forget to pass on that crucial information so you can find yourself in a meeting saying something stupid because you didn't realise something had changed!

Having said that, it's the only real downside and I wouldn't have it any other way but it does totally depend on the attitude of those you work with. It sounds posisitve in that your boss works from home too. If more and more people do it (and not just women!) then it does catch on and there is a culture shift.

I think a trial period is ideal and should help you decide how to progress. Good luck!

OneLieIn Thu 11-Sep-08 11:00:06

I think there is an effect definitely on how you are viewed in the office. This is because whilst you think / know you are being more productive than ever, this may not be visible to everyone in the office. All you need is for your phone to ring once and not to answer it and people start talking.

Now all of this could be the shitty company I have been working for and not the general way it is. I guess you would have to prove yourself to your boss and how busy you appear to be.

BTW, I love working from home and have done so for nearly 10 years with differing views from the companies I have worked for. The current one is awful as I said before. The previous ones have been great and not really had the issues I am experiencing now.

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