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Working from home with a baby

(25 Posts)
Ticktick Thu 04-Dec-14 19:04:24

Looking for some advise from those in the know!

I'm hoping to work a 4 day week and 1 day from home after my maternity leave has ended. My line manager is fine with this but my section head has raised a query. He says there are 'legalities' involved when you work from home while responsible for a child. Suggesting my work might distract me from the care of my child or vice versa and could lead to trouble...

Could someone tell me please if they have had any experience of this? Is there anyone out there currently working from home with baby, can it be done? Is he telling porky pies...? Thank you smile

2fedup Thu 04-Dec-14 19:09:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theHowlatWooooooCorner Thu 04-Dec-14 19:13:48

I'm not sure about legalities, but I don't think its a practical arrangement. Will you work while your baby is playing? What about when they start to drawl and explore? You can't leave baby unsupervised in the highchair. You'll end up working doubly (or more) hard for fear of your colleagues thinking you're swinging the lead on the your WFH day.

radiobedhead Thu 04-Dec-14 19:14:02

I agree with the head too. I wouldn't allow it.

theHowlatWooooooCorner Thu 04-Dec-14 19:14:17

drawl crawl

SomeSunnySunday Thu 04-Dec-14 19:18:05

Honestly I think it would be difficult. I couldn't get anything done with Velcro baby DC1. With DC2, who was a much easier baby, I did manage to do bits and pieces while DC1 was at nursery, but only for the first 8 months, until he started crawling - after that he needed supervised very closely unless asleep!

I have memories of an awful day where I ended up trying to work from home with 1 year old DC1 (it was technically my day off, but something kicked off and there was nobody else to pick it up), involving long conference calls, attempts to redraft documents, and a lot of CBeebies / baby jiggling. I wouldn't want to do that regularly.

HappyAsASandboy Thu 04-Dec-14 19:20:09

I agree with the previous reply; if you're working for an employer, then you need to have childcare in place.

You can't take phone calls as required of you have a baby with you (you'd be restricted to nap times, which the baby will set, not you), you won't be able to concentrate properly to reply to emails, and as for concentrating enough to actually produce work - forget it! I don't think it can be done.

There will be short periods where the baby/toddler/child's pattern works alongside a minimal amount of work at home. When very very young the baby will sleep and feed for much of the day, so you could e working on a PC (though your brain may well be shot with all the hormones and no sleep). At three ish, my twins would have spent all day watching peppa pig while I worked (but do you really want that for your child?). But most of the time, they're just too demanding of your time and attention to enable you to work while caring for them.

I work from home one or two days per week. I always have childcare. It works brilliantly if they go to nursery, as I get loads of work done and save all that commuting time; it works less well on the days when my DH/mum has them in the house while I work. They know I'm there, and want to show/ask/tell me something - and it wouldn't be fair of me to shut the door and refuse to see them. They are too young to understand (and they're 4 yrs old now) and would just feel rejected sad So I try to arrange to work from home on nursery days only.

In short - I think your boss has a very good point. You can't do justice to either your employer or your child if you try to do both at the same time.

catellington Thu 04-Dec-14 19:21:37

Don't think you can look after a baby and work productively. I work from home. But have full time childcare, have done since dd was 6 months old. I would not be giving work my attention if I were looking after her.

InfinitySeven Thu 04-Dec-14 19:26:11

It's forbidden where I work. You can't adequately do both.

slightlyworriednc Thu 04-Dec-14 19:33:29

I think you may rethink this once you've encountered actually having a baby to look after! I don't mean that to sound patronising btw. I don't think anyone gets it really until the baby is born. I didn't.

A lot depends on your job, of course! If you're able to catch up in the evening once your partner is home, then that could work. I'm a teacher, so do quite a bit from home instead of staying late at school. So I pick my kids up at half 4 ish, but then plan/mark when they're in bed. My youngest is 4 now though, it was VERY hard when they were tiny and harder to settle.

moonrocket Thu 04-Dec-14 19:43:23

Do you have children already?
It isn't possible to work whilst in sole charge of a baby/ child (unless you're a nanny/Childminder! ).
You need childcare for those hours.
I would not allow this if you worked for me. I might make an arrangement whereby you do the hours for that day over the weekend (when baby's dad or someone else can care for baby)

BigCatFace Thu 04-Dec-14 19:44:19

Agree with everyone else. Can you request compressed hours (ie work 35 hours a week in 4 days)? That's what I'm doing.

strongandlong Thu 04-Dec-14 19:46:00

I work from home, doing an office type job. I have childcare to cover all my working hours. Just not possible to do a productive days work with a child about. Maybe it would be doable with a tiny baby if you're very lucky and have a really solid routine, but a crawling baby or toddler? No.

Azquilith Thu 04-Dec-14 19:52:55

There's no way I could work at home with a baby. And I wouldn't let anyone in my team do it.

PuppyMummy Thu 04-Dec-14 19:53:16

agree with everyone else. I don't know the legalities but I cant see how you could make it work. im on maternity leave and I have to get family round so I can do my cleaning properly!!

now baby is 6 months he will amuse himself for a little while but not all day!

I really can't see how you could do a job and look after a baby.

Chottie Thu 04-Dec-14 19:55:35

Working from home, with no childcare in place would not be acceptable where I work either.

gruber Thu 04-Dec-14 19:58:24

I worked from 8 months pregnant to when baby was 6 months. BUT it was mostly email/admin stuff done on line, I could work when I wanted to (or around baby) and I could time skype calls etc at my convenience. Baby slept or was carried in sling and if I really needed help I had to wait for DH to be home. There is no way I could do this now! And to be honest no way I could have done the same job even a few weeks later once baby started sitting, crawling etc. It really was only possible for those few months and only on thise terms.

gruber Thu 04-Dec-14 19:58:54

Oh and it was only 8 hours per month!!

cheesecakemom Thu 04-Dec-14 20:27:41

I think it depends on your work load and what you do. I know of people who end up doing work at night and early in the morning (with toddlers). It may be slightly easier with a newborn if they don't cry all day etc

nowwearefour Thu 04-Dec-14 20:30:42

You definitely need childcare if you are working! Where I work it is explicit and in the contract if you ask to regularly wfh on return from mat leave.

BanglesSpangles Thu 04-Dec-14 20:46:38

I'm planning on doing about 4 hours a week at home when I go back, split over two days, so am hoping I'll be able to work that around naps/evenings, as its mainly just going to be checking emails, but any more than that and I'd definitely be considering child care- im just not sure id be able to do either the baby or the job justice if i had to concentrate on both at once

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 04-Dec-14 20:52:45

You absolutely need childcare if you are going to work for an employer from home (working for yourself it's just about do-able I think, but you'd end up pulling a lot of very early mornings, late nights, etc ,etc).

I used to advise employers on these requests and no childcare meant an automatic no. And that is perfectly legal (and bloody sensible).

I know that isn't what you want to hear, but you need to rethink.

Andcake Thu 04-Dec-14 21:00:57

Hell no - it would be impossible! Especially when they are on the move, refuse to nap (when you think you can make a call) scream during conference calls, want to play with you ( and you with them) most little ones can only play on their own for a short amount of time, clamber into something dangerous whilst you're concentrating...

TheEnduringMoment Thu 04-Dec-14 21:09:10

I agree with everyone else. You could probably squeeze in a couple of hours of productive work in the course of a day while childcaring, if you're lucky. And as a one off emergency you could perhaps manage 7 hours work if you rose at 5, extended naps and shoved the child in a playpen front of Peppa Pig for the rest of the time. But you can't manage a full day's work and care for a baby/toddler on a regular basis; and most workplaces explictly refuse to let you work this way unless you have appropriate childcare in place.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 04-Dec-14 21:26:43

You haven't said if you've had the baby yet. I'm assuming not if you're even asking this! shock

Absolutely not possible to do a productive day of work with a baby/toddler around. I have to leave mundane housework until after the DCs are in bed, and even that's with one ear on the baby monitors. If I need to do something involving my brain and undivided attention, the kids have to be someone else's responsibility!

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