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Missing meetings because of reduced hours!(28 Posts)
Two years ago I was totally grateful to find a managerial post with reduced hours, so I could keep my career on track whilst bringing up my three little kids (6, 4 and 2 yo). I am more experienced and senior than previous post-holders and because I'm on reduced hours, I cost the company less of course and have implemented several positive changes.
But at the moment, I am really anxious because colleagues organise meetings at hours I don't work and accuse me of ' slowing them down' if they have to adjust to my work schedule. Some colleagues just tell me that they tried to contact me, but I wasn't in my office, so they went ahead and took decisions which affect my areas without me [even though I'm always contactable on my mobile!].
I work in a male-dominated environment so there is some clear misogyny, but at the same time, I need to be effective. Every time I have a disagreement with someone, they complain about my hours or the fact that my work is 'slow'.
Should I give in, let meetings go ahead without me as long as I am updated or should I stick to my guns and insist that such meetings should be held during my hours?
For example, I have given in and allowed job interviews to be held in my absence, even though I head the HR function, but I am worried that giving in might result in me being ignored or excluded routinely.
I'd really appreciate advice as I feel I'm losing my confidence and this job is extremely important to me. There is only one person in my team (new graduate) and I am finding colleagues going directly to him instead of to me simply because he is present, which is both risky and upsetting.
Yes snd it may prove that it's not possible to do your job correctly in that reduced time, but i think before reaching that conclusion you need to have a clinical look at everything you do and decide what can be delegated and what cannot.
If there is stuff there that could be delegated but the issue is that there isn't enough resource to pass it down to or it's too much for the remit of the graduate trainee, then you have a good case for bringing some one else in. They've got the saving from having you reduced hours so budget should run to a part time HR manager if needed.
Can you set up your phone so calls are forwarded to your mobile when you aren't there? Then you can say yourself whether your staff can cover for you, or that you will discuss with the caller when you are in the office. Also means you don't have to admit you aren't tehcnically working as you could be anywhere.
Your staff member needs to know what he can do - think of it as a development opportunity for him - and what decisions he needs to bring to you.
Can you think about it in terms of risk/benefits to the business and bring in your own line manager to agree the decisions that do need your involvement, probably the most important and complex ones, that must therefore be in line with your working week, and those that you need to be in the loop about but not a decision maker on?
Pushing ahead on some things without the HR director involved will be a serious organisational risk and your line manager will want to make sure that doesn't happen.
Your line manager should also be more aware of the need to support senior women in the business to support public profile, work-winning, gender pay gap reporting etc. It doesn't always feel right to be enlisting someone else but it feels like the right thing to do here to demonstrate your seniority.
Maybe also a period of insisting on meetings in your working hours but dealing with quick things by email out of hours and directing your landline to your mobile out of hours so no-one can say they couldn't reach you. Greenlighting easy things quickly and saving the meetings for the complex issues? You shouldn't have to technically but it might help show willing while the bigger changes are being enforced.
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