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Office based work while rest of team wfh(18 Posts)
When I first joined my company it was a fairly standard office based role in a small team of about 6. A couple of colleagues had agreements in place to work from home three days a week because the company had been taken over and relocated.
Since then, people have left and new people joined and secured similar wfh arrangements after having children etc. It all works reasonably well, EXCEPT I find myself frequently the only member of my team in the office. My boss, who also wfh from his holiday home abroad around six months of the year, is also very slow to respond to emails, instant messenger, etc so I seem to be constantly chasing people, whereas if we were all in the same office, we would simply talk to each other.
Is anyone else in a similar situation? I’m planning to put in a wfh request too but I think it will be rejected as I don’t think I have a strong enough case. Any thoughts from HR people?
If everyone else works from home I doubt you need much of a case. Are you often the only one in the office? If so ask about their lone worker policy.
I quite like being in the office when the majority of people are wfh. It means you can actually get some work done rather than being interrupted constantly and/or stuck in eternal meetings.
But maybe the difference is that in my industry when you wfh, you're expected to be online and available all the time (to prove that you're not slacking off when you're at home) so there's no issue with people responding. We also tend to video-conf a lot so no working in your PJs or with greasy hair etc. My favourite was on a vc with a colleague when I saw her husband on his hands and knees in the background crawling across the floor in the hope he was out of shot (which clearly he wasn't). Quite sweet actually.
I’m never completely alone BigFatLiar. We’re in a big open plan office surrounded by different unrelated teams.
I also quite like being able to get on with my work but I also miss the day to day interaction with colleagues and I feel that the dynamics of the job have changed in a way that’s detrimental to me.
Just to note, it’s usually illegal for people in UK based firms to ‘wfh’ while abroad. Tax implications apparently. I wonder if that applies to your boss...
That’s interesting Yurtle. He doesn’t work a solid six months abroad, it’s spread out throughout the year, probably to avoid any tax issues.
Regardless of any tax issues, there’s no valid business reason for him working abroad and while it’s obviously great for him, it means I have to pick up a lot of slack.
DH and I both work for organisations where wfh is now not only the norm but required because of downsizing office space. We are simply not allowed to be in the office more than twice a week. However it is essential that we are available on Skype, slack or for calls at all times and our laptops are tracked for when we use them. sounds like they havent instilled a culture to support an efficient wfh system at your work.
Most of the people who wfh use Skype, messenger etc effectively and are always available so that’s not really an issue. I guess my main issue is with my boss who “forgets” to look at his emails and the fact that I’m left stuck on my own.
I’m left stuck on my own
But you're not alone Didn't you say you're in a big open plan office? Do you not talk to people in other teams (socially, not necessarily work-related)
The other teams are completely unrelated so while there are one or two people I might chat with in the kitchen, I feel fairly isolated from a work point of view.
Just to note, it’s usually illegal for people in UK based firms to ‘wfh’ while abroad. Tax implications apparently.
Yes, there can be tax implications, but it's not 'illegal'! What a ridiculous claim!
I wfh a lot, as do most of my colleagues. I would agree that people are harder to track down. Not all, but there are people who abuse the situation and make it difficult to progress issues.
I have also been in the position of being on my own surrounded by other teams. It was isolating. You can talk about Strictly to somebody's from another team but you can't talk through anything relating to your job, you can't bounce ideas around. Things take longer, things that you could clear up in a few minutes if they were there are protracted and you become a nag by email when you don't get a response.
My response was to join them. The genie has been taken out the lamp with flexible working. It is nothing to do with agile working, it's about saving money on the cost of having staff on site. I like it now. I feel a bit like my own boss, but that is the problem. I definitely feel less inclined to put forward my best self at work. And I can tell other colleagues are the same. And a sense of team is lost. From a personal point of view I like the freedom but if I owned a business I would not like it.
Can you not Skype message/call him to prompt him? I find that easier than interrupting someone at their desk tbh.
You’ve hit the nail in the head Sarcelle. You’ve put my situation into words better than I did.
you can't talk through anything relating to your job, you can't bounce ideas around. Things take longer, things that you could clear up in a few minutes if they were there are protracted and you become a nag by email when you don't get a response.
^^ This exactly. I totally agree about the sense of team being lost.
And still complete nonsense! People are permitted to work wherever they and their employer choose. However, those choices may have tax implications.
Who on earth would be 'not permitting' employers to have people working in different locations around the globe?
It would put the company in a position where they aren’t following the correct tax rules was my understanding.
Only if they don't take steps to ensure compliance! It's for the company to choose their approach - yours doesn't want the extra admin burden of having people working overseas. The OP's is obviously happy with it, and providing they follow advice from their tax advisers regarding the implications of their set-up, it's fine.
Surely people working from home have no excuse not to return emails ASAP, they're in fewer meetings etc and mostly looking at their computer aren't they?