Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


to think my colleague may be taking the p*ss slightly with regards to working from home?

71 replies

ceebeegeebies · 31/03/2011 11:41

My company is flexible about people working from home occasionally (for example, I am working from home tomorrow morning as the washing machine repair man is coming to fix my machine).

However, my colleague (we do the same job, share an office but do not have the same manager) uses working from home when she needs to be at home to look after her DC when school is closed unexpectedly/they are sick.

The type of work we do can be quite reactive at times, rather than planned, and when we are at home, we are only contactable by e-mail (no mobile phones), obviously cannot print anything off and there are a couple of IT systems which we use regularly that are not accessible from home.

My colleague had a week working from home when the schools were closed due to snow last year - this was out of the blue so there is no way she could have planned her work to take a week's worth home (and anyone would struggle to find a week's worth of work to do at home) so I have no idea what she did for that week. This week one of her DC is sick and off school so she has been working from home for the last couple of days - again, out of the blue so what has she got to do? We don't routinely take work home just in case...

In her defence, her DC are older than mine (12/13ish) and obviously aren't going to be demanding of time etc that my 2 under 5's would be but AIBU to think that this is not in the spirit of working from home and that she should be using annual leave instead?

I am a little bit Shock that her manager just seems to let her without question because I know my manager would be Hmm about it.

OP posts:

worraliberty · 31/03/2011 11:44

I think she has a fantastic manager and she's very lucky.

If the Manager is ok with it then that's all that matters.


WidowWadman · 31/03/2011 11:47

My manager has let me work from home in the past when my daughter was too poorly to go to nursery, and I'm very grateful for this - however I'm contactable by mobile and have full access to IT systems when I do.
It's obvious that a sick child is distracting and you need some discipline, but I don't think that actually showing the will to work instead of taking a weeks' leave with no notice is taking the piss.

Snow closures or sick days when you don't have alternative childcare arrangements are really awful. (I think a 12 year old probably can look after himself on a snow day, though)

Other than that, she's not even reporting to the same manager as you, so it's really really none of your business.


ExitPursuedByALamb · 31/03/2011 11:48

Agree she has a fantastic manager. Yes she is probably taking the mickey a bit but why not if she can get away with it.


Flower1000 · 31/03/2011 11:49

I think legally a company has to allow 'so many days' off to look after children anyway, but I think the children have to be younder than about 8.

As long as she's till contributing, then surely it's better she works from home than takes the day as a 'family care day' and doesn't do anything?

I had to wfh with the snow because I live in the middle of nowhere, luckily my boss is a good one and allows me to do this. My collegues say they are fine with it as they can see I'm still working and not just logging and and putting my feet up.

I think YAB slightly U


caramelwaffle · 31/03/2011 11:52

Yabu. It sounds as if she has a fantastic manager. If she is being allowed to work from home for a week at a time, she can obviously be trusted to produce the work. We should have more of this in this country (Uk)


ceebeegeebies · 31/03/2011 11:52

Ok, I can understand your points - I guess it is just the lack of consistency between managers then that I might BU?

Flower we are allowed 3 emergency days but these can only be used for 3 seperate occasions rathern than use in 1 block so we can have 1 day off for short notice issues but then expected to make alternative childcare arrangements/use annual leave if it goes on longer than 1 day.

OP posts:

MissVerinder · 31/03/2011 11:53

Will allow access to your desktop, OP. You know, if you ever need to work from home unexpectedly. Maybe if you suggest this to your manager you might have a bit more flexibility with it. I think you should be able to print off on the work printer if you're at home with this one too, as well as possibly being able to use the work systems from home.

I don't think you're BU at being pissed off at the inconsistencies in management.


ceebeegeebies · 31/03/2011 11:55

Missverinder we can access our desktop remotely on laptops (though afaik, my colleague has not had this set up yet). However, not much use to be able to print off on the work printer if you need to get someone else to find it, put in an envelope and post it is there?

OP posts:

StealthPolarBear · 31/03/2011 11:55

how would printing off on the work printer help if she is at hiome??
OP I don't think yabu!


PuppyMonkey · 31/03/2011 11:56

Her manager might be emailing her millions of things to do at home for all you know.


StealthPolarBear · 31/03/2011 11:57

Very true, I am basing this on the job I do I suppose. I can (and do) with noticre work from home for maybe a day, two at a push. More than that and I wouldn't be working.


Bumblequeen · 31/03/2011 12:00

This reply has been deleted

Withdrawn at poster's request.

StealthPolarBear · 31/03/2011 12:02

That said DH wfh for about 3 weeks when he had a virus affecting his eyes and couldn't drive> He's a programmer though and could log in to his work machine and do everything he normally could.
He did ring in sick a couple of those days when his virus gave him fluey symptoms


ceebeegeebies · 31/03/2011 12:05

Stealth/Bumble I am glad I am not a lone voice in this Grin

MN is funny sometimes - I have read numerous threads about people working form home 1 day a week to save on childcare costs and everyone has been up in arms about it saying that it is not right, you can't work with a child at home etc etc and to me, this is similar, albeit on a ad-hoc basis. MN is weird......

I guess the other thing that annoys me is that it is always my colleague that has to be at home as her DH has a "much more important" job so can;t possibly do any emergency childcare. If my DC are ill, me and DH will share the childcare.

OP posts:

StealthPolarBear · 31/03/2011 12:08

Am wondering what a parent of a 9yo would be expected to do, Flower1000?

I think the general consensus is it's none of your business, but tbh I think it is if you're not getting treated fairly? Presumably you pick up the slack when she is wfh?


ceebeegeebies · 31/03/2011 12:18

Stealth yes, we provide a support service to managers so if she is not in the office and they come in with problems, me and my other colleague generally end up dealing with any issues. I guess we need to be more discipined ourselves and stop helping her managers and telling them to phone her manager (she works at a different site from us) for the answers Wink

OP posts:

StealthPolarBear · 31/03/2011 12:19

Or just say X is working from home today, here is her tel no


ENormaSnob · 31/03/2011 12:21


I would be pissed off.


tabulahrasa · 31/03/2011 12:21

an ill 12 or 13 year old isn't the same as being home with small children and trying to work though - they don't need anything other than someone there


Snuppeline · 31/03/2011 12:29

Gosh you must be a very envyous woman! If the other lady's work doesn't affect you and her manager is fine with it then why do you bother? I worked from home yesterday because my dd was teething badly. I could have taken a sick day instead - as I'm entitled too - but choose to wrap my work around the distractions my dd threw at me. I am sure my manager appreciates my dedication by committing to working into the evening to make up lost hours of care rather than take a sick day. If I couldn't have got any work done I would of course have done the latter.

You also know most people who had children in school had good reason not to work at all when the school was closed with the snow. The fact that she did work from home, albeit with limited resources speaks highly to me of her committment.

You've got to have trust in a work place and clearly that is your issue. Lets just hope you don't start managing people...


StealthPolarBear · 31/03/2011 12:31

"If the other lady's work doesn't affect you "
it does...
and the comment about hoping the OP never manages people was unfair and nasty. Maybe she'd ensure fair treatment of staff rather than allowing one to wfh more readily than others??


Bumblequeen · 31/03/2011 12:32

This reply has been deleted

Withdrawn at poster's request.

SnowieBear · 31/03/2011 12:34

"One colleague wfh for two weeks when we had heavy snow a few years ago. Apparantley she was 'snowed in'. We all knew she was taking liberties, even brought her laptop home in preparation!"

Bumblequeen, when the winter weather turns and there's even a remote possibility of the roads being too dangerous to travel in the mornings, I do as a matter of course, take my laptop home in the evenings with me. In my case, it is foresight - I know my director would have questions for me if I were to phone him in the morning claiming it was too dangerous to travel and unable to do any work remotely! Luckily, most days I'm able to trudge in, laptop in tow.

More specific to the OP - the key of the matter is whether any actual work can be done from home, isn't it? If it cannot, your colleague may call it "working from home", but it isn't. If that's the case, and from what you say it is mostly the case for you, you've got a manager that actually understands what your job involves and your colleague doesn't (or doesn't care). Unfair.


StealthPolarBear · 31/03/2011 12:34

Bumble, that all sounds awful, except I agree with 3 - I'm guessing your problem was with how they said that / that they felt the need to say that at all?


FanillaFudge · 31/03/2011 12:35

Don't see what it had to do with you actually, so YABU

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?