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The Friday Rant Club – working from home is not time off

Another day, another frustrating call with Bossman.

I’ve been working at home this morning – I’ve had to pack up the girls to go away for the weekend plus I had a package being delivered that I really wanted to not miss and so I thought it made sense to leave going in until later. I had a call at 9.30 and a call at 10 plus a few things to chase and well, it just made sense. Not that I really should have to justify myself surely?

Although apparently not to Bossman.

He seems to think that if I’m not sat at my desk outside his office somehow I am not working properly – presumably he or someone he worked for previously used working at home to take a bit of paid time off.

Surely the fact that I have managed to successfully get work done in the evenings after the girls have gone to bed means I can do working from somewhere other than my desk and get the work done.

Surely results speak loudest?

Someone described the team I work for as a bit of a boys club and it seems that one of the rules of the boys club is that there is a degree of presenteeism. Which is great if that works for you but isn’t great if it doesn’t. And for me, today, taking a rare day to go in later and merge work and life better, it definitely doesn’t.

So another day, another work frustration that I appear to be employed by a big firm that thinks it does all of these great things to help its workforce but whilst it talks the talk, definitely doesn’t walk the walk.

And the worst thing, I was planning on going in this afternoon, my lovely new shoes have arrived and I do have a few things I could do better from the office before I go out tonight, except now, after all this I feel a bit tempted to act like a child and watch some Wimbledon instead of doing my work.

Could Bossman’s behaviour create a self-fulfilling prophecy?

I hope not and I hope I’m grown up to rise above the huff I’m currently having.

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The Friday Rant Club is a chance to get those niggles, those irritants, those things that make you want to throw a toddler-stylee tantrum off your chest before the weekend.

Go on, let it all out and if you feel like it there’s a rather nice little button over there on the right to show you that you like a bit of a rant

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8 comments to The Friday Rant Club – working from home is not time off

  • How infuriating.

    I’m very lucky with my job but even then my company seems to be going backwards in terms of home working etc.

    It doesn’t suit every position or every person but when it does work, it’s excellent, not least because it’s a powerful way of getting your employees on side.

    • Muddling Along

      It makes so much sense, I have my work laptop fired up and my blackberry too so I’m as contactable as when I’m in the office AND I get to save an hour commuting in the morning so get to spend time with the girls when they really need to see me (has been one of those weeks) – what is not to love? If I was a shopkeeper then I understand it might not work but right here and now for a desk jockey it does

      Grrrrrr

  • that is EXACTLY why I work for myself. Some people just don’t get that you can work efficiently at home and might be happier for it and therefore enjoy their job and therefore be better at it.

    Hopefully bump into you at CM tomorrow

    • Muddling Along

      Hopefully bump into you tomorrow too

      If there was any inefficiency from being at home (um I get interrupted less so it works out more efficient plus I save two hours of commuting time…. and the endless coffee trips) it works out in the mix – and I’m happier having a day when I can have breakfast with the girls than am I on days when I rush out the door at 7.30

  • nikhk

    Grrr. Bossman needs a slap.

    I’m lucky – working from home on Fridays is part of my flexible working agreement. It’s great, I get a bit more time with my boy, don’t have an hour’s commute each way and actually get loads done because there are no people wandering up to my desk to have a chat/ask me stupid questions.

    (I do also sneak the odd bit of housework in here and there – well, I’m still entitled to breaks, right?)

  • The problem as I see it (bear in mind I am all in favour of working from home if the results bear witness to this being productive) is that it only takes ‘one’ female to take the piss to give all of us a bad name.

    Example? Only female in my team who had been allowed over a period of some 11 years to ‘work from home’ as she pleased, so much so she claimed “it must be contractual because no one has ever objected.”
    Until I came along.
    Two things: 1) her work was shoddy, and 2) she claimed to have to WFH because “there is no one to look after the kids”.

    No matter how many times it was explained to her the WFH was NOT a substitute for childcare, she argued that she was being discriminated against, bullied and harassed, treated unfairly versus her male colleagues, etc etc etc.

    You name it, she had a grievance about it. Some 28 (yes, 28) in total.

    And the best bit? She lives OPPOSITE the office. Literally 100m.
    Suffice to say she is no longer with the company.

    However, back to my original point, I agree with WFH being a good option and one to promote. Ultimately you get far more done with less interruptions. Sadly though, as my example above shows, it just takes one self-centred small-minded female employee to wreak damage on us all.

    LCM x

  • I love working from home and my boss is fine with it – but I love the way I always get landed with the domestic duties too. I have had to shepherd Littleboy 2 around to playdates all week as he finished school last week, despite being really busy with work. Then today Littleboy 1 finished school at 10am because it’s the end of term – luckly my friend took him for a playdate but I have to say my husband was not particularly sympathetic to my plight! Luckily no work next week and then they start summer camp…..

  • I feel for you. I have previously worked for a company where home working was not an option….I think if it is not in the office culture to allow it it tends to be quite hard to shift, sadly. I completely think WFH should be based on outputs….I currently work for a small company where we all work flexibly and my boss doesn’t care if I have to nip out as long as I get my work done and am available for any calls etc booked. But my situation seems to be more the rarity and it’s a shame. As LCM points out you can often get more done at home without the office distractions!

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