But sometimes and even oftentimes depending on the job, you are getting paid to come into the office to do the work. Making calls is easier and so is zoning out on tasks that require a ton of focus and not a lot of distraction. When something is offered as a perk, it should be offered freely and without judgment to those who choose to use it. What do people do at the office during downtime if they have nothing they can do at home? Thank you jmkenrick — you have beautifully articulated my struggle with the issue, and the way that I am working on the issue in a way that is both fair and reasonable.
If you would like to work from home, you should make a written request to your supervisor either in a letter or email. This initial written request may need to be followed by a formal application, forms, and documentation as required by your employer.
Unless these new hires are very badly out of sync with work culture, or their absence is in fact causing problems, why not just politely, professionally tell the nosey parkers to STFU? Or maybe a day where the entire team needs to be in the office together.
A set schedule and predictability might help counter the perception that people can never find your team when they need to. On your scheduling issues: It sounds like up to this point your team has been able to take days at home on a whim — it might be easier to have everyone define their days.
And make it clear that there may be weeks where a meeting will require people in the office, so some flexibility is expected on part of the individuals based on business needs. The other policies we had involved the fact that Mondays could never be WAH days because that was when our big deal assessment meetings and staff meetings were, and you were expected to actually show up for those. It would probably be fine, if you want to schedule a training, to just schedule it and expect people to be there.
And to let them know that your scheduling comes first, and their home-based appointments and whims come second to that in general. I WFH a lot, and you better believe that if my boss calls me, I answer. If people ask where they are, you need to highlight their reachability, and not just their not-in-the-office-ness. They WILL resent you if you change it! The OP looks like a weak manager to the people around her—letting newbie employees essentially never be in the office, and buck the cultural norm.
The newbies look like people who will take advantage. That was my first question, although OP answered it at the end — that other people are making comments. It could simply be for the manager to talk up her team more. Our WAH options, while never as generous as this, were curtailed recently. When something is offered as a perk, it should be offered freely and without judgment to those who choose to use it. But then I started getting the guilt trip from him every time I worked from home and I was made to feel like I was being a slacker or like I was playing hooky.
Nor was I doing anything wrong. It was his issue, not mine. Either take the perk away from everyone, change the rules, or learn to live with it.
These people might have accepted this job mainly because of the flexibility to work from home. Be prepared to lose one or two of them if you change the rules now. It sounds like different departments do it to different degrees, and two days a week is uncommon enough that other departments are commenting on it. I think it is a mistake to allow new employees to work from home except in emergencies; once they are well integrated into the culture, are reliable and have had appropriate early feedback then moving to a more open system makes sense.
That happened when I started my current job and had no problem with it. Yes, but OP says that the company policy just states that as long as you make it to meetings and make all your goals, you can WAH as often as you like. It sounds like they were promised they could WAH however much they liked and that wanting them in the office more is a personal preference of this particular manager.
But the OP IS the manager, right? The employees are not being guilt tripped by me or anyone else around using it. That other workplcaes are less flexible than yours is not a reason to… be less flexible. It really depends on the job.
I work for a bank. After the first paragraph I expected 3 or 4 days, but 1 vs 2 days. But yeah, expectations from the get go! I have no problem with getting my work done from home. Sometimes I am waaaay more productive at home. In my previous position, I had a set schedule of working from home twice a week.
But I often worked remotely even 3x. In my current role I work from home once a week, and I really miss that 2nd day! Eliminating two commutes instead of one was huge, as well as being able to sleep in a little bit more. It refreshed me, and I was much happier during the three days I was in the office. Now I miss the 2nd day but am grateful that I do have at least one.
I view WFH as a benefit and I expect to use my benefits the way the policy outlines unless told otherwise. I agree with that. It is the same as the vacation issue. Would it be better in July or August? And he was doubly appreciative of the fact that I actually checked with him first before booking anything. AAM has given you some fantastic reasons as to why, and I hope those reasons fit how you feel.
My ex-boss was notorious for prohibiting common things or wanting things done in an inconvenient way. Most importantly, you need to be able to answer their questions when you talk to them about this change. Wait a minute, though. She wants them to use the benefit in accordance with the way that everyone else in the company is using it. I know I would. You meaning the company or the OP. And the more important point is, OP needs to know WHY she wants to have that conversation, and needs to know before she talks to her employees.
Absolutely — and I think that figuring out my own thinking around this was what prompted writing in to Alison in the first place. I think the answer given, as well as some of the feedback from commenters, has given me a really great way to clarify my own thinking. I think that is a good start, but if it were me I would acknowledge that you should have been more clear in your expectations for utilizing the WFH policy at the beginning.
Right, but everyone else in the company is apparently operating under the same unwritten rule. An interpretation that may or may not be company policy. That is someone asking for how to address a policy head-on, not being passive aggressive about it. It sounds like one day a week is the norm and, presumably, other managers are also approving work-from-home for that perio.
OP, how much weight are you putting into the comments from other teams? This is slightly off-topic, but I really hate this kind of thing. If your employees are productive and getting their work done, and meeting their deadlines, why should those outside comments matter? Instead of running to your team and telling them are wrong for using a company-wide perk, perhaps you can use this an opportunity to help move your company culture forward.
Just my 2 cents. Most employees have social media sites blocked on their computers, for instance. Not much — I had to get over that pretty quickly, since when I started I would get into the office at 6: I think any office with such generous and flexible employee benefits is going to have some pushback from the old regime — and I can deal with that.
Which I now have. If this is your primary or only justification for this, then I disagree. And that would be my reaction to anyone who has concerns over one of my employees working from home. It really depends on the wider context when it comes to how you might choose to spend capital. Assuming no other capital is being spent, would your advice to the new employees change after say, 6 months in?
Depends on the role and the particular employee. I say this as a huge fan of telecommuting. I really hope this OP chimes in and shares more about her situation. As well as how to present it, and balance reasonable expectations with a reasonable company policy.
I find the question a bit unnerving. Neither is really acceptable. On the other hand, if there are real issues here, then part of your job is to think that through, identify and articulate those things before you decide what needs to happen.
Explain what you need and why you need it. For example, someone mentioned upstream something about budget cuts. I want everyone to see how much work my team puts out and exactly what kind of effort it takes. Similarly, if we are working on a high profile, sensitive projects of which we have a few right now , working in the office makes those projects go far more smoothly with less risk to deadlines, plus it reduces any temptation to finger point that W H people were maybe the reason something went awry.
And coming into the office, in our company culture, is the default expectation — written or no. But the fact that people do go out of their way to explain WFH more than once a week confirms that being in office is the default. But sometimes and even oftentimes depending on the job, you are getting paid to come into the office to do the work. Look, I love working from home.
I have no problem with my team working from home when it makes sense. There are obviously some jobs that need presence. Your receptionist, for instance, is probably not going to be able to work from home ever.
But, in the case the OP outlines, this is not the issue. The job is getting done, and done well, apparently. It says that physical presence in and of itself is more important the the job. The bottom line is that there are indeed a lot of good reasons to require physical presence. But, presence as a way to justify your position, when it really has nothing to do with the job is silly.
Something subtle, but real. I totally agree with everything Alison said. OP needs to figure out what the needs of the business and department are and whether working remotely more than once a week an oddity, and then taking into consideration the fact that these employees are new.
This is something I really struggled with when I worked for my previous bank. I had been in the branch for several years, first as a teller and then a teller manager. I then moved into Operations, which still required face time since I was dealing with the branch and sometimes customers, plus time-sensitive tasks. Plus I wore many hats, so it was pretty important at that time to be in the office on a certain schedule.
I then moved on to another bank to a non-exempt position, with a very anal, rigid manager. He was pretty adamant that people had to be there in order to be a valuable employee, even though my position did not require any face time at all, really.
By this time, I had changed my earlier thinking and knew that people still got their job done whether they were in the office or not. I could have very easily done every single thing I needed to do from home or on a flex schedule. I might be misunderstanding, but why is that parent-specific? It saves them a huge amount of money and stress, it costs us very little since we have to have a telecommuting capable infrastructure anyway, it creates a very loyal workforce and it actually often increases responsiveness on projects that need many different steps done in sequence.
But Lea pointed out parents specifically as people who benefit from working from home. It gets to a point where it feels dismissive when parents are held up as this special case. The rest of us have commitments and responsibilities outside of work too.
I am curious about this as well. This is the other reason I hate working from home. We had a guy at OldJob who lived five minutes from the office. I believe Bob eventually ended up moving to the opposite end of town.
The best boss I had was really flexible and accommodating more so than other managers in the company. If the quality of work or availability becomes and issue then Alison has some great advice , make sure you are clear and explicit about what you want and try to explain why. Most toxic workplace emotion you can create. As Alison said, not taking it away. These are not seasoned professionals who have been with the company or who have proven themselves in the role.
What jumped out at me from your letter was the other departments comments influencing your thinking and I just wanted to add my perspective on that from the employees point of view. If scheduling training sessions is problematic then that seems like a very good reason to have them come into the office more.
Yes, but as I mentioned above, you need to acknowledge that it was also probably something you should have considered prior to giving them WFH approval in the first place. It may also be a matter of creating more definitive team-wide guidelines for WFH. How I would frame it: But in general I just would rather be the manager I would want to have — one who acknowledges my own mistakes. And to me, having some internal expectation that nobody would take more than 1 day because nobody ever has IS kind of a mistake to me.
It seems like a lot of areas are doing it as a cool thing to do, or a cost saver of not needing to have space for people without seeing if it really works for everyone. I had to have a talk with my direct on her WAH usage. For me it came down to the fact that she is an admin and I felt it was more important for her to be in the office for the type of admin duties that come up copy machine down, need documents printed for a meeting, etc.
She was really unhappy about it and then asked a few weeks later if she could WAH two days a week because she just performed mentally better that way. I have also found that a lot of people over estimate how effective they are when they work from home. We have had a handful of people do excellent with it in my department, but mostly I have found that even if a person is meeting their goals, it is much more frustrating trying to connect with them for quick questions or get them up to date on new processes.
I also have friends who will straight out say they are not as productive, but see their one day a week as a nice break from the office and a chance to get other stuff done around their house.
I have even seen other departments where WAH one day a week is the norm require everyone to come in during busy times, which leads me to believe that they see an increase in productivity when everyone is in the office. I now have the ability to work at home, but I rarely use it. I too agree that many people overestimate their productivity when working from home. I rarely do, because I sat at home for a year when I was unemployed and my house soon started to feel like a prison.
However, OP please think about what was described in your interviews. New employees may have chosen your workplace because it was flexible and these options were available eg. I have worked in government and lots of people chose it because it was flexible — and our best employees were generally working parents because they were so grateful to have a job that took their need for flexibility seriously, they were super duper dedicated. It seems to be that in America that there are so little employment rights that managers feel employees should be super duper grateful to the point of deference when these benefits are offered.
My colleagues who work from home just conference call when they need to meet with team memebrs. OP, be the kind of boss people want to work for. If you have good people, you can be sure they have options. I think we recently commented on a letter from a person who got the hairy eyeball from coworkers because she routinely left work on time? Our team is thriving. As someone up the thread mentioned ….
Wow, this one really hits close to home for me or hits close to work from home for me? It kind of stressed me out to be honest, I felt dumb for asking and like I had done something wrong. Also, I was probably doing more work from home since there were a lot less distractions. To me, this is more on the HR rep for promising you WFH before getting confirmation from the manager.
It made me kind of paranoid. Just my 2 cents- I think the OP should consider my experience as it could be similar to that of her employees if she delivers the new policy.
I love my WFH policy. I usually work at least 2. Oh, a probation period is good and you seem to have a central office which is good. It was better for the next group who worked together with some supervisors present. OP, the key is in your second sentence: I was wondering about this. Especially if they have been taking their two days a week and no one has ever indicated to them that it is a problem.
This really rubbed me the wrong way: So if you want them to do something differently, you need to tell them. Why bash on literal people? I mean exactly what that sentence literally! I appreciate that the world being more literal would mean less work for advice columnists!
We had a very lenient WFH policy, and my manager was very cool about it. Unfortunately, your desire to work from home and the practicality of the arrangement may not always be in sync. Next, outline your responsibilities and detail how much time you spend working on each one. Make note of the tasks that might be more difficult to complete from home, as well as those that would be easier. Finally, make sure you think about your timing.
First, propose a specific schedule of the days and hours you will work remotely, explaining that you will be fully available by phone, email, IM, or whatever, during those hours. Your plan is also more likely to be considered if you start off asking for a temporary, part-time schedule, say, two days each week to be revisited after days.
Then, outline the benefits of your proposed arrangement. Sure, telecommuting may relieve you of a killer commute, but it will also mean that you can start work earlier and more refreshed by avoiding 60 minutes in the car each morning.
Present it that way. Be prepared to show at least three ways that telecommuting will make you a better employee and a better asset to the company. Or, suggest working with your IT department to ensure that your equipment is safe. Many companies also have secure VPNs virtual private networks that you can log into and enjoy the same security benefits as if you were in the office. Just state your willingness to be flexible, offer to discuss any additional concerns and benefits that come up, and show your appreciation for your proposal even being considered.
On a personal note, I recently followed the above steps to propose a work-from-home arrangement with my boss, and the result was—success! I began by doing my homework, then I submitted a proposal, stating that I wished to meet with her to further discuss my intentions and her thoughts. I was lucky; my supervisor was completely amenable to the idea, and just asked to adjust my original proposed schedule a little.
Elizabeth Lowman is a freelance writer whose work has been featured on national outlets such as Forbes and The Huffington Post. Hmmm, seems you've already signed up for this class.
More and more businesses are allowing employees to work from home, even it is only for just a few days a rubikontech.cf this can increase the efficiency of an individual worker, eliminating commute time and office distractions, for example, it can also save the company valuable resources. The option to work from home is getting popular, but not all bosses are in favor of the practice. This type of manager is going to take some convincing, but it’s not a lost cause. If he’s not asking you for daily email updates, then he’s sending you a list of what he wants you to get done before the EOD. If you have ever considered telecommuting but don’t know how to approach your manager about working from home, here’s a look at things to consider before requesting a telecommuting arrangement and a way to propose working remotely to your manager in the best possible way.
Aug 19, · Subject: Request to work from home Example of email 1 Hi Dear I had a very late conference call last night and so today I will be working from home. I can be reachable/contactable reached/contacted via email or cell + Should you have any questions, please let me know. So if you want to work from home, and you have a good reason, don’t be afraid to ask. I did—and here are the tips I learned for bettering your odds that you and your boss can come to . Creating a work-from-home email for your boss Many organizations are flexible when it comes to working from home when you’re feeling sick but this latest blizzard forced the issue with many companies who needed to warm up to telecommuting options.
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