As someone who was forced from my last job largely because my managers and employer, a Local Authority failed to understand Home Working, and particularly how it supports disabled staff, I empathise people currently in this situation due to Lockdown.
I was employed on a part time permanent contract with, the flexibility to work from home, on the days I was due to my disabilities, physically unable to get into the office. This was all discussed and signed off at the time I was taken on. Prior to my engagement, occupational Health, HR, my manager and myself all discussed both my needs and the requirements of my employer and arrived at this agreement.
Access to Work paid for all my essential equipment with the exception of a laptop which it was again agreed would be supplied by my employer, this never arrived therefore to work from home I needed to use my person pc.
On the occasions I needed to work from home I was forced to work on a system which, at that time, was not fit for purpose; I was given a small fob which you logged into via a password and theoretically gave safe access to the intranet. In reality it regularly failed, this then meant an hour on the phone with IT, allowing remote log in from them to my personal pc, before I could even begin to work. And in two years this caused three hard drives to become corrupted. And as work was the sole use of the drive, there is no other reason.
Further to this, my manager would regularly set up team meetings at times I was not working; forcing me to choose whether to participate at of working hours or not attend and cause tensions with my co-workers. I found out later that my stated hours and the agreement to work remotely due to health, was never endorsed by my manager and I was viewed as absent by colleagues.
The whole notion of working from home requires trust on both sides and a shift in thinking from managers and employers. The fact that many bosses feel that remote surveillance is acceptable is, in my opinion, due to the old “when the cat is away, the nice will play” wives tale; it is simply that management seems to view those they are responsible for as needing almost constant visual supervision.
Ironically they fail to recognise that this thinking is in reality their own shortcoming; effective managers trust they have given a clear and effective brief, ensured staff understand their roles and are skilled and comfortable with carrying out their tasks.
Remote surveillance, particularly in corporate setting is indicative of the lack of trust from employers, insecure and ineffective managers and a mistrust in other sections such as HR .
I am not naïve and believe every single employee is totally honest with their time but I contest providing the work is completed correctly and on time the when, where and how it is completed has NO bearing. Anything more than requiring tasks to be submitted to satisfaction is intrusion.
4 thoughts on “Trusting to Work from Home”
Jayne, there is absolutely no need for some people to go into an office to work, my son works for a company owned by several councils and used to travel all corners of the county to liaise with them etc, he travelled daily to Cirencester from Churchdown costing at least Â£70 in fuel costs and additional pollution.
His organisation realised that during the Lockdown it was totally unnecessary to work from the office, in fact they are now looking to closing down or renting the office space they donât require. If you ask me itâs pressure from the rentier class that are making up excuses to get people back to work in offices.
That isnât of course to say that everyone can work from home, but well organised as you say with the right equipment, such as my son has been provided – which means real savings in cost, travel, pollution and office space, which could then be sold off making real office space cheaper as well.
For businesses its a real win, win, all round, but this government doesnât do things that is right, it just repeats what big business tells them, and a lot of businesses just do what others do etc.
Your comment on trust and efficacy of managers today expose the whole purpose of modern management, I have always recognised them as just policeman supervising manpower and responsibility was always passed down the line to whoever picked it up and ran with it. My view of managing is to support and resource the people under your control to enable them to do the job effectively, for the last forty years all that style changed to doing as you are told rightly or wrongly and to carry the blame when it goes wrong.
Some managers would also see their empires disappear and therefore resist anyway.
I do hope things work out for you personally, and wish you all the best.
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`Thank you for your comment and congratulations to your son and the company he works for for seeing the logic x
Thanks for interesting post
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Interesting read 🙂
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