Working From Home

Econ-Mom: One thing I find frustrating about my job is that we have a “no working from home” policy, which is supposedly in place because of IT security concerns. HOWEVER, many people do work remotely because they live in different cities. So, this is effectively the same thing as working from home. I have asked my supervisor a couple times about working from home, but I have continually met resistance. Today I asked again because next week DH is traveling for work (only for two days but that means I’ll be coming in late both days so I can drop my kids off). Given my commute, it would be impossible to drop my kids off at school, pick them up by 5:30, and get in a full day’s work.

So, not only did my boss tell me (again) that I can’t work from home, she also mentioned that we all might have to put in some extra hours because we’re short-staffed. Then I said, “I’m not going to pay for a babysitter so I can come into the office to work overtime!” I realize that I am not about to win the employee of the year award with that kind of attitude, but I didn’t even say this out of frustration. I was trying to make the point that I wouldn’t mind putting in a little extra time IF I were able to work from home.

Anyway, when I said that, my boss said, “I wouldn’t say that in front of Bob” (our CEO – his name is not really Bob). At that point, I did feel a little bit frustrated. I mean, I HIGHLY DOUBT that Bob ever had to even consider hiring a babysitter so he could work overtime, because his wife probably raised his kids for him!!! ARGH.

I guess my bottom line is that I do like a lot of things about my job, but I don’t love it more than my kids. Of course, lots of people need to work long hours to make ends meet, and I’m not trying to imply that they love their kids less! I guess I’m just saying that there is only so much I’m willing to do for my job. I am probably willing to work some overtime for a brief period, but I won’t do it indefinitely just because my company is being too cheap to hire enough people.

Law-Mom: All the feels on this, Econ-Mom. I am of the opinion that the failure to allow flex-time (and work-at-home time) is really just covert sexism. I say this, because the vast majority of caregivers are women. And the failure to allow for flex-time and/or work-at-home time disproportionately adversely affects working women. It also fails to acknowledge the fact that single parents (again, usually women) — and even two-working parent families — sometimes cannot afford to work (or have both spouses work) because the cost of childcare is so astronomical. Anyone who does not acknowledge this has never had to try to figure out childcare around school hours and work hours. It is truly insane, and, quite frankly, one of the hardest aspects of “The Juggle.” (I think we’ve blogged on this topic before.)

I have so much I could say about this, but I 100% support you that you should not have to pay a babysitter to put in unpaid overtime hours. Your solution to let you work at home is a big “DUH!”

And yes, there are a lot of jobs where working at home is truly just not possible. I get that. But yours sounds like one where it could and should be. Good luck!

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