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Friday, March 09, 2012

No working from home

As if two weeks of back-to-back travelling is not enough, now it becomes three weeks instead.

Uh huh, after i get back from Hanoi on 25-Mar, i'd have to fly to KL on 26-Mar for a week. That means i'd be in and out of Changi Airport every weekend for the coming three weeks.

Since i am rather tired from my work recently and also figured that the coming consecutive travelling is gonna drain me out further, i had thought of working from home tomorrow. So i gtalk my boss this afternoon and ask for his permission to do so. Then he actually rejected my request. Here was his reason:

I would like to show sympathy about the long distance and continuous travelling, but I have to be fair with the other frequent travellers as well, not just IT. I have no issue for you working from home if you are not feeling well or to deal with something at home like water leakage, unplanned child care, illness of family members etc.

Ooookaaay, fine boss. Whatever.

The amusing part about all this is that it actually serves no purpose at all for me to go into the office, other than talking nonsense and having lunch with the IT guys. My entire team is in KL and my work does not need to deal with anyone in the regional office at all. In any cases when i really do need to contact someone (whether my team members or the business users), it will always be via chats, emails or telephone calls because none of the people are located at the office where i am. Even for the meetings that i have to attend, more than 90% are done via teleconference or WebEx because the meeting attendees are all over the world.

Furthermore, for all you know, i may be physically in the office but spend the entire day making use of the company's Internet bandwidth to watch YouTube (no, i don't do that. This is just an example). Being in the office doesn't mean i am working, and similarly, not being there doesn't mean i am not working either.

So seriously, why do i need to be physically be in the office other than because this is the traditional way of how an employment and working style should be? All of us have always known that our boss is still pretty "cheena" style in many aspects of his leadership, so this should really not come as a surprise to me at all.

I have read some articles (with supporting research statistics) before that allowing employees working from home actually makes them more productive (time saved on commuting and less distraction), happier (better work-life balance) and also more committed to the company (employees felt trusted). Of course, this is provided the employee is someone who can be trusted to work on their own, the home is conducive for working (e.g. not having kids running about yelling and crying all the time), and also the job does not involve customer-facing role (such as sales or front line staff).

Of course, i won't deny that there is still advantage for working in office. The main benefit should be the social aspect - we get to build relationship with our colleagues.

For my case, every morning i will have to take about an hour to get ready for work and then another hour commuting to office. Yet when i am working from home, it takes me less than half an hour and i'm already in front of my laptop started working already. I do feel more productive whenever i'm working from home.

You may ask me what i would have done if my staff were to request the same thing from me? Well, i'd say, "sure, go ahead."

Yes, i have done so, and am still doing so. So far i have never rejected any requests from my team members to work from home, even when their reasons are not those that my boss stated (sick, family or fix the house). For instance, one of them have sms-ed me one morning and told me that she would be working from home because she couldn't fall asleep the night before. I also had one who asked me to allow her to work from home because she was too tired from a business trip. I was perfectly fine with these.

To me, i know my team members can be trusted with their work and there is no need for me to breath down their necks. As long as they get their job done and deliver the results to the best of their abilities, i really couldn't care less whether or not they are sitting at their desk and in front of the laptops from 9 to 5!

Oh well, i guess i am really more suited for Western culture. Anyway, i'll have to go to office tomorrow.


don't tell this is one from speech recognition!

gee, i would have suggested you should stay in SG rather be in KL after the Hanoi trip instead:- 1) With excessive travel, surely it will drain you physically and mentally. Afterwards you fell sick again how, it'll be even loss for your company then? 2) it's not that we can't communicate and supervise your team via internet, webex, telephone 3) the amount you check-in, travel to airport, flight, klia to your office lost several hours there too.

sheesh, don't let your boss know about no one in the office otherwise he will relocated you to kl for good .... if the concept of working from home materialized, it kinda gives less job security, with company would employ freelancer instead. oh, you miss another benefit working in office - free aircond. by the way, you need to be more sociable and stop having solitude mind. cheers.

I'm not sure how heavy your boss weight in your office lah! but for my aspect, he may need to think of what others think of his capability to handle his staff too.
For my instance, i really don't mind my staff on & off ask for time off since they'll work during lunch time or overtime in order to finish their work without pay. But if the frequency is too high, I might not be able to answer to HR and my director. For example now I'm quite lenient with my staffs for their lunch hour as long as it fall within any 1 hour from 12p.m. to 2p.m. as sometimes they are rushing for some report or serving customer, but my boss might not think this way especially when they can't find somebody during their "not lunch hour".
Although work from home may have the advantages, sorry to say that we are still in Asia which still not able to adapt it yet. So, you stil have a long way to wait. :p

All manager would said this kind of bullshit story to you.

When comes to their turn, they will work from home. Why? Because this is the benefit of the manager, they can do what ever they want.

My manager is the same. Oh, I have a very bad headache now, I can not work, I need to go home early, and there she goes, it's only 4.30pm. When you ask for half an hour early leave due to Children fever. She said, you know the official hour is this, if you leave now people will notice, blah blah blah.

You get it?

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Friday, March 09, 2012 @ 4:52 am: Blogging with a new toy
Sunday, March 04, 2012 @ 11:49 pm: Hectic March
Thursday, March 01, 2012 @ 4:40 am: Leap year
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 1:30 pm: At Senai Airport
Monday, February 27, 2012 @ 4:25 am: Recent hot topics
Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 4:53 am: Working from home
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @ 1:19 am: Downgraded
Monday, February 20, 2012 @ 1:45 am: Miserable weekend
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 @ 5:55 am: All girls' Valentine's Day
Monday, February 13, 2012 @ 4:08 am: Amusing price tag