My Hubby works for the local council. He is one of these people who, as an administrator is seen as being over paid and under worked. The government is squeezing the public sector, and nobody seems to really care. That is outside those of us who have to live with the results of the constant cuts. He works long hours with little or no thanks from anyone.
Hubby has worked for the council most of his working life. Some might say that shows a lack of ambition, but it’s not like that, he enjoys his job. Don’t misunderstand me, like everyone he gets fed up with it, and wants to throw it all in every now and again, but on the whole he enjoys it. He works with a group of people who he likes – which can make the difference in any working environment. He has a boss he respects, and from what I can gather, respects his experience and knowledge within the department he works.
A year or so back, the cost cutting exercise they went through was they all worked from home one day a week. The physical space the department took was reduced, so one person not in the office every day meant there were actually enough desks!
Hubby is a conscientious worker, and so took to working at home really easily, and to be honest it was nice to have him about! He might have his work computer on, and the house desk top, and his music all at the same time, but he seems to actually be getting work done!
Now, this was all done as a money-saving to the council, the problem was it was a money spending for us. Straight away, our internet couldn’t cope with the extra usage and we had to upgrade our broadband package. Add to that is the electricity used to run his work equipment, and he never stops eating when at home! How comes he can manage with his packed lunch while at the office and yet is up and down to the kitchen with regularity when at home? So the council saves money but we are out-of-pocket with him being here.
Hubby does however have the luxury of working flexi-time. It has been a god send. It means that he can start and finish work early. Usually when he is working from home, he starts his day about 5:30am. If he was heading to the office, that would be the time he was just getting up! We have had long lunches or gone out for breakfast on days that he’s at home, just because he can! Flexi-time also means that he can get random days off when he needs them or just when the fancy takes him. If he puts in the hours, he gets the time back!
The problem with working from home happens during the school holidays. The boys don’t understand that Daddy doesn’t have a day off, and that he has to get his head down and do his job. We don’t have a space that he can go to privately so he has to take over the dining room table, and that is open plan to the living room. The boys have to be bribed and cajoled to leave him alone, but he does take breaks to give them the attention they are desiring from him. By starting so early, it does mean clock off time can come at a point that means they can still have a few hours of daytime play with him. It is a fine line to draw between keeping them away from Daddy to let him get on and the side that says they are on holiday so sitting quietly and twiddling their thumbs so they don’t disturb anyone isn’t an option – not that it ever is with my two! The weather isn’t helping with the rain, I can’t just kick them out into the garden and say come back later when Daddy has packed away his work.
We have now managed to get a good routine on working from home days after the practise we have had. The boys are learning that being told Daddy has work to do, means they have to not hassle him too much, and Hubby has learned that the boys are not disturbing to annoy him but because they love him being about.
Like most systems there are positives and negatives. We do our best to find the positves as we work with it. You have to!