I work in a very collaborative place where the silos between teams almost don't exist. Infact, they are almost so non-existent, that I can just go up and help other teams with tasks if there is a lull in my work. This is happening as of late, and I know it is so since our teams task management system has a lot of done tasks and very little new tasks. Therefore I know it is not due to a lack of me picking up new tasks.

I have been going to other teams lately to pick up a task every now and then. My manager has been fine with it for a couple of weeks. But as of recently, she is very clear on "don't work for x team". I do know that because of the nature of where I work, cash is limited (at least from what I understand) and the time is controlled closely by work stamps.

Should I be worried that my manager is curtailing my work like this?

  • 1
    Have you asked her why you can't work for X team?
    – sf02
    Mar 12 '19 at 15:51
  • What exactly is a work stamp? Sorry for the maybe off-topic question but I can't help my curiosity.
    – tweray
    Mar 12 '19 at 15:56
  • We keep track of time for each task we do. Each task has an id.
    – isakbob
    Mar 12 '19 at 16:59
  • 1
    "Should I be worried that my manager is curtailing my work like this?" - Have you asked your boss the reason? If it's a budget issue then you should not be taking it personal.
    – Donald
    Mar 12 '19 at 18:19
  • follow-up on @Abigail comment. You probably can rephrase question as "here the situation, how to handle" Mar 12 '19 at 23:45

She's not curtailing your work. Your work is for your team, not X team. If she doesn't want you working for X team, then don't. This decision and the consequences of this decision is hers, not yours.


This may be a problem for someone, but it's most likely not your problem. If your boss is telling you to avoid working with a specific team, but doesn't mind your doing work for other teams, then it's almost certainly something about them, rather than something about you. Your best bet is to accept, move on, and try not to get in the middle of it.

Now, you could look into it a bit more. For example, it would be entirely reasonable for you to ask your boss to inform you if the situation ever changes. Depending on your relationship with your boss, there's a good chance that you could ask what's going on, just so that you better understand the currents below the surface at your workplace. Mostly, though, it's not your problem, and you probably don't want to make it your problem.

It would be a good idea to clarify with your boss that you're allowed to continue working with the other groups. If it's not, then you're a lot better off finding out about that now (and being able to discuss with your boss what that means for you getting enough work to do) rather than later (when your boss is angry at you for having done something that you thought was totally okay).


Be wary, not worried.

As you state it, it doesn’t read as though this is any reflection upon you or concern with your productivity/value. It does read as possibly some kind of culture shift or rift between teams/management. There are things managers cannot or should not share, but overall—especially in a professional environment—if management is curt and unwilling to share any reason for what seems an unhealthy shift (siloing, for example), there might be something hidden.

There might very well nothing nefarious and hopefully you have a relationship with your manager where some openness can occur. But you should always assess your work situation with a critical eye. Usually there’s not really a problem, but if there is and you’re blindsided, it could take months to recover.

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