My wife got a 1 month trial as a product manager and tester for a new product I'm directly designing and developing. HR hates the fact that we're married and is trying to seat her separate from me, despite our work being directly involved. Not only does this slow us down, but it's decreasing her impact. What can we do?
I work as the lead software engineer at a media company. The company recently decided to start working on a new product, separate from our main. It is still in the initial conceptual phase, and we need guidance on what potential clients need as well as optimal designs and prioritization.
I was able to convince my boss, the COO, to let my wife join for one month as a product manager, 3 days a week. Being a small company, he assigned me as her direct manager and said she's free to sit where she likes. Because I directly work (design + code) on the product she's managing, I felt it best to place my wife on a separate desk in my office room.
I've already brought my wife to work various times throughout the year so people are already familiar with her and she is with the office. She's usually just sitting next to me watching me work. Sometimes other employees do the same, so it's not abnormal for us.
I share my office room with another developer and can easily fit 2 more people in the same room. We asked my coworker who shares the same room if it's okay. I also have a whiteboard and access to 2 desktop computers I use for work there, as my laptop no longer functions. Basically, everything in there is ready for our frequent brainstorming sessions.
However, our head of HR (who's also our CFO), dislikes that idea and assigned my wife to sit in the (large) hallway where we usually place contractors. She said it was due to her being my wife.
This is very detrimental to our productivity. We gave it a try for a day and it was difficult having to walk back and forth many times per hour. We got significantly more done when we were in the same room, as I was able to quickly answer questions she had about the company and/or possibilities. Not to mention her being able to provide feedback on whiteboard designs.
My wife is here for one month so she can prove herself. If her work is good enough, my boss said she could have an extended employment there. I feel like our head of HR is purposely trying to sabotage us just because we're married. Is there something we could do?