Original post from Jan 2016: I'm a contracts manager for a public biopharmaceutical company. We do not have a work-from-home policy absent inclement weather. I'm not a lawyer by training but spend most of my time redlining contracts and report to our company's GC.
Often, I do not arrive to the office until 10 AM and typically leave between 4 and 7 PM. Sometimes I do not come into the office at all. I believe that I make up for this in the evening or when high profile issues consume weekends, evenings, and typically displace my typical work en-masse (such instances, while important, are not frequent).
Our office was recently renovated and we now have an open office plan. As such, colleagues can chart my comings and goings. Someone, at about my level (but in another department) commented upon my departure today (upon an early 4:00 PM goodbye from me) indicating that he was "jealous" and questioned how "I could actually get work done at home." I shouldn't have, but I couldn't resist the over-confident, smart ass reply, and I can now imagine this situation escalating. You won't be surprised to hear that this is the one person in the company I've butted heads with and is, in my estimation, a commsumate mall cop.I've gotten comments here and there for months but was more humble in reply in a one-on-one setting.
My boss is more or less aware of my schedule but is more than satisfied with my output. We have a new HR head honcho, and this may sound paranoid, but what if this issue becomes topical and someone confronts me? I don't think my boss would be comfortable doing that but HR sure would. Should I proactively address this and attempt to formalize my arrangement? I don't need the benefits and, from my perspective, could just as easily be a contractor or part-time employee. In spite of my workload, I do not expect promotion (mostly owing to my lackluster office face-time and am OK with that...mostly).
I have all sorts of snarky comments at the ready but appreciate that I am the type that would cut off my nose to spite my face.
Two year update to above post: The new HR VP did the opposite of what I feared and implemented a company-wide flex work policy, even spelled out we should leave at noon on Fridays and not schedule meetings on Fridays.
The colleagues who seemed to resent my comings and goings (or who I imagined as much) were the same ones who continued to put in their hours from cubeland regardless.
My schedule was such that it often worked out better for me to stay in the office through the late afternoon on Fridays 30-50% of the time. Here also, the higher ups and mid-levels who stuck around still complained, "Oh, it must be nice that so-and-so's workload is such that they can take Friday off." There was some truth to that, but I think a lot was attitude.
Me? I quit. We file jointly and paid more in income tax than what my low six figure salary amounted to. I was not advancing (and didn't seem to care from my 2016 comments), but seeing people in mktg get a promotion or two during the same tenure grated on me as much as I hated to admit it.
Previous to this position, I'd had ambitious bosses focused on title, turf, board face-time, budget increases for more dept travel and resources, etc. While sometimes annoying, I now appreciate how they looked after my career, got me in front of the right people, teed up successes.
My last boss had many outstanding qualities, but none of this sort. I think she was too upset about her own lack of advancement (during a much longer tenure) than to worry about mine. Plus, I still try to be the corporate equivalent of the cool kid who doesn't care. Immature, I know.
If what I wanted was career advancement, I indeed should have been on-site as much as possible to identify projects and opportunities that might lead to another role. I should have complained about the workload sooner, because when I finally did, the person hired over my boss a few months earlier, actually did something about it and created new positions. With less on my plate and more face-time, I might have worked my way into something better. Who knows...