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I worked from home in the month of December for two weeks with my manager's permission. My manager also allowed me to work from home for the next two weeks. A month after this happened a colleague told me that my teammates were talking about my absence and worried if I have some personal problem or if I don't like the job. My colleague also mentioned that, 'Too many days working from home might rise up as a question or concern during the annual review'.

My manager gave me permission to work from home, but I don't want it to reflect poorly on me.

How do I best determine if company policy and generally acceptable practice do not align?

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It's impossible to answer that. In some organizations and in some situations, colleagues are cluing you in to unwritten cultural norms. In some situations, some colleagues are privy to the thinking of some managers and give good advice. In other organizations and situations and with other colleagues, they're just gossiping or speaking about their own personal hopes and fears.

If these are colleagues that have been in the organization for a long time and that have generally given good advice in the past, it may be worth heeding their advice. If you tend to be someone that doesn't pick up on social cues while they are generally more socially aware, it may be worth heeding their advice. If they're new to the organization, don't have any particular relationship with leadership, and aren't as socially aware as you are, it's probably safe to ignore.

If you're really concerned, ask your manager. Your manager is, presumably, much more aware of what the company considers come review time.

  • Thanks much Justin. This person joined the organization 5 months before my joining and that person always passes negative comments through her thoughts. – Akansha Feb 2 '16 at 21:07
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Rumors about performance, good and bad, usually reach management at some point. Sometimes the rumors are ignored, but I've seen surprisingly often that the rumors are given more weight than they deserve.

Your situation is tolerable for now, because at least your boss knows the rumors are false. But there are 2 considerable problems:

  • It gives your boss a lot of power over you, as they are the only ones who can put in a good word for you.
  • If your boss quits (voluntarily or otherwise) you're screwed.

It's somewhat sad, but if you like job safety and/or money, controlling any rumors about your person is one of the top priorities in every profession.

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This really depends. I find that most people fall into one of three buckets.

  1. they have set tasks down to the minute. An example would be someone working from a call center. And some call centers allow you to work out of your house.

  2. they have readily visible tasks or perform crucial group tasks. This could be a ton of people (most) and would include a developer. We can see that they are writing code, they have to have x code done by x, and they communicate what they are doing.

  3. person that helps out a group with random tasks or tasks that are of a lesser profile.

All three of these job types are useful to an organization. Often manager's are in category #3. If you are in category #3 and people are talking about you I would be worried. You got your month at home but I would expect if you keep working from home and can't tangibly show what you are doing other than emails and instant messages, I would think your standing will decline at your company.

Note: Part of the gossip is your manager's fault. The manager should let people know the tasks you are doing and that you are completely available to continue your job even though you are at home. From the sounds of it, your manager hasn't communicated with people until after the fact which allows the gossip train to speed up.

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