I am a salaried employee of a consulting firm, currently working as a contractor for one of their clients. After a week or two of being nomadic and sharing a desk with my manager (from our firm, not the client), I spent about 7 months on the job at my own, relatively comfortable desk, with my laptop connected to the dual monitors installed there.
The client recently had an influx of new staff (summer interns, and cream-of-the-crop recent grads who are in a management fast-track program), and these people obviously need a place to sit. A couple of weeks ago, they displaced my coworker (also from my firm, and same level as me), and a week ago, finally booted me.
The two of us now share a small round table, sit on waiting room-type chairs, face each other eye-to-eye, hunch over our laptops, and end up accidentally playing footsie (due to limited legroom). I feel numbness in my body after sitting on the newly provided chair much faster than before.
I have formally appealed to my manager for better conditions, and he sympathizes with me (and my coworker). However, he is constrained by the client's management, who are doubling up their own people because there's no more room.
I have tried taking matters into my own hands by working from home one day, to great benefit, albeit without written permission (just an informal acknowledgement from my manager). His manager did not react kindly to my note about working from home, and chances are they will not let me get away with this again.
From the client's perspective, I am just a contractor, the seat was "borrowed" from a manager other than the one running our project, and we will be done (hopefully - given the delays until now) in about 1.5 months anyway. Is it worth begging, fighting, or otherwise making it worth their while to give us better conditions? Or is my only normal choice to just ride it out until the project is done?