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Old 12-03-2013, 02:56 PM   #1
joedplumber
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Working from Home while Traveling

Hi All,

We typically drive when the cost to fly is significantly greater then the cost to drive. We also add 2 extra days to the vacation so we have the same amount of time at Disney whether we fly or drive. In the past when we drive I usually work from home on the driving days (Friday before the start of vacation and the Monday at the end of the vacation). Now technically I am not working from home but working from the road. I take my laptop and work in the car.

I have never really got this approved by my employer but have done it for many travelling vacations. It helps me not burn 2 extra days of vacation. It seems as long as I am reachable and can field any calls or questions then my employer is happy.

What is everyone else thought on this?
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
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Did you even tell/ask your employer about this? I would do that rather than asking random people on the internet.

I'd use the 2 days PTO and not risk losing my job.

ETA: Are you a plumber like your username says? How would you do that from a car?
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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I guess it depends exactly what you do and how you do it.

I have started allowing my employees, who have to travel home for the holidays, to telework but not on their travel days. I mean, realistically, the job is fairly complex and they can't really *do* much when they are in the airport. However, they have booked their trips for longer in order to take advantage of better flight prices and they have just teleworked at their alternate locations. Usually these are in homes with their extended family and not at an amusement park or anything like that.

I suppose, as a supervisor, I would not care if you teleworked "on the road" so long as you could accomplish your work while in a car. Some jobs lend themselves to that, some don't.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:15 PM   #4
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First, does your employer have an official policy for this? (mine does- have to have access to more than just a cell phone- so for instance I could work from whereever one day, but not the travel day to get there). Also, are you the one driving? If so, I don't know how you can drive and "work" at the same time-- it is one thing to take a few phone calls/respond to the occasional email, but are you really putting in a full 8 hours each day you are doing this?
Personally I wouldn't chance it- I have been thru too many rounds of lay offs-I do everything I can to protect my job.

Regardless, have fun on vacation!
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
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At my job, it's perfectly fine to do that, and I have done it, with full manager knowledge.
This is going to be really, really job specific.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #6
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Let me clarify a few things. lol

1. We have the ability to log into our work computers remotely so as long as I have a computer and the internet I can do my work.

2. My DW helps with the driving so I can work if need be.

3. We have no written policy for work at home. I just tell my employer I will be working remotely on a certain day and they either say yes or no.

4. It is not a butt in seat job but more of a meet your deadlines job.

5. I'm not a plumber. lol
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedplumber View Post
Let me clarify a few things. lol

1. We have the ability to log into our work computers remotely so as long as I have a computer and the internet I can do my work.

2. My DW helps with the driving so I can work if need be.

3. We have no written policy for work at home. I just tell my employer I will be working remotely on a certain day and they either say yes or no.

4. It is not a butt in seat job but more of a meet your deadlines job.

5. I'm not a plumber. lol
What do you mean "you can work if need be"? Either you're working on those travel days or you're not. If you're not working, why would you claim that you are? Are you really getting things done in the car even if DW is driving? Can you count on having internet access no matter where you on the road?

I have a "meet your deadlines" job, but I would never not work and claim I am just because I'm getting my work done. As a boss of a flexible work-from-home team, I'm usually pretty lenient about which hours they work (for example, making up time in the evening or weekend for an appointment or kid's school event during the day), but that assumes they're still working their 40 hours/week, just maybe not between 9-5. I would not be pleased if an employee told me they were "working remotely" and I found out they were driving somewhere. I don't think realistically they'd be getting all that much done those days in the car and ultimately I would expect them to take PTO. Not fully disclosing what's really happening seems questionable to me.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:58 PM   #8
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Personally, I would clear it with my supervisor just in case something happens.

What if your boss calls you multiple times and finds out you are on the road? What if you can't get internet access on the road? What if you break down and have to spend the night somewhere unexpected? What if your wife gets ill and can't drive making it impossible for you to work? What if you have laptop issues and can't work?

I would rather be up front so if your boss does find out somehow, you don't look like you were trying to be sneaky or hide something.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
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What do you mean "you can work if need be"? Either you're working on those travel days or you're not. If you're not working, why would you claim that you are? Are you really getting things done in the car even if DW is driving? Can you count on having internet access no matter where you on the road?

I have a "meet your deadlines" job, but I would never not work and claim I am just because I'm getting my work done. As a boss of a flexible work-from-home team, I'm usually pretty lenient about which hours they work (for example, making up time in the evening or weekend for an appointment or kid's school event during the day), but that assumes they're still working their 40 hours/week, just maybe not between 9-5. I would not be pleased if an employee told me they were "working remotely" and I found out they were driving somewhere. I don't think realistically they'd be getting all that much done those days in the car and ultimately I would expect them to take PTO. Not fully disclosing what's really happening seems questionable to me.
My type of work is very front loaded. Meaning I am extremely busy the 1st through 15th of the month (60 hour weeks) working on closing the prior month financial information and getting reports out to investors. Then the 15th-25th is very "quiet" (30-35 hour weeks) where as if you walk around the office there isn't much of anything getting down other then answering any questions investors might have etc.

Needless to say, vacation from the 1st to the 15th is not allowed unless absolutely necessary.

If I'm in the car I am doing the exact same thing I would be doing if I was sitting at my desk.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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How do you get internet access in the car on a laptop?
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:11 PM   #11
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How do you get internet access in the car on a laptop?
Use my iPhone as a hotspot. My LTE is actually faster than my home cable internet. Lol I would say based on past trips to Disney the I-95 corridor is 95% maybe more covered by cell service.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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How do you get internet access in the car on a laptop?
I'm not the OP, but my husband routinely uses internet hot spot on his phone when we're traveling. It's usually faster and more reliable than hotel wifi, and it works fine in a moving vehicle.

For the OP - eh, it really depends on the job, but it sounds like you're not entirely comfortable with the arrangement, even if it's very convenient for you. Generally, my husband and I both find that we can't get more than a half day of work done on a travel day. There are just too many distractions and interruptions.

Instead, we usually shift our work week so that we're working 4 -10 hour days or the equivalent.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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So I took everyone's advice and explained the situation to my boss. And her words not mine were "I don't give a sh*t where you are working from remotely as long as you can access your PC and can be reached by email and telephone. Thanks everyone for the advice!
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #14
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It only matters what your employer thinks. I am confused about these two statements though...
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I have never really got this approved by my employer but have done it for many travelling vacations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joedplumber View Post
3. We have no written policy for work at home. I just tell my employer I will be working remotely on a certain day and they either say yes or no.
If your boss says you can "work remotely", then I think you're fine as long as they know ahead of time you're not physically available (just on the phone/email).

I don't see how you could even clock 4 hours of work during a drive, but again, that's between you and your employer.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:05 AM   #15
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It only matters what your employer thinks. I am confused about these two statements though... If your boss says you can "work remotely", then I think you're fine as long as they know ahead of time you're not physically available (just on the phone/email). I don't see how you could even clock 4 hours of work during a drive, but again, that's between you and your employer.
Let's face it. Just because someone is sitting at their desk for 8 hours doesn't mean they are productive for 8 hours.

In my 13 years in the corporate world I have seen so much goofing off from both workers and supervisor it mind blowing. I actually believe that the cashier at the supermarket works harder then I do. I mean they are usually none stop from the time they get in to the time they go home.

I actually had a manager who booked her entire WDW vacation reservations and all while at work.

But the culture was just get it done don't care how just get it done.

The corporate world is an interesting animal to say the least.
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