Working from Home while Traveling

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by joedplumber, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. joedplumber

    joedplumber Love Vacationing!

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    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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  3. TifffanyD

    TifffanyD DIS Veteran

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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?
     
  4. Christine

    Christine <font color=red>Would love to be able to sit on th

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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.
     
  5. tracaline

    tracaline Earning My Ears

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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!
     
  6. DopeyDame

    DopeyDame DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  7. joedplumber

    joedplumber Love Vacationing!

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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
     
  8. ariel71

    ariel71 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  9. anniemae

    anniemae Either she is eating a delicious

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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.
     
  10. joedplumber

    joedplumber Love Vacationing!

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    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.
     
  11. CdnCarrie

    CdnCarrie DIS Veteran

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    How do you get internet access in the car on a laptop?
     
  12. joedplumber

    joedplumber Love Vacationing!

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    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.
     
  13. dawnball

    dawnball <font color=red>bouncie bouncie...<br><font color=

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    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.
     
  14. joedplumber

    joedplumber Love Vacationing!

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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!
     
  15. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  16. joedplumber

    joedplumber Love Vacationing!

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    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.
     
  17. Styx Fan

    Styx Fan DIS Veteran

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    My husband works from the car on pretty much every trip we take. Not always pre-planned though.

    He has a wireless hot spot on his work phone and a laptop. Normally he will have a vacation day, but work issues will require his attention anyway so he will end up working and I will drive. Our kids are great travelers and like to play hand held games, read, watch movies so no noise issues. More I get bored out of my mind driving without any company or music, books on tape or radio. Much of the time DH will be on telephone calls so I get to hear issues with their systems (he is in IT).

    The up side to this is his boss is super flexible and will not count a day as vacation if DH ends up working most of it. On one road trip DH worked so much while on the road and hours here and there through the week his boss only counted 3 vacation days instead of the 6 taken. I only get frustrated when DH ends up taking a work call when we are in the middle of a fun activity taking his focus off the family. Sometimes he really has too....other times he just has a problem with putting work on the back burner.

    We often visit a friends cabin 3 hours away for weekends over the summer. DH will often leave early on Friday and finish the day working in the car. This is usually after he has already worked well over 40 hours for the week. His boss is cool with this.
     
  18. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

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    Mine, too. I often take my work laptop when we go camping. As long as I'm getting my work done, my supervisor could care less where its done.
     
  19. joedplumber

    joedplumber Love Vacationing!

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    So if a team member leaves at say, 3pm for the day for a personal reason those hours need to be made up in the week? Are they salaried employees?

    Just curious..
     
  20. dawnball

    dawnball <font color=red>bouncie bouncie...<br><font color=

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    Good for you!

    I asked my husband (he has more insight into this situation) and he said "If he's been doing this for awhile, his boss already knows, and probably doesn't care" so I'll give him a point for the right answer. ;)
     
  21. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Pluto's personal nose scratcher

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    I won't have Internet access from my car, and would probably get sick from working on the laptop while traveling in a car.

    When I'm no vacation, I want to be on vacation, but if you don't want to burn PTO days when you are traveling, and you don't get motion sick, then it sounds like a good plan.
     

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