Ethical question re:work - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: If you couldn't work for 3 days due to technical issues with company-supplied equipment..
Count it as 3 days (12 hours) worked, as normal 42 62.69%
Only count the time you spend troubleshooting, dropping off equipment, etc. 15 22.39%
Count it but use sick/vacation pay 1 1.49%
Don't count it, work an extra 12 hours at the end of the week 5 7.46%
Other 4 5.97%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-17-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK just curious how others feel ethically about this situation!

Say you normally work from home 4 hours a day on average (though varies a lot day to day), and need to keep at least 20 hours a week to maintain health insurance (but it's salaried so no one else keeps track).

If you were unable to work for 3 days due to technical issues with the equipment supplied by your company, would you still count your time as having 'worked' those 3 days? Or would you use vacation/sick time or something? OK I'm gonna make a poll!!

I won't include this in the poll, but I'm also curious about your thoughts on: if the workload varies a lot day to day & some days you don't have any (or very little) work, would you still say you 'worked' because you were available during that time & everyone who doesn't telecommute would count that as time worked?

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Old 05-17-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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I would ask my manager how he/she would like for me to account for those days.

Unless you can make the time up...that's what I would do. Then inform my manager that I made the time up and count it as time worked.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should add, technically it's almost impossible to make up the time, and the manager could care less about ethics (would just say to count it as time worked).

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Old 05-17-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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I would talk to your HR person. That is what they are there for!

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Old 05-17-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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Haven't read the other replies but I voted #1. It's not your fault the equipment is technically challenged.

As for your second choice. I would count the whole day as time worked. You're still available for work and you'd do more work if there was something to be done. People who work in an office don't work 8 hours straight everyday.


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Old 05-17-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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I voted other because I don't know!!!!

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Old 05-17-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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I would probably talk to my boss about it, but I know my boss would have me count that as time worked (I WAH too). If you worked in the office and your computer went down, you wouldn't get docked for the time it took to repair it, you know?

For the day-to-day variation in hours, I'd count it as long as I was making it clear to my boss/team that I had a light workload that day and was available to help them with their projects or something. As someone else said, people who work in the office are still getting paid even when they're chit-chatting with coworkers on days when they have a light workload.

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Old 05-17-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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I WAH but all I need iss Internet, not any special application or network. Unless Internet went down, there's always something I can do. I am salaried, though, and it wouldn't affect my paycheck. But I also wouldn't make up the time even if my Internet went down.

My father, on the other hand, works from home but within his company's network. When there were network problems, he still accounted for his time as "worked." Once he, too, had 3 days where he couldn't work. He still submitted his time. My father is one of those guys who is really committed to his work, like the only sick time he took in his whole life was when he had kidney cancer (cured for 20 years! yay!), that sort of guy. But yes, he charged his time, he was hanging around and checking every now and then to see if he could access the network and so on. He couldn't just take off and go to the beach or anything, even if he did putter around the house and watch TV and so on during the downtime.

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Old 05-17-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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Your salaried, as long as you meet the job description of what you were hired to do it doesn't matter if it's 3 days or 4 days.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I would talk to your boss. There can be compromises. I work from home. If there is a tech issue that is there problem I get paid like I was sitting there.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:07 PM
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My DH has been stuck at work in an office for a while during an system problem, and everyone sat around. Sometimes they get sent home eventually if it goes on to long, but no one doesn't get paid or is forced to take a leave day or anything. It happens. Especially for being salaried, I wouldn't worry about it. I'd try to catch up on work extra hard maybe? I mean, salaried folks often work way more than 8 hrs a day anway, so I figure it all evens out!
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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I would count it as worked, it is not your fault the company's equip failed, and you should not be punished for that.

A great example is - I had my computer replaced (in my office at work) - downtime 4 hours. I'm counting that time as work, even though I couldn't do squat because it is not my fault I am not working - its theirs. :eyeroll

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Old 05-17-2010, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, I always like to get others' opinions on what I consider "ethical" issues, and in this case it sounds like I'm on the same page as most of you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
But yes, he charged his time, he was hanging around and checking every now and then to see if he could access the network and so on. He couldn't just take off and go to the beach or anything, even if he did putter around the house and watch TV and so on during the downtime.
I think I'm a lot like your dad, I never take sick time, and when I can't work for technical reasons (which sadly happens way too often ), I can't just go out & have a fun day or something, I'm constantly checking in and seeing if things are fixed or if there's anything I can do. Kind of drives me nuts though! And I end up dealing with it for 8-10 hours a day instead of the 4 hours I would normally work!!

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Old 05-17-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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I voted that I would only count the time spent troubleshooting.
BUT - that was before I read that you were salaried. In that case, if you've ever worked more than the 4/20 hrs and not been paid extra for it - I would put your normal workday -without hesitation.
I wouldn't feel right about charging and getting paid for not working though.
(And did, in fact have a similiar situation last fall, worked part-time and some WAH, and ran into a network outage that kept me from working for two weeks - I only charged the time that I spent taking my computer into netops, time that I was actually at work - even though I wasn't working myself - but I was never waiting more than a half hour either...). But - I was part-time and paid hourly.

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Old 05-17-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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Hang on, the equipment trouble is the company's fault? Count it as time worked. If you were in an office waiting on IT, they'd let you stay on the clock while you goofed around on your phone or read a book.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Hang on, the equipment trouble is the company's fault? Count it as time worked. If you were in an office waiting on IT, they'd let you stay on the clock while you goofed around on your phone or read a book.
Yep I agree.

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I should add, technically it's almost impossible to make up the time, and the manager could care less about ethics (would just say to count it as time worked).
That is your answer. If your supervisor says to count it as time worked, then as far as I'm concerned that's the offical word and what I would do.
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Your salaried, as long as you meet the job description of what you were hired to do it doesn't matter if it's 3 days or 4 days.
I agree with this for a salaried employee.

I get paid hourly (also working from home) and would ask my employer what he wanted me to do in a situation like that. As long as you are around and available to work, though, I think it's fair for you to get compensated for your time.

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Old 05-18-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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DH just faced something like this (broken laptop).

What would you do if your laptop was broken at the office? I'm sure they wouldn't require you to count that as 'sick' time. If you made a best effort to get everything repaired as soon as possible, i'd count it as time worked.

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