my boss is working from home with kids — and his schedule is wreaking havoc on my work

A reader writes:

My office has been working from home for about a month. We are fortunate to be among the few for whom this doesn’t really change our business, other than that we can’t be in the office.

My problem is that my boss has become very difficult to communicate with and work with. He and his wife are both working from home with young kids, and I know it’s impossible to work normally under those circumstances. But it’s really throwing off our work schedule. For example, I’ll need something from him at 11 am that I don’t get until 11 pm and I’m then under pressure to turn around the final product on time, even though I’ve lost days. This has resulted in me waiting around all day doing nothing, and then scrambling to finish overnight when I would normally be sleeping. Then I still need to be online at 8:30 am the next day for meetings.

My boss is under a lot of pressure too, but our normally great relationship is under strain now. I feel like he has become impatient and is very much in “just get it done” mode. But there are certain things I cannot do without his input. I don’t want to sound insensitive and say, “Your family obligations are wreacking havoc on my time,” but I am not sure how much more I can tolerate wasting my day waiting for him and then working through the night. I have tried to streamline things as much as possible so that I am not waiting on him as much, but at the end of the day, there is only so much I am authorized to do. Do I just need to get over it since everyone is dealing with similar or worse issues?

You can read my answer to this letter at Vice today. Head over there to read it.

my boss is working from home with kids — and his schedule is wreaking havoc on my work was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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