Do you like giving your personal time for office work?

I am not being very picky when I say this, but I don’t like spending my personal time for office work.

I cannot help if my train of thought diverts to ponder about a design related decision or a defect. I don’t mind staying late once or twice in a week, after office-hours. But that’s where it ends.

The week and previous one was a torture. No, wait. the torture began soon after my 19w30 went live.

I spent the day working on something that was not planned.

I took two breaks from 9:15 AM to 6:30 PM – 10 minutes for breakfast and 10 minutes for lunch.

I skipped walks.

I skipped tea break.

I worked like a dog lioness. My back was stiff and my head was about to explode.

By 5 PM, I was almost done. Then, I started working on another issue (that I was supposed to have worked on). If that was not enough, there was a surprise conference call late in the evening, disturbing my plans for Friday.

After the call, I resumed my work, with only an hour for the second bus to leave. That’s when it started.

Manager: Do you want to take the team laptop with you to work over the weekend?


Me: (In a fake calm and polite tone,) This much work is enough for me; and that I am not really a WFH kinda person.

Manager: Still, you should take it with you, in case you want to work on it.

Me: Nope.

I have a life, and I have plans, even if you think it is impossible.

Manager: (Pesters further) We must deliver this by Monday.

I didn’t reply, because I was pissed off until then.

Don’t get me wrong. I am very considerate.

I would have understood if we were working on a mission critical project.

I would have understood the urgency if there weren’t a million other defects on other teams that are impossible to be fixed by Monday.

I would have obliged if I wasn’t forbidden to work from home when I asked for it when my father was sick and unable to move and I wanted to be by his side.

I was still angry when I went home. I am still angry as I am drafting this post. I am angry, because I could not say this to him.

If you want your employees to be flexible, you should be flexible, too.

If you want me to think about work 24×7, then I expect to be rewarded accordingly.

If you have expectations from employees to give it all, the least they should get in response is a freaking recoginition of their efforts.

There is no recognition of the hard work, let alone appreciation. What would motivate me to work outside of office hours?

And what would he remember from this incident? that I refused to WFH when he asked. You know why?

We hear what we want to hear.

We see what we want to see.

We remember what we want to remember.

Often, we hear from others’ ears.

We see through others’ eyes.

We remember what others want us to remember.

But the truth can be different.

If it sounds familiar, it is from one of my books Uff Haniya.

so, here are a few questions:

Do you like working from home?

Do you like spending your personal time on office work?

Does your boss ask you to spend more time? How do you handle the pressure?

Shabana Mukhtar