Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Our small office is working from home because of the pandemic. One woman with young children is being paid full-time but has made it clear that during the day she’s busy with homework, virtual dance lessons, etc. The rest of us are grateful to have jobs but are resenting this. Advice?

It may be the acme of hypocrisy, since I’ve spent most of my adult life working from home, but I’ve always been a little leery of people who “work from home” – especially those who aren’t particularly used to or geared to it.

I’m used to it, and I love my work, so I wake up every day champing at the bit to get going.

Story continues below advertisement

I used to work as a writer/producer for a talk show, and our boss, who was also the host, used to “work from home” a lot – usually two or three days a week. We knew it was mostly a crock. The guy who sat next to me and I would joke about it.

Once our boss called to ask what was happening and tell us how hard she was working.

The caller I.D. read: “Tito’s Hair Salon.”

Of course now, because of COVID-19, hordes of people are genuinely working from home. I believe many are struggling with it, especially those with little kids and/or kids staying home from school.

I tried to “work from home” when I was a stay-at-home dad overseeing three little kids. I’m the first to admit that it did not work. I laugh at myself now until I want to put my head down on my desk and weep when I think of my former plan: “I’ll write while they nap.”

Story continues below advertisement

Naive. When by some miracle I managed to “put them down” – to use that macabre parenting term – for a nap, I became a rest-seeking missile myself and ran, not walked, and dove, literally not figuratively, into bed for a nap of my own.

For me, the ticket back to sanity and productivity was getting help: mostly a part-time caregiver, plus my mother and my wife, who took off-peak shifts.

But that’s easier said than done, these days. It might be hard for her to get help.

A hired caregiver? You’re not supposed to have outside people in your house these days. And you don’t know how scrupulous the caregiver may or may not have been about sequestration.

Mother or mother-in-law come over? You have to be especially careful in COVID-19 times about the possibility of exposing older people to the virus.

Spouse help out? Maybe your colleague is a single mom, or her partner is a useless layabout who refuses to lend a hand (unfortunately not that far-fetched a scenario).

Story continues below advertisement

So I say: Be compassionate. See whether she can work flexible hours, e.g. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., then take wall-climbing kids to the park to blow off steam, then resume in evenings when the children are asleep. Or whatever she can manage.

Ultimately, though, I think this is a matter for a boss to manage and you should give him/her a heads up. You say you’re a small shop, so I can only assume if one person isn’t pulling their weight then it is increasing everyone else’s workload and could wind up making you all look bad.

Don’t think of yourself as ratting your colleague out. It’s battle conditions and you’re a platoon. Or maybe the better analogy is a life raft: If it sinks, you all go down. Good luck and stay well.

Are you in a sticky situation? Send your dilemmas to damage@globeandmail.com. Please keep your submissions to 150 words and include a daytime contact number so we can follow up with any queries.

Sign up for the weekly Parenting & Relationships newsletter for news and advice to help you be a better parent, partner, friend, family member or colleague.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies