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A bad experience with an employee who WFH

Many years ago, before the pandemic, I had an employee who was allowed to work from home on Saturday.

There was an urgent work to be completed on a Saturday morning. I sent an email to him. He did not respond. I telephoned him. He did not answer the call.

A few hours later, he returned the call. He had some excuses why he was not at the work desk.

I terminated the arrangement. He resigned soon afterwards.

He was involved in development work. It is difficult to know if he was not working, or was stuck with a coding problem.

Many employees are on work that are difficult to monitor. The boss will want them to work in the office, for the monitoring and the discipline.

If the employee installs a CCTV to record his presence in the work desk, it would be as good as working in the office.

I believe that if employees want the flexibility of WFH, they have to agree to install a CCTV to monitor the work. If not, their boss will insist that they report to the office.

This may be an example of a unreliable employee. They may be other employees who are more responsible. But it is difficult for the boss to know one from the other. It is also likely that the majority of the employees will soon abuse the flexibility of WFH.

 

Tan Kin Lian

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

22 Responses to “A bad experience with an employee who WFH”

  • John Doe:

    Bad boss or bad worker – nvr in the real world would a boss says he’s a bad boss. Got it.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    Why use the pandemic or WFH as a front for something that probably everyone has seen before – bad work attitude.

    Just look at our parliament attendance ….. Some MPs even working part-timer while collecting FULL MP allowance/pay.

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  • 2Daft2Live:

    The Chinese saying, “用人不疑,疑人不用” is lost on many. It doesn’t mean simple trust without doing any homework. It takes years to know a person’s true character. Nowadays, people think they can read another person inside out after just a few interviews. Guess they shouldn’t be surprised when they found out how wrong they are subsequently.

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  • I would say it really depends on the person whom you hire. I have been behind the scenes of TRE for more than a decade, TRE got downtime of more than a day or not? lol

    Work is about attitude and commitment, I supposed.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    John Doe:

    Bad boss or bad worker – nvr in the real world would a boss says he’s a bad boss. Got it.

    Very true. I’ve seen many coys – most of the time, the management will complain about inefficiency and then blame it on the workforce. They then complain to MOM, saying “cannot get the right people” and stupid MOM of course think that means no local talents. Yet how many of them have a training program for its employees? Whenever possible, I ask what is the certification process of their employees before (say) confirmation or next promotion – usual NONE, ZERO, ZIL. And I can emphasize, 90+% of the time, the coy is not doing well not because of the quality/skills of the workforce (which they didn’t bother to train up) but poor LEADERSHIP. Hence all the current hope on digitization is nonsense – a bad boss will bring down a coy whether with or without digitization or any other tools. Example: Just ask the ex-general in charge of NOL/SPH/whatever-next-place(?).

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  • illiterate pap voters:

    John Doe:
    Bad boss or bad worker – nvr in the real world would a boss says he’s a bad boss. Got it.

    Bro, very good question and very good observation.

    We say, in answer to your question, it is always bad boss, and as a comment to your observation, bad bosses never put themselves in the shoes of others whom they badmouth.

    tkl is so cock.

    1, if he thinks someone sitting on a chair beside a desk with a laptop or desktop is working, then, he is confirmed to be brainless.

    2, nobody today, if he or she is any good, measure performance by how long one sits on a chair beside a desk. rather, performance is measured by measurable output.

    Of course, like we have always been saying, it takes real brains to design such a system and we don’t expect tkl to have it.

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  • illiterate pap voters:

    theforgottongeneration: Very true. I’ve seen many coys – most of the time, the management will complain about inefficiency and then blame it on the workforce. They then complain to MOM, saying “cannot get the right people” and stupid MOM of course think that means no local talents. Yet how many of them have a training program for its employees? Whenever possible, I ask what is the certification process of their employees before (say) confirmation or next promotion – usual NONE, ZERO, ZIL. And I can emphasize, 90+% of the time, the coy is not doing well not because of the quality/skills of the workforce (which they didn’t bother to train up) but poor LEADERSHIP. Hence all the current hope on digitization is nonsense – a bad boss will bring down a coy whether with or without digitization or any other tools. Example: Just ask the ex-general in charge of NOL/SPH/whatever-next-place(?).

    the ex general in charge of NOL and sph doesn’t know what is happening and no talented staff ever tells him what he doesn’t want to hear since he is forever taking umbrage.

    so much so the ex general only hears the good things he wants to hear so much so NOL is gone and sph is gone too without input of S$150m of cotton sheep money.

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  • @illiterate pap voters

    That is the problem I see in Sinkieland now, be it political office or commercial. Those at the lower end of teh food chain are so afraid of offending the top honchos so much so that nothing is ever done correctly, leaving goodies like NOL and SPH to rot.

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  • John Doe:

    2Daft2Live:
    The Chinese saying, “用人不疑,疑人不用” is lost on many. It doesn’t mean simple trust without doing any homework. It takes years to know a person’s true character. Nowadays, people think they can read another person inside out after just a few interviews. Guess they shouldn’t be surprised when they found out how wrong they are subsequently.

    I have always maintained and yours truly I don’t blindly complain and naively comment, cz I seen with my very own eyes, my true personal experiences – HR depts in SG are staffed with clerks only.

    From HR directors down to HR Execs, their substances ARE NO more than HIGHLY paid clerks, GLORIFIED clerks dressed well, talk well, that’s about all.

    TELL ME – what really really do HR in any company do? Do FO.

    Do they really chart employees career paths, monitor each one, post them to suitable locations, suitable positions? Do they enhance each staff’s work? Do they promote productivity?

    None of the above. None.

    And strangest of strange – bosses, business owners DO NOT give priority to build up AND look – very likely HR Dept is ONLY a recruitment Dept.

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  • opposition dude:

    As usual, another no brain post from textbook theory Tan. He has already mentioned about the CCTV thing installed in the employee’s home previously but what he hasn’t thought about (no big surprise there since he is all theory only) is the FACT about who is going to pay for the installation? Will the employee allow the installation of it in his own home too?

    And if a company has a few hundred employees working from home are they willing to spend all that money on all those CCTVs? It’s not even a practical thing to start with to be honest. And should the employee resign who is going to pay for the deinstallation of the CCTV?

    Whether employees are skiving at home or not is one thing, companies feel better about having their staff back in the office they can jolly well call all of them back, it’s not against the law after all.

    For all those employees who have gotten too used to working at home and find it painful to balek back to the office daily they can either talk to management to see if they are allowed to continue working from home or not. If all else fails there is always the option to look for an employer who does not mind their employees working from home.

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  • I Like It Rough:

    I worked for many bosses. The best ones are the ones that shows you the ropes, explains what is required, gives you a deadline and let you do it on your own. They won’t bother you as long as you meet deadlines.

    Those distrustful ones are the micro managers, always monitoring you, watching you. They’ll tell you you are being watched. They craete an uneasy, uncomfortable work environment. They stand near you as you work on your desk. Don’t trust, then don’t hire.

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  • illiterate pap voters:

    I Like It Rough:
    I worked for many bosses. The best ones are the ones that shows you the ropes, explains what is required, gives you a deadline and let you do it on your own. They won’t bother you as long as you meet deadlines.

    Those distrustful ones are the micro managers, always monitoring you, watching you. They’ll tell you you are being watched. They craete an uneasy, uncomfortable work environment. They stand near you as you work on your desk. Don’t trust, then don’t hire.

    Very well said, bro.

    One day, the President of a large USA satellite company pulled one of us aside and started to point at a man at the other end of the room.

    This President said, that man over there is my boss and he is a good boos because he leaves me alone to do my job.

    We have also worked for many bosses, from different countries to different races. So far that we can tell, almost to the last man the Singaporean boss is hopelessly the worse one because most of the time they look over the shoulders of their workers instead of just letting them do their work.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    illiterate pap voters: the ex general in charge of NOL and sph doesn’t know what is happening and no talented staff ever tells him what he doesn’t want to hear since he is forever taking umbrage.

    I suspect not because no talented staff at NOL or SPH, but that he surrounded himself with only PLP people. Like our million$ Golden Prince, hor. Subordinates make mistakes, boss allows No Blaming Culture excuse again and again.

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  • Slave driver:

    Ah Tan, why you made the person work on Saturdays? You slave driver. Bad employer.

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  • MarBowling:

    illiterate pap voters:
    June 15, 2022 at 10:09 pm (Quote)
    I Like It Rough:
    I worked for many bosses. The best ones are the ones that shows you the ropes, explains what is required, gives you a deadline and let you do it on your own. They won’t bother you as long as you meet deadlines.
    Those distrustful ones are the micro managers, always monitoring you, watching you. They’ll tell you you are being watched. They craete an uneasy, uncomfortable work environment. They stand near you as you work on your desk. Don’t trust, then don’t hire.
    Very well said, bro.
    One day, the President of a large USA satellite company pulled one of us aside and started to point at a man at the other end of the room.
    This President said, that man over there is my boss and he is a good boos because he leaves me alone to do my job.
    We have also worked for many bosses, from different countries to different races. So far that we can tell, almost to the last man the Singaporean boss is hopelessly the worse one because most of the time they look over the shoulders of their workers instead of just letting them do their work.

    Response: Well said. Tan Golden Chain should REMEMBER that he is also a “WORKER’ of NTUC Income Insurance although he is given an IMPRESSIVE TITLE of CEO! Anyway, based on his farking tone, he is ONE GREAT GUY with a ‘Afraid of Hantu at the Bow and scared like shit of Pirates at the Stern” mentality aka INFERIOR COMPLEX! A staff May comes into the office early or on the dot and squat at the desk DILIGENTLY and work overtime BUT produce only 3/4 or half or little productivity while another staff may come into office slightly late and doesn’t work overtime or WFH BUT giving 100% work commitment as required or more. THINK the GIST of ANY WORKING ETHIC is the QUALITY of INPUT and the COMMITMENT to the ORGANIZATION one works with, be it WFH or SQUATTING behind the aircon office and cozy desk staring at the computer 9-5 doing FO. Macham like some of those JLB LJ CB MPs are doing in ParLeeMent Zzzzing, PRETENDING by showing their FFace NOW and THEN or WFH to justify their humongous obscene MP salaries.

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  • Flickshit:

    If the Boss don’t trust its employees, then why you employed them.

    YOu don;t trust your staff, then why the staff must trust you. You are simply a lousy or Bad Boss.

    No wonder you are OUT of NTUC??

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  • Marquis⩙of⩙Dalhousie:

    My ex bosses and mgrs have no idea what I do or how I do it, but the work gets done. They leave me alone. They were smart else I would have walked out, I hate micro managing.

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  • anddy:

    TKL is old school pap, army style.

    I worked from home, working hours from 9 to 6pm. Honestly, I clocked more than 44 hours a week…. I dont get paid over time. I started work from 8am and finished by 5pm… if needed for urgent things, I followed through the night till late. During week day, sometimes I sneaked out to buy groceries or some errands. But overall, I clocked more than 50 hours a week.

    If TKL looks at the camera and found I am not in my desk working, he will condemn me as lazy and fire me?

    I only go off to do some other errands when I know there is nothing for me. Am I a lazy employee?

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  • Harder Truths:

    Not only are you extremely stupid TKL, you are an extreme communist. Even the Dead Despot was not such an extremist as you. Your article is not only totally ignorant of what is going on. but lacks any humanity and compassion.

    People who work have a set deadline — as long as they complete the work in the set timeframe there should be no issue. At home the situation is different – people have a flexible regime. $inkies (unlike you) are to most overworked people in the world. FT are already almost the masters in the office. Now you want them to also tell $inkies how to live?

    What you want is a $inkie slave society 24/7 being monitored by the FT masters. Just stop the bullshit and be frank that is what you are actually asking for. You want complete control of what people do, say and think.

    You should move to China immediately – but they probably don’t want an extremist like you either.

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  • xoxo:

    WFH seems more like *WAYANG* from home.
    I see not a few ang moh FTs doing personal stuffs during work-from-home HOURS!
    Some even go jogging or to the gym.
    And,many kaypoh n quarrel with their sg-neighbours.
    WFHE maybe for more honest sg-workers than for Fake FTs.

    Proper MONITORING is much needed.
    Use video-link to connect bosses n workers to confirm they are W.F.H. – working from home n not WAYANG FROM HOME.
    Like that highly paid FTs cannot bluff n cheat.

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  • P Against People:

    He’s a capitalist. He should move to US where big employers such as Amazon use computers to monitor employees every second. How long an employee goes to toilet, how many items he packs every minute, how long he talks to others, etc.

    Big capitalist pigs.

    Harder Truths:
    Not only are you extremely stupid TKL, you are an extreme communist. Even the Dead Despot was not such an extremist as you. Your article is not only totally ignorant of what is going on. but lacks any humanity and compassion.

    People who work have a set deadline — as long as they complete the work in the set timeframe there should be no issue. At home the situation is different – people have a flexible regime. $inkies (unlike you) are to most overworked people in the world. FT are already almost the masters in the office. Now you want them to also tell $inkies how to live?

    What you want is a $inkie slave society 24/7 being monitored by the FT masters. Just stop the bullshit and be frank that is what you are actually asking for. You want complete control of what people do, say and think.

    You should move to China immediately – but they probably don’t want an extremist like you either.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    We have 260,000+ FDWs here in SG, why TKL never say we should install CCTVs at homes so those employing maids can monitor whether their maids are doing any WORK AT HOME (WAH?). That’s problem with the current generation – they think they have good solutions and arguments but they don’t understand the TRUE underlying issues that need to be addressed.

    Example: Use hammer to kill an ant – yeah that works too. (Instead of finding out why there are ants around the place.)

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