Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Can we all please avoid the Office Face Time trap?

At work today, a colleague told me he was now subject to daily 7am "Stand-Up" meetings. Every day. This is a corporate office, not an ops facility. His kids are grown and gone, so he is able to beat the traffic and get in early as assigned. For working parents, though, this is awful. It doesn't matter if you have backup by way of spouse or family nearby, early-opening daycare, etc.-- getting children up and out the door early enough to get to an office by 7am is too early. If there is a good reason for it, okay, that brings up questions about whether the position is a good fit for current life stage.

In this case, the manager calling the meetings is a good guy. He is a peer and friendly colleague. He does not have kids, but he has his own challenges and a busy personal life. The group he is leading is under a lot of pressure to show results. I can only guess that he is requiring these daily dawn meetings to make a showing of commitment and action. Unfortunately, it may render the jobs reporting to him somewhere on the range of difficult to undoable for parents. I may ask him about it if the right moment comes up. Though if the culture of long hours is so strong, it is risky to raise questions.

Have others seen good people come up with unnecessary practices that make it harder to manage work and home life? Have you found any approaches that work to take it on? Have you moved on from a job because of the Office Face Time Trap?

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