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amother




Ivory


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 7:47 pm
I have an office in my home with 3 employees, who each work mostly during different hours so they are each usually alone when working. Until recently the office was in a room in middle of my home, with no real separation between office and home. Every time this employee had a question she would walk through the whole house to find me and ask me, and I would constantly find her in my kitchen just taking a spoon, or a cup of water, or looking for a snack in my pantry. Recently we added a wing to the house for the office and there is a door with a lock separating it from the house. Even though the door is usually locked, in the event anyone forgets to lock it, she still walks in to look for me when I have a question, and still constantly asks me for water, utensils, ice, etc. Once when I wasn't home she asked me where I Hide the key to get inside because she needs tissues. It drives me absolutely crazy... I can't stand that sometimes I'm walking around in pjs without hair covered in the morning and she will just barge in if the door isn't locked. My husband usually is but what if he wants to walk into the kitchen in boxers one day and she just decides to walk in unannounced. I also don't think I have to provide her with drinks and places etc.... if she worked in an office building wouldn't she need to bring her own stuff? Why does she assume it's normal to ask me?? I'm not sure if I'm the one being unrealistic here since it it technically is in my house, or if she is totally lacking tact and social cues. She only works for 3-4 hours a day.
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simba









  


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 7:50 pm
Use your words honey! The setup is not typical of a workplace so let her know that your house/kitchen is not open to employees.
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watergirl









  


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 7:54 pm
Most offices provide creature comforts like tissues, water, cups, coffee, etc. Can you put in a counter area with these things?
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amother




Ivory


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 8:03 pm
I technically can, but we are talking about someone who works very part time, around 12-14 hours a week .. .there is a bathroom that has both wipes and tissues so if one runs out one day there is always the other for that day. Neither of my other workers even bring food with them, or ever need anything. This isn't a regular office setting where employees are working 8-9 hours a day and need amenities
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das









  


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 8:29 pm
It doesn't matter how part time the work is, basic things like drinks, tissues and utensils should be kept in the office. As you stock the office, let your worker know that your house is now off limits.
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zaq









  


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 10:57 pm
das wrote:
It doesn't matter how part time the work is, basic things like drinks, tissues and utensils should be kept in the office. As you stock the office, let your worker know that your house is now off limits.


I disagree. None of my employers has ever provided these amenities. Usually employees provide their own although some employers do provide coffee supplies or a coffeepot for which employees buy the coffee. . For an employee to make free of the boss’s house is just bizarre.
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amother




Ivory


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 11:14 pm
It's not even that it's so difficult to provide some of these items. At this point I did put a gallon of water wirh cups and some extra boxes of tissues there. It's just the odd (to me) sense of freedom of walking into the house even just to ask a question, and also to use my kitchen as backup for whatever was forgotten at home, that irks me. And, as an aside, I did work in 3 different offices before opening my own business, and none of them stocked amenities for employees. One of them - the biggest of all three which had many employees, had a water cooler. But certainly no spoons, coffee, ice, or snacks anywhere.
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Mommyg8









  


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 11:21 pm
zaq wrote:
I disagree. None of my employers has ever provided these amenities. Usually employees provide their own although some employers do provide coffee supplies or a coffeepot for which employees buy the coffee. . For an employee to make free of the boss’s house is just bizarre.


So, just to be contrary... ALL of my employers provided some amenities - usually water - hot and cold, cups, a microwave, and sometimes snacks. And I don't think it's bizarre at all, different people have different cultures, and it may just be that this person is used to a culture where people are more open with their "things". Especially as she is working there, she may feel that it's ok for her to take if she needs something (I mean, obviously, she thinks it's ok, duh).

Like a previous poster said - use your words. It's important to make the rules clear.
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seeker









  


Post  Mon, May 14 2018, 11:59 pm
I'm hearing that you used to have a setup with ambiguous boundaries (office located in middle of home) and you hope that moving the office will enable better boundaries. This sounds like a good plan but it also sounds like you have the same employee as before doing the same things as before - did you communicate that the change of location came with a change of expectation? Along the lines of "Now that we've added the office wing, the rest of the house is for family only. If the office needs any supplies, please let me know and I will provide them."
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seeker









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 12:42 am
amother wrote:
I technically can, but we are talking about someone who works very part time, around 12-14 hours a week .. .there is a bathroom that has both wipes and tissues so if one runs out one day there is always the other for that day. Neither of my other workers even bring food with them, or ever need anything. This isn't a regular office setting where employees are working 8-9 hours a day and need amenities

Regardless of whatever else happens in this conversation, there should ALWAYS be enough toilet paper. No "if one runs out." (how are wipes a good option for that?!) Buy a bulk pack and when there are like 5 rolls left buy another bulk pack and keep them in the bathroom. Basically like you'd do at home... I hope.

Please.
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essie14









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 2:32 am
This is what I understood.
You used to have an office in the middle of your home and your employees walked around your house freely. There were no rules or boundaries.
Now you have a separate wing for your employees but you never reset the expectations.
When you moved them to the new wing you should have explained what this new setup means.
So do it now.
"This is now the office area. There's a bathroom and kitchenette for you to use so you shouldn't need to come to the main house"

Every place I have ever worked has provided a water cooler, hot water (even an inexpensive plug in kettle is fine) and coffee supplies (instant coffee, sugar, cups and spoons).
Set up Amazon Subscribe and Save for these things and for bathroom supplies (toilet paper, tissues, hand soap) so you never run out.
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giselle









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 3:00 am
Yes you should use your words, and it might be nice to provide some amenities... but she is most definitely lacking tact and social cues. To me this is the most bizarre behavior. So to answer your OP - no this is not normal. As for what to do about it, obviously something needs to be said.
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Metukah









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 5:26 am
Although this employee has boundary issues I must point out what others have said before. It is normal and acceptable for an employer to provide water and facilities to make a hot drink.
In every place I have worked there has been at least the basic minimum of plastic cups, hot cups, cold water, hot water and coffee/tea.

Even when at one point we were working in my employer's house she made sure we had adequate facilities. (I would never walk into the rest of her house though)
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Raisin









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 6:23 am
I think for your own peace of mind you should provide a water cooler, kettle, hot cups, etc. It shouldn't cost you a lot of money and won't need replacing that often.
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Iymnok









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 7:07 am
Keep the basic in stock, hot/cold water, cups, spoons, instant coffee, sugar, tissues, toilet paper, office supplies.
Change the doorknob to one that automatically locks whenever it latches. Have a simple list of office etiquette/rules posted by that door.
Try to get as much technicalities covered as possible.
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MrsDash









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 7:29 am
I think the difference here is that this isn’t your typical working space. No matter how professional the work is, if it’s in a home setting that’s not completely separate, I.e basement, separate entrance, etc, the sense of professionalism would ultimately become more lax than your typical work environment.
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MrsDash









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 7:50 am
Just wanted to add, your responsibility of providing supplies is pretty much limited to a fully stocked bathroom, and supplies needed to complete their working tasks, those are the bare bones. But as an employer, you should try to make your employees as comfortable and happy as possible. Employee morale can go a long way. If you are dead on not providing any other amenities, be sure to inform them that they should bring water, antibacterial gel, snacks, etc. Also, if they aren’t aware already, inform them of the house rules. You’re the boss.
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Orchid









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 1:37 pm
All offices I've worked at had in the common area: plastic utensils, paper plates, cups and bowls, an urn, a cooler, and a microwave. Bathroom was well stocked with toilet paper (never heard of adults using wipes - but, ok). I've never seen tissues be provided.

At minimum is toilet paper. Just tell her she can't go into your house anymore and needs to bring supplies from home.
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tichellady









  


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 1:53 pm
Your setup is not normal. Your employee may also be a bit off, but you are not off the hook here. You need to provide toilet paper, tissues and soap. I think you should provide water and utensils and hot water and coffee/tea as well. Tell the employeees that the house is now off limits to them and they can only use the office space. Problem taken care of.
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amother




Amber


Post  Tue, May 15 2018, 2:01 pm
I want to tell you something. A mom and Pop business is never run professional to start off. I work in a place that the house is in the same building. From my side of the coin I have to say that it interferes with my work like why the h___ are you asking me to pay your bills? I was hired as a secretary not a shlock shamesh?! And it doesn't end there. So you have to tell her that the house is off limits from now on. I will be rude but I am sorry it is your fault! Mom and Pop businesses are a failure for both sides.
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