A tale of two employees
This is the tale of two employees, each faced with a family medical situation. One employee's wife had to have back surgery to repair a degenerated disk, the other had to help with the post-operative care of her mother (who lived in another state). Both employees work customer service in a field that relies heavily on technology. One employee works for a large corporation that is governed by federal regulations such as FMLA. The other works for a small business owner. One employee was allowed to work remotely while caring for the family member, the other is heading to court over the issue. My challenge to you dear readers....which employee is getting the opportunity to work remotely, with no hassles from the employer and which is going to court?
Give up? The employee that is having to go to court is the one that works for the company bound by federal regulation! You see, by being bound by regulation (and thus having to fill out mountains of paperwork) the large corporation has made the process so onerous to the employee that he has had to resort to drastic action. Meanwhile, the small business owner, eager to keep his employee happy and productive, made it possible for his employee (through cellular and VPN/internet technology) to be in another state and still work and handle her familial duty.
How do I know all of this, you ask? Simple, one employee is me and the other is a dear friend of mine. My employer (the small business owner) has graciously allowed me to work remotely, thus filling the empty hours when my mother is sleeping, resting or with her doctors. My friend, on the other hand, had to fight so long with his manager (regarding his wife's surgery and post operative care) that it has gone to HR and is possibly going to court.
The moral of this story is simple, dear reader. Government regulation is NOT the answer when it comes to situations like this. Simple human decency and belief that workers are not sheep that need to have their every move managed (regulated) are the answer.