Q: My manager recently informed me that I must occasionally work weekends to create a report for a Monday morning meeting — from home.
As an exempt employee, I have no objection to weekend work. However, I can’t do this project remotely because I have no internet connection at home. My boss has agreed to get me a laptop, but won’t pay for my internet service. Shouldn’t my employer provide the necessary tools?
A: Yes, up to a point. And that point was probably reached when your boss offered to give you a laptop. Since the internet has essentially become a basic utility, managers should now be able to assume that all professional employees will be connected. Lacking internet access in 2017 is like being without a telephone in 1990.
Although your expenditures may be restricted by your family member’s needs, you can’t provide financial aid without a paycheck. An internet connection will increase both your current job security and your future employability, so it’s time to explore your options.
Assuming that you have a phone, an internet plan can probably be added for a fairly reasonable fee. Cable providers also offer internet access, but given your monetary constraints, you might not have that service. Just remember that regardless of the provider, getting online will benefit not only you, but also your financially strapped relative.
Q: As a member of my company’s leadership team, I am extremely concerned about another executive who is not pulling her weight. “Laura” is widely viewed as an incompetent manager. She seems unable to make timely decisions, lead meetings effectively, or even compose a professional email.
I have discussed this with our CEO, but he plans to retire soon and has no interest in correcting Laura’s deficiencies. He basically said that I should just figure out how to get along with her. This has become so frustrating that I have begun to think about leaving. Do you have any advice?
A: Considering the circumstances, perhaps you should muster up a little patience. Your current CEO may be unwilling to address Laura’s performance issues, but he’s about to depart. New executives often make leadership changes, so his replacement may soon solve this problem for you.
Once your CEO’s successor is on board, you and the other concerned team members should clearly describe how Laura’s managerial failings are harming the business. But be sure to go as a group. If you’re the only one complaining, your new boss won’t know whether this is a performance issue or a personality conflict.
Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of “Secrets to Winning at Office Politics.” Send in questions and get free coaching tips at http://www.yourofficecoach.com, or follow her on Twitter @officecoach.