His Boss Won’t Let Him Work From Home Because He Constantly Appears Idle in the Company’s Chat System: He Created a Genius Hack That Outwitted the System



This is an excellent example of someone who cleverly beat the system. He narrates how his boss wanted him to return to the office after working from home for over 18 months.

He, however, managed to convince the boss of the company’s chat system that he could be productive from home.

Post-Covid Changes

The original poster’s (OP) company was re-designating who can work from home, who will be working from the office full time, and who will do hybrid. This was them trying to go back to normalcy post covid.

He works in a team of 8 people and is now the only person designated to work full-time from the office. He says that he hates the office with a “burning passion.” To him, the office is super-distracting, has no benefits, and is a long commute.

And when he says the office has no good use, you can see it. For instance, he has never attended an in-person meeting but has worked for the company for three years.

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Some of his teammates work for the company in different parts of the country, and some were fully designated to work from home. Leave alone meetings; he has never had to do any in-person work for the three years he has worked for the company.

Now, the company uses a comprehensive IM system that shows each employee as available, idle, or in a meeting. The system shows you as idle if you do not touch your keyboard for 5 minutes. They use this system to determine who is working and who is not.

OP says his job is like many other 9-5s; you cannot work 8 hours straight. He completes his day’s work in 3-5 hours.

OP’s performance went up for the time he has been working from home. From the key performance indicators by the company, he either came in first or second in his team.

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This should have been the company’s yardstick, but they opt for who shows as idle or available on the system. He adds that he never procrastinates. He does the work immediately when it comes up. His work queue is always empty.

Since he finishes his work quickly, he spends the rest of the time reading books, watching TV, or playing video games. This way, he ends up showing as idle more often. He says he does not need to touch the keyboard every 5 minutes to pretend he is working.


I Have Got My Eyes on You

When OP asked his boss, he was told he had been asked to work from the office because he often shows as idle on the system. The boss then told him that he would have let him work from home if it were not for that. He, however, gave OP another chance to prove himself before their next assessment.

So, OP wrote a PowerShell script that virtually inputs a period key every 4 minutes from 8 am to 5 pm. With this script, he now always shows as active. He still gets the job done, reads books, watches TV, and plays video games.

He says he has met with his boss, who said he now sees that OP is always active on the site. For this, he has let him keep working from home.

Was that a genius move from OP, or is he just a bad employee?

Redditors Weigh In

One comment said, “I think reading about the fact that your company actively and objectively tracks your KPIs and metrics but instead decided to measure your productivity by your interaction with a chat program made my brain hurt a little. Like I just got punched in the face with a little fist made of pure corporate stupidity.”

Another replied to the above comment saying, “Also, their boss is just checking the chat program the entire time for who’s idle or what? That’s ridiculous.”

There were a lot of other comments highlighting methods people have successfully used to appear as busy even when they were away from the keyboard.

For instance, one said, “When working from home, I’d pull up a blank word doc and set something heavy on the zero or ctrl key on my keyboard. Never went idle. My job, however, would put you out of compliance if you didn’t do something every 30 seconds. My boss could never determine why my adherence was better than everyone else’s.” 

Is looking at who is active on a chat system an excellent way to monitor productivity in a company?


This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.

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Originally posted 2023-03-24 08:09:53.