Work From Home Exception for Quality Managers?

lyobovnik

Manager QA at small Med. Device Mfr.
#1
Is it normal for the Quality Manager to be the only manager allowed zero Work From Home, because "oh... your, um... your presence on site is so important... yeah"?

Or is that a Red Flag that you have the cleverly-disguised peon role, existing only to compensate for what Top Management chooses to allow others?

I want to give the benefit of the doubt here, but it is a challenge.
 
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#2
I am sure it is a challenge. But the Quality Manager very often bears the brunt of responsibility for all things Quality (I can't vouch for your place of work as I have not seen your organizational chart) so it would not surprise me if this person is expected to be on site in case of producton-stopping issues occur.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#3
Jen may be right, but I think that such a reason is largely a cop-out by the employer. Most companies can usually always send a picture of a defect or suspected defect to a customer and have them give guidance (UAI, rework, reject, no-defect, etc.) and the same usually would work for a QM working from home.

How do they handle it if the QM is on vacation or out sick? Somehow life goes on.

If it was a critical issue, the QM could be on-site in whatever his/her drive time is.

JMO.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#4
This one is hard for me to truly understand as I do not agree that 'management' can work from home in any type of manufacturing environment, this is of coarse assuming you manufacture something.

How can a Manufacturing Manager work from home, don't they have to oversee the manufacturing?
How can a General Manager work from home?
How can a Purchasing Manager work from home?

If something goes wrong, who is there to address it. If they can work from home, are they really necessary to the operation of the facility. When people go on vacation don't they have someone 'fill' in for them?

Again, I am not a big fan of the work from home concept personally so I probably am a bit bias on this but how can a manufacturing company work if no one is working there?
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#5
If you have to physically move product, or inspect product, or manufacture (i.e. assemble, weld, paint, machine, test, ship) product, then I can see WFH not working.

But if most of your work is on the phone, computer, etc. why not?

My company manufactures things. During the peak of Covid we had our Purchasing manager and staff WFH for months at a time. Program managers did 60-100% WFH for months, only coming in if we had visitors. Our GM did WFH 3 days a week.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#6
Jen may be right, but I think that such a reason is largely a cop-out by the employer. Most companies can usually always send a picture of a defect or suspected defect to a customer and have them give guidance (UAI, rework, reject, no-defect, etc.) and the same usually would work for a QM working from home.

How do they handle it if the QM is on vacation or out sick? Somehow life goes on.

If it was a critical issue, the QM could be on-site in whatever his/her drive time is.

JMO.
I think you're on to something. There seems to be a trend where management level people are expected to be present in the officce - or they think they are. I can offer that there was grumbling about the apparent lack of Supplier Quality support when none of us were physically standing there in the morning standup meetings at the Big Boards. So now we rotate this attendance, but at a lower level; the manager goes to all of the site level standups at the Big Board. I confess it's part of my decision making formula to stay in a support salary role. My commute adds hours to each day. I can live without that when most of my work is done remotely.
 

Tagin

Trusted Information Resource
#7
The question is too general. I am a Quality Mgr and work from home, but I am actually the only quality person, and 99% of my work is on the computer: collecting and analyzing data, providing input/guidance by email/phone/web conferencing. In almost all cases, it suffices for employees to provide me with images, phone videos, etc. of sample issues/concerns with product. Sign-offs are done via Adobe Sign. The pandemic changed everything, and created more flexibility.

As quality is perfused throughout our small company, we are fortunate that everyone doing their piece means that I am not overburdened with a need for hands-on presence. Certainly I come in for onsite audits and such, but these are infrequent.

But I can imagine other companies where the organization is structure differently, escalation needs, management needs, etc. are different. So, I would look at specific cases.
 

Trebor123

Involved In Discussions
#8
The question is too general. I am a Quality Mgr and work from home, but I am actually the only quality person, and 99% of my work is on the computer: collecting and analyzing data, providing input/guidance by email/phone/web conferencing. In almost all cases, it suffices for employees to provide me with images, phone videos, etc. of sample issues/concerns with product. Sign-offs are done via Adobe Sign. The pandemic changed everything, and created more flexibility.

As quality is perfused throughout our small company, we are fortunate that everyone doing their piece means that I am not overburdened with a need for hands-on presence. Certainly I come in for onsite audits and such, but these are infrequent.

But I can imagine other companies where the organization is structure differently, escalation needs, management needs, etc. are different. So, I would look at specific cases.
Aye same here - working from home - Hybrid !
 

Sebastian

Trusted Information Resource
#9
Do you remember Lloyd Bridges (or Robert Stack, I am not sure) entering air-traffic control room in "Airplane!" movie (1980) and delegating job simultaneously to whole staff?
This is perfect Quality Manager.
You don't need to identify potential risks related to company activities, prevent them, just call him.
He has answers for all questions.
He must be in place, 24/7.
 

Ed Panek

QA RA Small Med Dev Company
Leader
Super Moderator
#10
My argument against being onsite - If your production environment requires a single person to be present or everything goes to hell you need a new production environment. Ohio class subs with a third of our nuclear triad operate while the captain is asleep. If a second shift starts, does the QA manager need to work 16 hours a day? What about a third shift? QC checks and tests of that QC system should be in place.

My argument for being onsite - During ramp-up, deviations, or new production locations or methods then yes the QA manager should be present. If trends show frequent and common QA issues requiring immediate resolution you should be onsite.
 
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