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Remote worker. How do I talk to my boss?


Krisvm

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Hey all, 

 

I work remotely in general but occasionally travel out to meet clients. I would like to talk to my boss about my gender identity and the issues of presentation but I honestly don't know where to start? 

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to approach this? 

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  • Admin

Kris, I would start by finding out if the company has any policies or guidelines on workplace transition.  Before talking with your boss, its important to find out what your rights are.  You don't need to smack him/her in the face with it, but if there are policies, it will be important to know them.

 

Does your company have an HR, or are you dealing only with the boss?  How has your relationship been with him/her?  If good, then I would just be up front about it and let him/her know what's on your mind, and maybe provide a timeline on when you plan to transition, if you haven't already?  It's hard to make a lot of suggestions when I don't know any details about your work situation.

 

Carolyn Marie

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Okay thanks. I am on good terms with my boss and we do have a HR department. Do you think then it is best to contact HR to ask about policies first? 

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  • Forum Moderator

The answer may depend on the size of your employer.  If your boss and HR are in the same office then perhaps you should speak to the boss first.  Otherwise i would speak to HR as they may be better informed of company policies.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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They are in the same building although on different floors. It's medium sized employer, about 100-150 people across different offices.

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In that case if i were talking to someone i would talk to HR first simply because they know company policy and you will need to speak to them anyway if you change your legal name.  That being said you know your situation far better than i do.  Regardless of your decision best wishes for the results,].

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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One point I can think of is that the type of boss you have is somewhat relevant. I know where I worked my boss was the 'keep things close and in the department type'. He did not like things going elsewhere without he was fully aware first. It proved no problem at all as far as I went (very feminine looks with medium, very obvious, makeup) and I never spoke to HR as I was not transitioning fully and worked in a very accepting workplace, but I think things would have been more strained if I had gone elsewhere first.  Our policies were easily accessible online though so less of a problem. Managers like to think they have control!

 

Tracy

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Thank you all. I spoke to my direct manager, not this specifically but asked if I had a personal question I wanted to understand company policy on who is best to speak to, and they told me to contact HR and set up an appointment so have emailed them and see how it goes.

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That sounds like a perfect solution!

A big step.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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I agree, keeping everyone in the loop.

 

Tracy

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To update, I have a call with HR on this later today. A bit nervous but will let you all know how it goes.

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Good luck!  Hopefully you will have a reason to like your employer even more.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Just came off the call. They said they are happy to support me in anyway they can but they don't have any specific policy built in. As such they are going away to do some research and reach out to other colleagues to see if they can work out the best way forward.

On my side, does anyone have any links to good resources on transitioning to work at all? Would be good to read what other companies or people have as best practice so I know what might need to be discussed if anything is missing?

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  • Forum Moderator

Very good Kris.  Hopefully they will follow through and all will be well! 

 

Cheers, Jani

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Good luck! I don't know how well it will relate to your job but I have a general link here which gives a flavour of things in the NHS.  It, and the links from it, may be a help.

https://www.nhsemployers.org/retention-and-staff-experience/diversity-and-inclusion/policy-and-guidance/sexual-orientation

 

Private companies do not usually publish their policies online (as far as I know) but NHS trust and probably local government documents are likely to be available. A quick look found this for Newcastle:

http://www.newcastle-hospitals.org.uk/downloads/policies/Personnel/GenderTransitionatWorkPolicy201808.pdf

 

I had a little look and found some info which private companies give but it would take a bit of searching to find details specific to gender, but may exist although maybe only in large companies. I did come across a council document though:

 

https://wolverhampton.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s36286/Appendix - Transgender Guidance Notes.pdf

 

Tracy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all for all this, I passed it on and some other stuff I got from other people.

 

I had my meeting now with my manager which was supportive but they are going to go away to have a think about this as they don't have much experience on how to approach this either.

 

One thing they keep asking me is how I want to approach this. Which is fine in some areas and I am glad, but also in others I have no idea how to approach it so I hope they can come up with some ideas.

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  • Admin

That's good news, Kris.  Is there something in particular that is worrying them or has them confused?  Maybe we can be of assistance to you and them.

 

Carolyn Marie

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The main issue is how to tell people about it. Inside the company I am fine with whatever, sending out an email to say I am called Kris and use "they\them" pronouns is good. It is how to approach it with clients outside the agency I work with. Should they be told or do I just keep transitioning and deal with any fall out afterwards as I become more and more feminine? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So after talking all the options over with my boss here is the plan:

1. After I go on holiday next week in the first team meeting my boss will be announced I am transitioning, I will go by Kris now and use they/them from now on

2. IT will during this time change my email alias and display name to match

3. Clients will be informed of the change in a short formal email from the client managers

4. If there are any issues from anyone these will dealt with by HR

 

So will all be happening soon. Very excited to finally have it all out in the open. 

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It sounds like that you have a solid plan with your boss and HR Team. I would be excited too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to update everything seems to have gone great. Everyone at work has been really supportive and supercareful to start calling me Kris and using my correct pronouns. Made me very happy!

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It sounds like you're working with a great, accepting group of fellow employees.  Wonderful news.  Enjoy.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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