Comments and opinions are appreciated. Here’s the situation:
I report to the head of a department at a government agency. When my boss is out of the office, I am in charge. The department has an attendance problem. When my boss is gone, it gets even worse. I have brought this to the attention of my boss who’s response is that he’s fine with how things are running. Problem is, his boss isn’t, and a few months ago, when my boss was on vacation, his boss asked me one day (when I went to see him on another issue) which staff memebers were there in the office.
I have been so frustrated by the departments behavior (it has been going on for years) that I responded to him that if he reads the attendance board it indicates everyone is there. However, if he walks through the department, he’ll find myself and one other individual. He then informed me that I’m second in command, and that they need to report to me. I informed him that I understood that, but that “I don’t think the rest of the dept. knows that”. He immediately sent an email out indicating that they reported to me when my boss was out, and that included checking in/out as far as attendance goes.
Jump to this week. My boss takes the afternoon off for a Dr. appointment. One person is no where to be found for an extended period of time – much like they always disappear when the boss is out. I go about my work, and enter our training room for supplies. There they are in the dark – sleeping (it’s one thing to fall asleep on the job, but to seek out a place to sleep in the building?). When I walk in, they are startled, and immediately jump up, smile and say “hi”. I respond “hi” and go about my business. They immediately return to their desk. As the end of the day approaches, they have the nerve to sneak out of the office leaving early!
How would you handle this situation? Part of me says say nothing as my boss has told me he’s fine with how the dept. is running. But the other part of me says the incident should be addressed, and my boss’s boss has a different expectation. Plus, the behavior IS unacceptable – what if staff from the director’s office had walked in on them sleeping? Just because my boss tolerates this behavior doesn’t mean I have to, and if they get away with it this time when I’m in charge – won’t the blatant behavior continue? And worse yet, won’t my authority when the boss is out be diminished? Curious to see how you would address this!
Wow…that’s a really tough one.
My first initial thought – get the heck out of there. So I guess that’s the first question – are you committed to where you work? Do you have other opportunities? A toxic work environment is hard to change so first you have to decide if it is worth the battle.
Assuming you want to stay (perhaps hard to move in your city or government), I think you need to make alleys with your boss’s boss. Second – make sure you document everything.
I tend to agree with ‘leave or fix it’. Best case scenario, work is getting done, quotas are being met and all is deemed well. Worst case scenario, you become your boss’ scapegoat – I told Her to take charge of these people but she couldn’t. She can’t even maintain discipline when i’m gone’.
I agree with talking to your boss’ boss. Let him know what’s going on. You might find some help with the situation, you also lay the groundwork to CYA if your boss does decide to scapegoat you. See what boss’s boss tells you to do. Follow their guidance. Are you willing to be their enforcer? Are you willing to ruffle feathers cracking down on slackers? Are you willing for the stress and confrontations? And are you willing to deal with the fallout if boss’s boss tells boss that you talked to him?
I do think, if boss’ boss has issues, it’s their job to hold your boss accountable, not yours. You have to find out if they’re going to use you to do the dirty work, and do you want to be involved? If they know there’s something wrong and they refuse to address it….is this a place to work? Beause there seems to be something fundamentally wrong.
I don’t know how big your group is or what their duties are…but if they are able to make quotas and complete projects while a portion of them nap the day away or vanish….I think you got too many people and not enough work. They’re probably bored and don’t care or know as long as they maintain the minimum acceptible performance, they can do whatever they want.
The nappers are stealing government salary from the taxpayers when they certify their timecards and their boss is falisfying them. Both the employees and the bosses actions are misconduct and your employees should be disciplined. Visit the employee relations office and ask them to help you discipline these empployes. Not only is this the right thing to do, it covers your behind. When your boss comes back let him know what you have done. He can stop these actions but he will look grossly immoral if he does so. Considering what your bosses boss said I can imagine your boss losing his position in the future. Then they will ask you what YOU did about it. You will wish that you had initiated disciplinary action. RUN to the employee relations office right now.
1) If everything is hunky dory then either a) the unit has far too many people for the work it does, b) the performance indicators are inappropriate, or c) the boss has stopped caring himself.
2) As I’ve pontificated about in past, this is an issue of employee disengagement. It seems like some of these folks go to work each day thinking “Why bother?”.
A proposed strategy: Declare a day dedicated to knowledge transfer and organizational learning where everybody has to teach someone else their job. It can’t be someone who already knows your job. That will accomplish several things: i) people can often rediscover what they like, and maybe even love, about their job when they have to show it off to others, ii) they will now know that someone else knows what it is they are supposed to be doing!, iii) the unit will have a better sense of how it does what it does.
When your boss is out, you said you are in charge. So if this behavior happens while you are on supervisory duty, you should report the behavior to your supervisor or to HR. I wouldn’t assume that the supervisor knows.
You also said that the employee disappears for long periods of time; in my office we’ve started a practice announcing where we are going and have an office calendar. We usually mark on the calendar when we have training or are going to be out of the office for extended periods of time. We give a courteousy shout-out to the office “Going to accounting – be back in two hours.” Having this kind of causal communication might curb some of the extended disappearances. If you work with the Napper closely, you can talk to your supervisor about how it’s been difficult to reach the Napper because they are disappearing and you have found them sleeping in the closet.
On the other hand, the Napper might have also made arrangements with the boss to leave early on the same day the boss goes to the doctor’s appointment. And supervisors do not need to tell other employees about the comings and goings of other employees that they supervise. If I were fishing for information, I would say something like, “I was working on a the X project yesterday and needed to get some details from Napper, but I couldn’t find her anywhere all afternoon.”
The Napper may have an ADA or FMLA protected condition where they cannot stay awake’ they might also have some issues in their personal life that could benefit from some counseling with your agencies Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Regardless if they have a condition or not, I can’t imagine “napping” in the supply closet is a reasonable accommodation.
It sounds like the big boss is aware but not totally. It sounds like your boss is lazy and at some point the big boss is going to start keeping track or is already keeping track. As second in command, your powers are very limited. You are responsible but most likely you have very little power to take any disciplinary action. You are in a lose – lose situation. You could try to find out why current boss is happy with the situation adn see if you can get him to improve the work environment but if this has been going on for a long time, you may be better off looking else where. Number one reason people leave their job is the Boss.
I’m not sure that it matters, but I am curious about what type of work your unit does. Are you in a warehouse? An office? A lunar module? My suggestion: when you are left in charge and this situation occurs, document who is missing, sleeping, etc. and provide this in writing to your boss. Tell him that, as the backup supervisor, you consider this unacceptable and that you know that his boss feels the same way. Leave the documentation with him and let him know that, although you absolutely will not go above him in this matter, you are documenting that you gave him the information . If he fails to take action, I think the onus should be off you. I do agree with another commentator: this appears to be a toxic environment and I would be actively searching for a way out.
I would have to agree with William H. Document, Document, Document. This is necessary to cover your act. It appears the “boss” does not want to address the issues. However, the behaviors you have identified by the employees are a violation of civil sevices rules and regs and could lead to counseling and possibly dismissal.
Question: When the “boss” is going away is a memo or emial sent out about who is in charge? What about appropriate behaviors?
William is right – do not let the wieght of this toxic environment be placed on you.
If this was on your watch, you need to have addressed it. At this point, the initial opportunity to speak directly to the employee has gone by. Out of respect for your boss, tell him/her what happened, and he/she can address now that they are back on duty.
The next time it happens, address it at the time of occurrence. Although difficult and uncomfortable, it’s your job.
Was there work this person was supposed to be doing? If this is happening a lot, maybe some of the jobs are not really 40 hour/week jobs at all. Maybe this person is underutilized and bored silly and can handle more.
Why is your boss ok with the way things are running with people sleeping and being away from their desks without reason? Make sure before you do much more than report this, that you determine if there are alliances that you need to take into consideration. Of course, there are never easy answers and you’re talking real world–but these are some thoughts that come to my mind.
I worked with a person who slept in the office once. It wasn’t handled properly and it became a big joke in the office.
Definitely need to document everything. I’ve been in a similiar position and it helped save my hide to be able to show where I informed my boss of issues going on in the office. Even if the higher up Boss hadn’t already made it an issue, you feel it was and is one and therefore you should document those issues and share them with your boss. I tended to write it all in an e-mail, send that e-mail and then keep a copy of that e-mail for future use. Then when the powers-that-be started questioning my boss about it all, none of it could roll down on my because it was clear that I had kept him informed of the issues and he did not take the actions. As in all things… do your job to the best of your ability, and document it, so that when the failure occurs at another level, you have a raincoat on to protect from the downfall.
Maybe a less confrontational way to handle this is to ask the napper and the absentees to fill out leave slips. It shows them that you are aware of what is going on, alerts them that they need to be more responsible, and it is respectful without getting into a power struggle and having a direct confrontation about why they are absent/sleeping, and how it’s not OK. An adult knows that playing hookie is not right, and sleeping on the job is not acceptable. To tell them this is pointless, and will only lead to them giving you excuses and being upset with you for bringing it up. And you certainly don’t want to end up accidentally saying “i know our boss let’s you do this, but I’m in charge right now, and I won’t”. This just sounds petty. If you have to tell someone you are in charge, you have clearly lost all authority. To get into a dispute with your boss over whether or not this should be dealt with does not bode well for your career either.
Just calmly tell them they need to fill out a leave slip for time not on duty. If it continues, or if they don’t comply, then you can take it up the chain to your boss/HR, etc.
You said, “they” so to me that is more than one. A few questions, yeah I know I’ll get rolled eyes, but still. What is their paygrade? GS-what? Do you know how long they have worked there? Are they in a bargaining unit? Do you know if they are/were exceptional hires?
Here’s the deal…if they are pushing 55, chances are they are on “retirement” leave. Those who say “that never happens in my office”, need to take off their rose-colored glasses.
If they are 10 point vets, they aren’t going anywhere, so give up the ghost on that one. If they are under any exceptional hire, forget that too.
If they are in a bargaining unit, a strong one, (yes some are weak and some are strong)….at our installation if you are a GS, you are SoL on a bargaining unit, if you are WG- that’s a horse of a different color. Anywho, if they are in a strong union, they will drag this out like a soap opera.
I would have encouraged the boss’ boss, to take a stroll once a week without notice through the dept. If I wanted to be a beast about it, I’d ask the boss’ boss to go get me a pencil out of the supply closet. YOU aren’t the “only” one who knows that is their napping place. If they have a sleep disorder or a medical disorder as another poster stated, wrong answer. If it was medical why go hide in a closet? As a suttle hint, when you’re in charge, slip a few SF 71’s under the door with a sticky note. “Please calculate your leave and turn in to me, before COB today.” They will puff up like toad frogs and do one or two things, go whining to your boss, or whine to the union. That is when you bring the party into the picture, the employeess “know” they sleep and if the napping crew goes to the union, they will need “statements” from the other employees. If they whine to your boss and your boss calls you in, tell him, when “his” boss comes in, you’ll talk….and bring your notes with you.
The fed has a “fraud-waste-abuse” line, call it, but not from an office phone or your cell phone and report it. Purchase a dry erase in/out board and hang in a common area. “If anyone leaves, write where they are going”. This saves time from going from place to place, “have you seen Fred?”, “have you seen Bill?”
I would like to think that your boss knows he is falsifying time records when he certifies their time. Maybe he doesn’t, but he should know that.
You should read two of Bruce Tulgan’s books, It’s Ok To Be The Boss and It’s Ok To Manage The Boss and then start implementing those tactics.
I would charge both the sleeping individual and the missing in action person leave. If the napper understands that his/her naps come at a price, they may reconsider taking them in the office. The missing in action person, I would send an email requesting that the come see me immediately. This will validate the time that they were missing (from the time on the email until they actually report to you). Upon their return, unless there is really good reason for being absent, I would charge them with leave from the time that they were unaccounted for.
Good Morning Donna Jo, You are right. Napping at work is unacceptable unless the employee does it on their lunch break or their 15 min. break. The only other exceptions that come to mind is if a person has a disability and requires a little bit more of a rest period than what is normally provided through lunch and 15 min. break. For example, if a person has a diabetic problem, sometimes if their sugar level gets out of balance, they will need to rest for a little while, and then they are ok. So I would make sure that there aren’t any legitimate reasons for this behavior. Again, we are talking about minimal rest periods. Not 2 hour naps on the job. When you are acting supervisor, you can call a meeting for all employees. It can be a brainstorm session on timesaving ideas, ideas to save money, how to keep motiviated and you can briefly run through a review of time and attendance policies. The meeting can be friendly and informative. When someone is away from their desk, it does not necessarily mean they are not working. In other words, you cannot assume that because an employee is away from their desk, they are not working. Good workers are not necessarily glued to their desk that entire work day, depending on the job they do. You can check up on employees by stopping by and saying hello. Talk to them for a few minutes, politely, even if they were sleeping. If you turn the light on and they wake up, act like you are supposed to be there. Ask them if they are felling ok and when they say yes, you can say, I was just wondering, because it is so unusual to find anyone sleeping on the job unless they are not feeling well, I just wanted to make sure you are alright. If you see someone sleeping in the office, and you are in charge, you should confirm they are ok and then when you get back to your desk, you should type a summary of the situation, names, times, dates, etc. What time the employee left to go to sleep, how long they were gone sleeping, and what time you awakened them. How long did it take after you woke them up for them to get back to their work? Everything you document, must be honest and factual. Sometimes just walking in on a sleeping employee will be enough to get their attention, that you know what’s going on. Some times people get into a bad habit and need a little coaching to get back to proper work ethic. I want to suggest also that people as a general rule have peaks and valleys. I have seen professional people sleep in their office every day for a little bit and then they are ok. This happened when a colleague of mine had a new born baby. He was not getting enough sleep at night and would accidentally fall asleep at his computer for about an hour everyday. This went on for about 4 months. As soon as the baby began sleeping all night, he was back to normal and no longer fell asleep at work. I am not making excuses for people,I am just saying it is important to make sure you are right when you document, because once you document and bring this to the attention of the worker first and to your supervisor’s attention, chances are you will either get an explanation from the employee, or the problem will stop. Or the employee will turn around and complain about you. Yes, I have seen this happen to a friend of mine. If you work through this in a positve way, I believe the results will be satisfactory. When people do something wrong, they need a way to get back to making it right without humiliation in front of the rest of the staff. Remember always make sure you have the right perception and facts of what is going on before you proceed to the boss. I had a supervisor friend years ago who had trouble with an employee who liked to take a very very long lunch every day. She sent an email to the entire staff about how if you find that you wind up going shopping on your lunch hour and you are going to be late getting back; when you return, send me an email about how much time you wish to be
I agree with other people who have made this suggestions. We also have a method we use at our office, when we leave our work area for a period of time, we communicate this to others. If we know we are going to be out of the office for annual leave or sick, we let everyone know, via e-mail, usually providing our cell phone numbers just in case something comes up.
If we are ill and call into the office, we ask someone to leave an e-mail to everyone that we will not be in. If there is something critical on the table that day, we also leave our cell phone numbers.
In my opinion, I would not be going over my boss head without knowing all the details that may be involved and/or why this person maybe sleeping(i.e. sleep apnea or other medical reasons). My next opinion would be if you are only ACTING and will be going back to being an employee just like the rest of the group then why are you in my opinion going on a power rush and need to know what my issues are or anyone else in the office. If that employee has discussed things with the boss then to me its really noone else’s business. Some people put to much power in the word ACTING boss. So until you become the permanent BOSS…. don’t misunderstand not condoning the sleeping in the closet but speaking from experience I have been on the brunt end of what I call a noisy ACTing Mgr and was subjected to an investigation and it was found that I was innocent and in fact had well documented papers to support my absence. The boss didnt not discuss it with the ACTING because it was not her BUSINESS, she was only ACTING….
We initiated a “whiteboard” that hangs on each and every person’s cubicle. If someone is going to be more than 5 minutes, (to rebalance fluids in any way), they must write on the whiteboard their location. We used the the safety argument — i.e, if there is a fire alarm, we have to do a head count at a specific location. We have responsibility to know who is in the building…. anywhere in the building. If someone is running off campus at lunch, they simply state “off campus.” We know then if something occurs, we need not be concerned they are still in the building. It is a proactive approach to know where people are.
I would also recommend the book, Crucial Conversations. It is an entire training program, but you can catch enough from just the book. You need to have a few crucial conversations with your supervisor and your co-workers/individual(s) that are not carrying their share. In these times with so much pressure — “when will I be cut?” I think we are facing some real morale issues too. Maybe having a lunch meeting on sharing the responsibility and writing expectations is a worthwhile effort. Can someone help share the cost of a pizza or something… maybe having honest conversations will help.
There is a great article from ASU/Transforming Local Government. Here is the link: http://transformgov.org/en/Article/101284
You deserve to have a dialogue.
The Union will have plenty to say with you how handle this. I would seek counsel from HR.
I don’t believe in the whole white board, check in and check out. Are we in 2nd grade? Treat people as adults even when they act like babies. Don’t stoop to that level.
I have found it beneficial to always bring this back to the work and the lack of work getting done. Don’t make it personal. If the position/duties require the employee to be available via phone, or customer service desk, then obviously this person isn’t available if they are not at the service desk or by their phone and thus the work isn’t accomplished.
If the work is not getting done then you deal with the lack of performance.
If the work is getting done, but you have a documented time and attendance policy that is not being adhered to then it should be addressed consistently for everyone the policy applies to. If this is inconsitently applied you will not have a leg to stand on.
In this situation, I would have went directly to the Bosses Boss and described what happened and asked how they wanted it handled and by whom, you or your boss. You could bring suggestions to the table on possible approaches to use, if you have them. If you have the bosses boss’s approval while your boss is out you shouldn’t have a problem when your boss returns or if anyone were to question your actions.
Those situations are uncomfortable. I don’t think there is any harm in asking, “Gosh, are you feeling okay?” out of concern for the safety of the employee. “Is there anything I can do?” Pending their response it might open up a dialogue you may gain more insight on what is really going on. Be conscientious what you say though. Don’t say anything out of frustration or anger… Treat them with respect even though you disagree with their actions.
I agree with the first guy – are you sure you want to be someplace that clearly has issues which haven’t and aren’t being delt with? In order to effectively deal with the issues you describe you need the support for dealing with them to trickle down. If your bosses boss isn’t holding your boss accountable for not dealing with the issues then you will never make any progress as the acting. It’s out of your hands unfortunately.
If people are checked out, it doesn’t matter what they have written on their whiteboard or even whether they are at their desks. There are deeper issues and everyone knows that at some level. Make sure anything you do or say is about the work and not control or authority (this works for parenting too, by the way).
HR may be able to advise steps for handling the issue professionally and documenting it so that your own career isn’t negatively affected. Separate what you have to do from actually fixing the problem, getting respect, or your own feelings about how “unacceptable” it is. Really addressing the problem won’t be about who tolerates what. It is about getting everyone aligned behind an entirely different culture. Good luck!
Waiting for the OP to weigh in. Again, if it’s a medical issue, then why nap in a “closet”? I don’t believe you are on ego trip as ACTing supv. at all. You caught him/her, they/them red handed. Document it, report to your first supv and send a copy to his supv., then go back to your desk. If you are ACTing supv., again, and the nappers are still napping, do it again. If it is a disability issue, again, why the closet? I believe an accommodation is in order. It is impossible to believe that no one else in the office notices this. If they nap at a regular interval, say 2:00, send an email to all that we are having a meeting at 2:00. This situation is not fair to you and not fair to the other employees who know about it. Your supv sounds skittish and maybe doesn’t want to deal with possible “_____” discrimination…….so he says nothing. Fill in the blank with the grievance of the hour. If this was the private sector in a southern right to work state, him/her, they/them would be gone on the spot.
I’m a union official at a federal agency. I’ve handled this situation before. The employee may be entitled to a Reasonable Accommodation under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or, if not federal they are covered by the ADA.. Ask if there is a medical condition causing the drowsiness. If not then the employee is violating their govt. Code of Ethics (if federal). If employees are allowed to do this we are just encouraging further discontent from the American citizens who have to pay taxes to support deadbeats. That’s my money too and I don’t like it being wasted like this any more than the public does. If we can’t clean up the mess in government we will all go down together.
Mark and Steve have good points. being stuck in the middle is hard. I think we have all seen those slackers that honestly don’t work. In this case you need to look at the business plan and find out why they have so much free time. Are they meeting performance measures? Yes, give them more to do. No, head down the replacement road. Honestly, I don’t get the whole sleeping thing, isn’t that what 1-5am is for? We are understaffed so there is always something to do and my chat profile reads that I am available 24/7, it’s not a joke. I have three cities to cover so being in my office is sort of a relative thing and that means I can’t stand there at my staff’s desk watching the clock waiting to see if they will be on time. I don’t micro manage! I assign nearly impossible to finish in time projects and expect the staff to take their professional responsibility seriously and do their job. When or where they do it I don’t care, unless they are in direct customer relations with set service hours. If they are not getting a 110% ROI for their salary then I have not done my job estimating deadlines. Gov should always find a way to quantify performance. Start collecting data on how each person is performing given the time payed out and make efficiency recommendations to your boss. If things don’t change and you feel these people are ripping off the tax payers go up a level for a meeting that includes your boss. Take your data and suggestions, don’t be nebulous!
James, the federal government already sets performance standards for employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement. We have standards in both quality and efficiency that must be met annually. It’s called a Retention Standard. Managers in the federal government have very subjective standards which they are rarely held to. All employees should be held accountable for how well they do or do not do their jobs. This is the bureaucracy that so many Americans complain about. Federal managers have lost control of their agencies. For example, I’m currently setting up teams to examine the Internal Revenue Manual operational procedures. These are reviewed and approved by upper level managers in Washington but I have not found a single operation within our jurisdiction that is following all of these “orders” from above. Managers and even analysts at the local levels have made their own decisions for years about how they want to do things and ignore many of the operational procedures mandated by their superiors but no one did anything until I made the discovery in the last few months. I spoke with many of the Ops managers about this. They are required to audit and review these procedures annually and I was told that the reviews had been done this year. My response to them was, “Then whoever did the reviews sucks at their job”. I am just a GS-6 Tax Examiner and I can find these instruction manuals in minutes by searching the IRWeb intranet sites. Why aren’t managers making 3 or 4 times my salary able to do the same? I’ve been with the government 15 years now but have worked as a manager in a few different careers including Advertising and Marketing, Software Development, and scientific research and development. Many of the federal managers have no other experience so know absolutely nothing about how things work in the real world. It’s up to all of us now to take on the challenge of “fixing” the government agencies we work in or the American public and Congress will be taking away our jobs. I’ve said basically the same things to our upper level management, the National President of our union, and the members of Congress I spend a week lobbying every year. It’s in our power to fix the system. Let’s all get on the same page and do what needs to be done.
@Donna, Are you a supervisor or manager in your regular job? It’s tough to take any action against an employee when one is in an acting capacity for a limited period and particularly if one’s regular duties do not involve management or supervision. If your acting stints are limited, the most you can really do is raise it to management’s attention and document it. Someone who is in authority should definitely address the employee’s behavior. Those above you may not address for whatever reason.
It is never appropriate to allow someone to sleep on the job and the failure to address it is even worse. But, proceed with caution. I once worked with a man who was narcoleptic. He would fall asleep in his cubicle and people would stare in amazement. It sounds as if the individual in your office goes out of his way to find a hiding spot and probably is not handicapped. But, he could be.
Let ’em FIRE THEMSELF!
If any of you are federal managers you had better learn the antidiscrimination laws that cover not only government employees but others as well. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 covers employees with recognized disabilities. It is a violation of the Privacy Act to disseminate information about medical issues, even Reasonable Accommodations, to those without a need to know. Your manager is the one who is deciding who has the need to know. If this individual has an RA under the Rehab. Act you are guilty of discrimination if you do anything to this employee based on their disability. The agency could be held liable for up to $300,000 for discrimination and the discriminating manager or employee can be held liable in a civil court. HR will not tell you that but look it up yourself. This employee may not be hiding to get away from management but may be just trying to get away from other employees who have no business getting involved in this. It’s up to the manager to grant an RA and it may include allowing this employee to go in a closet (or a nurse’soffice if there is one in your building). That’s part of the problem with our government. Too many employees, including managers, have absolutely no idea how to do their jobs. The IRS in Austin just had to pay out a $250,000 arbitration award to an employee with a recognized disability and an RA that was violated. Learn your job or step away and don’t waste any more of my tax dollars. Gross mismanagement, abuse of employees, and waste of taxpayer dollars is a violation of federal law.
The OP doesn’t need to know if the napper has a disability. You are correct. However, it is difficult to believe that a supply closet is the “reasonable accomodation”. I mean who are we kidding here. Geez louise. It sound like there was more than one napper. Note in the post: ” I go about my work, and enter our training room for supplies. There they are in the dark – sleeping (it’s one thing to fall asleep on the job, but to seek out a place to sleep in the building?). When I walk in, they are startled, and immediately jump up, smile and say “hi”. I respond “hi” and go about my business. They immediately return to their desk. As the end of the day approaches, they have the nerve to sneak out of the office leaving early!”
There’s certainly a need for accountability. Depending on the nature of the work your group does, there might be a way to make folks accountable for the work, rather than the clock. Daniel Pink’s talk on The Surprising Science of Motivation may apply: