Office monkeys – how flexible is your employer on working times?
My gut feeling is if someone says ‘you must work these hours, and we won’t give any flexibility that might help you out’ then my response is ‘okay, I will work those hours, and there’ll be no flexibility from me either’.
Yes, but unfortunately it seems increasingly common for employers to expect a one way relationship.
You’re absolutely right that there needs to be give and take, and I’d take it as a major warning sign of impending piss poor management and soon to be majorly stressed out wife 🙁Posted 4 years ago
we are flexible . people were taking the piss so a blanket you will work these hours went down …..
‘okay, I will work those hours, and there’ll be no flexibility from me either’.
I then took that approach. – used to be in at 7.45 till 4.30 or later if needs be …. once the blanket hours came in i did 8.30-5 and no more.
Surprisingly it changed again soon after – they just gave the piss takers diciplinerys instead of screwing the rest of us.
How ever this would be a question i would ask at interview to ensure it was someplace i wanted to work.Posted 4 years agoPapa_LazarouMember
Although it won’t work for every role (doctors/teachers etc), office monkey jobs that could be flexible should be flexible. Most are. If they try and force fixed hours on you (despite obvious problems with car parking, no staff being there outside core hours, etc etc) I personally would display an equal level of inflexibility until I found a better job.Posted 4 years agobigyinnMember
I have usual hours I work 8-5 or 9-6, however my boss is VERY flexible, so if the weather looks good he’ll let me go at 4 or if I need time off to pick my son up from school then its all good.Posted 4 years ago
He knows I put the hours in when needed, so it works both ways.
Unlike my old job where my boss was a bitch and tried to cut my paternity leave from 6 to 3 days two days before my OH was due to be induced. That took a chat with the MD to get that sorted out.
She hardly spoke ot me for months after that episode, evil jabba the hutt bitch.Papa_LazarouMember
people were taking the piss
A place I’ve done work for takes this approach with everything. 1 person out of 500 pushed something too far and they introduce a rule for everyone. This has happened over and over again until it has become the most controlling place you could possibly imagine. A code to use the phone, a code for the printer, claiming expenses is so difficult that most people just book an extra few hours to cover the cost rather than try and battle the system.
As an employer, my default position would be to treat people like professional humans and deal with the ones who don’t act that way individually.Posted 4 years agobinnersSubscriber
In my experience, the ‘you will work these hours’ type places tend to see everyone empty the building bang on their contracted hours. And that attitude extends to everything else too. It breeds an ‘us and them’ philosophy The ‘I’ll do the minimum, and that’s it!’ approach. So is totally counter-productive.
Our place is very flexible. They’re happy to let people fit in around, for example, their kids school times. And this also sends out a clear message about a general reciprocal working attitude. As a result they have a very happy and – more importantly for them – a productive workforce. And there’s a very, very low staff turnoverPosted 4 years agoFuzzyWuzzyMember
My company is pretty flexible, standard hours are 9-5:30 but it’s OK to actually start any time from 7-10am and just do the required hours. I’m a morning person so am generally in at 7am, although I generally leave after 4pm so they get at least half an hour a day off me (and often more).Posted 4 years ago
Only thing I don’t really like is we’re expected to have an hour for lunch(although not necessarily stop working for the whole hour…) and if we take less then it’s not counted against the hours (so you’re not supposed to say start at 9am skip lunch and leave at 4:30pm, even though you’ve done the required 7.5 hours). I do see logic to it as people should be encouraged to take a break and it would be very easy to abuse but it sucks if you have a really busy first part of the day so end up working through lunch but then things tail off and you still can’t get out a bit earlier.
If they stopped the flexibility and insisted everyone worked 9-5:30 then I’d be strict on only working those hours (critical deadlines aside). As long as people aren’t abusing the trust then the company benefits at least as much as the employees from having flexible working hours so I’d be wary of a company that doesn’t have such a policysurferMember
My team cover “core” hours of 08:00 to 17:00 and they do that between them to make sure we have at least a couple of bods available during those hours.
My team appreciate the flexibility and I always look for ways to reward them, early leaving, some time off etc and they in turn pick up the phone when I call them (very rarely) at weekends or out of hours. If they work late I buy Pizza etc.
Most appreciate it but I have one guy in particular who is all “take” As a manager I like to think you reap what you sow but some people only think about what they can get 🙁Posted 4 years ago
my default position would be to treat people like professional humans and deal with the one who don’t act that way individually.
She’s a senior project manager with years of professional experience, not a clerical grunt (not that that should really matter), so it’s not like she lacks discipline or work ethic…Posted 4 years ago
Last one was “Oh, if you want to leave early to do (whatever), you have to make up the hours”. Latest is “If you get your work done..”
See, whilst the latter is obviously better, I don’t really mind the former. It’s when it’s “no, you can’t leave early or arrive late, even if you do make the hours up” that’s just seems bone-headed.Posted 4 years agoandytherocketeerSubscriber
Had very fixed hours at previous employer, and HR were totally blinkered. They were very busy processing job applications and and leavers.
Used to be an engineering production line, fixed shifts, fixed 15min tea breaks, fixed lunch break, etc. but then became an engineering company with 90% offices and a small production line. Turnstiles would be locked at 08:25 precisely for an 08:30 start of day. Miss that, and you’d have to enter by the main gate and get a black mark. 2 black marks in a week == email to your boss indicating that you’re late.
I’d guess an average of 3-4 tabs behind the bar in the clubhouse every Friday, due to people leaving. 8 tabs on the day I left. That’s for a site of ca. 150 people.
The big boss announced site closure, redundancies and quit himself about 2 months after I left. Kept HR even busier.Posted 4 years agoHoratioHufnagelMember
I worked for a company where the boss was incredibly strict with the 9-6pm work hours.
He had absolutely no idea what anyone was doing though. I guess for him it was the only way he could be sure people were doing the work. They weren’t of course. Obsession with working hours (for complex work) is a sign of bad management IMO.
I quit after a while.Posted 4 years agopeterfileMember
Pretty flexible, you’re responsible for your own workload, but the needs of the business dictate that you can’t stray too far from normal working hours (e.g. it’s not much use never being around for calls etc when most other people are).
I tend to get in around 7amm, which gives me the option of getting home at a good time if my workload is normal, or if something pops up unexpectedly or i’m going through a busy period, I can still put in 12 hour + days and be home in time for dinner.Posted 4 years ago
For the last 10+ years, both I and the little lady have worked for employers that took the attitude of “as long as the work’s done on time, we don’t really mind the hours you work”. There were some rules around it – core hours of 10-12 and 2-4, where you were expected to be at your desk, and you were still expected to meet (and probably exceed) your contractual weekly hours, but, say, if you wanted to get away early then it was accepted that you could, as long as you made the time up. Or, if it made for an easier commute, you could do 8-4.30 or 10-6.30, or whatever. This flexibility worked both ways – if the proverbial hit the fan, you were willing to pitch in and stay to sort it out.
Is this unusual? I ask as the little lady has just started somewhere that is incredibly prescriptive in the hours to be worked (9-5.30) and there is no flexibility. A guy who works away from home in the week is allowed to leave a whole half hour early on a Friday, as he has a 4 hour train ride home, and that’s exceptional apparently.
My gut feeling is if someone says ‘you must work these hours, and we won’t give any flexibility that might help you out’ then my response is ‘okay, I will work those hours, and there’ll be no flexibility from me either’.Posted 4 years agolittlemisspandaMember
My place is pretty flexible – people come in any time between 8-9 and finish between 4-5 in general. It’s permitted to take half an hour for lunch and leave a little earlier if you want to but a half an hour lunch break is the exception, not the rule. Some of the guys in my office play tennis at lunch, they take 1 1/2 hours for lunch but they either start or finish 1/2 hr early/late. Working from home is permitted occasionally as well.
Not had much p1ss taking that I can see, other departments are not necessarily as flexible as mine though, especially if their jobs are operational (like IT support or customer service) but then, those roles are on set shifts, and they are paid for overtime, whereas we are not, but in return for the flexibility we are expected to put the hours in when projects are implementing or it’s busy – we would get time in lieu rather than OT pay if we worked a significant amount of time over our contracted hours.
Other half’s workplace is totally rigid with their hours and if people are a minute late there you get told off. I worked there a few years ago and hated it, the whole culture was very “big brother”. Funnily enough their staff turnover is high….Posted 4 years agosamuriMember
Very flexible here. I start very early and usually leave a bit earlier which works fine most of the time. Sometimes I’ll have a meeting which makes my day longer but for the most part no-one has an issue.
All of my guys have different preferences and I let them do what they want for the most part, some start early, some start late. Seems to work out OK. We’re even fairly liberal about the odd working from home day, I’ll let my guys work from home once a fortnight usually although they need a reason. My boss is the same and along as I can justify it it, will let me work from home on a reasonably regular basis.Posted 4 years agojoolsburgerMember
My team need to be here at 8am ish due to the nature of the work however I’m not too fussed if it’s 8.30 till 5 or 8am till 4.30 or any combo, they are grown ups after all. Much more important that the sales get done. I do get pissed off if people are late for meetings though. They can also do 3 days from home a month and I allow duvet days (which improves sick leave no end).Posted 4 years agobadnewzMember
I’ve got my own company, and it’s completely virtual and freelance.
Everyone works from home. Everyone is an independent contractor.
Couldn’t care less about the actual working hours, as long as the work is done to the right standard at the agreed time. If it’s not, the freelancer doesn’t get any more work.
Virtual receptionist. All meetings are done on skype.
No overheads. No office politics. No crappy commutes.
It’s a growing trend in business and I’m hoping it will spell an end to the domination of the control-freak, insecure manager.Posted 4 years agojfletchMember
A duvet day is a day off out of you anual leave entitlement but with zero notice.
I.e. “I CBA to work today, I’m going to take a duvet day”
Brilliant idea popular in the USA but some companies here are doing it as well. Means pulling a sicky is less necessary as its easier to be truthful but cost a days holiday than to lie and run the risk of being caught.
Need to be able to trust people not to take time off when deadlines are looming or there are important meetings though.Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Very flexible- we do time off in lieu mostly but there’s no real tracking, we’re just trusted (works for me- I used to fiddle my TOIL all the time in the bank, here I don’t because getting away with it when they’re out to get you is honourable, taking advantage when they trust you is low). As long as the job gets done and there’s some cover in the office it’s all good.Posted 4 years agomuppetWranglerMember
I’ve worked in both. The rigidly structured office was a bit of a pain if you wanted to do something out of the ordinary but we worked a straight 37.5 hours, 1 hour for lunch every week. No more no less, people would literally count down the last few minutes of the day and put their pens down on the stroke of 5.
The unstructured office you could wander in 30 minutes late, pop out for a mid morning cuppa, or take a long lunch when you fancied, but when there was a lot of work on it was expected that you stay to get it done even if that meant all night. Ultimately I worked longer hours on average at the flexible place than I did at the structured place.Posted 4 years ago
The topic ‘Office monkeys – how flexible is your employer on working times?’ is closed to new replies.