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To expect to work only my contracted hours

(61 Posts)
Meandacat Wed 24-Feb-16 19:33:10

Just started a new job. Everyone is very nice. Contracted hours are 35hrs pw, so a 7 hour day. My commute is about an hour and 20 mins and I accepted the job having carefully worked out options for trains/buses etc and being able to get home in time to pick up my LO from childcare. What has become apparent, however, is that no-one in my immediate team just does their standard hours. Its a small team and they all seems to work through lunch and an extra hour on top. I know this is not unusual in many places of work, but my line of work is not a particularly high-pressured/performance related sector so I'm surprised to find it here. It's not been my experience elsewhere. Everything else about it (dress code etc) is pretty relaxed.

Anyway, I don't know what to do? Part of the issue is that no one else in my small team has children. My new line manager has said she understands I have responsibilities and the woman I'll be reporting to just said "so long as the work gets done". But a few days in, I already feel terrible at being the first one to scuttle out the door. AIBU? Do I follow my colleagues' example (though I don't really know how I can) or should I just brazen it out? Anyone else been in this position?

ChalkHearts Wed 24-Feb-16 19:35:06

Set a good example to the team - by leaving on time.

Orda1 Wed 24-Feb-16 19:35:39

Of course not. Work the hours you're paid for.

AnyFucker Wed 24-Feb-16 19:36:27

Ust do your contracted hours and don't feel bad about it. Make sure you are productive during those hours. Sounds like the others might waste a fair amount of time on pratting about/have poor time management skills ?

AnyFucker Wed 24-Feb-16 19:36:36


SpongeCakeBigPants Wed 24-Feb-16 19:41:00

Don't feel bad for leaving on time. I worked in an office where there were quite a few people who worked an hour or more past their contracted hours but I just got my work done and left on time and there was no problem.

You never know, you might start a trend!

mysteryfairy Wed 24-Feb-16 19:41:35

You've mentioned that people work through lunch. Presumably nothing to stop you also doing that?

ZedWoman Wed 24-Feb-16 19:42:00

I used to work in an office where the least productive person was the last to leave each day. He fannied about all day and then did his work when everyone else had left.

What a waste of a life.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 24-Feb-16 19:45:38

I wouldn't worry so long as you're getting things done. In my opinion (although I confess I'm not a manager) staff consistently doing unpaid overtime and never leaving their desks just gives the employer an excuse to not cover any staffing inefficiencies.

I also do a 35 hour week, and while I sometimes go in a bit late and leave a bit early as I've cut my breaks short, I am not paid enough to give my employer my free time for nothing.

rookiemere Wed 24-Feb-16 19:48:18

I would try not to worry about it. You've raised it with your supervisors and neither of them have an issue with it, so there isn't a real problem.

If other people are silly enough to work for free - and I must confess to being one of those before I had DS - then more fools them.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Wed 24-Feb-16 19:49:12

You shouldn't feel bad about leaving on time, but do make sure you're productive when you're there. I'm a senior member in a team of 5 and the only one with childcare responsibilities. I do put in extra hours when my workload demands it but I do leave on time or earlier when I need to. My assistant leaves on time every day and is probably the only person in the team that does - she eats through work though and has a long commute so I wouldn't want her to stay late. It's what you get done that counts, not how late you work. In most cases the people I know who work late regularly procrastinate a lot during the day!

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Wed 24-Feb-16 19:52:22

Ah you're probably just being more efficient smile try to cultivate some smugness to counteract the guilt wink

Just work your hours and re evaluate if you are not getting everything done that you are supposed to.

lamiashiro Wed 24-Feb-16 19:55:01

There's a bit of an extra hours culture where I work too. I don't play along with it, only work my actual hours and I still get far more done than most other people in my team. The hours are already longer than average and they can FRO if they think I'm going to stay late just for appearances' sake.

CalicoBlue Wed 24-Feb-16 20:06:47

I have had to be strict about my hours at work since my kids were little. Every time I start a new job, I explain to the team, usually I am managing them, that I work the set hours as I have to get home/drop off my kids. I have never had an issue.

I doubt they really notice or care, but if it bothers you drop into conversation that you have to leave on time otherwise you will be late to pick up your child.

Bumply Wed 24-Feb-16 20:08:38

Put them to shame by working your contracted hours and getting just as much done if not more.
When my kids were younger I couldn't start early (quiet time to do software upgrades) or work late (to finish dealing with an urgent issue), but work knew that and accepted it.
Some people do longer hours because it's quicker to commute when the traffic is lighter.
Some feel they don't get enough work done during the day (inefficient or chatting too much) so do extra hours to make up.
Some are just workaholics
As long as you're working steadily when you are at work there's no reason to feel guilty.

ToadsforJustice Wed 24-Feb-16 20:16:58

Work the hours you are paid to work. Always take your lunch break. Don't spend time gossiping. Be polite and efficient. Win.

minnymoobear Wed 24-Feb-16 20:17:24

I felt the same and there is massive expectations of doing extra at our work and most people just do it. I'd Started to do it too and wasn't getting home til after 7 most days- 3 DCs and only a 15 min commute. Madness!! Now tend to leave at 5.30-6 which is normal hours and do take a lunch break - used to work thru before or feel guilty for doing it.
We all need work life balance- and need to drop the guilt

MatildaTheCat Wed 24-Feb-16 20:19:08

I always left work on time. Unless there was a proper emergency in which case I was very willing to stay.

Arrive on time, work hard and get your work done well. Leave with a cheery smile and wave. Mention your responsibilities very occasionally just to remind them that when you leave this workplace you are going back to another job entirely. wink

Indiaplain Wed 24-Feb-16 20:20:12

Honestly don't feel bad. I very much doubt you are any less productive. In my office people make such a show about leaving. Packing up their stuff really slooowly just so they are not the first to leave. It is actually ridiculous. I'm always the first out the door. I actually think I'm just more efficient !!

KitKat1985 Wed 24-Feb-16 20:21:14

You're not doing anything wrong. Your colleagues would benefit from copying your example.

TitClash Wed 24-Feb-16 20:25:04

Its ridiculous that we have built a culture where people feel obliged to work more than their contracted hours.
Its actually illegal for anyone to make you feel like you should do that.

It would affect your tax credits and therefore overtime is strictly voluntary. It is very bad for any workplace culture to exclude parents and disabled people, but that is what they are doing by allowing this.

DeoGratias Wed 24-Feb-16 20:27:40

Just leave. It sounds fine. It is not as if you have got a job on £100k at a law firm where the huge pay comes with staying late. They know you have children.
One of my daughters will often do her best work from 5.30 for a couple of hours before going out for a drink with a friend when the office is quiet. I am sure she doesn't feel those who leave earlier to see children but have probably worked very hard all day are slackers.

(Although I strongly feel in equal marriage men should collect children at least 2 or 3 times a week - in our marriage one reason I ended up earning 10x what he did was he was the one home by 6 to let our nanny go home).

ForalltheSaints Wed 24-Feb-16 20:35:20

Be brazen. Never be late and always leave on time.

MrsItsNoworNotatAll Wed 24-Feb-16 20:40:45

I never work over my contracted hours. The more you do it the more it becomes expected of you. And I certainly wouldn't do it for nothing.

MagicalHamSandwich Wed 24-Feb-16 20:41:35

Overtime is the done thing where I work - but then I am in consulting which is notorious for 14 hour days and type A personalities working until we all go chillax at some burnout clinic for stressed managers and hug teddies in group therapy! grin

Seriously, though, if they say it's okay then that means it's okay. I make a point of sending junior staff home when they've done their due regardless of whether or not I've still got stuff to do (I always do) and if that's what your boss says, follow her advice.

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