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re office cultures where people are expected to work beyond contracted hours

(172 Posts)
user1485342611 Fri 21-Apr-17 13:50:07

Just following on from the 100% attendance thread, AIBU to think there's nothing wrong with working the hours you're contracted to work and then going home and getting on with other things.

There just seems to be a growing attitude that anyone who leaves work at 5.30 every evening lacks ambition or commitment or drive or whatever, even if they're hitting their deadlines and doing the work they're supposed to do.

Obviously, there's times when you have to be flexible and hang on a bit later than usual to get something finished on time, or help a colleague out. But surely that should be the exception rather than the rule?

LadyWhoLikesLunch Fri 21-Apr-17 13:54:43

Until recently I worked somewhere where it was very much the normal for people to work well beyond they're contract hours. Don't get me wrong everything was very flexible if you were late or needed to leave early on a day it was always a case well you always work over your hours anyway but anytime I left on time you kinda you kinda felt a bit awkward.

tigerdriverII Fri 21-Apr-17 13:58:05

It entirely depends on the job and your particular role. In my office, people leave on time, or later if they want but the clients' needs are paramount. If a job is urgent and the work is required, we do it, we don't piss off the client.

LaurieMarlow Fri 21-Apr-17 13:58:47

There's nothing wrong with it, no.

But in certain industries/businesses you won't last long with a 9-5 attitude because the mechanics of the business needs you to work more than that to make money.

You'll probably be managed out.

I don't think that's 'right', but it is reality.

sonyaya Fri 21-Apr-17 13:58:50

The NHS wouldn't last a day if its staff did that!

ShotsFired Fri 21-Apr-17 14:00:29

There seems to be a kind of bell curve in this.

Junior roles, you start and stop on the clock
Middling, you end up putting all the hours god sends in
More senior, you realise that all the presenteeism does nobody any favours and you also have a life to live

(Senior senior, dgaf what anyone thinks [grin )

soapboxqueen Fri 21-Apr-17 14:00:35

Sorry but I was a teacher and the concept of set times for work is logistically impossible for the vast majority of teachers.

NataliaOsipova Fri 21-Apr-17 14:00:38

It's a huge problem. Someone I know was complaining about his secretary the other week. "I knew we'd made the wrong decision when she left at 5.01 on her first day", he proclaimed. I asked where she lived? Other side of London. Did she have children? Yes. It just hadn't occurred to him that she'd have taken a 9-5 job and booked her child into nursery from 8-6...and that they'd charge her £1 per minute she was late. He just saw it as a huge red flag and lack of commitment. His wife is a SAHM and he therefore never has to think about these things beyond a courtesy phone call home.

Obsidian77 Fri 21-Apr-17 14:03:53

Yes Natalia he'd change his tune pretty fast if he was the one hurtling across London to make pick-up.
I hope he is now thinking of ways he can help his secretary manage her work-life balance.....

RedandWhiteStripe Fri 21-Apr-17 14:04:20

In my first job it was raised (as a negative) in my appraisal that I "always wanted to take my full lunch hour" as apparently that showed a lack of team spirit.

Lunch hour was unpaid. confused

BorpBorpBorp Fri 21-Apr-17 14:04:55

The culture of long hours and presenteeism without compensation is bullshit. It makes workers unhappy, penalises people with children or other caring commitments, penalises people with disabilities or medical needs, and doesn't increase productivity. The sooner it dies in a fire the better.

LaurieMarlow Fri 21-Apr-17 14:06:19

Some of it is presenteeism. But some of it isn't, in that people genuinely need to work more hours to get the job done.

It's important to understand the difference.

Astro55 Fri 21-Apr-17 14:07:24

It really depends on flexibility

My last job I was always in early - and had a shorter lunch

One day I asked if it was ok to leave 10 mins early and I had a right dressing down!!

Always arrived on time then and had a full lunch hour - left soon after

PuntCuffin Fri 21-Apr-17 14:11:23

It also means employers start to expect you to be able to achieve more than can be done within your contracted hours.
My company has a view that they don't mind what hours we work as long as the job gets done which is fine if workload is reasonable. Except that it isn't so you have to decide which ball/s to drop.

MargaretCabbage Fri 21-Apr-17 14:11:35

I hate it. I've found the places I worked in like this were places where staff would sit and gossip half of the day, but then would be too busy to have a lunch break and would work over every day. In my current workplace everyone works hard all day, meets deadlines and leaves dead on time, maybe staying late once a month or so if we're a bit behind. It's really refreshing!

BodyformForYou Fri 21-Apr-17 14:22:33

In my old job it was the norm to work extra - people leaving on time were cat called with 'part timer!' as they left on time. It was also the norm to be off with mental health issues for lengthy periods and often never come back , massively fast staff turn over

BodyformForYou Fri 21-Apr-17 14:23:20

staff would sit and gossip half of the day, but then would be too busy to have a lunch break and would work over every day


sobeyondthehills Fri 21-Apr-17 14:25:53

In retail, as a manager, its expected as needs of the business to work god knows how many hours. If you complain you are managed as not being able to mange your time properly, if you don't do it you are managed out

bonnymnemonic Fri 21-Apr-17 14:25:53

This drives me crazy! I'm often responsible for communicating employee of the month winner details at my large company. I get really irritated when the nomination from a senior manager mentions how so-and-so 'always puts in extra hours' or 'works late frequently'.

I conveniently write it out of the nomination that gets publicised as I feel very strongly that it sets an unreasonable expectation.

happypoobum Fri 21-Apr-17 14:26:06

The entire state education system would also fall apart if everyone just worked their contracted hours.

RestlessTraveller Fri 21-Apr-17 14:26:39

In social services we don't finish until the job is done and that's just the way it is. When there's a crisis we all pitch in, which most of the time is lovely but when you're routinely looking after someone else's case until 10pm because they had to leave at 5pm for childcare it's a pain in the ass!

Andcake Fri 21-Apr-17 14:30:45

In my profession I think I am paid to do the role not really the hours. If I have to actually go in on weekend etc I get time off in lieu and I offer it to my team when it seems to be getting out of hand with their hours.
However I also think working long hours is not always constructive to better work and wfh can be a lot more productive too.

TeenAndTween Fri 21-Apr-17 14:33:57

I think there is a difference between hourly paid and salaried staff.

I would expect hourly paid to do the set hours and go home. And certainly any extra should be paid for.

Salaried I expect more flexibility on both sides. Do the extra hours if needed, but be allowed to come in late / pop to the dentist / leave early sometimes too.

sailorcherries Fri 21-Apr-17 14:34:45

Teachers are always expected to work over their contracted hours and to work over holidays.
Even with no set times.

I find myself and most of my colleagues working at least an additional 15-20 hours per week to get the job basics done (planning, marking, teaching and assessing) because of the other administrative tasks now thrust upon us.

It is probably the biggest reason that teachers have such poor mental health and many recently qualified don't make it past the first 5 years in the job.

Obviously all jobs have their struggles but people seem to push aside these when it comes to teachers because of all the 'holidays' (which aren't actually all annual leave or paid, which is another arguement entirely).

bluebelltippytoes Fri 21-Apr-17 14:35:44

Yes, it's such a bore. Why have a life when you can work 12 hours a day?

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