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to take my 'downtime' during work hours?

(317 Posts)
wishfortime Tue 28-Nov-17 14:23:15

By 'downtime' I mean nice easy things, like online shopping, coffee breaks, and a bit of random internet surfing.

I work full time and have a 90 minute standing/rushed commute.

Mornings are a rush with early start and nursery drop off etc, My DH picks up DC from nursery between 6 and 6.30 pm, and i reach home about 7pm, spend an hour doing bath, bedtime routine with DC while my husband cooks, we eat at 8.30 then its cleaning kitchen, laundry and general housework, and getting sorted for next day while my DH catches up on work emails. Weekends are also quite jam packed as both our families live far away, so more often than not we either are travelling 300 miles (at least once/twice a month), or family/friends are staying with us.

So I don't get any 'free time' at home, hence i feel i need to take some 'down time' at work. My workload isn't always 100% capacity, but its the type of job where i need to be there and available or it impacts the team. Its paid well and often things kick off i do need to work late into the evening, and sometimes at weekends from home. (I don't get paid for this 'overtime', which is how i justify to myself that the downtime at quieter times during the day is ok).

zipTies Tue 28-Nov-17 14:26:52

I do.

I'm responsible for results and there's very little (zero) accountability over what I do with my day.

The fact you're asking suggests that perhaps you don't have the autonomy you wish you did and therefore, I wonder if it is okay.

Chrys2017 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:28:37

Does the unpaid overtime you do equate to about the same number of hours per week as the 'downtime' (including say two extra hours of downtime as compensation for the unpredictability/unsociable hours of the overtime).
If so I would say YANBU.

The remainder of your personal schedule/life has nothing to do with the matter whatsoever.

Hanuman Tue 28-Nov-17 14:28:47

I think it depends. How does the unpaid overtime stack up against the downtime? Are you getting your work done?

I suspect that you might be happier if you took your full lunchbreak once in a while to do something like go for a walk or read a book or the odd weekend completely clear

wishfortime Tue 28-Nov-17 14:42:11

I think on balance, I probably have a couple of hours of unproductive downtime each day. In the past week i have 'worked' two evenings. A 6pm-9.30pm meeting last Thursday, and something urgent came up on Saturday night so i worked 10pm-1.30am. other than that, its the odd email/phone call out of hours. My normal hours are 9.30 to 5.30pm and I generally always leave on time so I can get home before DC goes to bed.

Pengggwn Tue 28-Nov-17 14:49:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rachelracket Tue 28-Nov-17 14:55:52

your fine. you know your job and what is required. if you can manage it crack on.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 28-Nov-17 14:58:09

No way to convince them to allow TOIL? I wouldn't like to do it your way but would be happy to have time off in lieu and use it in work hours.

wishfortime Tue 28-Nov-17 15:00:16

Overtime aside (it sounds very irregular and I suspect you could decline a meeting running until 9.30pm)

Unfortunately I cant decline these meetings, its a core part of my job to attend and contribute to them. They happen once or twice a month and i agreed to them when I was promoted into my current role.

I should add - the two hours include my lunch break. I tend not to take a lunch as it gets quite busy at lunchtime, but sure make up for it at other time in the day!

Nikephorus Tue 28-Nov-17 15:00:40

I'm with Penggwn - they're paying you to work. TOIL yes, taking a couple of hours because your life outside work is too busy to fit everything in? I don't think so. I'd be pissed off if I was your boss.

elelfrance Tue 28-Nov-17 15:02:15

is someone actually questioning this downtime ?

Pengggwn Tue 28-Nov-17 15:02:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shakey15000 Tue 28-Nov-17 15:03:43

I kind of understand and I think it's fine given the OT you do BUT...

Only if can never come and bite you on the arse. As in, your employer can refer/provide evidence that you weren't working at x o'clock when you shouldn't have been.

Whilst it's unlikely perhaps, I've had enough experience that all bases and eventualities be covered.

Thebluedog Tue 28-Nov-17 15:03:45

I do. I work from home, some weeks are manic, others are dead quite, like this weeek and I’m reading MN

Wolfiefan Tue 28-Nov-17 15:03:58

Take your downtime in your breaks.
Your life outside isn't the problem of your employer. If I worked with you I would have a problem with you surfing the net for a couple of hours because you have a "rush" and an "early start" in the morning.
You've agreed to the meetings. So that's done.
Perhaps negotiate the unpaid overtime. Toil or paid?

wishfortime Tue 28-Nov-17 15:04:22

No way to convince them to allow TOIL?

If only! It states in my contract that in need to work whatever hours are required, and I wont be paid for these extra hours. TOIL just isn't the culture here.

BaDumShh Tue 28-Nov-17 15:04:38

Work aside, your weekends sound awful – travelling 300 miles to visit family, or having them visit you, for half of the weekends of the month? That’s way too much on top of full time work and DC. You need to cut the apron strings. If you really can’t go a month without seeing family, alternate with them visiting you one weekend of the month, and then you visiting the next. Then you have 3 free weekends per month, and you’re only travelling 1/8 weekends.

PolaDeVeboise Tue 28-Nov-17 15:04:55

If you can deliver everything that is required for your role by taking this time, then why not? I find the higher up the scale you go, the less relevant 'hours of employment' are. If you are prepared to do what it takes whenever required, then your employer is getting what he/she's paying for.

BestZebbie Tue 28-Nov-17 15:05:28

I think it is OK to do online shopping/MN during your lunchbreak as long as your specific workplace doesn't prevent it.
I also think it is OK to get a cup of coffee at some time during the morning/afternoon, as part of getting up to stretch your legs/go to the loo - but it shouldn't take ages, just however long it physically takes to wee and boil the kettle really.
Other stuff at other times, you could get into trouble for, as that is the work time that they are paying you for!

Honeybooboo123 Tue 28-Nov-17 15:05:42

I don't have set hours of work technically, so hours required.

I do other stuff during my work day, but have been working hard on a project most evenings so it all rounds out.

BluePancakes Tue 28-Nov-17 15:05:43

Does the 2hours of downtime include your lunchbreak (and is your lunch 30 or 60min)?

Taking downtime and making it up, shouldn't be a problem. But 2hrs/day x 5 days = 10 hours, which doesn't compare against 3 hours in an evening once a week, and that would be taking the piss.

ilovesooty Tue 28-Nov-17 15:07:09

Your personal commitments and schedules simply aren't relevant.
It seems a lot of time in addition to your lunch break to be spending on your own "downtime".

sluj Tue 28-Nov-17 15:08:29

I wouldn't be happy as your manager. How would I know out was only 2 hours? Though come to think of it, I wouldn't be happy with 2 hours per day either.
You need to have this conversation with your manager before you are caught and possibly dismissed

Honeybooboo123 Tue 28-Nov-17 15:09:57

I think it depends on what you do as well. Sometimes my mind gets fried doing the thinking etc, so I need a break. I also have lots of 'lunch meetings' so no lunch break.

RatRolyPoly Tue 28-Nov-17 15:10:13

God, I do a ton of stuff at work. I mean A TON. I also, when the mood takes me (so when I fall in love with a particular spreadsheet and can't put it down), do good chunks of work at home. I don't feel even slightly conflicted about it. I work hard, I work smart and everything gets done over and above expectations, so no-one has cause to complain.

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