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If you WFH what time should you start work?

(516 Posts)
EatPrayYoga Thu 29-Oct-20 10:16:46

If official hours are 9-5, is it a problem if you are not logged on by 9 every day?

I'm a team manager and one person on the team consistently logs on after 9 am. I know because our system shows a green or other colour next to everyone's names in an email so if I email the team I can see who is online and who isn't.

I usually send an email in a morning to confirm any things to be aware of for that day including who is not working that day and who is covering their work.

He usually logs on at about 9.05 but I'm not sure whether to mention this as he is only slightly late. He is in a junior role but wants to progress. There are other people in the same role who start work earlier than 9 to get things done so he stands out as doing less though I can't say who does more or less work in a day as their work is delegated by different members of the team.

I also realise we are in difficult times. He lives with parents and has no children or pets but I believe there are other adult siblings do not sure how easy or difficult the WFH circumstances are.

IABU to be unimpressed?

OP’s posts: |
Sparklfairy Thu 29-Oct-20 10:20:04

Does he clock off at 5 on the dot, or stay later sometimes?

If he were coming into the office late everyday would you talk to him?

Bouncycastle12 Thu 29-Oct-20 10:20:35

I think 9.05 could just be the time it takes for his computer to warm up!

Cosmos45 Thu 29-Oct-20 10:20:39

I am not sure really, I don't think this would bother me too much if they were getting work done and logged in for the rest of the day. I work from home (always have done) and I find my employer gets waaaay more hours out of me than I am contractually employed to do. I often work through lunch and often work before and after hours. If I had someone who was obviously skiving during the day and was not answering emails in a timely manner when they were scheduled to work and should be "available" that would be a red flag, but a few mins late in the morning wouldn't worry me. Also he could be starting at 9.00am but making a coffee and booting up his laptop etc..

FFSFFSFFS Thu 29-Oct-20 10:22:12

5 minutes? Really not significant unless its the kind of role where he needs to answer customer calls from 9 or something along those lines

If its consistent I'd say its likely that is the time he can manage to be able to log on

ColonelNobbyNobbs Thu 29-Oct-20 10:22:19

My computer takes nearly 5 mins to switch on, log in, connect to wifi, log in to remote system and open emails/Skype

GingerAndTheBiscuits Thu 29-Oct-20 10:22:43

YABU to be unimpressed without having had a conversation with your employee first. Lots of reasons why he may log on late, lots of invalid ones too.

Whammyyammy Thu 29-Oct-20 10:22:47

How long does the laptop take to fully load up? Mine has two sets of security log in etc, and takes about 5 minutes.

If the same and then they're switching it in at 9.00....

ThePants999 Thu 29-Oct-20 10:22:48

See first question/answer at www.askamanager.org/2020/10/why-are-people-so-relaxed-about-lateness-should-managing-be-this-much-work-and-more.html

cologne4711 Thu 29-Oct-20 10:24:45

There are other people in the same role who start work earlier than 9 to get things done so he stands out as doing less though I can't say who does more or less work in a day as their work is delegated by different members of the team

Have you looked to see if he's still logged on after 5pm?

Does he work through lunch.

Moaning about 5 minutes sounds very petty. What matters is whether the work gets done to the right standard within the required timescales. Does that happen? If so, no problem. If not, address that. Not 5 minutes. I am also surprised you have time to check everyone's "traffic lights" - they also don't show if someone is logged on via their phone or webmail- not sure if your employer has those but if they do, he could have checked emails at 7am for all you know.

itsovernowthen Thu 29-Oct-20 10:25:13

If he gets all his work done on time and delivers as expected, and there's nothing time critical that means he has to be logged on exactly at 9am, I don't see the issue. I really dislike the culture of presenteeism; if you saw he was logged on at 8am, he could be lying on his bed watching teletubbies until 10am, for all you know!

I manage people, and one of the most important things you need to do is have trust in your team, as you cannot do everything yourself. If you mentioned now what appears to be a non-issue, you may find him start working to rule, which could potentially spread to others. I'd keep an eye on whether his performance is slipping, and only address it then, if that happens.

P.S. I wonder if you also have the same level of annoyance if you see him logged on and working through lunch or after 5pm...

CSIblonde Thu 29-Oct-20 10:25:41

If he only has a v short lunch or stays after 5, I wouldn't be fussed. Maybe his home clocks & mobile clock arent accurately set , if it's bang on 9.05 daily. Maybe his parents aren't great at letting him get on with stuff. People are weird re WFH, they think you have time for long chats & can just stop what you're doing etc. Does he make 9 am meetings? Have a 9am 'catch up' & see.

yvanka Thu 29-Oct-20 10:26:47

Does he produce the same amount of work as other team members?

BeesBehindMyKnees Thu 29-Oct-20 10:27:03

Presence indicators (the geen dots) are usually one of the last things to start up because the app runs late in the startup sequence and then usually requires an automatic ign-in sequence to complete first. It sounds like he is booting his laptop up at 9am, much like he might in the office. It's then taking 5mins to get the the green-presence stage.

TBH, as a manager, I always thought of this as a mildly self-punishing behaviour (i.e. it never looks great and often works to chip away at someone' reputation) and so would only mention it as part of wider and supportive feedback for someone wishing to progress.

raspberryk Thu 29-Oct-20 10:27:59

It’s probably the time it takes to get booted up and logged in etc, it’s always annoyed me when companies expect you to be logged in to start at 9 but they don’t pay you the time
it takes to get logged in and off etc. You shouldn’t be encouraging or rewarding those starting earlier to get ahead, the workload should be as such that it only needs the hours in the contract. If they can’t do that then there’s either too much work or they are inefficient at their jobs. Some people get on and get a lot done in a short time and others make a fuss over looking busy and staying late when they just aren’t working effectively.
If the hours are 9-5 then that should be the expectation.

Brighterthansunflowers Thu 29-Oct-20 10:29:29

Surely you’re aware of your company policies? Are people allowed some flexibility to start later and finish later, or is it strict 9am to 5pm, no exceptions?

In my previous job, everyone had to be logged on ready to go by 9am because that’s when the phone lines opened. Whereas in my current job there’s more flexibility because of the nature of the role. If I have to pop out during the day I can make the time up in the evening.

But what matters is whether it’s acceptable or not in your company for that particular role. And as manager that’s down to you to be aware of and if necessary enforce. It’s irrelevant what flexibility anyone on here has doing a different job for a different employer.

CloudyVanilla Thu 29-Oct-20 10:30:16

Thing is, if I arrive in the office on time and am seated in my chair at 9am then I am on time, but my pc likely won't be on and connected to the internet until about 5 minutes after.

If he is online at 9.05, then that must mean he is sitting down ready and has booted his computer before then. You do not have enough to go on to assume he is "late" and honestly you sound like you're micromanaging him.

KurriKawari Thu 29-Oct-20 10:30:44

I log on at 7, check emails for anything urgent then get DD up, ready and to school. I log on whatever time I get back using around 9am. My work laptop is so awful it takes 10 mins and a few restarts to connect, in which time I make breakfast. Some days I work longer days, some shorter days, it all evens out by the end of the week. My line manager allows me to work in this flexible way because I get my work done and to a high standard. I am also the first person to step up to deal with any out of hours work. I really wouldn't worry about 5 mins if his work is fine.

EatPrayYoga Thu 29-Oct-20 10:31:31

I think they should be on the system ready to work at 9 am as that is the stance that is taken in the office by all departments I have worked in.

It is the kind of role where occasionally you do have to work late to get the job done. This person rarely works a minute beyond 5 pm but is not online at 9.

I note there may be reasons but not sure I should even mention it if I am being U. I would have said something if he was late into the office before WFH but he wasn't.

The thing is he wants to progress and is competing against others for roles but I know this does not give a great impression. I know people senior to me notice this kind of thing.

Sometimes I need something first thing in the morning and if other person doing same job has indicated they are logged in and working them the work goes to them. If there was a meeting at 9 am I'd expect them to be there, not five minutes late because computer is warming up.

I know these are strange times so I wanted to see what the world of Mumsnet thought. I think it is more noticeable because he is the only one. Many people log on much earlier than their official start time as we are in a competitive business and people want to get ahead. He doesn't need to start work early but should at least start by 9.

I asked him to do something urgent today and he can't because he is finishing something from yesterday. Other person in same role has agreed to do it although he started work before 8 so is doing at least as much. Seems unfair to the other person.

I take on board all the comments. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Ashdownstar Thu 29-Oct-20 10:32:17

DH turns on his computer before he starts work, has coffee and breakfast then is able to start with fully warmed up computer on the dot.

doctorhamster Thu 29-Oct-20 10:32:18

If you don't have any issues with his performance I wouldn't even mention it tbh.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 29-Oct-20 10:32:58

There are other people in the same role who start work earlier than 9 to get things done so he stands out as doing less

These are the people you need to be concerned with as a manager, can they not do their job in the time available? Do they need extra support? Do they need extra training? Do they need help switching off from work (important to the business 'cos these are the people who crash out of the job leaving you completely stranded)

QueenPaws Thu 29-Oct-20 10:34:19

I'm timed to the minute. Late twice in a month and lose all your commission. I'm never late, for anything now grin

PinkPlantCase Thu 29-Oct-20 10:35:45

I agree check if he works over at other times. If you were in the office would you call him up on it? I’ve worked places where you are expected to be logged on and working at 9 and others that are a bit more chill

Greenhairbrush Thu 29-Oct-20 10:36:02

I think he should be ready to work for 9am.
If he starts at 9.05 every day that’s 25 mins a week he’s not doing and should be. That said, if he works later that his finish time and through lunch etc then I wouldn’t mind so much.

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