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Working late/long hours when your colleagues don't - how is this fair?

(69 Posts)
TwentyOneGuns Mon 25-Apr-16 20:49:52

It's really starting to get to me that some of my colleagues are complete clock watchers and only ever work their exact hours, always finishing at exactly the same time regardless of how busy they or anyone else are. In contrast, other members of the team, me included, put the hours in when needed, often working late or coming in early.

Why should I work longer than them when we're all of the same level and I assume are paid roughly the same? To rub it in I was even given someone else's project to take over the other week because she 'didn't have time' whereas I obviously have because I'm often in the office 2 hours after I should have finished.

Nobody's ever told me specifically that I have to work late but I often need to as do other colleagues, and my contract does state that working late will be expected now and then. It doesn't seem to apply to everyone though. I wouldn't mind so much if I could carry the extra hours over and take the odd half day off but it doesn't work like that.

What's the best way round this? Do I just have to accept it and hope it gets noticed favourably by the bosses? Or should I say sod it and knock off on the dot like other people do?

TeaBelle Mon 25-Apr-16 20:52:12

Either continue to work over your hours with good grace, or don't. What others co is not your business. I cannot work over my hours as I have to collect dd on time. Yes, I would like to finish everything but dd is my priority. I would hate for one of my colleagues to speak about me as you have done.

treaclesoda Mon 25-Apr-16 20:59:51

I did what you did, for years (pre children), thinking management would appreciate it, that my efforts would be recognised. Then I had a lightbulb moment one day that I was being a complete mug, so I started leaving on time. It made absolutely no difference to how I was viewed, how my performance appraisal went, none of it. Many employers will take take take. Just leave on time if it bothers you. Loads of people leave on time but are still viewed positively by their managers. Just make sure that the hours you actually work are productive hours. The people who work the longest hours are not always the people who do the most work.

TwentyOneGuns Mon 25-Apr-16 21:38:15

It is my business when I'm picking up their slack! Neither of the 2 colleagues I'm specifically thinking about have kids. Appreciate they may have other commitments outside of work but don't we all. I guess it's a management issue really but I'm afraid I can't help feeling resentful.

RandomMess Mon 25-Apr-16 21:43:20

If you don't want to work the extra hours stop working them. Say "no".

Basically if you have to much work to do then this is what you have to do.

Perhaps your colleagues just learnt quite some time ago that this was the way to deal with their managers?

1stsignofspring2016 Mon 25-Apr-16 21:47:35

If you keep working late or early people will continue to expect it !
So they may keep giving you extra work

Secondly, I would investigate being more organised to get your work done during office hours or roll some work over until the next day
Do not work harder, work smarter !

If you have a decent boss, if you needed to leave early one day for a special occassion, they may say, you work extra, so you can leave early - a bargaining tool

However, I dont think that working extra hours really wins any brownie points at work

I would look at your work life balance

Start some hobbies and leave work on time or invent some hobbies

I have been there, I am much happier working less

PresidentCJCregg Mon 25-Apr-16 21:53:10

If you didn't take on the work of colleagues who leave on time, would you be able to work your core hours only? To me that would be the first thing to get off your plate. Then it becomes the managers job to distribute work fairly and assess the workload of the team; if people in the team are taking work from others, working extra for free, etc, the manager has no clear idea of their resourcing issues.

TwentyOneGuns Mon 25-Apr-16 22:21:22

Not really, there just seems to be a lot on at the moment. I'm not sure how my colleagues manage to get everything done within their set hours (well one doesn't and is always moaning about how busy they are hmm).

It's not only the extra hours that annoy me, it's the way they will finish bang on time regardless of what else is going on, never even staying 5 or 10 mins extra to finish a task. It just doesn't seem very fair or team spirited but I do agree that if you work long hours it just becomes expected of you.

TomTomKitten Mon 25-Apr-16 22:55:11

You stop working long hours and start to say no. Something you will learn as you get older (and has been stated upthread) is that working long hours and going over and above is generally not appreciated. You also leave yourself open to being exploited. An employer doesn't care how many hours you work. They just want the job done.

OzzieFem Tue 26-Apr-16 12:08:49

Are you being paid overtime for the extra hours?

twofingerstoGideon Tue 26-Apr-16 12:16:16

Just leave on time and stop resenting your co-workers for their refusal to be exploited.

PresidentCJCregg Tue 26-Apr-16 12:36:55

Well, you can either suck it up, or stop picking up their slack.

treaclesoda Tue 26-Apr-16 13:16:43

OP said (or at the very least implied) in her second post that only one of her colleagues isn't actually getting their work done. My mind boggles a bit at the idea of resenting other people for leaving on time even though they have their work done.

TwentyOneGuns Tue 26-Apr-16 18:38:35

No we don't get paid overtime.

I know I am probably getting shirty with the wrong people, why wouldn't you leave on time if you can? But it's just the way it's done, the flat refusal to work even a few minutes extra - I don't think it's particularly mind boggling to find that a bit petty and unprofessional

I guess it's those higher up that are at fault really though, for not managing workloads more effectively.

PuppyMonkey Tue 26-Apr-16 18:56:56

Hate how "clock watching" and leaving on time are viewed as negative things. Get organised, do your work in your allotted hours , go home, get a life. That's professional IMHO.

If you genuinely think you're bring given more work than colleagues, raise it with your boss.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 26-Apr-16 19:00:51

You shouldn't do it and you don't have to. So either stop doing it or if you choose to carry on then I don't think you can complain if others don't make the same choice. I'm pretty much a clock watcher though if there's some work pressure going on then I will stay (unpaid and unasked) to help out.

However I am not career driven. I work to pay the bills and have no ambition. I guess people who want to be promoted are maybe more likely to work their arse off doing extra. Personally I think more fool them and skip off happily and get home at 4:30pm every day. But everyone is different and if others choose to stay late it's up to them.

peggyundercrackers Tue 26-Apr-16 19:03:54

I can only echo what others have said, if you don't want to stay don't, just go home like your colleagues. If your management structure think you will stay to do extra work at no extra cost they will keep giving it to you, why wouldn't they?

I'm a bit baffled as to why you do stay and don't go home.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 26-Apr-16 19:04:20

And to be honest if I wasn't getting my work done in my hours I would still leave on time as long as I could put my hand on my heart and say I was working hard while I was there. I know I work hard and well while I'm there. I'm not slow and I don't toss it off. So if I wasn't getting my work done I would happily go to my boss and say they were giving me too much work.

If however I worked in a team where everyone got the same amount of work and they were getting it done in their hours and I wasnt I would worry I wasn't working effectively and then I might be more tempted to put unpaid hours in if only to stop my boss realising I wasn't as good as the others.

foragogo Tue 26-Apr-16 19:07:45

how do you know they don't have. arng responsibilities or volunteering g that they have to be at at a particular time. I (now) leave at 5.00 on the dot every day so I can get the 5.15 train to be able to pick my children up and take them to their activities. I getbin early and often work from home in the evening, as they might be. It's really off to resent your colleagues for working their contracted hours.

Before I had children ID often stay back to work in peace when it was quiet or to catch up if id had a long lunch or spent too much time chatting, or waiting to meet friends. Now I'm more organised and get my work done 9-5 and go and pick my kids up at least after theyve been at school and chldcare all day, as might they be.

wiltingfast Tue 26-Apr-16 19:09:28

Your working day has a set number of hours in it.

You are free to leave once those hours are done.

The vast majority of the time, whatever is not done can wait until tomorrow.

Be disciplined and leave on time.

And quit moaning about people who apparently are doing exactly what what they are contracted to do hmm

Choughed Tue 26-Apr-16 19:17:00

Just organise your work better so that you can get it done in the allotted time.

Working unpaid overtime doesn't lead to promotion, and it can make people think you are disorganised and inefficient.

Having said that, to not stay an extra 5 minutes to complete a task seems mad.

TwentyOneGuns Tue 26-Apr-16 20:00:46

Thank you, that's my point exactly, it's not the leaving on time that bugs me as much as the rigid sticking to exact hours every single day.

I obviously don't know everything about their lives but I could say with 99% certainty that they are not working from home in the evenings and I'm not aware of any commitments although that's really not my business.

To be honest I am worried that if I don't get my work done people will think I'm not good enough but at the moment that does involve working longer hours. I don't know how my colleagues fit their work into 9-5 but I can't. Whether this is because I've been inefficient or because I'm seen as a mug hard worker and given extra I'm not sure.

Choughed Tue 26-Apr-16 20:35:51

What kind of work do you do?

TwentyOneGuns Tue 26-Apr-16 20:52:24

Don't want to give too much away but office based with too many deadlines!

BettyApplewhite Tue 26-Apr-16 20:55:54

They are doing nothing wrong. They are working the hours they're paid for, why should they do more for free? Just because you're a mug doesn't mean everyone has to follow suit.

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