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Request from work to change hours

(14 Posts)
pandarific Thu 16-Mar-17 08:47:23

I work for a small agency and we have just landed a new client based in the US.

One of the agreements we have with new client is that someone will be on hand to speak to them and answer emails even if they send them toward the end of their working day, i.e. 8/9/10pm over here.

I've been asked if I would be okay with changing my hours or working outside of normal hours, and kind of put on the spot and felt I had to agree, so said yes.

But we haven't discussed it any further and I have concerns - they mentioned e.g. Changing from 11 to 8pm - but what about the following two hours I'm expected to pick up email? Also it's going to be a giant pain in the ass trying to get anything done while most people have clocked off so we'll have to have suppliers on hand, but that's doable.

The other issue is should these hours actually be until 10pm, I don't really want to be working at home as either I take my laptop in bed or I sit in the living room, and my fiancé can't make any noise/watch TV etc.

Then there's pay - should I ask for additional money? How much? TBH my main concern is that I will hate it and have no real time to myself or for a social life, though perhaps I'm being negative. We have external project managers though who surely we could approach to take the evening shift with the client?

Sorry I'm not really sure what my specific question is - I just want to ensure I'm not taken for a ride with these guys, as they have form. What should I think about before we speak about it again?

pandarific Thu 16-Mar-17 08:54:16

Forgot to say i work full time, no kids. I'll be working on this with another person, more experienced but who works 4 days (has kids), so are not going to be changing hours, it's just me.

expatinscotland Thu 16-Mar-17 09:01:24

Go back and assert yourself. 'Having looked at my commitments outside work, this won't work for me.' Fuck that.

toomuchfaster Thu 16-Mar-17 09:05:20

I don't think they can just ask and you do it. It would need formal consultation via HR, new terms and conditions (including pay) need agreeing. Also needs to be fair across whole workforce, can't just ask you. Ask them to see it all in writing and you need to sign to officially accept it.

toomuchfaster Thu 16-Mar-17 09:06:27

Based on your second post, that's discrimination. If it's the job, it's the job and both of you have to do.

johendy Thu 16-Mar-17 09:08:53

Gosh I don't think I'd be willing to accept those hours, it'll have such an impact on your life outside of work.

I think you need to have an honest conversation with your boss asap if you're having doubts. Just say you were caught a little off guard when you agreed and now you've had time to think, you want to discuss it further as your don't think the original proposal will work.

Get clear about what you're okay with - perhaps just 2 or 3 nights a week, or the original plan with more pay to reflect the impact it will have on your lifestyle, or whatever is suitable to you. I'd also discuss the expectations between 8 -10pm explicitly or you risk slipping into regular unpaid overtime.

Also the fact your colleague has kids and works 4 days is not your problem, you don't have to take all the impact of the new client. (I say this as a working mum with a 4 day week myself.) Your employers have to make arrangements to fulfil the commitment they made to the client, this does not mean you have to do it all. They can't force a change to your contracted hours unilaterally.

Good luck.

daisychain01 Thu 16-Mar-17 09:55:08

Believe me, if you are servicing a US account, expect to be working at 3am UK time. They have a long hours culture over there.

This sounds like a significant change to your current arrangement. As your employer has form for this, I bet you they have gone ahead and signed the deal but not bothered to ensure their staffing arrangements have been discussed with those actual people... you know, the staff!

I would work with HR on this and express all your concerns as a priority so they clarify exactly what's expected .

SuperRainbows Thu 16-Mar-17 09:59:16

Doesn't sound like that would suit you at all and you were bamboozled.

Tell your boss you discussed it with your dp and it doesn't work for you.

RedSandYellowSand Thu 16-Mar-17 10:02:00

I spent a lot of time working with US clients. I would be available afternoons UK time (early US - but the exact hours depending on which coast). But also, they would send stuff late at night, and you can work on it the following morning before they get up. So i would come in on a morning to an inbox full of questions, and could research our morning, when most of Europe was available, and have the reply ready for them early /mid morning US time. It worked very well.

I would be very wary about a permant change in hours to suit US working hours. You will get limited UK social life, and also not see much of the other colleagues in the office.

RedSandYellowSand Thu 16-Mar-17 10:03:37

PS having kids doesn't mean your colleague can't do a couple of late days a week! If they are lone parenting it may be extremely difficult, but if they are part of a couple, why can't she (i assume) stay late and Dad do collect toon and bedtime?

pandarific Thu 16-Mar-17 13:33:03

Thanks all, very helpful. So, I am loath to say a flat 'no' but I do want to discuss the potential sticking points - I have drafted an email which I'll run past my OH tonight and send boss tomorrow.

I COULD do it, but I'd want more money. tbh I am going to be trying for first baby from early May and will hopefully be buggering off on maternity leave by Xmas so I suppose in my mind for me it wouldn't be as permanent as it could be. This does of course depend on me actually getting pregnant but I'm hopeful anyway.

johendy Thu 16-Mar-17 15:05:34

Good luck OP. But bear in mind that if you do agree to permanently changing your hours, then go on maternity leave, you may find it difficult to return to work after baby - as it would be even more difficult to adjust that work pattern into something toddler friendly, than it would be to adjust standard hours. And also while I hope you fall pregnant quickly, you might not and you could be stuck with that work pattern for longer than you anticipate. Sorry, don't want to be a downer, just want to make sure you've thought about other angles before you talk to your boss.

pandarific Thu 16-Mar-17 15:27:41

Thanks - I think it would need to be a temporary change on the basis that it's until this project is delivered. But, that could be a year etc and as you say if I took a long time to get pregnant... I'm not intending to go back really, or if not, not for long as we are planning to move country and start our own business. But good to have it in mind.

thanks all.

SarahOoo Fri 17-Mar-17 08:26:11

Just on one of the answers above...if they asked and you said yes then it's as simple as that. If everyone said no then they would have to look at consultation.

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