I'm starting a new job next week. I'm looking forward to it.
However, when interacting with the employees after signing the contract I got the impression that's one of those companies at which you are expected to work much more than what is in your contract (contractually it's a position comparable to an exempt position in the US).
Whereas I understand that having a responsible role sometimes requires you to stay longer or take work home with you and spend a few hours finishing something up, I'm absolutely not a person who takes pride in leaving the office at 8 pm most of the days. In my jobs so far I always tried to optimise the processes and automate simpler tasks in order to perform them efficiently and not need to do unpaid overtime. And in most cases, it has worked.
Another reason for me to avoid unpaid overtime are characteristics of my field. My area is one in which you need to stay focused to perform tasks. Studies show that people don't work effectively for more than 8h (even less than that). For me it makes more sense to work highly focused during, let's say, 6h than stay 10h but be distracted. Basically, I think results matter much more than the fact someone spends much more hours before their laptop than they need to.
Now I don't know how I should behave at the beginning knowing they work so much. The fact that I will be leading a team doesn't precisely make it easier.
I was thinking about observing other people and adjusting to what they are doing in the first several weeks, not commenting on that to my team but at the same time trying to use my old method - optimising everything so that we don't need to stay longer. Are there any better methods of changing the expectations of staying longer?