So this is a very strange situation that I'm having at work.

I always come in at 8:00, take a 1 hr break and leave at 5:00. This gives me 8 hours of work-time.

The problem is at my work 95% of the people come in at 9:00 or 9:30 so therefore they leave later. This is fine with my boss. But coming in earlier is not so "fine", as I can feel from the people that give me a stink-eye when I leave on time.

I'm a morning person, therefore I manage my day around that so going early to work just makes more sense to me.

The Problem is, if people see you leaving at 5 and not at 6 or later they think you don't work the full 8 hours.

Also, over-time is not paid out so motivation to work over-time when not necessary is weird.

As I mentioned before I can't just show up later so I can leave later, since my day would be more or less ruined by getting home way too late.

I'm not sure how to handle this situation since it's really bringing me down and taking the fun out of my job.

Is it really that unprofessional to leave on time ? I have stuff to do ...


  1. I'm 21 and an Intern.

  2. A nice quote that sums up my problem: "When you leave on time, the perception is you don't care enough about your work and don't really want to be there"

  • 1
    40 hours a week.
    – MewTwo
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:28
  • 1
    @MewTwo JustSaying is asking if there is a start time specified in the contract. Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:37
  • 4
    He means is 9 - 6 the official work hours and you are just coming in early because it works better for you? Or is start time flexible across the board?
    – Summer
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:37
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    At my previous company, once when I left right on time, another employee said loud enough for people to hear "you are leaving early, aren't you?" I said a bit louder than he did "I never see you when I start work. And I rarely see you an hour after I start work. And right now, I don't see you working".
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 22:00
  • 1
    Working beyond 40 hours per week in non-assembly line type of work has been revealed to be detrimental to long-term performance in many a research. You might have a chat with your manager with a couple of such researches to reference and ask his opinion about your 8-17 schedule. If he is fine with it, there is no issue. Even if your colleagues comment on it. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 6:25

3 Answers 3


This is an issue of lack of communication and jumping to conclusions.

As has been said, make sure you're allowed to come in early and that your supervisor(s) know that you do.

If anyone else makes a remark DO NOT TAKE IT SILENTLY.

If they still feel like bitching, let them know your supervisor is aware and that you're allowed to come in earlier.

Or you may even ask:

why, is there a problem with me coming in earlier?

And take it from there.

This way you informed your colleagues and made a better work climate for yourself because they know, you're doing your time just like them.

Also, the other people showing up early, are they getting any flack?
How are they handling it?

If not, why are you being singled out? - There might be other issues lingering...

  • 4
    Very important: If someone says something that tarnishes your reputation (like: You are leaving early) that needs to be contradicted IMMEDIATELY and LOUD ENOUGH. With enough annoyance so that everyone knows you haven't been caught out, but a wrong accusation has been made.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 22:47

The only ones whose opinions matter are your supervisors' and managers'. And you only get credit for what your managers know you do.

If you are coming in early, make sure your boss knows you are in early. If there is no electronic swipe access which keeps track of when you entered the office, send the manager an email letting him know you've started on such and such task and what your plans are for the day. In fact, regardless of if there is swipe access I would do that - make sure it is blatantly obvious.

Also, don't be afraid to approach your manager and confirm that everything is alright from their point of view. That's the fastest way to know if there is a problem.

  • Yeah we dont have any swipe thingiys, which makes everthing more un-fair tbh.. Thx for the answer.
    – MewTwo
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:04
  • 1
    @MewTwo answer updated. Have you talked to your boss to make sure they are happy with your performance? Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:12
  • Yes and i quote, "We are happy to have you, but you need to stay longer sometimes"
    – MewTwo
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:15
  • @MewTwo and do they know you are at work at 8AM, at least 1 hour before everyone else? Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:18
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    @MewTwo Again, the only one whose opinion matters is your boss. If the boss is the one with negative opinion, I guess you'll just have to conform with their expectations and show up at 9 instead of 8. Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 20:22

as I can feel from the people that give me a stink-eye when I leave on time

Here's what you do when person X gives you the stink-eye.

Here's the humorous version of what to do:

Walk over to X and say:

Hi X, how are you. You seem to be looking at me strangely? I get the impression you are concerned that I am leaving now? Is that the case? Tell me if you are concerned that I am leaving now?

Next, stare at them straight in the eye, say nothing, and wait for a response

When they start mumbling a response, interrupt them and say this:

I'm glad you are concerned about work hours because I sure am. In fact I started today before 8am, and I do that every day. Can you write down on a piece of paper how many hours you plan to actually work today? I'm certain my figure is higher than yours. Can you tell me the figure right now?

Next, stare at them straight in the eye, say nothing, and wait for a response

When they start mumbling a response, interrupt them and say this:

So we've cleared that up. In the future, be very careful not to give me any attitude about hours. Tomorrow let's again review who did more work hours.

That should do the trick.

Don't take shit from anyone.

If someone gives you the stink eye, walk right up to them and ask if there's a problem.

Here's what to actually do:

Of course above I'm being humorous, but DON'T take a stink eye. Walk right up to the person and say something like

Steve! I am leaving now - is that good for you? I did start at 745 so I've put in 8.5 hours today. How many hours do you plan to work today? What's the norm in the company?

(Additionally, as I say in a comment .. just leave and go somewhere else. Any programmer that works "long hours" is by definition incompetent. The whole point of software is to find a way to do things quickly with little effort. For 20? years now any "long-hours, grinding" programmer is just seen as not understanding the basics.)

The bottom line is

Don't ever-never take no stink-eye. Stand up for yourself.

Be polite and direct. Finish the issue if someone else starts with a stinkeye.

  • 2
    This answer is far too aggressive for the instance the OP has given, and could easily be taken as harassment or bullying. Also asserting that any programmer who works long hours is incompetent is totally untrue. I can think of a great many reasons why a good programmer would work long hours...
    – Stese
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 14:04
  • 1
    You begin by recommending a competition of who works the most hours ("let's again review who did more work hours"). You finish by saying that anyone working long hours is incompetent. These seem like contradictory viewpoints. I recommend just telling them you've already worked the required 8 hours.
    – James
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 14:05
  • hi @Stese , read the paragraph which begins "Of course above I'm being humorous ..."
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 14:36
  • hi @James it's really remarkable that you don't see the text as an obviously wildly over-the-top example of ripping in to someone. "You seem to be looking at me strangely?" "Can you write down on a piece of paper...." Anyway cheers
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 14:38
  • @Fattie That doesn't change your assertion... and yes, I missed that text. thanks for the edit, it does make it far clearer you are joking. (I posted my comment before the edit was made)
    – Stese
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 14:53

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