I have about an hour accumulated of extra time I've spent at work that I wanted to use to leave early. However, it seems much more sensible to leave early and explain that I have extra time accumulated, then to be late to work. And sometimes I am just plain old late to work and I can't do anything to be on time. The powerlessness of it all kills me, and it feels like working well stops to matter when you're late.

I wouldn't say I'm late very frequently but it feels like I am late more frequently than other employees. Being late over 5 minutes happened only about 3 times so far and I've been working here about 6 months.

My company has flexitime available but it takes me over an hour to get to work, and so most of the time I'm set to come in the later times of that flexitime already.

  • If you have already been regularly coming in late, has your manager or colleagues remarked on this so far? If so, have they voiced any issues with you starting and finishing later? (Probably not if you have flexible hours)
    – user34587
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 8:16
  • 3
    vtc because this totally depends on the company you work for.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 8:31
  • Very dependent on the company. A friend of mine had a job where he'd be fired being a minute late twice in six months. He allowed plenty of time to get in. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 16:06

3 Answers 3


This really depends on your company. At my current job I'm left to manage my hours however I want, assuming my butt is in my chair about 40hrs/wk, I tell my manager if I want to work from home, and my work is done and of sufficient quality. At my previous job I had to be present at 8:30:00 AM and not a second later and flex-time was compensated by scheduling afternoons (or full days, not just mornings) off.

Talk to your manager, tell him what you would like and ask how he'd like you to manage your flextime.

  • Really does boil down to company culture. Some companies, allow for flex-time. Others do not and others still keep very right track of time because they have to guarantee support hours and not having staff available can hurt the organization. So, short answer, as usual with questions on workplace is "it depends". So +1 for this. Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 13:16

This very much depends on the company. My previous company was very much a 7:30 - 16:00 (early shift) or 9:00 - 17:30 (late shift) company. You had to arrange it if you wanted to take some time because you had worked late earlier. Being late was frowned upon.

At my current company, noone keeps track of hours worked [1]. They care that work gets done, and if I want to work 11:00 to 19:30, or work 9 hours one day, and 7 the next, that's all fine. As a previous CEO said: "you're all adults, you can keep track of time yourself".

[1] Well, for tax reasons (and only tax reasons) we have to report on 80% of your hours each week, but that just means we have to specify for 32 hours/week what we did.


If you are not on the flexitime offered, are you working set hours?

If you are working set hours (eg 9-5 every day) then it's not really ok to come in late. But then it's also not ok to work on after the end of the day either (unless to make it up - if allowed). In this situation, however, if you you are asked to work late to finish a piece of work or something, you should always check when you can get that time back (either as paid overtime or as time off in lieu). If you accrue it as TOIL, then you can use up that TOIL if you are going to be late in (this may need to be arranged in advance) This could be something informal like "Hey boss, I'm working an extra hour late tonight, is it ok if I come in an hour late next thursday?" or it could be recorded on a sheet.

If you are on the flexitime, though, this becomes far easier to manage. As long as you meet the core requirements (usually 10am to 12pm, and 2pm to 4pm), and you are not building up a deficit, it is up to you when you come in within the flexible periods.

Ultimately it comes down to what your boss is comfortable with you doing - perhaps you could have a conversation. "Hey boss, I know I'm not on flexitime, but if I end up late one morning, is it ok if I just stay late that day to make it up, or would you rather I go on flexitime" If you're on set hours and your not working your allocation each week, then you could really start to run into issues.

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