8

I work an IT office job as a programmer. I program on my own because I'm the only one who is proficient in a certain technology stack the company uses but I am part of a scrum team so we have regular meetings.

I arrive at the office late at least once every week, sometimes missing the daily stand-up. It is even getting noticed by colleagues from other departments ("that guy is never on time"). I understand it is upsetting for people who work regular 9-5 to see someone slouch in at 10. Missing the daily stand-up also violates the (scrum) principle of respect.

However, nobody sees the things I do. I work late, regularly until 8pm when the office building closes mandatory. I sometimes continue at home and I program in weekends and at night because it is so quiet and easy to focus. I love coding! I read articles, I visit and post on stack overflow. I experiment at home with new releases and new technologies. It is what drives and motivates me. I'm a very good sleeper, but obviously my biorhythm is shifted a few hours compared to most 9-5 co-workers.

Getting up an hour or two early to be there on time kills me. Not just physically, but it's also slam dunk in peak traffic. It drains energy to the point where I can no longer be the best developer I can be. I actually tried this for a month after giving up and it took only a week to get back to my 'natural' rhythm). I also don't have kids which allows me this lifestyle, something many colleagues don't see.

I'm torn. I want to be a good team member, but not at the cost of deteriorating my capabilities as a programmer. What can help me find a better balance between the two? I tried being open about this to my co-workers but the general reaction seems to be "I understand but not really - I don't agree with your lifestyle". It feels like someone who is addicted to smoking and all the non-smokers roll their eyes in disapproval, replying "Quit smoking, duh!".

My manager doesn't make that much fuzz out of this, because I have great results. The real problem here is the frustration that boils up in the team (and apparently other colleagues). But to remove those frustrations, my results will go down - something my manager will definitely notice.

  • 16
    This reads more like a rant than an actual question. – Dean Meehan Jul 8 at 10:40
  • 7
    Have you asked your team to schedule the standup an hour later? – FooTheBar Jul 8 at 10:46
  • 3
    Is the only problem missing the standups or are you not there when your teammates need your help? – Dukeling Jul 8 at 12:25
  • 1
    @PeterM What's the point in leaving such a toxic comment. Yes, I currently feel misunderstood and want to work on my issues and attitude. I clearly express I am the one causing the issue and I'm not asking for redemption. The answer I have accepted reflect that. The last thing I need is you leaving a very shortsighted, hurtful and misguided personality analysis. – user1884155 Jul 8 at 17:45
  • 2
    @user1884155 IMHO your questions reads as you rationalizing your perceived performance as an individual as an excuse to inconvenience your team by continuing in your chosen lifestyle. That is my opinion. You may disagree with it, that is your right. – Peter M Jul 8 at 17:58
4

You should make an effort to be in the office as much as possible and don’t make a habit of being late.

If your current living situation makes certain start times difficult, talk with your manager about the issue and ask for an earlier/later start time. In the long run, you might consider moving closer to work.

Working on a team is about more than getting your tasks done - being present is important too. If being physically present is an expectation of your company, then you are letting your team down by not being in the office at the same time as the rest of the team. You’re meant to be there for teaching, learning, helping, building relationships, celebrating, ad-hoc feedback, etc.

Regardless of whether or not working in the office is an expectation, you should make a strong effort to resolve animosity between you and your team members. Talk with each of them, describe your situation, ask them for potential solutions and opinions, and be ready to try out some of their ideas. Your relationships with your colleagues are very important - even your solo work will suffer if you become distant from the rest of your team.

24

What can help me find a better balance between the two?

As you do Scrum, there is a time and place to bring this up: The retrospective meeting. In the next retrospective meeting, talk about it. Talk about the fact that moving the daily stand-up to (let's say) 11:00 would improve your productivity. Find a solution with the team. They may not understand your needs, but since it should be easy to accommodate them (9-5 workers are there at 11:00, too) it should not be a problem.

  • 18
    Also, work toward formalizing your working hours - the impression you're giving is that you're turning up to work when you feel like it. I get into work two hours before anyone else, and everyone knows that. – user44108 Jul 8 at 10:50
  • 1
    If the team is already having issues with OP being late and not showing up to meetings how do you think they will feel about all of them having to adjust their schedules because OP doesn't follow the normal procedures? – sf02 Jul 8 at 14:38
7

If coming in late is okay for management, at least respect the meetings, i.e. be punctual for the scrum meeting or have them re-arranged to a later time. And suggest to management to make flexible times an official policy if it is not, such that your coworkers don't feel you're being singled out in having these freedoms.

2

You could ask your manager or SCRUM master whether it would be possible to move the timeslot of the daily standup meeting to a time where you can easily attent because it aligns better with your lifestyle.

In my team we had similar problems with a colleague of mine, who also had trouble being in the office on time for the daily standup meeting; and moving the meeting by only one hour allowed that colleague to be on time, most of the time. It solved these issue for my team.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.