I'm a qualified accountant working as an analyst in a good company. I've been here for almost a month now.

I've quickly come to find out that people work long days in my team: typically starting around 7 a.m. and finishing after 6 p.m. No-one else really has any hobbies and so they can all commit fully.

I'm very into my sports and I have training sessions most evenings.

I've been told I need to be in at 9 sharp every day, which I've been doing - but even being here 10 minutes late due to traffic on an odd day gets me questions and dirty looks.

In my previous roles, I've always been afforded great flexibility when it comes to starting and finishing times.

How should I manage the expectation that they might expect me to do regular 11-hour days like the rest of the team and how I can justify my outside work activities interfering with this?

  • 3
    This is just my opinion, but you should definitely find a job where being human, and not a robot, is acceptable.
    – James
    May 1 '14 at 11:01
  • It's a tough situation for me because the work is at time motivating and meaningful. It also seems like a place where I can actually develop my skills as there are smart people around me. In my last 2 jobs I felt like a big fish in a small pond sometimes. Having a life outside of work is also really important to me so i'll be in a bad spot if my hours start to increase to what the rest of the team do. May 1 '14 at 15:19
  • Can you clarify the fourth paragraph? Have you been in at 9 sharp every day or not? You say "which I've been doing" but you also say that if you're "10 minutes late due to traffic" you get dirty looks. May 2 '14 at 6:33
  • Sorry about that. I mean I've been in by 9 every day apart from on 2 occasions. May 2 '14 at 8:20
  • Not all roles have flexible working hours

    That's just something you'll need to accept.

    Unpredictable things happen occasionally, so it's unreasonable to expect that you're never late, but it sounds like it might be happening too often, or at least too often for your employer. Although perhaps there's a specific reason why coming in later than some given time is a problem.

    From your post, it's difficult to tell whether the looks and questions are from peers or management, or whether they could've just been done in a joking manner - these are factors to take into account (looks and questions from peers can probably pretty much be ignored, if you so choose).

    If having flexible working hours is particularly important to you, I suggest you discuss this with your boss and clarify this during the interview stage of any future roles.

  • You don't have to work the same hours as everyone else

    It sounds like the agreement between you and your employer is that you should come in at 9 and presumably leave at some agreed time.

    Unless specifically asked otherwise, you can presumably continue working the defined hours, although it possibly isn't in your best interest with regard to your work (because others presumably will be getting more work done due to their hours, and working less hours than others might be seen negatively), but this just comes down to a cost-benefit analysis.

  • Working long hours may be required for the role

    If you're asked to work long hours, trying to get out of it probably won't go over too well.

    If you find yourself in this position, either conform to working long hours, or find another job.

  • It's only ever happened once before and that was during my first week while I was still getting familiar with the route. The looks are from my boss and the head of department. I made sure to text the boss so he knew I was late (10mins). I didn't expect to be questioned about it when coming in. I also just found out from a colleague who shares the same boss that the manager told him (before I started) that I was going to be an 8:30 starter. This was never mentioned in the interview but I think that in his mind this is his expectation. May 1 '14 at 12:28
  • That doesn't seem sufficient to be concerned about. If you're getting looks and questions from management when you come in at exactly 9 or earlier, or something else strongly re-enforces the idea that coming in at 9 is wrong, you could make sure that you're supposed to come in at 9 with your manager. May 1 '14 at 12:41

This probably should have been explained or covered during the interview before acceptance. The rules are rules, if you're expected to be in at 9AM, then you should get there at 9AM period.

I personally feel like a standard 11 hr day is asinine and it sounds like they need to hire more people to balance the load. I can understand those hours during close but not a Tuesday in the middle of the month.

I work as an analyst as well, but not in accounting. If I was being asked to spend 11 hrs a day taking the requests I take, I would start looking for another job.

  • It doesn't appear that OP has specifically been asked to work long hours, but might merely be expected to do so. IMO an answer should deal with figuring out whether this expectation exists, as well as how to deal with it if it does. May 1 '14 at 11:07
  • Yea I haven't been explicitly asked to work longer hours but given the rest of the teams hours, it definitely looks like my output is a lot lower than others. It's just going to be very difficult to say no to working later when month end close rolls around in a couple of days... May 1 '14 at 15:16

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