I am working as software developer. My manager is so busy with lot of things. He would like to discuss with me some thing about current project. But since he has higher priority meetings he asked me, is it OK to have telephonic discussion after office hours like 8pm around that time. I am OK for that request this time. But I don’t want my manager take this granted and come up with these kind of requests more often.

How can I pass this message to my manager professionally?

  • 1
    Are you and your manager working in the same office, or is he in a different time zone than you are? That dramatically affects the expectations around this IMO.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 17:03

3 Answers 3


I would handle this as a one off if you're OK with it being a one off. Don't try and assume that your manager will make a habit of it and head off something that might not be. You'll just end up making an awkward situation. Simply be the helpful employee willing to accept this one off meeting.

If it happens again then you can head it off, but only if it happens again, and it needn't be awkward or difficult. Your manager can't expect you to be available for work commitments outside of work hours, so don't make yourself available. Just say you have other commitments; you don't even have to specify what these are, you just aren't available that evening.

If you keep making yourself unavailable in the evenings your manager will very quickly get the message.


Simply tell him something like "Let's try not to make a habit of this, OK? I'm willing to work overtime when the business really requires it, but I need my own time too. Work-life balance, you know..."

Even if he's one of those who does work a lot of overtime, he'll understand your concern.


Simply say "I usually have other commitments after hours that I absolutely must meet. Yes, I am available with 8 PM for that evening, but that's only because someone backed out of it".

If your manager doesn't take the hint and calls again at 8 PM on some other evening, you were out of it - asleep or knocked out or whatever - at that time :) Don't pick up the phone and let your answering machine do the talking:)

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    ... which would most likely be lying. I don't approve. Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 18:44

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