I currently work 8 to 5, more or less. Most of my co-workers do the same and leave at 5. However, I want to switch to a 7 to 4 work schedule or something earlier so that I can get home earlier.

Our start/end times aren't really monitored, people set their own semi-flexible schedule, as long as you do your standard 8 hours. My concern, though, is that if I make a schedule change and suddenly leave an hour or more earlier, my co-workers might start to think "Gee he's leaving so early, he must be slacking off". My boss won't be an issue, since he also starts and leaves earlier; it'll mostly be the other co-workers gossiping if anything.

I'm also fairly new to the company so I don't want to be seen as the guy who slacks off.

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    I don't see an issue here. If you communicate "I work from 7 to 4" that should be enough. You don't even have to do that officially, just whenever it comes along in the conversation (e.g. someone wants to make an appointment with you at 4). Now, if people don't believe you or want to check on you, that would be an issue. You seem to assume beforehand that that is going to happen. – user8036 Oct 21 '15 at 8:10

Your concern is valid, but I'm not convinced any issues are as likely or inevitable as you think.

Especially in work places with some type of flexitime, people do understand that not everyone works the same hours.

Make sure your boss is happy and try and do demonstrable work in the the time before everyone else comes in. For example, it'd be nice to walk up to John as he's pouring his first coffee and say 'Hey John, I was able to sort out that report for you this morning - when do you want to go over it'

The idea that you can't leave before anyone else is a little bit of a myth reserved for more complex work scenarios (For example, as a contract worker / consultant, I always try and align with the permanent staff) but for most people its about getting your hours in and your work done.

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  • +1 to the demonstrating you were there earlier. It can be as simple as dealing with your email first thing in the morning - if you're sending company-related email at 7am, it's pretty obvious that you're there working. – sevenseacat Oct 26 '15 at 3:55

The simplest way seems to be to write an e-mail to your team saying "Do not schedule any meetings after 4.00 pm since starting at (date) I will work from 7 to 4 and will not be available after 4".

That way they won't suspect you of slacking off and, hopefully, they will not schedule late afternoon meetings that you cannot attend.

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It is a fact of working life that if you are in the office before a boss arrives, they do not know if you have been there 1 minute or 5 hours. But if you are still working when they leave, the perception is that you are "putting in a shift".

Unless you have a time management/clocking in system, there is no real way to combat this perception

All I would make sure I do is send as many emails as possible between 8am and when your colleagues arrive so as to soften the assumptions and make it clear you have been in since 8am

If it escalates past gossip, then it is the responsibility of management to communicate to your colleagues the change in your working patterns, so it may be worth communicating your change to your manager proactively. This will also ensure people do not try and book you for late meetings

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    Using periods at the ends of your paragraphs would be nice. – David Hammen Oct 21 '15 at 9:57
  • Is my post unreadable @DavidHammen? – Mike Oct 21 '15 at 10:01

It is okay. Gossips generally happen when something new happens(even though it's obvious and logical), and soon die out as that becomes often and finally mundane.

So, go ahead and stick to your planned schedule. The gossips would linger for some time, but will soon fade off.

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