I was interviewed last week for a remote job , ace the programming test and took an offer to work as a full-time. While the offer is not that much in terms of money , employer told me that (quoting his words): "We usually work 9 am to 5 pm UK time , but for that we can be flexible if there is a problem"

Do I have any option to negotiate regarding the hours of work ? What does he mean by flexible?

It is my first time taking a "normal" job, I was mainly freelancing till now.

2 Answers 2


It's best to go by their hours. But they are offering flexibility, so if you are in a different timezone you can request it. If possible accomodate them, because it's MUCH less hassle for the company if you use their local working hours.

The reason behind this is usually in terms of contact/response times. I work with people from the USA and Australia, both of which are several hours out of whack with my local time (USA several hours + a 1 day difference). For convenience I work strange hours to accommodate them. I have another client who has three tiers of support, Singapore, myself and Japan. I can't contact Singapore until the late afternoon my time, Japan I never get a reply until mid evening. So it's a juggling act and the company needs to keep track of who is available and when.

Depending on what your job is it also might mean technical changes need to be done at different times from normal. So if I need to do some work on a database or server located in another country and I need everyone off it, I have to time it after their working hours, not mine.


For some companies 'flexible' means that you work 9-5, everyday, and 5-20 more hours outside of that.
For others, they may have (undocumented) core hours, maybe 10-4, where they expect that people are responsive to email, phone, and meetings.
Maybe, let's say you need to take a child to school at 9, so you'd be able to work 9:30-5:30. You might be able to have them agree to this schedule. Alternatively, maybe you need to work 8-4 for a similar reason.
My job has core hours, and we work with people all over the world. We get meetings at 6AM or 10PM sometimes. So, we give flexibility to meet with other timezones, and get flex when we need to be out.

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