I recently started my career in a small firm as a software developer. During the freshers' onboarding process, the HR told me that the standard working hours would be 9:30 to 18:00 (8.5 hours).

As I started working on the project, it became necessary to extend my working time from 8.5 hours to 10, or even 11, hours. The manager asked for it as we had limited time to deliver the project. I wasn't concerned about the extended working hours (without any allowance) as the project was interesting and I could learn a lot about the domain.

Due to the extended working hours and a long commute (one hour each in the morning and in the evening), I couldn't punch in at the right time. My punch in time is usually between 9:30 and 10:30.

I recently got a mail from HR stating that I am not adhering to the company policies, and I should be reporting on time. It also stated that if this continues, strict action would be considered.

I talked to my manager about it. He politely tried to explain the HR's point of view, which I agreed to halfheartedly. He also replied to the HR stating the amount of hours I work per day and requested them to reconsider my case.

I have since received another mail from HR stating that they would enforce LOP (Loss of Pay) if I fail to punch in on time. When I discussed this with my manager, he asked me to better stick to the timings and get the job done in time, which is a challenging due to the limited resources.

In this situation, should I continue to put in efforts beyond the extended hours, or just adhere to the company's policies?

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    When "your manager" did request extended working hours, was it oral or written? – Nicolas Barbulesco May 7 '17 at 17:41
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    You are ok with working additional hours because of the stuff you learn. Your boss knows about the extra hours you are putting in, and he even defended you before the HR. Now he has clearly asked you to stick to the timings. So your goal is not clear here. In other words, what do you want us to tell you? – Masked Man May 7 '17 at 17:42
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    @AstroMax Your boss has told you to follow the HR's times. It cannot get any more clear than that. You will either have to figure out a way to make it possible to be on time each day, or deal with the consequences of not being on time. This company considers it important for the employee's backside to be in contact with the office chair at specific times of the day. I personally detest the idea (as you can guess from my choice of words), but that doesn't matter. You will have to follow this company's policy if you want to continue working there. – Masked Man May 7 '17 at 18:05
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    @JoeStrazzere I'm always wary of saying make sure the job gets done on time. I would suggest do everything reasonably possible to get the job done on time, within the allotted hours. However, sometimes you're given too much work to do and mangement need to know that. They can't keep piling on if the resources to complete the work are not available – Draken May 8 '17 at 8:05
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    @AstroMax I'm having trouble understanding the issue. If you have to arrive every day e.g. 9 AM, and work 10 hours, that means you should leave late. Why should the number of hours you work have any influence on when you arrive at work? Personally, I travel every day 2.5 hours (2-way) back and forth to my job, and I arrive at 8 AM. I do that by waking up at 6 AM. If I work 8+1 hours (+1 = lunch break), I leave at 5 PM. If I work 10+1 hours, I leave at 7 PM. Could you explain? – The Quantum Physicist May 8 '17 at 14:12

Your boss has told you to follow the HR's times. What you should do cannot get any more clear than that.

You mention that you find it difficult to be on time every day. You would either have to figure out a way to make it possible to be on time each day, or deal with the consequences of not being on time.

This company clearly considers it important for employees to be in office at specific times of the day. They do not regard the employee being in office at other times as sufficient compensation, even if the total number of hours worked is more than the required hours.

While we can debate to our hearts' content whether such a policy is good or bad, none of that is relevant to your problem. If you want to continue working at this company, you will have to follow the company's policies.

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