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I work in academia and the way contracts work here is that we have to do research, teaching, and service (for those not familiar with academia, service is like administrative work). Nowhere in the contract are the weekly hours stated. In fact, sometimes we have to work at night (for example teaching a late class) or in the weekends (for example, workshop for high-school kids). However, you only need to physically be at the university when you are teaching or for meetings. It does not matter where you are when you are preparing your classes, grading, doing research, etc.
Traditionally (say, in the last 100 years), the duties are given so that it roughly takes 40hrs/week, but due to increasing enrollment and other issues, most faculty work much more than 40hrs/week, see link. By the way, we do not get overtime or anything like that. We are officially exempt employees. We also do not get summer salary, so we either teach in the summer to get salary, or get someone to fund our research. Most faculty do the research for free in the summer.
After different jobs, I took a position in academia (with the features explained above) that I can do in 10 hours. With the extra time I do hobbies or am with my family. It is not that the job is easy, it is more that the job exactly matches my skills, and that my weaknesses do not affect my performance. My colleagues, as most faculty, work at least 40hrs/week (many work more as explained in the link above).
Some questions I got before:
- Is it really a 40 hour a week job for other people to do and you are just much faster?
Yes (more information in the link above)
- Are there additional things you could do to better the project/company that you are not doing because it's not directly instructed to you?
I already do extra things that my colleagues do not. That is why they are very happy with me and I have already gotten several bonuses. I could do even more, but that would be going way beyond my contract.
- Are you available to them for the 40 hour window that you are supposed to be available?
Due to the way academia works, I can be anywhere when I am not teaching or in meetings. However, I never say "I cannot meet because I am at home".
- Are not getting paid as a second business while on the clock for the first business?
I am allowed to do that. My job allows me to do consulting. In fact, the university often gets "overhead" if I do that. However, due to the nature of academia the concept of "on the clock" is very blurry.
My question: Should I inform my bosses how long it takes me to finish the job (10hrs/week)?