Last week, in order to make up for time lost during a work holiday, I asked my manager if I could work a few extra hours each day during the week.

After my schedule was adjusted, an event came up requiring me to reschedule. I emailed my manager, and had Thursday reverted back to my normal working hours.

Another event has come up, and I now want to adjust my work hours again. I'm currently only scheduled to work 1 extra hour on Friday, so would be a fairly minor adjustment. However, I'm worried that a third schedule change within a week may come off as pestering, rude, or inconsiderate to my manager.

Is it rude to ask to have my schedule adjusted more than once during a week?

  • 1
    It is slightly rude. When you ask, just be very apologetic. "Thank you again for your assistance, unfortunately, would it be possible to change XYZ due to a family obligation?"
    – Fattie
    Jul 5, 2017 at 13:50
  • 9
    Not necessarily rude... but it is annoying, definitely. Be sure of backing up your new request with a good explanation ;) Jul 5, 2017 at 13:51
  • 1
    As @carrdelling pointed out, a good explanation is key.
    – Neo
    Jul 5, 2017 at 13:56
  • Ditto on the explanation and apologies. Also, if this is likely a one-time thing, mention that as well. "I don't plan on doing this sort of thing in the future!" And as much as possible, plan ahead so you can make accurate requests in the future without so much churn.
    – wildbagel
    Jul 5, 2017 at 14:06
  • 3
    Not rude per se but it makes you look scatter-brained unless, as others have said, you have a good explanation. Be brief, apologetic, and explain completely why the change is needed. That said, life happens. Jul 5, 2017 at 14:06

3 Answers 3


I believe part of what might make a boss upset with this would depend on what came up unexpectedly. It would be reasonable to make a request like this if you found out your mother was seriously ill and needed to go home to see her. It would not be reasonable to make this request if a buddy invited you out to drinks Friday night and you want to change your schedule again.

It also depends heavily on how difficult it will be to replace you if you request another change. If you are scheduled to work in a customer facing situation (such as a retail store or restaurant) that is harder (because he will have to find a replacement on short notice) than if you are doing some software development and make up the hour the next week.

Your boss's personality is also a factor. Some bosses are more flexible than others.


This really depends on your work culture. Some places have strict hours that require prior approval and a paper trail to change your schedule. Some places allow you to work whenever you want, so long as you get your work done. Do you know where your office falls? If your office is more like the former, then I would say it's unprofessional to be making so many schedule-change requests. If it's more like the latter, then I'd say you're probably worrying too much.

I think the best thing for you to do is sit down with your boss and talk about how to handle this going forward. Ask your boss what is and is not appropriate for changing your working schedule. How often is appropriate? How big of a change can you make? How much notice does he need? Are there certain core hours in the day, or days in the week, that you have to be in the office and need special approval to miss? All of these aspects are going to vary from workplace to workplace, so you are better off asking your boss, and not us.


Others have said that communication is the most important factor, and I agree.

I once held a job where shifts were handled by a website, so that employees could trade shifts at will only minutes before a particular shift was scheduled to begin. This website would update in real time and forward the results to the payroll office. We were all students, and that was the culture.

At my next job, I made the mistake of bringing in my preconceptions from the old job. On several occasions I knew of instances where employees swapped shifts without issue. My mistake was in thinking I could do this at any time. In fact, the job had an out-of-state accountant who handled payroll, and changing shifts was a logistical challenge that involved checking, and double-checking names and spreadsheets. My supervisor was not happy, but he did not explain the reason.

Moral of the story: it is good for a conversation to take place to know what goes on behind the scenes. Perhaps your manager is eager to help, but it could be time-consuming or otherwise an inconvenience to revise the schedule. I might say to your manager: "I hope it wasn't a terrible inconvenience to you. Did it take up too much of your time?" This shows that you are apologetic and gives them the chance to share their perspective.

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