I have two coworkers that bring attention to me nearly every time I leave work. We are all relatively junior employees on a single team in a workplace that allows flexible schedules. Employees must be present for core hours, which are 9am-3pm, and must reach 40 hours per week. I am typically one of the first at the office before 7am as I like to leave earlier (4-5pm, I like to have “a day” after work). The two coworkers tend to arrive between 8 and 10am but have been known to stay exceptionally late (7-9pm) as well as frequently work weekends, as we have voluntary paid overtime. My manager arrives and leaves later as well (9-10am to 6-7pm).

I am not in a financial position where I need to burn myself out with voluntary overtime, nor are my tasks backed up to make it a necessity. The two coworkers, however, frequently work 50-60 hours a week. I do not particularly care what opinions my fellow junior coworkers hold against my schedule, but I am concerned with how my manager views me. When I leave for the day, the two generally fire off a couple quick, loud comments (“Chris is done for the day!”, “Chris has left the building!”, “Chris is going home to have fun!”); this behavior is uniquely directed towards me, as I haven’t heard them do this when others leave.

My fear is that their actions may cause my manager to view me as a less dedicated individual which is exacerbated by our difference in schedules (I arrive/leave 2 hours before my manager, on average). I have never received any complaints on quality or punctuality of my work, nor has my manager approached me with concern regarding my schedule.

Is this a situation that I am overthinking? Should I politely ask my coworkers to stop, or should I raise these concerns with my manager?

EDIT My question is very similar to How can I stop being badgered for "leaving early" without hurting my co-worker relationships?

However, I am more focused on what implications this will have with my manager. While it would be nice for the heckling to cease, my priority is to ensure my manager's perception of me is not affected; and, if it is, what is the best course of action moving forward. The answers thus far have been very helpful for this purpose.


You may be looking for a managers perspective, so allow me to chime in.

I have the same arrangement for some members of my team. I've got a gal that comes in at 6am and leaves sometime between 3-5pm whereas I've got a tech that comes in at 8am and you better believe he's out at 5pm.

In any case - open and clear communication is paramount between you and your manager. It sounds like your manager needs to have a private conversation with these hecklers - it's causing you stress which is unprofessional. I'd shut it down immediately if I had that going on. A positive workplace depends on a positive culture and their comments (joking or not) insinuates that you are not working as hard as they are - which in reality is more than likely not true.

Communicate with your manager and if he/she is a leader, they will build your confidence back up.

You got this.

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    Craig, I edited out your side note, since it's purely speculation into the coworkers' psychology and doesn't really affect the situation at all. Great answer otherwise, and welcome to the Workplace! – David K Jul 6 '17 at 15:24
  • "It sounds like your manager needs to have a private conversation with these hecklers" Eh no. First step is for the OP to talk to these people himself. He explicitly asked if he should ask his coworkers to stop and that's always the first step in an interpersonal conflict. You don't rush to a manager with every little thing that annoys you. The first phrase a manager should say is "Have you asked them to stop?". -1 from me because of that. – Lilienthal Jul 7 '17 at 7:56
  • @Lilienthal - Thanks. I typically side with self policing so I see where you are coming from. But - considering the manager is aware of the comments being made and seemingly has decided to not address them, makes me conclude that the manager either A. doesn't think it's an issue or B. knows it's an issue and doesn't want the confrontation. And have you ever asked a heckler to "stop it"? - that's exactly what they want. – Craig Joachim Jul 7 '17 at 12:40

What your coworkers are doing is awful - they are likely doing it either to make you look bad or to make themselves look "better".

A good manager shouldn't fall for this sort of playground rubbish since they should have a pretty good idea of how on top of your work you are. Unfortunately not all managers are good, and sometimes a good manager is just too busy and falls for it.

It's really not worth addressing this with the coworkers in question - they know damn well what they are doing and asking them to stop will likely just "confirm" to them that it's working. Instead, have a private word with your manager and ask something like:

I'm conscious that we don't always overlap for our full days so wanted to make sure that you are happy with the hours I'm putting in and how much I'm getting done?

If they ask why you're asking and you have a good enough rapport with your manager then you can maybe add:

I've noticed that [Coworker A] and [Coworker B] often make an issue over the time I leave and I wanted to make sure that it wasn't a concern for you.

When I've been managing I've had team members experience similar issues, one who came to me much as I describe above and I reassured him that I knew how hard he worked and that he shouldn't worry so hopefully your manager will take a similar tack.

I've also been in your position - I hadn't made an issue over it but my manager commented on it in my 1-1 and said that she had bluntly told them to mind their own business.

  • "It's really not worth addressing this with the coworkers in question" This combined with the rest of your answer will do nothing to get these colleagues to drop the stupid comments OP has to endure. First step is to address these people and only if they don't stop should you escalate to a manager. – Lilienthal Jul 7 '17 at 7:58
  • @Lilienthal true.. but my interpretation is that the issue that the OP was looking to address wasn't the comments themselves but rather the potential impact upon his professional standing with his manager and the latest edit from the OP supports that. – motosubatsu Jul 7 '17 at 8:34
  • That's fair, but in my mind the two issues are linked. Even if you're aligned with the manager on attendance, these kinds of comments can ultimately influence him so need to be stopped. – Lilienthal Jul 7 '17 at 9:45
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    @Lilienthal I can see where you are coming from, unfortunately I must confess that I've never found a reliable method of stopping these sorts of comments (I'm not suggesting that there isn't one, just that I've not found it yet!) – motosubatsu Jul 7 '17 at 10:03
  • Oh I don't imagine there are any when it comes to people who are this obnoxious, but it's just a step that typically has to be tried before you can escalate. I guess I see why you might elect to skip it in this case, though the OP would want to be prepared for the manager to ask why he didn't try to resolve it himself. – Lilienthal Jul 7 '17 at 11:12

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