I leave the house at basically the same time every single morning, but the time I manage to get into work can vary by up to a good 40 minutes because I rely on basically every form of public transport bar the Thames Clipper boat to get me into work.
All it takes is road works / the ‘wrong’ kind of leaf on the tracks or a passenger alarm being pulled somewhere on the opposite end of the tube line to put a spanner in my commute.
That being said, I’d like to think that the occasions where I am sat at my desk by 8:40 greatly outweigh the ones where I quietly and solemnly sit down at 9:15. I try not to clock watch and unless I’m meeting a friend for lunch, I’m happy to eat at my desk or take half a lunch break and run some errands.
So why is it then that I feel so guilty and as if everyone is giving me the evil eye if I leave the office 10 minutes before five? Seriously, I felt like there were a good 30 eyes staring at me. Nobody pats me on the back for coming in early or for working through lunch so surely no body would reprimand me for clocking off ten minutes early right?
Ok that’s not fair, because nobody has come right out and said that it is an issue but it does feel like it is. Some people are stricter than others when it comes to working hours. I’m lucky that I have a great manager who understands me when I explain that missing that first DLR has a knock on effect on me missing the tube train that connects me to the overground train, that gets me to the bus stop in time etc etc (phew, my journey tires me out just writing about it) but others are not so lucky.
I know people who would rather pretend to be getting on with some imaginary work than ask their supervisors to leave 20mins early as they honestly have nothing else to work on. I also know managers who would rather their subordinates find something to do than give them that 20 minute reprive. Nothing is mentioned about the minutes or hours everyday that they work for free by coming in early, because somehow that is a given, but to leave early would be plain cheeky!?
What do you think? Are you a slave to the clock or able to get up and go? Do you manage people, in which case what is your stance when it comes to 9-5’s?