flexible working

how flexible is your work?

how has it changed in the last couple of months?

I am expected to do 8 hour days with an hour for lunch, but my 8 hours can start anywhere between 8 and 10

now that I’m at home it means I can wake up at 2 minute to 10

jobs with no flexibility and/or shift work should get paid way more

I can also sometimes gain an extra hour if needed, so do an extra hour early in the week and then do 8 - 3 on Friday, giving me time to go get a train that’s not rush hour

lots of my colleagues are now working in the evening, even if just 8pm until 10pm it means that they can have an extra couple of hours for childcare stuff during the day

really hope that the long term effect is for proper flexible working to become more of a thing


My job is very flexible - I don’t have any prescribed hours in my contract and often work from home unless I need to be on campus for teaching or a meeting. It has massively helped my stress and anxiety as I have bad insomnia so being able to literally roll out of bed a few minutes before 9am really helps and I’ve fallen into a more natural sleep pattern where I fall asleep late and wake up later. It is hard when I have to get up early to be on campus though.

The downside is that I tend to have less of a clear definition between my work and home life and often work in the evenings and at weekends, but this is down to me needing to be stricter with this. Overall, I realise I’m very privileged to have the working pattern that I do and completely agree that those with no flexibility or shift work should be paid a premium.

It hasn’t changed much for me except now all meetings and teaching is taking place online, which is hopefully helping the senior leadership team to realise we can work in new and more flexible ways. One of the disparities at most universities is that academics have flexible working but professional services and support staff don’t, and Covid-19 has demonstrated that actually they can work from home just as effectively so I hope that’ll change for them too.


Yeah, no real flexibility. Have to cover the store, so will have an early (7-4) and a late (11.30-8.30) manager. I generally do early shifts for childcare reasons. But they’re on set days. 3 earlies (have been coming in and doing 6-3 instead of 7-4 recently), 2 lates a week. No real flexibility apart from that apart from swapping shifts for appointments or swapping a day off if I can cover it

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Very fortunate to have a really sound manager on this sort of thing who let me work flexibly before this, working roughly the hours I wanted providing I didn’t take the piss and working extra hours to knock off earlier in the future and working from home if I needed to

Office as a whole was on a ludicrously inflexible set-up, people having to take half days as leave if they wanted to leave an hour early, not being allowed to work different hours, no WFH. HE as a whole is terrible on this front, so many lazy managers who restrict it because it’s easier for them. Think things will have to improve on that front in the future now people have proven it can be done.

a lot of this is very similar to me

our office was going to be completely redesigned starting in April, but that got cancelled when income suddenly collapsed in mid March

one of the aspects was that about a quarter of the floor space was no longer gonna be ours, so a good cost saving

will be interesting to see what they end up doing - i can imagine them getting rid of 50% of the floor space tbh given that things have been ticking over fine in terms of productivity and meetings

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7 til 7. 4 on, 4 off. Two weeks days, two weeks nights. Same as it always has been. Teams opposite us have permanent nights or days.

Really like the 4 on 4 off. Would kind of prefer permanent days, but don’t mind the nights too much and have no genuine reason to have permanent days.

Boss doesn’t mind if we need to finish early /start late occasionally.

what kind of work do you do?

your set up sounds hard but permanent nights sounds horrific now that I’m used to (essentially) 9-5

8.30-5.15 monday, tuesday, friday and Saturday. 9.15-4 on a Sunday. 30 minutes for lunch. That’s what it is and it ain’t changing soon.

Transport management. Its the easiest job in the world. Frustratingly easy at times tbh. I’ve always preferred to work shifts over 9-5, so the working hours don’t bother me.

The guys doing permanent nights are all happy and do it as it suits their circumstances.

Lot more flexibility for our drivers - 3 or 4 hour start bands that cover 24 hours (eg 2300-0200, 0100-0400,etc, etc), but there’s enough work that they can pretty much choose their exact start time and how many hours they do each week, easy enough to swap shifts, etc. Hopefully I can get a bit of that when I start my new job.

My work is supposedly flexible, but in the days when I was in the office I’d do 9-5, and people will put in meetings from 8.30-5. Management have sent around emails saying how people will make allowances for people with families which is all just lip service quite frankly.

Core hours are 10 until 12 and 2 until half three. Earliest you can start is 7, latest you can finish is half seven at the other end. I tend to start early and finish early and Covid hasn’t changed that.

Am of the opinion that flexitime is a con in a lot of places. My old work claimed to have core hours of 10 to 4 but you’d get the side eye if you showed up after 9. I’d often come in early on Monday in order to leave early on Friday but get so bogged down with work that there’d be zero chance of me getting away before about 6 on Friday.

i had flexitime in my old job and used to average at least an extra day off every month just by taking a shorter lunch every day.

i miss it dearly

I think it is overall a good thing, but it seems that in a lot of (private sector) places it’s just used to get more unpaid work out of people.

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So inflexible and weirdly getting worse.

So, quite flexible at the moment hut only because we have to be. If we aren’t needed to be I’m supposed to be there in work. I work in pharmaceuticals making stuff for pneumonia and it is key to. Keep making it at most times. So what we’ve done is down man everyone off site and make sure that the operation can safely keep running.

When/of we get the all clear I’ll be back to on site office based working. My Office is in the factory where we make the meds so I just go on plant all the time. Off site working only works when we cant be on site.

Oh and the day shift is 8.30 to 4.30 fixed.

I can’t decide how I feel about meetings being online

feels like there’s less scope for fun (like if you’re in a meeting with someone you know a bit but don’t see much and get to chat about something interesting for a few mins at the start of the end) but I find it easier to concentrate (might be linked to sleeping patterns but I’ve always found that long meetings leave me literally on the edge of passing out, never sure if it’s about sleepiness or boredom)

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Normally I get very little flexibility - classes start at either 9.00, 9.15, 1.00 or 1.15 and end three hours later.

I do get options for offsite working for about four hours a week, but given that I often work for three hours at home on a Sunday it isn’t that flexible.

No real flexibility with holidays (even though it i generally acknowledged we get quite a few of them.)

Literally impossibly flexible. I still work for the UK team so I just have my hours to do and that’s that.

That said, I am having to get up early or work late some days to attend meetings online. That’s not so fun.

Trying to fit in childcare has sort of been easy except for having to get up at 5am a lot to fit enough hours in so it’s destroying my life a bit.

Recently some law came in here which requires they know your exact start and end times. Previously we filled in a timesheet to say how many hours we’d done a day. Now we fill in a spreadsheet where we say our start time, lunch start, lunch end, end time.

I had a long discussion with HR about it because they were claiming the new rules mean they have to be very precise about the hours you do and I was trying to understand why anyone thought my saying “I did 7.5 hours today” was less precise than my saying “Start 9am, pause 12pm, resume 12.30pm, finish 5pm”. I believe the issue is that a bunch of other companies don’t use timesheets at all and this is all about protecting workers from doing hours they’re not paid for (this is from researching online) but it’s ended up with our company getting confused.

This led to me outlining for the HR director how my day was often made up of many separate blocks of work, based around when I needed to get my daughter to or from school and when I might need to dial into meetings in the UK/USA, plus the fact that I conceivably could do more hours on some days and thus fewer on others. She is apparently looking at providing a more comprehensive system for me (and any others in the same boat - ie pretty much everyone with a family, I would guess) to enter my hours.