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October 11, 2007


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I'm lucky enough to have quite a bit of flexibility at my job. I can't necessarily spend most of my time working from home, but I can really structure the hours I work however I need to as long as I meet the minimum.

The main reason behind this is that my company's client is a hospital system, which means there are employees working 24/7. If I just came in 9-5, a large percentage of employees wouldn't be around to meet or speak with me when I was available.

So, some days I go in early to catch people coming off the night shift and get to leave by 2 or 3, other times I can go in late in the morning and work until evening, and some days I simply end up putting in 12-14 hours which can afford time off on say Friday afternoon.

For example, this morning I've actually been in the office since 4:30am and will be here until 5pm, but that works out great because I have a wedding to head off too tomorrow afternoon and I don't have take a vacation day.

Firstly you should demolish that spam comment.

Secondly I also am lucky enough to have flexible hours. I work in a salary position as a software engineer. While the general work hours are 8-5 M-F deviation is not a big deal. I can come and go as I please. As long as work gets done and I make it to important meetings thats really all that matters. I can come in early, leave early. If some day I have errands to run no one cares if I take a 3 hour lunch. there is a flip side that at some times of the year I do have to put in 60-80 hours but for me its well worth it and the flexibility is a HUGE factor. If my company "cracked" down and enforced 8-5 strictly I'd be finding a new company. The benefit is very nice. No need to schedule time off for doctors appointments. Just block out time in outlook and *poof* I'm gone.

Would I give up money for it. Maybe. I think you can get that benefit and still get good money. Which is what I have currently. But if it were one or the other I would most likely take a small hit in salary.

Yikes! That was a bad one. It's gone now, thanks.

Even if a pay cut is taken to be able to work from home, which I have never seen here, what is it worth to have one less day of commute per week (2 actual hours commuting + time prepping for work), one less lunch to buy or pack, one less day of laundry / dry cleaning / ironing (work clothes), and the transportation expense saved?

How about the day less of day care to pay?

There are a number of factors whereby working from home or having flex hours SAVES you money.

It also saves companies money. They get bonuses from the state for commute reduction. They have less parking troubles, more possibility of co-locating desks, less facility expense (coffee, drinks, etc), and more.

I tried to get flexible hours but my bosses said no.


Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of flexibility in my workplace. My working hours is fixed and I have to work 40 hours a week.

It would be nice if I could do some of the work at home but since I get easily distracted, its not a good idea for me to do my work at home.

Id rather be in the office working long hours and get the work done on time rather than working at the comfort of my home and not being able to get the work done on time.

I agree with reash on this one. I, too, would much rather put in longer hours at work than work from home, although the option of being able to do that would be great - if there are just a few hours of work that have to be done and you're about go on vacation, etc., and you can do it later in the airport or hotel, sounds great. Or if you're under the weather and would prefer to work from instead of using PTO, that works out great too. I would definitely take some cut in pay if that was the choice, flexibility gives you so much more control over your life that overall its worth a lot, in my opinion.

At a former job, our hours were extremely flexible - as long as the work got done and we had someone available from 7am to 7:30pm, it didn't matter what your hours were. Most people probably put in about 50 hours/week, some days long, others short.

Then the company was bought out, and we had to fill out timesheets, stating that we were in the office eight hours every day (start time was still flexible). Productivity dropped, and so did the number of hours worked. The company wanted to babysit us to ensure everyone worked an eight-hour day, and we gave them what they asked for - eight-hour days. No more, no less.

My husband has remarked multiple times that he would much prefer 4 10-hour days or even 3 13-hour days per week. Too bad that's not an option anywhere he's worked.

I really like having typical work hours. I get to work around 8:30am and leave around 5:30pm. I would not be nearly as productive from home--or from a coffee shop or park or whatever. Plus I like interacting with my co-workers and the social aspect of the workplace. And I like dressing professionally each day. I feel I'd be withdrawn, sloppy, lazy, and less productive if I had a ton of flexibility in my work schedule. Already I spend too much time blogging when I should be working!

However, I don't have a long commute or children.

My situation mirrors that of Senor Revington above. I am also a software engineer, and my hours are flexible as well. I can work 6 hours on some days and 10 hours on the others, leave for a few hours during the day or work from home. But if necessary I work on weekends, evenings or on holidays.

I work for a Fortune 500 company with offices all over the world, and occasionally I need to call in for a meeting (a teleconference) with developers in India or China early in the morning or late in the evening.

At the end of the year I am evaluated based on what I accomplished during the year not on how I spent my time.

The interesting thing is that when the emphasis is on the job done, people work much harder.

We also have an unlimited number of sick days.

I've worked for the same company for over 20 years, and the tendency has been towards greater flexibility. We've always have some flexibility, but not nearly as much as nowadays.

During the internet boom, I could've gotten a much higher salary. Flexibility and unlimited number of sick days were among the reasons I didn't change jobs. At this point I am so used to this flexebility that I'd find it very difficult to adjust to another environment.

I also work in engineering for a large, global company. Most weeks I work ~35 hrs a week, 10 min commute :) We just finished a large project that required most people to work nights, weekends, and holidays for a few months. But that tends to happen only once in 2-3 yrs.

I have a very flexible working environment, our core hours are 10-4 when we should be at work but start & finish times are flexible around that. We have all been supplied with laptops, remote access, free broadband and our mobile phones are paid for, so we can work from home if we need to. Ongoing work from home days are negotiated with your direct manager.

What you're starting to see is all these folks who are laid off or their spouse has lost a job that are now looking for legitimate work. And the work-at-home option is very appealing to them.

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