How to get my new boss to let me come in at 9:30.
October 17, 2008 9:50 AM   Subscribe

NewBossFilter: How to do go about asking my new boss if its ok for me to keep coming in around 9:30am?

I've recently discovered that my current boss will likely not be in that position by the end of the next month or so. I will be getting a new boss and that freaks me out since it is not the person I signed up under-but these things happen, so not much I can do.

Anyway, my current boss is fairly hands off. I manage my time well and since things have been fairly slow and I am most definitely NOT a morning person, he has been fine with me arriving to work at around 9:30am. I typically stay till about 5:30 or 6:00 and if things need to be done, I have no problem staying later until they are done, but I see no point in being at the office for the sake of being at the office.

So far it hasn't been an issue at all. But with a new boss, who's to say? I know I should try to "make a good impression" and start coming in earlier but I honestly don't want to change my work schedule because frankly, it works.

-What is the best way to approach my new boss on this matter when they start?

-How soon should I raise the question?

-If they say they an early riser and like to get in early (a clear hint that they expect me to do the same) or even flat out ask me to come in earlier, what are my options aside from quitting? Take it to HR?

I know this may seem like a fairly trivial thing to some in light of all the other things I should be worried about, but I am an utter zombie in the morning and one of the best parts of my job currently is that I can wake up at 8:30, and get in to work by 9:30 so it is really important to me. Plus, I'm just not productive in the morning so it seems like it would be a big waste of my time and the company's to do otherwise.
posted by Elminster24 to Work & Money (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Come in earlier his first week just in case, and during that week you can idly inquire what his scheduling preferences are. If you're an "individual contributor" type professional you may be OK, but in the Machiavellian world of business your late arrivals may peg you as an outlier and subject to problems. It all has to do with your boss, so play it safe until you can find out. It won't kill you.
posted by rhizome at 9:59 AM on October 17, 2008

I'd ask the new boss what his/her policies are concerning work schedules and flex time, which will sound much more neutral than "I want to go on coming in late".
posted by orange swan at 10:02 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

this sounds like you have a special agreement with one person (your current boss) that allows you to deviate from the norm in your office. unless you have it in writing as part of your contract this is a personal concession he made. chances are your current boss agreed to this because he was nice to you. he probably did this not as a matter of policy and not officially. to have any "right" to carry this over to your next boss it would have to be official and it would have to be your current boss who would let your future boss know about it.

I'd treat this as if it never existed with the new boss and ask all over again. make your case, state the situation, try your luck. and if you do, don't say you're not a morning person. that's so bad, it's not even code for lazy.
posted by krautland at 10:03 AM on October 17, 2008

Any possibility that your current boss can mention the situation to the new boss? It might help to have him explain how there hasn't been any problems associated with this schedule.
posted by backwards guitar at 10:08 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Not to derail but I find it interesting how, as a society, certain hours of the day are valued more than others. Working 6-4? Impressive! Working 11-7? Lazy! Same number of hours but the value is somehow, magically different. Maybe it originated from the agricultural era? I don't know.

My first reaction was to say to keep acting like nothing has changed but I see the point others are making.

One additional tactic to apply is the puppy dog sale. That is, ask the boss to let you try it for a couple of weeks and if it isn't working out then you can change to the same schedule as the rest of the office. The idea is far easier to accept if it presented as a trial period but these trial periods are actually difficult to undo.
posted by trinity8-director at 10:11 AM on October 17, 2008 [4 favorites]

I would just be matter-of-fact about it.

For example: "Currently, my work hours are 9:30 - 5:30. Do you forsee making any changes? If so, could you give me some notice so I can adjust my schedule?"
posted by peep at 10:14 AM on October 17, 2008 [6 favorites]

I'd emphasize the staying an equivalent amount of hours at the end of the day part. Couch it in a sort of "I'm happy to shift my hours to cover if anything happens late that needs to be addressed." Makes his/her department look like it's expanding its responsibilities and coverage that way.
posted by lpsguy at 10:14 AM on October 17, 2008

Why can't you just keep coming in at 9:30? I'm sure he'll figure out that it's part of the history of your position, and if he doesn't like it, the onus is on him to bring it up. If he does, accept gracefully and you'll get some bonus points. Asking him if it's okay is asking for him to say 'no.'
posted by soma lkzx at 10:15 AM on October 17, 2008

I would just keep coming in at 9:30. If the new boss talks to you about it then you can explain that you've been doing it this way for x amount of time, that it works well for you, that you're an asset to the company blah blah blah. The boss is new, the company isn't, you aren't. They're not going to fire you for coming in late, they'll talk about it with you first.
posted by cCranium at 10:16 AM on October 17, 2008

Best answer: If your relationship with your current boss is pretty good, you could ask him to leave some sort of note delineating your work schedule as part of whatever introductory documentation he hands over when he leaves. There could be any number of reasons for you to need to get in when you do (dropping kids at school, performing caretaking duties for somebody, taking public transit to work,) and your reasons for preferring a particular start time aren't really anyone's business but your own. If it's clearly set up as "the way things work around here" and really doesn't impact your ability to do your job, the new boss may be less likely to just arbitrarily wreak havoc with your established schedule. Hearing it from the old boss would be far better than hearing it from you, though. Asking for what might be seen as a huge concession right out of the gate will not make a good first impression.

Depending on the size of your department and what goes on there, a chart of who's around doing what at what time of day would likely be a valuable asset for a new manager. If the nature of your duties or the workplace wouldn't make it inappropriate, consider volunteering such a document for inclusion in whatever materials the new boss will receive upon arrival.
posted by contraption at 10:24 AM on October 17, 2008

nthing just continuing the 930 - 6 thing that you're already doing. If they have an issue, they'll say something.
posted by anastasiav at 10:36 AM on October 17, 2008

I agree with peep, I would be matter-of-fact about it. You might also want to come up with a business reason or two for why your schedule is actually beneficial.

-"People are always chatty when they come in, by getting here a little later, I can get straight to work"
-"I like the quiet at the end of the day, after everybody has left, it allows me to finish things up efficiently"
-"My schedule is more flexible than most around here, so I can be here when you need me, but I normally do a 9:30-5:30 thing. Let me know when there are instances where you might want me to deviate from that"
posted by milqman at 10:38 AM on October 17, 2008

Not to derail but I find it interesting how, as a society, certain hours of the day are valued more than others. Working 6-4? Impressive! Working 11-7? Lazy! Word!! I've always wondered why eight hours of work are more valued when you start them at 7 or 8 rather than 9 or 10.

To answer the OP, I concur with continuing your usual schedule, and if the new boss questions it, mention that that had been your previous schedule and offer no further explanation. If New Boss questions "why," simply say it worked out best for you, you were more productive, and the company appreciated having someone there after 5 to answer the phones, or whatever.

I used to work for a very small company, and when they moved offices to a new location it extended my commute by at least half an hour (and I wasn't thrilled with the job in the first place). I gave notice to my boss, and he wanted to know why I was leaving. I simply mentioned the long commute, having to get up that much earlier, how I hated sitting in traffic. He offered me the option of coming in at 9:30, staying 'til 6 and having a half-hour lunch (versus everyone else who had one hour). I stayed on those terms, despite the jealous/snarky comments of other staff who had to be there at 8:30. Of course, they were all sales staff who were fairly interchangable in our industry; I handled all the accounting, inventory, shipping and receiving for the company, and Boss probably figured it was more cost-effective to allow my special hours than to try and break in a new person.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:44 AM on October 17, 2008

Working 6-4? Impressive! Working 11-7? Lazy! Same number of hours but the value is somehow, magically different.

Check your math there.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:48 AM on October 17, 2008

Just keep coming in at 9:30. The morning people are fascists and we must resist.
posted by mullacc at 11:56 AM on October 17, 2008 [3 favorites]

The only downside to doing what you've been doing without mentioning it to the boss is you run the risk of one of those $(%*&ing early-morning people putting their own spin on your flexible schedule and making you like like a slacker.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:40 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check your math there.

And I used to be so good with the 24-hr clock (because time math is much easier that way).
posted by trinity8-director at 1:01 PM on October 17, 2008

The answer to the question why is 7-4 better is due to the fact that those are normal business hours,. If you work 10-7 most business are closed after 4 or 5. Depending on your industry this could mean that you do nothing for those hours since other people are not there.
posted by hxc at 5:36 PM on October 17, 2008

However you do it, make sure you have the okay to do it! I had big trouble once over a misunderstanding of when I was supposed to arrive when the office managers changed from one who didn't care what exact time I came in, to one who decided I was just lazy and late.
posted by fructose at 6:20 PM on October 17, 2008

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