Working Hours

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

For my previous 6 month stint in the UK it was about 15 minutes from door to desk, now it is about 35 to 45 minutes, longer if there is a traffic issue of course. It’s an extra hour of my day and non-working hours are precious things. I think that now with an aim to “settle” in the UK and with Kathlene here I’ll try to bring my working day closer to its supposed 9-to-5 nature. Hur Hur, sure thing. Might make that 8-4 actually, since then I can skip the damn traffic. Leaving at 16:00 would be difficult, it’d feel wrong. At the moment I’m doing about 8-to-6 or 8-to-7 – though I try to make up for that by taking a good one hour break in the middle of the day (like now).

What are normal IT working hours? There’s a strong (but hopefully exaggerated) indication from various sources that a typical IT worker does 12 hour days and that’s what is expected of them. Maybe this is a thing in the US? The land where being an employee is no better than being of the downtrodden masses in a fascist dictatorship. Here in the UK it seems more common for employees to stick closer to their 9-5 day, except for a few notable examples (the more certifiable “geeks” in the office, including myself) most people are gone not long after 17:00. Back in Sydney half the office is still around at 18:00 and a good many still there are 19:00, admittedly some of them don’t get to the office until 10:00 in the morning.

It’s like an IT-worker “macho” factor, “I stay in the office longer than you and thus am a more valuable asset to the company”. Complete bullshit, most of the best developers in the company are ones who stick to a well-bounded working day. But is the individual mindset remediable? Some of us who work over-long hours and then go home and spend a couple more hours dealing with work communications and other related material have trouble stopping. If I go an evening without having my work mail open for reading/replying I feel guilty about it. But it’s not like I feel hard-done-by, I also don’t feel that it is something that is expected of me – it’s just something I do. Is it an addiction?

What is the cure?

Commuting is cutting into my usual lunch-making time, I’ll have to try and reorganise to handle it (the good old “wake up an hour earlier, thus go to bed an hour earlier” that never happens). I’ve had lunch from the caf across the road on too many occasions over the last two weeks; it’s a great place for food if you happen like mayonnaise sandwiches. I only get food from there when the hunger becomes too annoying to ignore.

Everything is report writing at the moment, aside from a brief stint of benchmarking I’ve been working on writing reports since I got back. It is interminably dull. Should be done with that this week and then I have something interesting to look at, that will be a relief.