Are you expected to work extra hours at your job? Or even at home after hours? Do you think that if you work your hours and go home it affects promotions, etc.? Do you think single co-workers are expected to put in more hours since they don't have a family?
http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/16/tech/w...html?hpt=hp_c1Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently set off quite a debate in the tech world when she told an interviewer that she works a 9-to-5 schedule:
"I walk out of this office every day at 5:30 so I'm home for dinner with my kids at 6, and interestingly, I've been doing that since I had kids," Sandberg said in a video posted on Makers.com. "I did that when I was at Google, I did that here, and I would say it's not until the last year, two years that I'm brave enough to talk about it publicly. Now I certainly wouldn't lie, but I wasn't running around giving speeches on it."
Here's the essential questions raised by the tech executive's comments and the debate that followed: In a competitive industry where your work is never truly complete, has it become socially awkward to leave work at a time that used to be the standard?
And are those working eight-hour days that end at 5 p.m. being quietly judged by their co-workers? Whatever happened to "work-life balance"? Worse still: Are those who work these "standard" hours being overlooked for promotions?
Sandberg's timing would suggest that such biases exist. She only felt comfortable talking about her work hours once she had entered the highest levels of management.
What's clear is that many in the technology industry hope to take the shame out of having a balanced life. Mashable reader Dave Plantz said of Sandberg's story:
"Good for her! Life is way more important than work and I refuse to have to go to a funeral for a loved one before remembering that. I'll take family over developing the 'next big thing' anyway. I can always create new things, but I can't keep people forever."
Reader Jason Hunter added that we shouldn't hold different social norms for single people:
"But, let's forget about having family or being married for a minute. 5:30 as an on average time for going home should be acceptable for everyone -- single or not single ... family or no family -- assuming you don't come into the office everyday at 11 a.m."
The conversation reminds me of media mogul Arianna Huffington's thoughts on sleep: Not only do modern workers not get enough of it, but boasting about how little sleep you had last night has become a badge of honor. Those getting plenty of sleep must not be working hard enough, some assume.
And how about the blurred line between work and home life in the modern world? Sandberg admits that after dinner with her kids, she's back to checking e-mail -- it's clear that "being at work" is no longer necessary for "doing work."
The challenge here: Given that we're able to check our e-mail at all times, we assume that working at all times is the new social norm.
Ultimately, I think the measure of our work is in our productivity, not the number of hours we put in. Alas, few of us are in a position to change perceptions -- it's up to both employers and employees to make living a healthy life socially acceptable again.
Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013
I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson
I agree with the statement "Ultimately, I think the measure of our work is in our productivity, not the number of hours we put in. "
I could realistically do my job 100% in half the time I am required to be with my butt in my office
I changed my schedule a few months ago to 8 -4:30 instead of 8:30-5, which seems so small, but makes a world of difference on what I can do after work with DS, DH and just general around the house stuff.
I think that depending on what you do, many jobs are flexible with not expecting long hours. That said, I think it takes time to create a perception of yourself in the workplace and someone who produces superior, reliable work. If you are new, you may not have that flexibility and may need to prove yourself more.
In my situation for the future it might be choice. 1) stay where I am because I have created that perception or 2) continue to grow my career (and our financial situation) by climbing the 'corporate ladder' outside my current company.
As I choose option #2, I will have to work towards the flexibility, but I am also consciously choosing that for another reason. If I am going to be a working mother, I am going bring in the most that I can within parameters of my family/work balance. Otherwise, for me, the choice to work wouldn't be one I could be satisfied with.
I am struggling with this right now. I work 45 hours a week. I'm up at 5 am, get home at 5 pm when dropping off and picking up the kids is factored in. I'm really burning the candle at both ends and have decided to cut back to 4 days a week. It's a pay cut but big deal. I'll get to spend a little more time with the kids and tend to appointments/errands/housework, which is something I'm not really able to do at the moment, at least not the way I should be. Plus, I don't want the kids to remember when they were little that mom just worked all the time. A few times over the last several months both kids have interchanged "mommy" with our dayhome lady's name - calling me her, and her 'mommy'. It's a little heartbreaking, to say the least.
Because of my husbands work and daycare I can not work extra hours routinely. As a general rule we also can't take work home due to the sensitive and confidential nature of documents. There are times when working back is required, again nature of my job, and I offer to stay but that I have to run out and bring DS back with me. With different staff there I used to feel like others were resentful, but they were also of a belief that people are stupid for having children in the first place. Some of my childless co workers do put in extra hours, however none are resentful of it, but they are also new to the job for the most part and eager to learn. I have done my days of crazy overtime and working myself to the ground, now it is time to focus on my family because my son is worth more than my job. I have to work, but I don't have to work longer than I am supposed to. So far it hasn't affected any promotions, I have one starting in a month or so in a temporary capacity and they have been talking about me building my skills by acting in higher roles since I came back from maternity leave, the fact I work in a very small office is more of a hinderance to promotion possibilities.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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And more to the OP, I'm out the door at 4:30 sharp. I have to get the kids before 5, because I drop them off at 7 and they can't be in care for more than 10 hours a day. Just saying that breaks my heart. 10 freaking hours a day. I think I want to quit my job entirely, or at least only work a day or two a week
I think that Americans work way too many hours in general.
I was in a career where I had to put in 45-60 hours/week to achieve the sort of success that I wanted. I would not have been able to keep that up, and be a Mother, which is why I chose to stay home when I had my first. With a husband who travels it simply would not have worked with day care pick ups and whatnot. It was very clearly a tipped playing field, the most successful people in my career were the single people and the men who worked but had SAH wives. (I guess that SAH Dads with working wives, too, that is just super uncommon in my area.).
I say do what you need to do for yourself and your family. It basically comes down to choices. For me, I'd rather get paid a little less and spend a little more time with my family. If that means I'll miss out on a promotion then so be it. Work will always be there when my kids are out of the house, but my kids will only be small for a short amount of time, and I don't want to miss out on that.
Krystal & Donovan - 12/2/06
Reagan - 10/2/02
Maximus - 3/10/05
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My angel in Heaven 1/7/13
I'm not expected to work extra hours. I'm expected to get my job done, and when I leave early to take Tiven to swimming lessons or soccer practice, I might need to take work home to get it done on time. That's a reasonable trade-off for me. When I was in the hospitality industry, I didn't have this flexibility, which is one of the biggest reasons why I returned to school before I had my kids. I've been here 10+ years and I've been asked to work "overtime" only a handful of times, and at least twice I've said no with no reprecussions.
I've also not experienced any reprecussion in terms of promotions for putting my family first, but that might be because I work for a state agency. Promotions are based on (a) passing a test of necessary skills for the position and (b) your proven work experience & abilities. There's very little leeway. Even before this job, when I was in the non-profit world, the executive director would come around at 5:30pm & say, "All work & no play makes Jim look like a bad boss!" I'd laugh at him & remind him that I came in at noon so staying until 6pm wasn't a problem. (I was a contractor at 75% time so I set my own hours.) When I was fresh out of college, working at a CPA firm for tax season, we were expected to put in 65+ hours a week, which is why I didn't pursue the CPA route.
As for single people, I don't really care whether you leave work at 5pm on the dot to pick up your kids or to hit happy hour, as long as you get your work done. I don't think anyone should work overtime if they don't want to. And I think our entire corporate structure needs a breath of fresh air. There's a girl on our soccer team who literally doesn't see her father Monday through Friday; he's a partner in a corporate law firm. That makes me so sad for her, and for him. The big house and the nice cars and the pretty clothes just don't seem worth missing your child's childhood.
The number of U.S. states in which a person can marry the person they love regardless of gender: 30 and counting!