February 8 2019
If your job gives you flexible working hours, then you could theoretically put in those hours whenever the office is open. You can choose to work afternoons or overnight instead of the usual 9 to 5, or you can work 10-hour days four days per week and make your weekend last three days. However, jobs with flexible hours can also come with downsides, and one important way to avoid these downsides is to consider where and when you put in those weekly hours.
The first thing to consider is why your job offers flexible hours. What kind of projects does your job handle? What sorts of emergencies do your employers expect you to handle? For instance, residential apartment managers often need to deal with emergencies like pipe blockages and broken heaters, and these situations can’t always wait until the office opens up the next morning. Your residents will expect you to take action as soon as possible, and that can mean going on the clock at 7 p.m. or 2 in the morning.
In cases like these, flexible hours allow residential property managers to respond whenever they’re needed, stick around for as long as they ought to, and get credit for the time they’re putting into their jobs. In cases like these, flexible hours are less like a job perk and more like an acknowledgment of what the job demands.
However, most positions with flexible hours are salaried, which means you take home the exact same paycheck whether you spend 40, 41, or even 60 hours on the job each week. This means a residential manager who puts in eight hours Monday to Friday won’t get extra pay if they dealt with a four-hour crisis on a Sunday morning. Many people in these situations find themselves spending more hours on the job than they have to because they feel it’s important to stick to their regular office hours even when they’re staying late or coming back to work.
Handling your job and your flexible hours like this isn’t a good idea. If you spend too many hours on the clock, you can burn out and either start doing a poor job or quit your career entirely. Your job has flexible hours so you can take time off for yourself when you or your family need it, and you should take advantage of that by cutting down on your office hours when you’re spending your usual off hours dealing with work issues. So if your job offers flexible hours, make sure you’re using them well.