Monday, June 7, 2010

Workplace Honesty

Dear Jocelyn,
My office is very relaxed in terms of employees working regular hours. It is not uncommon to arrive late and then make up the time by staying late. On Fridays it is rare that anyone is around after about 4 pm. With the absence of a time clock and no one really holding employees accountable for working the appropriate number of hours a week, it is easy to fall into a relaxed work ethic. Is it really that dishonest to work a little less than expected?
     - Cheating the Clock

Dear Cheating,
While honesty is certainly important in the workplace, I do not believe it to be dishonest to work at a relaxed pace as long as you meet your employer’s expectations. Many employers are not concerned that their employees work exactly 40 hours per week; rather, they are concerned about employee productivity. If you have a set amount of work each week (i.e. finish x, y, z, and nothing else), then if you finish early, you have satisfied your obligations. If you have ongoing work, then you should find out if your supervisor is satisfied with the amount of work you do each week.

A relaxed work environment might just be one of the side perks of your workplace.  Don't feel guilty about working hard and leaving early.  As long as your boss is satisfied, you are not cheating him.
     -Jocelyn

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