Secret CEO: 9 to 5?

Q: “I am starting to struggle a bit with hours- I get in early to get some work done, and tend to leave late because the officers (and some of our newer staff) tend to only appear at 10 and leave late, with some really invigorating ideas and conversations happening late on. Should I match their hours or set a more professional tone, encouraging them to do 9 to 5 too?”

A: “The thing you have to remember I think is that staff, and some officers, will be watching for signals and clues from you on how to behave. Role modelling here is crucially important- being seen to take time for yourself and not overwork is really important”

A: “I think workplaces are getting more and more flexible and to some extent we have to reflect that. The issue comes when meetings or communications need to happen and the right people aren’t in or have gone. Setting some core hours/days that the officers buy into and work to is key”

A: “At the end of the day the Union is a workplace, and I don’t think it does anyone any favours, especially your officers, to pander to things like people coming in at 11 and disappearing at 7. In the real world they will need to move their invigorating chit chat to daylight hours and you should prepare them for that world now”

Next Time

Q: “Two of my direct reports are not getting on- and what started as a mild personality clash seems to be rapidly descending into workplace Game of Thrones. They are both very good, high performers, with good teams, but some junior staff and the sabs have reported back the ‘disharmony’ in the SMT. Advice please!”

Thoughts or ideas? Email changesu@outlook.com by Thursday 21st August

Posted in Secret CEO.

One Comment

  1. No end of problems in students unions are caused by officers thinking of their sabbatical as a job. it’s not a job it’s a lifestyle decision. They need to be students working for the Union and to some extent they will follow a student lifestyle which will keep them up late. So getting in a 9.00 when most students are in bed or in lectures is probably not as important as them being around in the early evening hanging out and chatting with students and colleagues about where the Union is is going an what it should be doing.

    This will probably be a great time for them, processing all the ideas and things that have come up during the day. It is the most important time for you to be with them, to understand their dynamics, help them form their unformed ideas and make friends with them. Nothing is more important than this time and if you don’t find it the best part of your day you may be in the wrong job.

    Work – life balance? Last time I checked I was alive when I was at work. If you are not enjoying it go home -If you are not doing enough hours, get another job.

    Glib, I know, but I don’t think we live in a 9-5 world and if you are watching the clock it’s always a pressure point. The other side of that coins is that if you need to pick up you children or attend their nativity play you and your staff should be flexible enough to make that happen because you have plent of time in bank.

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