It’s OK to be late – as long as you’ve been working

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Most bosses are happy for staff to turn up late for work, according to new research which reveals that workers just don’t know how flexible their employer can be.

The findings, which can be read in full here emerged in a study of 1,000 British, German, French, US and Irish employees and employers, which found 73 per cent of bosses have a relaxed attitude to time keeping, as they trust their staff are working long before they actually get to the office.

But half of all employees are under the impression that their bosses definitely will mind if they are late.

In fact, the average global boss would be willing to turn a blind eye to employees being up to 32 minutes late and let staff spend a quarter of the week working from home.

However, British bosses are the strictest, wanting late-running workers at their desks no later than 24 minutes into the working day, whilst US employers take the most relaxed view, tolerating their staff turning up to 37 minutes late in the day.

The death knell of the nine-to-five worker has been rung by mobile technology, with three quarters of employers giving employees tools to get their jobs done wherever they are.

However, just 11 per cent of British employers tool their workers up to be able to access everything on the move – which would allow people even more freedom.

The study confirms the long-held suspicion that the urge to check emails first thing in the morning is overwhelming for some – a third of all British employees has logged in by 6.30am, compared with just 13 per cent of French employees. On average, by 7am one in five employees worldwide has already checked their email.

Whilst the majority of employers globally are happy for staff to start their days later, in return they’re looking for flexibility from their employees and when they wind down for the night.

The fluid approach to working hours means that many employers are now comfortable with calling after hours, with 80 per cent saying they think it’s acceptable to call staff in the evening.

The research shows that French bosses are the most considerate and stop calling the earliest; 43 per cent draw the line at calling after 7.pm. 16 per cent of UK employers, on the other hand, think it is acceptable to call workers between 10pm and midnight!

The global results show that the average person starts checking their work email at 7.42am, gets into the office at 8.18am, leaves the office at 5.48pm and stops working fully at 7.19pm, meaning employees are “in work mode” for nearly 12 hours a day.