Monday, June 25, 2012

Bosses in the U.S. and parts of Europe are less strict about employees showing up at the office on time, trusting that they are working long before they actually get to the office thanks to the growth of smartphones, the cloud and other ways to access work remotely, a new study suggests.

According to survey by data-protection company Mozy, 73% of bosses have a relaxed attitude to time keeping because staffers are working flexible hours beyond 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In fact, one in five employees has already checked their work email by 7:00 a.m. and the average employee has already spent up to 46 minutes working before they arrive at the office.

The study which was conducted among 1,000 American, British, German, French and Irish employees and employers found that, even though bosses understand about late arrivals, about half of employees believe they will mind if they are late.

The study also showed that the average person starts checking work email at 7:42 a.m. and arrives at the office around 8:18 a.m. Although they leave around 5:48 p.m., they don’t stop fully working until about 7:19 p.m. This means, thanks to technology, employees are typically working in one form or another for nearly 12 hours a day.

U.S. employers said they will tolerate, on average, someone showing up about 37 minutes late to work, while British bosses are stricter by wanting employees no later than 24 minutes into the working day. Meanwhile, many employers are now allowing staffers to work remotely from home about a quarter of the week.

While most employers don’t mind when workers start their days later, they do expect flexibility to work outside of normal business hours. About 15% of U.S. bosses said they feel comfortable contacting and calling employees up to 9:00 p.m., while 42% of French bosses don’t like to do so after 7:00 p.m. About 16% of U.K. bosses think it’s acceptable to call workers late into the night, such as between 10:00 p.m. and midnight.

American bosses are also more lenient with taking longer lunches (48%) and carrying out personal tasks at work such as online banking, paying bills (22%) and online shopping (21%). British bosses (8%) are least tolerant with employers doing personal tasks.