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Bosses turning blind eye to lateness (because work begins at home)

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It’s official – British bosses are happy for staff to turn up late for work, according to new research. The findings emerged in a study of 1,000 employers and 1,000 employees, in which 75% of bosses admit they have a relaxed attitude to time keeping- but only because they know staff will start working long before they step foot into the office.

The average employer would turn a blind eye to lateness for the first half an hour of the day, safe in the knowledge their staff aren’t just having a lie-in; yet this will come as a shock to most workers as nearly half of employees are under the impression that their bosses definitely will mind if they are late.

Punctuality isn’t the only thing bosses are laid-back about, as 25% are happy for employees to take longer lunches and nearly 35% don’t have a problem with everyone enjoying office banter and regular tea breaks; the average boss would even accept employees working from home one or two days a week if they preferred to do so.

Claire Galbois-Alcaix of online back-up specialist Mozy, which conducted the study said:

“This is brilliant news for workers everywhere.

“Hard work isn’t going unnoticed and mobile working and technology is having more of an impact on employer attitudes than people think.

“The lines between work and personal life are becoming more and more blurred as one aspect of life merges with the other.

“Bosses have come to understand that a bit of give and take encourages a loyal and trusted workforce.

“Using internet-based solutions that allow workers to access their data as if they were in the office, wherever they are and whenever they want, will help everyone to continue seeing benefits.”

The study also shows that:

  • A third of British employees have already logged-on to their work email by 6.30am;
  • The average British employee will put in at least 37 minutes of work before they even reach their desks;
  • As a result, 40% feel justified in arriving to work a little late.

10% of those polled even claim they are fine with their employees carrying out personal tasks at work such as online banking, food shopping and paying bills while at their desks;

Over half of those polled would think nothing of leaving work early for a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, one in eight are happy eating breakfast at the desk, and nearly one in ten take time out to research holidays or shopping.

Other personal tasks workers feel comfortable about doing at work include using Facebook and Twitter, paying a few bills and listening to music.

Claire Galbois-Alcaix continues:

“This study is refreshing because it shows a real level of understanding between employers and employees.

“The fact of the matter is that employees will want to work harder and prove their worth if they feel able to get a few personal things done during office time.

“And we can see from the research findings that we’ve come a long way towards work being ‘a thing that you do’, rather than ‘a place that you go’ but, with just 11% of employees saying they can access all of their work tools remotely, there’s still a long way to go.”

Mozy also commissioned studies of 100 employers in each of France, Germany, and the United States to see how relaxed they were about working hours.

This study found:

  • French employees are the most likely to carry out work away from the office – with 62 per cent of workers checking emails at home or working on the daily commute;
  • German bosses are the most relaxed of the bunch, with 79 per cent having no problem with employees turning up to work late, knowing they have probably been working at home or in transit;
  • In fact, one in 10 bosses in Germany are happy if staff turn up to work TWO HOURS later than usual;
  • Bosses in the United States are the most understanding of personal time – with a third claiming they would never be comfortable phoning an employee up out of office hours to discuss work issues.

Top personal tasks creeping onto the office to-do list

1.            Leave work early for the doctor or dentist

2.            Personal phone calls

3.            Regular tea and coffee breaks

4.            Chatting to colleagues

5.            Take a long lunch to get a few things done

6.            Online banking

7.            Leave work early for a child’s performance at school

8.            Send a few personal emails

9.            Pay a few bills

10.          Eat breakfast

11.          Listen to music

12.          Research purchases online

13.          Use Facebook or Twitter

14.          Research holidays

15.          Read newspapers or magazines

16.          Conduct online food shop

17.          Look up recipes for dinner

18.          Making customer complaints

19.          Showering after cycling / a run / gym

20.          Brushing teeth



Hard work isn't going unnoticed and mobile working and technology is having more of an impact on employer attitudes than people think

Claire Galbois-Alcaix of online back-up specialist www.mozy.co.uk



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