It’s come to my attention that if you are single or at least don’t have children, you end up working longer than colleagues who do have children. Now this might be controversial and I’m sure it isn’t the case in every office, every job or for everyone, but I think it might be true.
In my company there is a lot of 30/40 something women/men who have children, are married or are attached. Due to having children they obviously have other priorities and commitments and rush off from the office either early or on time. Mostly early! They might also come into the office after drop off to school and leave earlier to get say child from after school clubs, child minders etc. So they get paid the same as me (or probably as I don’t really know), they are contracted to do the same hours as me, however come in late and leave early and obviously take time out for doctors appointments for the children, take time out to see a child’s play and just generally have more time out of the “office”. Is this fair or is this just expected these days?
I know that most colleagues or friends do work again after the children are in bed, but do they still work as hard or as long as say a single person, who gets in early and leaves later -like I do? Maybe they are better at managing their time or maybe the expectations from bosses is that due to them having children they should have a better work/life balance. Who knows, but it is an unwritten rule that it is ok to come and go whenever and work from home whenever too.
With all this said I know the people who do actually go to part time working hours after having a kid, do actually end up trying to fit in full time responsibilities in part time hours which is unfair too.
I did actually ask someone what their thoughts were and she didn’t have children and lived in the states, but was married. She said she thought she finished work more on time now to get home to spend time with her husband, whilst before she would just stay and finish a piece of work etc.
Unless I have plans I very rarely leave at 5.30 – I keep working until I am in a happy stopping place or my inbox is at a manageable state. When I’m on a work from home day – I usually put some dinner in the oven at 5.30/6 and then carry on working again until I have got to where I need to be for the next day. I suppose if I needed to do dinner for children – I too would probably log back on at 8pm, but when I have done this in the past, I’m not sure I’m that productive or on top form at that time, as I’m tired by then and need to switch off.
In terms of just being in a relationship or living with someone – maybe it isn’t the fact that people leave on time to make sure they see their partner, maybe both people in the relationship work longer hours or maybe it’s like they have something to do each night which is better than working – so they manage their workload better or maybe it doesn’t matter if you are single or attached – it boils down to your work ethics, your personality, your boss, whether your boss is in a relationship or not, or basically a number of factors. My bosses never really batter an eyelid when I work late but is that because my boss is in the states and the time difference isn’t realised or is it because they know I’m single! Who knows…
To be fair except for the colleagues who insist on taking time off when ever they want, I’m sure as long as we all get the job done and have equal pay and opportunities – I’m sure it doesn’t matter whether you are single, are in a relationship or have children…..