To arrive at work and make a cup of coffee?

(255 Posts)
FunnysInLaJardin Fri 07-Feb-14 22:20:55

I have been criticised today for arriving at work and after logging on etc making a cup of coffee. Doesn't everyone do this? Or am I living in the dark ages and I should arrive and start work straight away? Maybe I should delay my first cup of coffee for a half an hour or some such?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Wed 12-Feb-14 21:59:12

I arrive at work, grab a coffee from the cafe and then head to my desk. So it's more my entering the building routine.

Personally I don't think you should start work and immediately take time to get coffee unless you are at your desk before your start time.

MrsOakenshield Wed 12-Feb-14 18:25:24

gosh, some of you would have hated where I used to work (the industry has changed a lot since) - I would say at least half the staff smoked, so there were a fair amount of fag breaks (and quite often non-smokers would come to, just to get away from their desk for a bit), if suppliers took you out to lunch, it was expect that either you wouldn't come back at all, or you'd come back 3 sheets to the wind, take down your voicemail messages in a drunken scrawl and then head back out to the pub, and that really, everyone knocked off at 4ish (back in the pub) on a Friday.

Salad days.

Goldmandra Wed 12-Feb-14 12:06:49

In my twenties I loved my office job, arrived early, worked through lunch, was very conscientious, worked at least an hour more than I was paid every day, etc.

Then they expanded and the ethos of the office changed. I still went over and above but it became expected rather than appreciated and we all started having to sign in. One day I was disciplined because I signed in at 7.58 but my watch was wrong and it was 8.00 and a shit stirring little git grassed me up. When he was then promoted over my head due to his maleness and not his ability, I worked to rule and left as soon as possible. Their loss.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Wed 12-Feb-14 11:44:50

Chocolate - i assume you missed the bit where the OP says that she gets to work 10 minutes early. " I arrive 10 mins ahead of my start time"

That's 10 minutes each day that the employer is not paying for. So why did that trigger your rant to her?

Why the hell should she not use those 10 minutes to get a coffee and get herself ready to start at the time she begins to get paid for?

Mishmashfamily Wed 12-Feb-14 11:40:14

LCH your wrong. People like to be treated fairly. Nothing causes resentment more than other people getting treated or behaving in a way that's different to other people.

If the way of the office is relaxed, people can come and go, fine. But if it's a sharp start then everyone has to act accordingly.

When you sign your contract it's a legally binding document to say you will start work at said time, if management want you to.

jennifleurs Wed 12-Feb-14 11:38:56

I work part time shifts in a well known retail establishment and we aren't even allowed to get a drink of water unless it's our allotted 15/30 min break time!

I always get to work early so I have time to sit down, have a cup of tea, fix my hair etc.

Fleta Wed 12-Feb-14 11:38:51

teaandthorazine -thank. I was a solcitor though. This isn't flak grin

Fleta Wed 12-Feb-14 11:38:15

It all depends on the nature of the work also - some things can be more flexible. Some can't.

Yes my work were incredibly strict over hours worked. They were also incredibly generous in terms of number of holidays, sick pay (paid more than statutory), maternity benefits (again paid WAY more than statutory), paternity benefits, staff bonuses (which were not performance based - everyone got one), time off for appointments, they still paid for emergency childcare rather than enforcing the unpaid leave for dependants and the pension benefits were excellent. AFAIC, that more than makes up for people being required to work their contracted hours.

teaandthorazine Wed 12-Feb-14 11:38:15

I do get your point - if there is a specific reason to be sitting at one's desk at 9am then, fair enough, you should be there. As I said in my previous post, when I used to work on a labour ward I would absolutely be there 10 mins before to ensure that no one was ever inconvenienced by my lateness. It would have been irresponsible and selfish to do otherwise, and the people that regularly did got short shrift from their colleagues.

However, your first post didn't say why you needed her there bang on time, which is possibly why you're getting a bit of flak!

Anyway, should get back to work wink

LCHammer Wed 12-Feb-14 11:34:51

I worked somewhere with a tea round too. All very civilised.

SarahBumBarer Wed 12-Feb-14 11:34:33

God - some of you would have heart failure at my job. Never mind making a coffee - last Wednesday we all headed off to Starbucks for a decent coffee, cake and chat at about 11 am. Funnily enough the team are responsible enough to only go along with something like this if they have all their work under control and deadlines will be met. I hate presenteeism. And you can see from some of the attitudes on this thread exectly why the Presenteeist brigade are not the kind of productive, responsible workers you actually want. They clearly do not understand or appreciate that it is output that is important. This is why I will bugger off to Starbucks for a coffee if I feel like it and it is also why when everyone else in my department headed off for a few drinks after Christmas lunch, one of my colleagues and I with reasonably good spirits headed back to our desks to get a report out and why I was perfectly happy to host two conference calls at the begninning of January from my winter holiday in Egypt.

LCHammer Wed 12-Feb-14 11:33:22

Mishmash - do the sums. Think of all the toilet breaks. How much is that costing the British economy? We're all in this together, dears. Contain yourselves.

Please add up all the pointless meetings too. What are you left with?

Kaluki Wed 12-Feb-14 11:33:12

I get in, turn on my computer, do a coffee round (usually 5 or 6 of us), have a wee, have a chat ... by then my computer is usually up and running. Its very slow and needs a while to wake up like me.
I have worked for a company that used to restrict coffee making to set breaks only and years ago in the 80s I worked in an office where a lady used to come round with an urn twice a day and give us tea/coffee and biscuits!!!

Fleta Wed 12-Feb-14 11:31:49

teaandthorazine - I was told I had to request she worked her full quota of hours. Yes, absolutely the time she was most needed was first thing but she was still missing 50 minutes of work a week. 5 lots of 10 minutes a week.

If it was an irregular thing it wouldn't be a problem - but as a regular thing it really takes the piss.

LCHammer Wed 12-Feb-14 11:30:27

Mishmash - in your model above, the business will probably lose more money with staff turnover and sickness leave. Stress and feeling resentful about being watched like this are likely to lead to that. Unless you're holding up an assbly line, customers on the phone, patients waiting etc.

teaandthorazine Wed 12-Feb-14 11:28:44

But fleta, if that was the case then your 'compromise' of 'allowing' her to work ten minutes into her lunch-hour, or ten minutes later at the end of the day, would be pointless, wouldn't it? If the important thing was that she was there at her desk at 9am for the calls to come in?

Mishmashfamily Wed 12-Feb-14 11:28:04

For all the posters having a go at fleta...

Six days of some one starting work 10 mins late = 1 hour of pay for work that isn't done.
Four hours over the month
Twenty four over the year.

Three days worth of pay for making a morning brew!

Now times that by your entire work force.

Some business can't afford that.

Fleta Wed 12-Feb-14 11:26:52

Obviously LCHammer's joke falls flat as Fleta works part time from home for her own business and is currently having some relax time

LCHammer Wed 12-Feb-14 11:24:45

Obviously Fleta can't answer as it would be on company time. She'll come back after 5.30 (plus however long it took to type out the previous post).

Fleta Wed 12-Feb-14 11:24:10

The thing is you have a start time, you get there in time. It isn't hard. Its a work ethic.

Fleta Wed 12-Feb-14 11:23:20

The point was I worked from whenever I needed to. Offices open at 9.00 - given the nature of the work (solicitors) there would be an influx of calls the minute the lines opened - she wasn't at her desk so I would end up answering them - what then is the point of having an assistant?

The pedantry wasn't noticed by me - we had a card in/out system which was flagged to me by higher management - I dealt with it as her line manager.

At the end of the day you accept a contract that states you work x number of hours a day. If every day you're not doing that then the issue is raised.

Conversely we had generous policies on not needing to make up time for doctors appointments, you didn't have to take holidays for appointments etc.

I have a member of staff who comes into work about 9.15 she drops her dd to school and then gets here. She then takes off her coat, puts her lunch in the fridge, goes to the toilet, makes a coffee and then starts work
She is actually one of the hardest working staff member I have. She will always stay a bit later, work through lunch, come in on her days off if its really busy here.

I don't think she would have the same attitude if I was standing in the doorway every morning saying "right it's 9.16. No, you cannot put your lunch away or have a coffee. You need to start work now. Or if I expected her to make up the 5/10 minutes every day.
The quality and quantity of work she produces every day, and her attitude towards the job more than compensate for those few minutes, believe me.

But then, I am a peculiar manager I think

I don't mind how many breaks people have throughout the day as long as work gets done and when we are all tearing our hair out trying to meet a deadline they don't go "well I am entitled to an hours lunch so I am off"

And funny enough, no one does. They work until its done. And usually after 3 panic days it goes all quiet so I let them go at 3.30pm to make it up to them and as a thank you.

And I always make the first round of coffee grin

And bring cake on Fridays

Mishmashfamily Wed 12-Feb-14 11:18:53

There is a ton of research to say that people are more productive when they're happy and respected within their work environment

Spot on but it also applies to expected behaviours through out the entire workforce. For instance if you have a team of thirty people, most are sat by their station by 9 am. Ready to go. Have said their 'hellos' bonded by the coffee machine because they arrived a little early, hung their coat up. Then at bob on 9am one or two people out of the team stroll in, log on the wander off to make their coffee, every day. With out fail.

Two things are going to happen.

1) people that are ready to go, with there pre made coffee are going to get pissed off and resentful. - why should they rush to work when so and so take there time. It's the same for lateness and sickness.

2) people are gonna start copying. If you have 30 odd people not actually starting work till 9.10, the business is actually losing money.

If the bosses want you at your desk a 9am, tough. Make your coffee, breakfast in your own time. How would you feel if the management came over and said 'every day, I want you to stay behind ten mins after everyone else...unpaid'.

You would tell them to jog on!

CaptainGrinch Wed 12-Feb-14 11:12:50

Fleta - I hope you reimbursed the company for the time you spent looking at your watch & tutting rather than doing any work.

If you've got time to be that pedantic, you obviously don't have enough to do!!

LCHammer Wed 12-Feb-14 10:58:12

Fleta - they'll love you at work. Mostly when you retire.

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