in Business

Should Your Business Have Set Office Hours?

It’s obvious that some companies should have set office hours. Any time you have frequent foot traffic at a business, it just makes sense. But what about at service companies, or small businesses where only a handful of employees work?

At our company, we don’t have a set rule, but just a suggestion that you be at the office between 10 am and 3 pm. That’s a comfortable range of hours that generally assures everyone is working during the same hours every day.

But how do you feel about this? What do you do where you work?

Do set office hours force people to be more productive? Often I change my mind about this and would like to open it for discussion.

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  1. It really depends on your workplace culture, the service you provide and the schedules of others around you (client & coworker). If you can work from 10-3 and meet the needs of both those groups, that’s great. Most businesses still run from 9-5, and if your client calls at 4pm and you are never there, that would be a concern though. Just use your cell as your primary contact and you can work from anywhere :-)

  2. to be honest im more productive between 2pm and 7pm so a 12 – 8.30pm day would suit me fine. i think it was 37 signals who moved their hours to increase the overlap between trans-continental offices the up shot of which meant that customers only had a short window in which to contact them… it also meant that their productivity sky rocketed because they weren’t being pulled off work all the time.

  3. This is a constant issue with my partner and I. He’s more old-school and wants the typical 9-5 hours, but I don’t always agree at least on the point of productivity. I tend to hover in around 9:30 or 10 and work till 6 or 7. I do feel I’d be more productive away from the office and the onslaught of phone calls or questions others in the office can’t answer, but at the same time I’m the only one that can handle a lot of the stuff coming in, which is a situation I put myself in blah blah. Honestly I get most of my good work done after everybody leaves at 5 and even more so when I’m up from 11pm to 2am. In fact I just thought of a CrappyGraph for Brian… ha-ha!

    It does depend on the business and its clientele though, because we do get a lot of calls from clients and prospects throughout the day and having the different types of needs on the phone needs a different person here whether it’s development based or accounting based. We also get a lot of clients coming in to pick up items or other random stuff. But again our 2nd company at the same address is promotional marketing and apparel and that whole industry is very old-school and revolves around the typical 9-5 day (and faxes too – ugh!). So for us it’s almost a necessity to have posted hours and be available.

  4. Depends on the size of the company too. I worked at a place that allowed employees to work on their own time and productivity was fantastic. For some reason 8 employees was the magic number. If we were over 8 work suffered. Didn’t seem to matter if they were programmers, designers, marketing, content writers…etc.

  5. I work for an IT company located in Eastern Europe. We have before 11am policy. I personally come even later (12-1300) as I do customer support and our clients are mostly in US and Canada.
    I am totally for flexible office hours, it is a bliss. Even if you do not manage to fit in a week day, you can still make up for it on weekend. The most important thing is to have a reliable punch in/out system. In addition to that, we keep an online time log.
    Sure it does depend on the size of your company. I think larger ones tend to rely on set hours more than smaller ones.