Last Monday, I had decided to go into the office a bit later. The previous week had been really intense for the team with long discussions and workshops that went over the initial schedule. Needless to say, it had been a mentally, physically and a rather emotionally tiring week. Lots of effort had been put into the project, and last week was one milestone we were able to go through.
Even the weekend was not enough to recuperate. So it was with much hesitance that I woke up Monday morning. I had in mind to run some errands too, plus there were a few late evening calls I had to take. So it made sense to go in a bit later.
In principal I had already gotten approval from my boss about me managing my own working hours. Dealing with various regions concurrently means we'd have 7am calls with US, 11pm calls with the UK and many others in between.
I don't think the rest of the IT dept is aware what kind of work we do, so they tend to be surprised when I go in late. They are so punctual that most come in before 9am. On the days when I have my early morning calls or the night before for late night calls, I would go in a bit later.
However, because Kansai people are more straightforward with their comments compared to Tokyo-ites, I have managed to get some direct feedback more easily here. Like when I came in during lunch time Monday, one of the IT managers asked if I was late.
I had to explain to him about the work I did, and the hours it entailed. Now, I personally don't think I need to explain my flexi working hours to everyone who gives me a look for coming "late", or even making a comment about my "tardiness".
In Malaysia, people would think that you're trying to boast about your work, but here, there is a common perception that work starts and ends at a certain time, and you are supposed to be where you are for work. which is your designated seating place.
If flexi hours are alien to them, imagine the work-from-home concept. No wonder I'm taking more tea these days. This pack of calming tea from Ms Barbie has been most helpful on occasions like this!