People at my new agency always post their flex hours, even if they’re stepping away during lunch. Are they good communicators, or is this indicative of a company culture that expects us to always be “on”? My gut feels off about this, and I’ve only been here for two months.

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Both - though I’d argue any agency has an “aways on” culture due to the nature of client service, in any industry these days. . They’re aggressively managing expectations to set healthy boundaries for themselves. If people allow that, then that is a good sign - it means people respect the need for those boundaries, as long as there’s an expectation of awareness.

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What worries me is the fact that they feel they need to account for every minute. If you need to go for a 20-minute walk, go take a walk. Or a poop. Whatever.

I’m leaning towards it’s boundary setting by the employee and reframing of expectations of when they will respond and not everything will be answered in 10 minutes. But also, agree with the client service note above that we don’t work 9-5 and if you expect that, you’re in the wrong industry. It will probably feel like overshare for a while until it becomes normal to set boundaries throughout the traditional work day

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I, too, have wondered if it’s boundary setting. My gut says “no,” but I could just be sensitive to it because extreme structure gives me hives.

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My agency does this too. I agree, it feels icky and very micro-managing. I’ve never worked for a company that’s required this and I really don’t like it.

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Yes, I feel the same way!

Are there repercussions if you don’t post them? Agree that’s gross. I coach my junior DRs not to do this. If there are issues reaching them (there never are), the right place to bring it up is in our 1:1s. I don’t like being perceived of as someone over their shoulder every moment, or them having to “ask permission from mommy” to use the friggin loo, yanno?

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My agency does this since we’re scattered across time zones, but we basically log in during the mornings whenever and state our top 3 priorities, say if we expect to be out for an extended period during the day. If we take a long lunch or go to the gym or go to a doc Appt we just say brb and say when ur back. Then when we log off for the day, just post your list again and cross out what you accomplished. Felt very micromanaged at first tbh but it’s helped set boundaries so ppl know when ur really busy or will be offline.

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Yep, at a small agency that went remote permanently during Covid.

What are flex hours?

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Oh interesting, for us flex hours means what hours you choose to work (today I’ll work 10-3, tmr I’ll do 8-10, 12-4)

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At my agency, it's boundaries setting. People used to not state their away times, but then complained that there were no work life balance boundaries and they were working earlier mornings, later nights, and with no breaks in between. We started asking people to proactively set personal time aside during the day, and to also communicate their preferred morning and evening start/stop times. Yes, it's micro-managey but the reality is, without doing this, the inevitable creep into our personal time was bound to happen because everyone has different schedules. Some people work a little later or earlier, naturally, and it was causing others (especially mid and juniors) to feel pressure to respond and continue on. Of course, if people don't want to share, that's totally fine, and they can enforce their boundaries silently. It's just that some people don't do that so well.

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What do you mean by posting their hours? Emailing the team? Putting on everyone’s calendar?

Yes to all.

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