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When I start a new job I face a difficult time with hours.

I like to work from 7 or 8 (when it is nice and quiet) to 3 or 4 in the office and then do a bunch more at home.
These hours are not usually a problem once I have been at a company for 6+ months and they know that it helps my output and that as I don't have kids and other distractions, I get a ton done at home.

However, most jobs are still office-location based and many programmer come in at 9.30am, 10.00am, even 11am. They may stay until 7 but that's effectively the same number of hours.

How can I address this issue "day 1" with a new employer. I don't to wait until 4pm and then get up and say, "ok, see you tomorrow". I can't imagine doing it day 1... or day 2... or.. so when can I do it.

What should I say / do to try and address this issue?

I don't believe in an all or nothing situation for working in an office / working remotely. If most of my work is remote I don't have enough contact with my team, both developers and the product group. Conversely if most of my time is ion the office my actual work output suffers from lack of focus and concentration.

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I think this would fit better in workplace SE because it is more about how to broach the topic. Do you mind if I move it over there? – Jeanne Boyarsky May 14 '13 at 1:21

You don't do it day 1.

When discussing taking a new a role, your expectations on times and hours should be part of the discussion. If the job does not allow flexible working then either you turn it down or you change your plans.

If these hours are essential for you then make sure this is known before you start, otherwise you may find your contract won't let you demand it.

You may also find that many employees who can cope with flexible workers require you to prove yourself in the early months before they trust you to be self-motivated when away from the office.

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I think it is important to be upfront with your new employer and tell them what has worked best for you, but as you stated, you are flexible.

If they don't think your prefered hours are going to fit, you'll need to compromise.

The biggest driver on when you can start your prefered hours will depend on how soon you are expected to work independently. Some companies have a longer initiation process than others. Many managers inform potential candidates during the interview process how long it usually takes people to get up to speed/touch live code.

The second issue will how the company is setup for remote workers. They may have limitations that you'll have to consider. They may only be prepared for the occassional person working at home in case of emergencies.

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