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Flexibility of hours for EEs

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Michael, Jul 8, 2007.

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  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    Hi there - I just recently graduated from college with a BSEE and have
    been working at a new job since then. My employers is incredibly
    flexible about my hours - as long as I put in an average of 8 hours
    per day and am there by 10 or 11 they're happy. Also, there is no
    dress code and most people just wear shorts and t-shirts.

    My question is this: Is this a typical working environment for EEs?
    When I interviewed with other companies, they all seemed much more
    formal, so maybe I'm just lucky? Or maybe companies just try to be
    really serious during the interview process?


  2. My last job was like that. But was pretty much 'kept out the back', so
    didn't have much in the way of client exposure. (Just the way I like it).
    Non of my other employers were like this, so I'm thinking it was an
    exception to the rule rather than the norm. I'm in Australia BTW, so I don't
    know if the "norm" is different for your area.
    That would depend. If the person/people are the not people you're going to
    be working with, then it might certainly not be the case. It was like that
    with me with at least several jobs for me, where the HR people did the
    interviewing who were stuck up weirdos, unlike the people I actually had to
    work with, which were fairly laid back.
    Sometimes it's the other way around.

    Take notes while they give you the walkaround.
  3. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    That's the way we work, although it's suggested that people show up by
    9:30 maybe. We rarely see customers, and when we do people tend to
    wear shirts that have actual buttons, but that's still voluntary.

    I walk around in my sox sometimes. Ties are not allowed on site.

    Engineers and programmers tend to not be morning people, whereas the
    production people do.

  4. krw

    krw Guest

    That's what it was like most of my career. I last wore a suit or tie
    in about '76 when the AC unit failed in the main plant (we were a
    couple of miles away). The dress code was relaxed and I never went
    back. ;-)

    Before that, the dress code was suit and tie. Even (especially)
    service techs had to wear blue shirts and suits. Since then the
    dress code went from "business dress" to "casual Fridays" to
    "business casual", to jeans/shorts/t's, some pretty ratty. I never
    went beyond long sleeved shirts and slacks (no different on
    weekends). Most of the women dressed better though.
    I don't know how typical it is, but there is little reason for an EE
    working in the back room to dress to the nines. Some cultures are
    different though.
    Interviewers are typically management (or HR types) and a bit more
    "tight". They have to make it look good for their bosses. Galley
    slaves don't often wear tuxes. ;-)

  5. Nothing wrong with that. Send something to production at the end of
    your day and have the prototype waiting when you get in, the following
    afternoon. ;-)

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  6. The crucial rule is this: Never work for any company that draws too fine
    a line between the casual dress days and the clothing optional ones.

    Many thanks,

    Don Lancaster voice phone: (928)428-4073
    Synergetics 3860 West First Street Box 809 Thatcher, AZ 85552
    rss: email:

    Please visit my GURU's LAIR web site at
  7. krw

    krw Guest

    I had a newly minted EE working for me a few years back. He never
    came in before 10:00 (usually noon), which pissed off the boss plenty
    (department meetings tended to be at 9:00AM). He was still there at
    midnight though. It worked out very well for exactly the reason you
    give; he was building a system simulator for the widget I was
    building. In the evening he would extend the simulator and leave a
    list of "issues" that cropped up between the simulator and real
    hardware and I'd work through them the next morning. In the
    afternoon we went through them to make sure we agreed on the problem
    and the fix.

    One Friday afternoon, about 5:00 the boss was there when the
    inevitable call came in from the system test floor (they never got
    around to us until Fridays). I told Doug, "handle it, I've got a
    beer waiting for me". The boss said "Now I know why you've been
    defending Doug!". Well, yeah! ;-) In reality, it worked quite
    well. With only one set of hardware we had two shifts of work being
    done. We also had two shifts of coverage, in case there were
    problems in systems test or manufacturing.

    If at all possible, flexible schedules work out for everyone.
  8. krw

    krw Guest

    Hmm, in 32 years, we never had a "clothing optional" day, quite
  9. Bruce Varley

    Bruce Varley Guest

    Yes, these days it's fairly typical. However, don't confuse casual with
    slack. You're always being watched in terms of the things that matter, like
    being around when it's needed even if you have to stretch things a bit,
    hanging in when the going gets tough, keeping your head under pressure,
    representing your employer in a consistent manner, being keen to learn. The
    things that will determine how your career goes aren't the stuff they write
    on your annual assessment, but the quality of the professional relationships
    you build with the people around you.
  10. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    In one company, I worked 1/4 of the time from home.
    I'd start around 10am to 11am and work until it wasn't fun anymore.
    That would be anywhere between 3pm to 11pm.
    If I'm on a roll, I keep going.. I'd have pizza sent to the office.
    If I'm getting beat up on a problem and little progress is
    happened..I'd go kayaking.

    ......There was alot of kayaking :)
    D from BC
  11. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    It's not that unusual but then again you'll find employers who want their staff
    to wear suits and be in on the dot at 9 am too.

  12. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Reminds me of a company in Cambridge I worked for. That's a long drive for me so
    I'd come in late (say 11:00) to avoid the 'rush -hour' traffic that could easily
    added an hour of more to my daily commute of nearly 100 miles.

    I normally left about 7:00 but stayed on late when it got busy. I noticed I got
    a lot more work done usually after 6:00 when ppl cleared off simply because it
    was quiet and there were no distractions.

  13. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    That's very important.

  14. That is the norm here in Australia.
    I can even work from home via VPN if I want.
    A lot of people at my company walk around bare feet!
    The majority of companies will try to appear as formal as possible
    during an interview, so it's hard to get a feel for the place from
    just the interview.
    After you work in a place for a few weeks you'll find that most things
    are pretty flexible.

  15. For software dev I take it? Can't do that with hardware, it was brought up
    some time back, and while the cost of freight back and forth is doable.
    However, the cost of duplicating test equipment was prohibitive.
    I did that for a bit, but were kept being reminded of the OH&S issues.
    You can get an idea from the walk around, perhaps be a bit ballsey and talk
    to people. The general "aura" of how people are will give you an idea of what
    it's like. If they're ALL grumpy, there's a reason for it. A reason you
    probably don't want to find out.
    It depends, I've worked in some places where the start/stop times are fixed
    and inflexible. And likewise in other places where they are flexible. But
    you can't give a general "this is the way it is", you really don't know what a
    place is going to be like till you ask.
  16. Yeah, and PCB design, firmware and other general day-to-day stuff,
    although my single CRT at home isn't quite as good as the 30"+2x20"
    LCD monitors at work.
    And work has free food too, all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch, and
    Hardware is easy too if you can just carry it and any required test
    gear home with you. Although I've worked on stuff where the hardware
    product is 150m long, so that's kinda hard to fit in my workshop at
    home =:->
    I hate it when some companies don't take you for a walk-around, even
    when asked, the alarm bells start ringing then.
    Or take a risk and work there...
    I know companies that just blatantly lie in interviews too, they
    happily tell you want you want to hear. So it's often better not to
    lead them on with direct questions like "Do you have flexible hours?"

  17. It depends.

    1. From the business standpoint, it is obviously more convenient for the
    company to have you at work from 7 till 5 and wearing the appropriate dress.
    Thus you should consider the casual dress and flexible hours as a form of a
    benefit. But nobody gives benefits for free. So, if they allow you something
    like that, they are planning to make you work hard for it, and the other
    benefits and rewards are likely to be smaller.

    2. There are formal rules, and there are the informal rules also. What is
    allowed to the senior engineer is not tolerable from the freshman right from
    the college.

    3. The important thing for making the career is the old good ass licking.
    That means you have to be at work earlier then the boss, and you can go home
    only after the boss. It doesn't matter if John Larkin is walking around the
    office naked wearing only socks, your dress should be always neat and clean.

    Vladimir Vassilevsky
    DSP and Mixed signal Consultant
  18. krw

    krw Guest

    An enlightened company will understand that ceding some "authority"
    to the employee improves both productivity and production. One will
    voluntarily work harder if it's made more enjoyable. They have
    understood that even paid vacations are a positive, for both the
    employee and employer. Some even have concierge services for
    employees to lighten the "personal" load so they can concentrate on
    the business workload.
    ....and verse visa. Often the "senior engineers" are more political
    and meet with executives and customers, while the more junior
    engineers work unseen in the "back room".
    Need & clean <> "ass licking". No one should go outside their home
    dirty and looking like a slob.
  19. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    What's convenient about 7am ?
    Since when was a suit and tie for example appropriate for any form of
    engineering ?

  20. krw

    krw Guest

    Engineering Sales?
    Engineering Management?
    Likely structural engineering.
    ....anywhere you're in constant contact with customers.

    Definitely social engineering (AKA politics). ;-)
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