Having a healthy work-life balance is important for everyone. It can be hard to resist the urge to send just one more email or make one more phone call, but when the clock strikes 5 on a Friday afternoon, it’s time to pack up your laptop and say goodbye to the office. Our jobs should not dictate our lives, and for the sake of our mental health and personal lives, we must set boundaries. 

Recently, however, one employee was shamed by their manager for having the audacity to try to stop working… After his work hours were finished. Below, you can read the full story that was shared on the Antiwork subreddit, as well as an interview we were lucky enough to receive from the employee, and then let us know in the comments how you would have responded to this manager’s unreasonable expectations. Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article featuring a questionable boss, we recommend checking out this story next.  

This employee recently shared online how his manager had unrealistic expectations for his working hours

Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual photo)

After sharing the original post, he continued to update readers on the situation

The manager continued trying to defend herself, but the employee was not having it

Image credits: MART PRODUCTION (not the actual photo)

Finally, the dramatic saga came to a close

Credits: Porongas1993

We reached out to the employee in the story, Porongas1993 on Reddit, to hear if this was the first time he had been expected to work longer hours at this job. “It’s not the first time it’s been expected, but it definitely was the first time where it was not communicated to me,” he told Bored Panda. “It was also the first time it happened with this new manager, so it probably has something to do with that.” We also asked how he felt about management at his work and if this situation changed his opinion on the company. “Ever since this new manager started working here, everything has felt micromanaged and none of us like it,” he shared. “But it didn’t change my view of the company.”

We also asked if he believes his job allows him to maintain a healthy work-life balance. “I would say for the most part it does provide a good balance. Being in IT, we sometimes have to sacrifice though,” he admitted. Lastly, he added, “One thing I told people is that it’s not necessarily that I am opposed to working after hours. I understand my field sometimes requires it. But I would at least like the courtesy of communication and to be properly compensated for it.”

And that is exactly the point: managers owe their employees respect, and they must be up front with communication and pay their employees accordingly. In the United States, for example, employers can ask workers to put in more than their scheduled hours, as the Fair Labor Standards Act does not technically put any limits on the amount of hours employees can work per week. But they have to compensate workers appropriately. If an employee works over 40 hours in one week, they are entitled to overtime pay for all of that excess time. Of course, if a meeting runs 15 minutes past, it would not make a huge difference. But the crux of the issue is that companies need to be stringent about their rules. If they expect employees to work over their hours here and there, it can really add up. And I’m sure this manager would not be thrilled with employees showing up 15 minutes late in the mornings to make up for that time either.

Thankfully, the author of this post did end up working everything out with their employer, and I hope it is safe to assume that this manager learned their lesson, but this issue should have never arisen in the first place. It’s time for employers to stop acting entitled to their staff’s entire lives and start respecting their time and boundaries. Have you ever had to deal with a manager like this? We would love to get your thoughts on this situation in the comments, and if you have any similar stories to share with your fellow pandas, feel free to drop them down below. 

Readers have weighed in criticizing the manager and the toxic expectations that many work environments have