Getting away with these hours sometimes used to require a certain amount of guile (B, B and H were all early birds and not huge siesta devotees) but, generally, I've found that the ad industry is reasonably relaxed about your hours, provided you put them in.
The new frontier for flexibility, however, isn't any longer just about flexibility of time. It is also about flexibility of place. Not just when you put your hours in, but also where. This has many upsides in many ways, especially for new parents, but I also think it potentially has some unexpected downsides.
I was at a family do the other day that included a number of my son's peer group in their early twenties. I was surprised to find that several of them, who had quite impressive-sounding corporate jobs, hardly ever went to the office. Instead, they were expected to work remotely from home. Did they enjoy it, I asked. Not remotely. In fact, they looked on quite enviously at the people in their companies who could command an office job.
It may seem a surprise that working in an office now seems aspirational, given how many grudging things are said and written about the place. Not least in the withering satire of The Office. The ad industry, too, has its own habit of disparaging our humble work abode, often advocating a more "hot-desked" future and new shape-shifting business models. Indeed, I remember an ad from BT (which, quite understandably, has a stake in a remote world) confidently predicting the end of the office altogether. And yet the skyline only seems to see more and more office blocks going up.
So why does the office stubbornly persist as our preferred work forum given the many valid alternatives that now exist? Why do these alternatives remain complementary rather than substitutional? There are a thousand answers. But two of them reside in Daniel Pink's brilliant study on human motivation at work, which he distils into three key components: autonomy, mastery, purpose.