Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

What is a reasonable amount of time to spend at work...

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What is a reasonable amount of time to spend at work...

    I recently got hit with a slew of new projects, and my boss told me that I shouldn't expect to leave the office before 9:00 PM for at least the next 6 months...

    Is this reasonable to expect from an employee? I guess that the reason that I am posting this here is just to get a temperature check from others. It seems that in this situation, w/GTD already implemented and working to the hilt of my capacity, I don't know how I'm going to use GTD to help manage this...

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Well GTD cannot help you to do the work of two people in less time. If you are operating as efficiently as possible and it will take you until 9:00pm to get the job done then it will simply take that long.

    Seems like a not so great workplace that would impose this sort of requirement on an employee for such an extended duration. Maybe it is a big project that will benefit the company and you greatly...

    Reminds me of a phenomenon I have noticed. Basically the more work I get done the more work I get. Sure I get some recognition and advancement too. The question you have to ask yourself is why did you get this/these assignments in the first place and is it worth it to you?

    Comment


    • #3
      It would depend

      I'm probably in the minority, but I would bristle at that statement.

      If it were me, I would consider a few things.

      First, how much do I like the job? If I am unhappy, this is going to make me more so. If I am doing work that I am passionate about, I'm probably staying late every day anyway, because I can't walk away.

      Second, the mercenary aspect. How much are they paying me? Am I going to get overtime? Comp Time? I know it could sound petty, but my time is worth something, and if I'm going to work 60+ hour weeks, I expect to be compensated.

      Third, do I have anything else to do? Family and friends and working out are all things that keep me sane. If I have to work late, I'll see less of the first two and do less of the third. In my case, I have a new daughter, and it's hard enough to go to work, much less stay late. In my book, raising my children is why I'm here, and my career is how I pay for it.

      So, I guess that I would probably have to think about these issues before I blindly said "sure" to my boss.

      --Ecg

      P.S. I would also consider whether I could get another job before I turned him down. : )

      Comment


      • #4
        If you work twelve hours a day, you're productivity will probably suffer. I wouldn't do it. But that's because I've done it before, and I know how bad it is!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies everyone!

          What would be a good way to approach my boss about the unreasonableness of the hours w/o committing corporate suicide?

          Comment


          • #6
            Changing the job requirements - upping your hours that much - is not a good idea for him to do, legally. If you object and get fired, or if you quit because it is unreasonable, it is still "constructive dismissal" and you are entitled to the same compensation you would be if he walked into your office one day and dismissed you without notice or cause. (I am not a lawyer, talk to whoever is in charge of regulating employee rights and work conditions where you live.)

            That said, I would approach him and advise that you simply cannot put in those kinds of hours without jeopardizing your health. You are no good to the company if you are sick in bed because you have wrecked your immune system or if you suffer a nervous breakdown. Suggest that you need some help, either within the existing corporate structure, from a temp, a student, etc.

            Pam

            Comment


            • #7
              Exactly

              Pam beat me to it!

              I was going to suggest a temp or an intern to help with the project.

              I read an interesting article here: http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op...20opethics.xml about what an employee owes his employer.

              Really made me think about loyalty, up and down.

              Take care, and get some sleep!

              --Ecg

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: It would depend

                Originally posted by Ecgtheow

                First, how much do I like the job? If I am unhappy, this is going to make me more so. If I am doing work that I am passionate about, I'm probably staying late every day anyway, because I can't walk away.
                It's not great. The field is in my chosen profession, however, I'm actively persuing a degree that will enable me to change careers.

                Second, the mercenary aspect. How much are they paying me? Am I going to get overtime? Comp Time? I know it could sound petty, but my time is worth something, and if I'm going to work 60+ hour weeks, I expect to be compensated.
                Well, no. In my mind, if they doubled my salary it woudn't be worth what I would be required to sacrafice. Besides, I already know what their respons will be - "you should do it because it's your job; you'll have to show us that you are committed before we'll give you a raise, advance, etc.

                Third, do I have anything else to do? Family and friends and working out are all things that keep me sane. If I have to work late, I'll see less of the first two and do less of the third. In my case, I have a new daughter, and it's hard enough to go to work, much less stay late. In my book, raising my children is why I'm here, and my career is how I pay for it.
                I'm in the same boat. I like to do all of those things, and I have a child on the way. I've already given up working out, or I've been getting up at 5:30am to do it. My commute is about 1 hour or so, so that has to be taken into consideration.

                It's funny, though - this seems to be the norm in Corporate America. When I look around, there are plenty of people who are already doing this, and it seems like I'm in the minority for wanting a life outside of the job.

                I've been in this job 6 months, and it wasn't like this in the beginning. I'd hate to think about leaving after being here such a short time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm a small business employer and alot of the projects that I do require sporadic long hours from my employees. I would not in my wildest imagination ever ever consider telling an employee that he will have to work till 9:00 pm everynight for 6 months: that is too many hours, simply put. After 8 hours or even less, everyone's productivity takes a nosedive and it is pointless to work longer except at routine and necessary "little" tasks.
                  I never ask for more than 5 day stretches 12 to 14 hour days and I usually work it so that there is 2 days off afterwards in which I cover the employee so he can recouperate. No only that, but anyone that works long hours gets paid for them in full.

                  You "big" corporation employees out there are sometimes getting screwed, to put it bluntly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Anonymous
                    No only that, but anyone that works long hours gets paid for them in full.

                    You "big" corporation employees out there are sometimes getting screwed, to put it bluntly.
                    Yeah, unfortunately I'm salary, so I get paid the same whether I work 40 hours or 60 hours... I can only hope for a bonus (supposed to compensate for extra hours), but that depends on how well the company does.

                    I seriously want to change careers...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What kind of job-are you trying to prevent a world crisis or

                      What are you doing so important that you have to work so much each day? Or am I spoiled.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's an interesting question...

                        Well, I don't necessarily think that it's as much a matter of importance as it is of volume. I just think that there is so much work that needs to be done and not enough bodies to do it.

                        There are several factors as I see it:

                        1). My boss is a certifiable workaholic
                        2). My co. has a standing Hiring Freeze in place right now
                        3). Monkey Business (goes as follows):

                        Start with a cage containing five monkeys. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. After awhile, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result. Pretty soon, when any monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
                        Now, turn off the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Again, replace a third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

                        After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs. Why not? Because that's the way it's always been around here. And that's how company policy begins...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Monkey business in reverse

                          Your monkey analogy can work in reverse too. I call it "lead from behind". If you are a decent employee (which it sounds like you are), I recommend that you go out on a limb and tell your boss no. tell him that once in a while until 9:00 is OK for a big project or an urgent deadline. Make it clear, however, that you have othet things in life that are at least as important as work and you don't intend to neglect those. Unless the boss is a real wacko, he won't take any action against you for this (if he does, the job isn't worth a spit anyway). He may even respect you more.

                          It will be difficult to leave each night as your coworkers (aka monkeys) are still there, but in time it gets easier. Over time, your coworkers will begin to reevaluate their work habits and life and will start to follow your lead. Who knows, even the boss may one day (though I wouldn't count on this).

                          I have done this where I work which is also a place populated by workaholics and it does work. At the very least, MY life is more in balance.

                          Hope this helps.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Perhaps agree to that schedule with the caveat that your boss must read and then enact the GTD system.

                            I bet you will find that the number of hours will shrink drastically.

                            Dave

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks guys.

                              Tom, your idea makes a lot of sense. I guess the tough part is working up to courage to say "no".

                              For what it's worth, my boss is a full-blown workaholic. I recently read an article (I think that it was yesterday) in the WSJ about this, and it detaild all of the symptoms. I think that my boss exhibits each one of them.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X