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  1. #26
    SitePoint Evangelist dev_cw's Avatar
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    I used to work in the extremely competitive environment of an ad agency type company. Here it was expected that you would stay as long as it takes for no extra compensation and still arrive the next day on time. Due to the fierce competition in-house everyone would break their backs to be there at 8am no matter how late we worked the night before (which often went into the am hours as well). This is just the way the entire advertising industry is (and all the spin off industries as well). The mentality is that if you are not willing to put in the time then you don't want it enough. This starts with your internship and will go until you reach exec level. After many years of that you can understand why I am self employed now.

    In some cases a web development firm is modeled on ad agencies and they adopt this mentality. If you don't want it enough some one else who does will take your place or beet you to promotions. There are many industries that go this way, one that I can think of off the top of my head is medical residents who have 48 hour shifts...what benefit does a 48 hour shift have in teaching a doctor how to be a good doctor? But the mentality is that if you can't handle it then you don't have what it takes. Another industry like this is law, starting lawyers are expected to work extremely long hours without compensation. It is an old school way of thinking but it is still very present in todays world.
    "You can just hang outside in the sun all day tossing a ball around...
    Or you can sit at your computer and do something that matters."
    - Cartman

  2. #27
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    I think there are those that allows on a project basis and on straight 8 hours work. If you commit to an 8 hours work then you can not imagine the company willing to pay 8 hours for a 6 hours work. So I guess if you finish your work early then maybe you can just make yourself busy start work with another project. If you show performance and good output then maybe you will get a raise. But I am sure about the offsetting of work hours. Maybe that is company policy. If that is policy we can't do much about that then.

  3. #28
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    u boss has write ...

    if u were in his possition i guess u would the same... clearly ill made the same way ... in fact he pays u per hour write?

  4. #29
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    Just a point for those who are working overtime without compensation (in the US): If the business conducts any interstate trade (such as buying from or selling to any business or person in another state) you fall under federal labor laws. Unless your job is specifically listed as "exempt" by the federal statute, it is illegal for your employer to fail to compensate you for your overtime, and they are liable for any and all back-pay.

    "Overtime" is considered more than 40 hours in a week (more than 80 hours in two weeks for certain specified professions). Any hours worked over that must be compensated either with money or "comp time" at 1.5 times the normal rate. This is not just for hourly employees. It also applies to persons who are paid by the week or month.

    I went through this with an employer several years back. I got a fair chunk of back-pay based on the fact that I worked 50+ hrs/week but paid on a "per week" basis--which is legally mandated at 40 hrs.

    Each state also has regulations on what is and is not allowed regarding work hours, pay, break times, etc.

    Don't just sit and complain about it, go look up the laws. Make the company aware of them. A lot of people fought very hard to establish federal labor laws (many died in the "crackdowns" and labor riots). Just because you're mining data instead of coal doesn't mean you should allow yourself to be abused by your employer.

    US Department of Labor
    Wage law
    M Blaze Miskulin
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  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Very good point BlazeMiskulin, and something a lot of people don't seem to be aware of.

  6. #31
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    If I am the owner, I won't mind really the hours spent on work, but the output is much more relevant.
    Alex Dombroff

  7. #32
    SitePoint Enthusiast pinkyslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg-J View Post
    I agree whole-heartedly.

    I generally have 1 to 3 developers working for me at any given time. I present a project to them and tell them what the deadline is and the pay. If they take it, I expect it to be done ahead of schedule. With the exception of one employee, it always is. I don't care how much or how little they work. I don't care what times they work. Just as long as they are available when I ask them to be and the work is quality and produce on time.

    If you're assigned tasks and you complete these tasks ahead of schedule, you should be paid more or work less. Being efficient should be a reward, not an inconvenience.
    well put. i operate the same way!

  8. #33
    SitePoint Addict bwdow's Avatar
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    If you don't force your programmers to work in certain hours they just : "don't work". I didn't see so much programmer who has responsibility.

  9. #34
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    I'm a web developer for an insurance company. I work 40 hours a week and get an hour paid lunch a day, so i basically work 35 hours a week. Its a salaried position. If i have to leave early or come in late, theres no issues or problems; I'm not required to makeup that missed time. I guarantee i work harder, better and more productively in this kind of environment.

    Having good employee moral and motivation is so much more important than making sure he/she gets in exactly 40 hours a week etc... thats my opinion.
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  10. #35
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwdow View Post
    If you don't force your programmers to work in certain hours they just : "don't work". I didn't see so much programmer who has responsibility.
    Hire more motivated people.

  11. #36
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    I hate that kind of job... where every minute counts and being 10 minutes late is a big deal. I've done that and never got anything productive done in the first or last hours of the day. I can't work right in the early morning, and unless the problem is interesting, I'm not going to be writing much code after 6 hours at it.

    Microsoft was my kind of job, if I had to work again, that is. On the first day I asked my boss about hours, and he said there were none, just that people in our team tended to be around most between 10 and 4 so those are the hours to be around if we were really huddling to get an important project done. I woke up around 10 and got in around 11 most every day that job... sometimes I'd work at night or from home instead (working in the office at 3AM is fun!).

    I stayed as many hours as it took to get a good portion of work done, usually 6-7 with a lunch break. I got a lot done working on my schedule, more than I would if I were forced to be in at 9AM surfing the net til I really woke up, and my former boss still writes me great recommendations.

  12. #37
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    Thank god I'm not being paid hundreds of dollars yearly!

    Quote Originally Posted by cranial-bore View Post
    If I'm paying you hundreds of dollars a year, I want as much return as possible for that.
    As for the topic, here's my 2 cents.

    I worked at a place that had semi-loose restrictions. Basically, they would anounce "80 hours no matter what" and over the course of 6 months, people would start slacking and leaving early until the next announcement.

    I noticed that specific people always started to leave early. These people were good. They finished their work and were always on top of stuff. But 2 things happened.

    1) When bad stuff happened at 4:45pm (murphy's tech time), they were nowhere to be found.

    2) Other workers were pissed. Regardless of how well that employee performed.

    So I came to realize it's not a money issue. It's a 'fairness' issue. What makes that developer better than me? Why can he leave early and I can't? Laying down official hours like that is a way of preventing this mentality from taking over the office.

  13. #38
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post
    So I came to realize it's not a money issue. It's a 'fairness' issue. What makes that developer better than me? Why can he leave early and I can't? Laying down official hours like that is a way of preventing this mentality from taking over the office.
    Or they could fire those people and hire more of the workers that got stuff done and were on top of their work. They're the type to not mind being called in if there's a problem in exchange for flexible hours.

  14. #39
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Blaze... is quite correct about the hourly wage and overtime issues. I had to research that on my own when I was managing a team of commission employees (in a past life)... The actual company had no reference materials and upon on some reflection, I found that their scheduling practices were against labour laws. I recommend anyone who manages a team make certain that the employees & contractors are treated fairly and within the labour laws.


    Another thought I have on this was brought to my attention by a friend who owns a technical repair shop. He has 6 techs on staff and they have drop-off & pickup on Tuesdays.

    He told his team that he doesn't care when it gets done as long as when the truck comes by for pickup, all of the repairs are complete, packed, documented and ready to go.

    His employees usually work Mon - Fri 8 to 5 but sometimes a guy doesn't feel well so he'll take the rest of the day off or come in late. The owner doesn't sweat it because he know that the work will be done for pickup on Tuesday.... And it always is!
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
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  15. #40
    SitePoint Zealot chrisdpucci's Avatar
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    I guess I am very fortunate in the fact that I work with a great bunch of guys who all understand what it truly is to be a developer. That is from CEO down. We work on "flex time" and as long as we are generally in office and available between the hours of 9am and 4pm we can do pretty much what we want. I can come in at 7:30am or 8:55am and it makes no difference to anyone.

    I really think that in the technology world this type of attitude and work enviroment is so much more rewarding and really should be the norm. I was self employeed for many years before coming here and if it was a job like the one you describe, (OP), I wouldn't stay for more than a day.

    Keep your head up and put yourself out there. Not every company is like the one you work for and you'll never find a better job unless you try.

  16. #41
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post
    So I came to realize it's not a money issue. It's a 'fairness' issue. What makes that developer better than me? Why can he leave early and I can't? Laying down official hours like that is a way of preventing this mentality from taking over the office.
    Preferential treatment is only unfair when it's undeserved. You said the developers leaving early were among the best and most productive in the company, there's no fairness issue here.

  17. #42
    SitePoint Addict BlazeMiskulin's Avatar
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    From the "9 to 5 is correct" perspective:

    If you work in an environment where there is any sort of interaction between employees during the course of a project, it just makes sense to put all the people in the same place at the same time. It facilitates communication and collaboration.

    As a programmer, your work ties in directly with several other areas (design, testing, marketing, etc.) If you're working from midnight to 5am, you may be meeting all the goals and deadlines, but what happens when another part of the team has a question or finds a bug that needs to be answered before they can proceed? They're dead in the water until the next morning, whereas if you're all working the same hours, it could be fixed in 10 minutes. That could mean an entire day of productivity lost--by the entire team.

    Or.. You come in at 9 like everyone else, but you're done with all the work you can do by 2. Why stick around? Because the project manager may come over at 3 and say "I need this new thing done before the rest of the team can continue with their work." If you're gone, the entire team loses 2 hours of productivity.

    It's not just a matter of "This is the way it's always been done, so we must do it, too." There are valid reasons to make sure that all members of a team are in the same place at the same time.
    Last edited by BlazeMiskulin; Apr 11, 2008 at 04:23. Reason: fixed typo
    M Blaze Miskulin
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  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard
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    In regards to what BlazeMiskulin said, I think that is the mentality that most employers have. However, there are other ways of accomplishing this.

    My step-dad works for a company that handles large corporation networking systems (databases, servers, etc.). He rarely goes into the office though. Instead, he's basically on call all the time. He does most of his work on his own schedule, from home, and they have conference calls and the like. If someone needs something from him though, they give him a call and he handles whatever it is as soon as he can.

    So, just because you aren't working 9-5 in an office doesn't mean you can't be productive and there when others need you.

  19. #44
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazeMiskulin View Post
    Or.. You come in at 9 like everyone else, but you're done with all the work you can do by 2. Why stick around? Because the project manager may come over at 3 and say "I need this new thing done before the rest of the team can continue with their work." If you're gone, the entire team loses 2 hours of productivity.
    Give the employee a laptop or some kind of access from their home computer. Give them a mobile phone. Trust them to respond when needed. Don't waste their time and they won't waste yours.

  20. #45
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Yes. That's the biggest problem with the 9-5 routine... lots of wasted time. I work at regular times throughout the week and have to open every single day. That means that I'm not in the right mind to be able to program for at least an hour after I get to work since I'm getting up so early. I don't work 5-9, but only 3-4 hours at a time (only 20 hours a week).

    That means, by the time I'm in the right mindset to program properly, I only have a maximum of 2-3 hours to do it in. 30 minutes of that is often spent remembering where I was the day before, and the last 30 minutes or an hour are very unproductive because I have other things to do before I leave for the day. That means that on average I only have about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to program a day.

    If I was able to program from home on my own schedule, I would be able to meet deadlines so much quicker and get a lot more work done.

  21. #46
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    I don't know the situation in Saudi Arabia, but in the UK they have these things called employment contracts.

    The contract generally says you will work for a certain number of hours each day. You really don't want to re-write the contract to describe the tasks you will achieve each day, do you? You would probably waste more than an hour each day re-writing the contract to keep it up to date.

    Smaller employers can generally be more flexible. In a large organisation, flexibility is a nightmare to manage.

    I used to work for a large organisation that did flexi-time: you had to work your hours, but it was averaged out over the month. That was a good compromise.
    Paul Hazelden
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    (www.crisis-centre.org.uk)

  22. #47
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    I think it comes down to the type of business, some people will pay you per hour, others per job. If you want a monthly salary that will be based on an annual income then they will pay by the hour. Otherwise you could have a lot one month and then a month wherre you only get a couple of hundred a month e.g. over Christmas?!

  23. #48
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    Unfortunately this kind of like a standard protocol. Employment means trading hours for money. Freelance means trading skills for money. Business ownership means leveraging employees and freelancers for own gain. In the end, business owner wins. So just strive to be a business owner someday. For now, gotta kiss their *** then kick them when you already have enough funds

  24. #49
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulHaz View Post
    ....Smaller employers can generally be more flexible. In a large organisation, flexibility is a nightmare to manage.
    ...
    Yes smaller companies probably have an easier time with this. I know a fellow who works for a little company. Now what's their name? Oh right IBM. Now he lives off in the country and does everything via, web, telephone or other virtual means. It seems to work out well for all involved.

    Really, I think that the bottom line is that if the employees are motivated and the business owner is clever enough to think out of the box a more effective working schedule/environment can be worked out. This might not work for everyone and that should be ok as well. They can work 9 to 5 but it's always been my experience that top performers perform better in a more flexible environment.

    In my experience 9 to 5 is easy to schedule but not always the most efficient use of time. Sometimes 6 til 2 is better at other times 11 to 7 or split shifts work out better. It just seems we have a 9 to 5 mentality. I used to have employees that wanted to work 4 days on 4 days off with 12 hour shifts for the on days but due to corporate mandates we couldn't pull it off. If we could have, I'll bet me dept would have been the most effective and motivated group in the company.

    My two cents
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  25. #50
    SitePoint Wizard
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    This is completely sad and completely true in the real world!

    For example:
    There's a group of developers who spend weeks to complete 1 task. I in the other hand, completed several tasks by myself and makes it seem super easy. On weekly status meeting, I usually say "I'm done" or "In progress" and that's that. However, for the other "group", they drag on and on about the same issue they had "weeks" ago. Still, in my manager's point of view..they seem to make it as if they did more work than I did. Once they completed the task, my manager would throw handful of comfetti and say "Great Job!".... in the other hand I just say "I'm done"...w/ no compliments as usual. Part of the reason why I seemed to feel "guilty" of leaving the work early is that.. I genuinely think they work 8 hrs to resolve the issue while I'm goofing off cuz I'm done w/ my work. Still, I come to work 30 min late and leave 10-15 min early..every single day!! also, I do my grocery shopping during lunch time too..along w/ 1-2 hour lunch.


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