Many companies push their employees for overtime believing that they receive the benefit of more productive time from employees for the same payment. This is especially true in IT and Software Development
Overtime is sometimes necessary if a misjudgment was made on the amount of work required on part of a project, but working hours of overtime almost every day and on weekends, is BAD
This principle is also enforced by AGILE software development methodology. The reason for that is
- Overtime inhibits creativity. When people are pressed for deadlines all the time, they only focus on solving problems, and creative solutions become negated. This usually has a negative impact on the staff and the organization because staff becomes demotivated. Software developers need to be creative and that takes time…
- People become tired, physically, emotionally and spiritually, and because a lot of work is precision-based, being tired causes mistakes to creep in. When mistakes creep in, they need to be corrected, but there is no time due to pressed deadlines, which leads to poor products and more mistakes. This, of course, has a horrible snowball effect
- People tend to become very demotivated when they feel forced into being somewhere and they would rather be somewhere else, like with their families
All the above scenarios demotivate the organizations most valuable assets, its Human Resources. Demotivated employees are expensive, because they resign and this leads to new recruitment, training and motivation costs which could have been avoided from the beginning. This negatively impacts the organizations' bottom line
A balanced work and family life, produces amazing fruits in the success of teams and organizations. http://www.sabinet.co.za is a prime example of this. One of their core values is a balanced work and family life. The following web site is a result of giving employees freedom in their own time http://www.jqueryuservalidateinput.com
Deadlines are necessary. No organization can function without clear achievable goals, but meeting deadlines within work time is the key. If deadlines cannot be met in work time, an over commitment has occurred due to unrealistic expectations and this leads to disappointing results because these commitments are seldom met. Disappointing results lead to frustrated managers, share-holders and staff that feel incompetent. Staff whom feel incompetent in their work when giving their best experience no work satisfaction which again leads to demotivation and as mentioned before, demotivated employees are expensive!
But eliminating overtime is not easy, especially if it has become a part of the organization's culture. A huge mind-shift and buy-in is required from top management to change this trait throughout the organization, and most (especially older) top management is against changing the way in which things are done, because they have done it for years... Without top-management support, this "habit" will never change
Remember, an organizations’ healthy or unhealthy state flows from top to bottom, not the other way around
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