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  • #2258760

    Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?


    by beth blakely ·

    I got a press release by email this morning from the Info-Tech Research Group. ( The London-Ontario based group did an onsite survey that asked respondents to define “if they feel no obligation, somewhat obligated, obligated or absolutely obligated to be available to their employer virtually 24/7.”

    “A whopping 81 percent of employees feel obligated ? at least to some degree ? to be available to their employers 24/7. Only 19 per cent of respondents said they feel no obligation whatsoever to be available for work all the time.”

    I have to think that people feel this way for one of two reasons:

    A. They’re a “Type A” personality and just can’t let go, or,
    B. Their employers are perpetuating this standard in some way.

    Do you feel this way? Or more to the point, are you made to feel this way by your employer? If so, what are the tactics/subtle pressure used to encourage 24/7-work-mode?

    As a manager, do you encourage your reports to keep in constant contact with the office? If not, how do you ensure that your employees don’t get “burnout”?

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  • Author
    • #3214634

      yes, but…

      by waity85 ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I also work for a 24×7 shop so its kind of expected. However we cover 24×7 on a pro rota basis and I do to some degree try to stay accessible when I’m off-call, ‘just in case’.

    • #3214630

      Want my honest opinion

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      Many people who want to be in 24/7 contact haven’t learned to plan. They would rather do things on the fly and off the cuff. That goes both for certain managers and for certain employees.

      I DO NOT want all employees to be available 24/7. I have some who are widely available and frankly I wonder about burnout and the impact on productivity. I insist that if we have a pager, oen person carries for a week, and that one person should not use the others unless its an emergency. We rotate pagers,we all have cells.

      I encourage my employees to make good decisions. Its rare that they can’t make a decision on their own and require my input after hours. They know my preferences and attitude, thats all they need. I trust they will do the right thing.

      I expect employees to manage their own time. I track their overtime, but don’t usually question it or micromanage it. If I see someone working excessive OT on an ongoing basis we will talk.


      • #3276831

        24×7 requirement

        by mpasaa ·

        In reply to Want my honest opinion

        Personally, I don’t like the concept of making people feel that they have to be available at all hours of the day & night.

        Yes, in IT things stop working at any hour but that is where a company should determine how this is best handled. Once in a while is expected and everyone IT agrees to that I think. This attitude becomes a problem when it is a daily/weekly expectation and for things that are not necessarily mission critical.

        If the environment is truly 24×7 (and I question that assumption in many cases) then companies need to spend the money on fully redundant systems. It is irresponsible to implement critical systems with no fault tolerance these days. Clustering, Load balancing duplicate hardware, multiple data paths in/out of company, etc. are available for a reason–use these technologies instead of relying on someone to be available who may or may not be at any given moment.

        Also, if there is truly that much to do after hours, on weekends, and any other oddball time then perhaps those companies need to hire a night shift person specifically to do those tasks that are not possible during business hours (or restructure their IT and create a shift-work atmosphere)?

        Food for thought…later

        • #3276762

          Very well put!

          by server queen ·

          In reply to 24×7 requirement

          Emphatic agreement on all points!

        • #3276668

          I agree totally mpasaa

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to 24×7 requirement

          Well written

        • #3209642
          Avatar photo

          While I totally agree

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to 24×7 requirement

          Unfortunately people are cheaper than Redundant Hardware and Lines.

          It’s far easier to pull in people that it is to implement redundant architecture and have several different methods of communication when one goes down.

          Management looks at it this way I can pay $X for the proper hardware configuration or I can pay $X – $Y and have my employees on constant call with out extra cost. Of course it is Accountants who run these companies and they always manage to stuff up what should be a perfectly simple system with cost cutting second rate hardware that is prone to faults and then expect their staff to keep it running.

          One place that I went into recently boasted that they had fully redundant T1 lines which all came from the same provider so when that provider had a problem all 4 T1 connections where down. To me this isn’t a form of redundancy but stupidity and they went this way because it was cheaper.


    • #3214627

      On call

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      In this line of work, we have many customers who require 24\7 support. We tackle this problem by assigning a tech to a week of ON CALL duty, running Monday to Monday. This consists of a kit of parts for those specific users and their specific equipment. The duty starts at 6PM and runs to 6AM. If the tech was called out on a particular call in the middle of the night, he is allowed to subtract that time from his daily duties, if they want. Most are dedicated and will still start at the regular 7AM start time. The weekends are the busiest and in most cases, the only time they get called out. The field techs have laptops and wireless hookups to get and clear calls without having to CALL in to the dispatch. That way we know where each one is and where they’re headed, where they’ve been. They can also check stock part inventories and even what parts other techs may have and where they are. Care must be taken that those on call are capable of dealing with the sites and the equipment at those sites. Nothings worse than having to send a tech first thing in the morning to clear a call that someone has worked all night on.

      • #3214597

        Most are dedicated…

        by beth blakely ·

        In reply to On call

        You said, “Most are dedicated and will still start at the regular 7AM start time” even if they were called out in the middle of the night. If someone chooses to subtract those hours, aren’t they then thought of as “not dedicated”? And isn’t that penalizing them via the culture you’ve created?

        Shouldn’t the management insist that the hours are subtracted to ensure that the employee isn’t too tired to drive (safety!) and not getting burned out? Surely there are enough people to handle the load. And if there aren’t, isn’t it the company’s responsibility to hire enough bodies?

        I’m not saying this is the case in your workplace, but I’ve seen this type of situation become an abusive cycle for employees.

        Or, is it a case of “we told you what to expect and we’re paying you enough to do the job?” I think if an employer is honest about the realities of long shifts, etc. then it can be a fair situation, especially if the pay is good enough.

        • #3215780

          That is the danger, we want to reward extra effort

          by royhayward ·

          In reply to Most are dedicated…

          But we also need to set expectations at an intentionally realisting level.

          I am a new manager of 7 months. Before that in my team I have been in an on-call 24/7/356 position for 5 years. Sometimes the team had more than one person, and we rotated the “hot seat” on week long terms, other times it was just me for months at a time.

          I have experienced burnout, and had to deal with it and get back in the sadle. I have watched teammates quit and move on in response to the workload and expectations. The response to that from the upper levels, say just below the “C” ring, is “Well, looks like we are getting rid of the dead wood.”

          Now that I am a manager, I am trying to make life better for my former collegues that now work for me. I can’t overcome the company culture by myself, so we have a program where one day a week, each of us on a different day, will work from home. Thus giving us a chance to see our families while they are awake. I am actively looking for other ways to off set the hours.

          In a way my team has done this to ourselves. We are the survivors of several mergers and are here still as a result of being able to out produce the other business units with fewer resouces. But we are all aware that this may have secured our jobs, but has created an expectation that can’t be met in 40 hrs a week.

          Wow, this sounds way more depressing than I feel about it. My question is, what other ways can I make life better for my guys? Any creative programs out there?

        • #3215463

          TAKE ROY’s ADVICE…

          by compootergeek ·

          In reply to That is the danger, we want to reward extra effort

          The “one day at home” rotation, is one of the best ideas I’ve heard yet. It’s a change that can occur ‘unnoticed’ to companie$ with “an unusual culture”….and it sounds like your staff appreciate you. Just by being some one that will ask “what else can I do ?”, you are a good manager, the MAIN SUPPORTER of the team! You exercise your authority well!

        • #3215737
          Avatar photo

          This depends on the company involved Beth

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Most are dedicated…

          In some of the places where I used to work it was outright exploitation of the IT Staff as they where not considered as useful to the Bottom Line.

          In other places they where considered as important so they were treated differently even as the Department Head there is only so much I could do to insulate my staff from Upper Managements inability to understand the work that is sometimes required.

          It really depends on where you are working at the time I’ve mostly worked for the OEM Suppliers so we needed to be On Call all the time not just 24/7 particularly when one of the customers bought several Millions $ worth of Hardware and it was costing them quite a lot of money in [b]Down Time[/b] About the worst time here was in January 1974 when we had flooding which wiped out most of our server rooms even in places that where not heavily flood affected. In every case the server rooms where below ground that they where all affected and in every case quite badly where we had to replace everything and work from Backup’s to get the companies up and running again. The banks where the worst as they needed the hardware working and with Water restrictions in place it was impossible to clean out the affected areas. Most of my current staff where working for me way back then and we worked hard put in a lot of overtime which none of use where ever paid for as we where all on Salaries but no matter how much you get paid when something like that happens you can never be paid enough for the work that you put in.

          As things stand now we may only get one unexpected call out per month and we plan for the worst and are happy when it doesn’t happen. Though when we hit a Nasty one the person on call is encouraged to call for help and get as much as they need at the time.

          But in answer to your question it really depends on the company involved and how much they Treasure their staff. There are currently too many companies who seem to think that a Tech is unimportant and can be replaced easily and tomorrow if necessary. These are mostly Profit Driven companies who are only interested in the Bottom Line and themselves meaning the Upper Management. Everyone else is expendable in their eyes.

          One place recently put off a salesperson because of illness which on the face of it sounds OK but they lost sales dramatically even though he may have only worked 3 days per week. The new company that he went to had major problems with him he got paid his retainer for the first month and on the second month didn’t get anything when expected he was called into a meeting with the Management and their bankers apparently he had sold so much stock that they couldn’t meat the demand and they had to take out a $ bridging loan to meat his sales for the previous 2 months. The original company who fired him because he wasn’t there was only looking at appearance time and not at his actual sales, the new company couldn’t expect the sales that he produced even with the small amount of time that he was actually working between Hospital stays. One would put him down insult his family and be unapproachable while the other couldn’t keep up with him and where thankful of the little amount of time that he was actually working as they would have gone broke with orders that they couldn’t fill if he had of been fit.

          I know that it’s not IT but the same applies and it’s a good example of how staff should not be considered as disposable by companies. Some are those who only turn up for the paycheck but those who take their job seriously are the ones that you want to keep as long as possible and make their lives as easy as possible.


        • #3214336

          It Depends…

          by rfenczik ·

          In reply to Most are dedicated…

          I’m fairly new to the IT field. I’m Network+, A+, certified. Right now, I’m willing to work long hours just to prove myself and my abilities. As well as gain the experience I need. I do however have friends that have been in the field 10+ years and yes, I do agree that they are being taken advantage of. So it depends where they are in their career. Personally, I’ve chosen the IT field because I love this type of work and as long as I’m getting paid well for what I do I have no qualms about the hours. I’m sure when I am close to retirement I’ll feel differently though.

      • #3214560

        Provide Adequate Staffing

        by wayne m. ·

        In reply to On call

        If a business makes a commitment to provide 24×7 support, then it also needs to provide adequate staff to meet this commitment.

        It is blatantly unfair for a business to say we want to provide 24×7 service, but we don’t want to pay for it. This is precisely the message when one asks employees to work their regular hours and also be prepared to give up their nights and weekends to meet business commitments.

        If a business wants to provide 24×7 services, then it should hire staff to be available on nights and weekends.

        • #3215762

          Adequate staffing not always practical

          by bg6638 ·

          In reply to Provide Adequate Staffing

          Wayne M. says: If a business wants to provide 24×7 services, then it should hire staff to be available on nights and weekends.

          I agree, but reality is that it simply is not practical. In the area of the U.S. that I’m in, if you are not willing to be available 24×7, 10+ people will be at the employer’s door the next morning on their hands and knees begging for the job……. It’s very hard to be demanding when the job market is lopsided in the favor of the employer!

        • #3213733

          Ahh – The real issue!

          by colinfromthecrypt ·

          In reply to Adequate staffing not always practical

          Business wants to do 24×7 because they can charge for it. Reasonable enough. But what gives them the right to wreck people’s lives and deny additional after hours support jobs by rolling the whole problem into one person’s duties.
          As far as people offering their sorry asses up to replace experienced IT people, I can only think that it’s just another aspect of our selfish, back-stabbing society. Why can’t workers have some sense of collective ethics and just refuse en masse to work stupid 24×7 hours? On second thoughts, don’t answer that!

        • #3232000

          Well I will

          by lindo_wvw ·

          In reply to Ahh – The real issue!

          It’s because they are lucky to have a job! What a frickin mess.

        • #3212512

          Agree entirely

          by colinfromthecrypt ·

          In reply to Well I will

          You are so right Lindo. The real tragedy is that people have to surrender their dignity, and their right to the pursuit of happiness, because of the threat of unemployment. “Resistance is futile”.
          Who was it that said, “United we stand, divided we fall”?

        • #3212506

          Answered my own question. lol

          by colinfromthecrypt ·

          In reply to Well I will

          I couldn’t resist finding out who uttered those famous words:

          George Pope Morris. (1802?1864)

          The Flag of our Union.
          A song for our banner! The watchword recall
          Which gave the Republic her station:
          ?United we stand, divided we fall!?
          It made and preserves us a nation!

          BTW, I am Australian, but the sentiments expressed by Mr. Morris are universal. (He writes some pretty stirring stuff!)

    • #3214615

      Absolutely NOT

      by maecuff ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I don’t want them to feel that way. Dear God, we all need a life.

      With that being said, if there is an issue, it must be dealt with, regardless of when it happens, but I don’t want my employees living in anticipation of that.

      The VP of HR is the opposite. He told me a while back, that I am salaried, therefore, I work for my company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I told him if that is the case, that I sleep on the job, every day.

      • #3215503

        Good for you……

        by compootergeek ·

        In reply to Absolutely NOT

        Some people have let this life in the milleum PUSH them so hard and fast, that they fail to see the difference in what it urgent versus important.

    • #3214602


      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I work evenings or overnights.
      I sleep in the daytime.

      If I was stupid enough to change that, I would wind up suicidally depressed and incapable of working at all. Any employer who wants work will pay attention to this, or lose any work they may have gotten done.

      editing to add:

      By my definition, days are the 4 letter term for excrement.

      • #3215543


        by compootergeek ·

        In reply to nope.

        You are wise beyond your years…..the longer you work, the less money you’ll actually make.
        (You’re one of those “work smart, not hard people”)

    • #3214513

      Planning for Heroics

      by rapace ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      Like many IT departments, we have a culture of heroic firefighting. In reality this means that we are bad managers but that does not _really_ matter because Hero’s get the recognition.

      At a recent IT celebration we watched awards handed out for:

      Jim when above and beyond, working all weekend on this project or that…

      Bill stayed late for weeks to make sure all the reports were rewritten…

      Afterward, in a disucssion with the CIO we were talking about how from a project management perspective we generally end up incorporating the heroic effort necessary to meet dates determined by the sales/delivery teams…

      When was the last time any IT manager out there said “Hey great job this week! You only worked 40 hours”?

      • #3215727
        Avatar photo

        That was last week for my team. :0

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Planning for Heroics

        I try to keep their working hours down to as little as possible.

        I don’t need my team so tired that they are unable to drive to a job or drive back. Here we have a 38.5 hour working week and if we can keep it down to somewhere around 40 hours per week I think things are going great. Of course that doesn’t apply to me as I have to do everything and check all the work and take calls and delegate from there so I’m constantly working at least 100 Hours per week if not longer. There have been numerous cases where companies will only accept me for job and they are willing to pay my Taxi fares there and back because I’m way to tired to even consider driving there.

        My staff accept that they may have to work long hours and they don’t get paid overtime but at the end of the period they’ll be getting a bonus for their effort. They are all on Salaries so they act accordingly and treat the job as their own business if they have problems they all know that I’m here for them and am willing to give them time off or money if necessary to help them out of a problem or whatever.

        Other than taking Liberties with my classic Mercedes they are a great bunch who are willing to do their share and then some when required. The fact that I don’t push this on them only makes them want to do the right thing by me all the more.


      • #3215524

        what it boils down to…

        by compootergeek ·

        In reply to Planning for Heroics

        Heroes are for saving lives, not money. Management are the ones that are suppose to save money. (over-time is money)
        It is very important to reward those that go “above and beyond”, but you’re right, “who gets rewarded for getting their job done efficiently, within the 40 hours”? WHO is supposed to be measuring this time (money)? The answer is management. Businesses are JUST now beginning to realize what ROI means in the IT department. And as unreal as it might sound, those in IT today, that aren’t taking the time (money) to ensure they’re working efficiently, will be woken up by the business.

        • #3212949

          On time & Budget doesn’t get the attention

          by ·

          In reply to what it boils down to…

          I had a friend of mine quit after she produced 8 years of projects, on time and on/under budget. It was just too much when a young, good-looking guy was floundering, got lots of other people to help, and when he came in over double the budget (AND late), he was given a bonus for all the extra time he put in.

        • #3215228

          VERY SAD. If I ever,…

          by compootergeek ·

          In reply to On time & Budget doesn’t get the attention

          If I ever have the opportunity of owning a business, I hope that I don’t forget the things I read today.

    • #3214477

      On Call:

      by johnson-clayton ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      Throughout my sixteen year career I have always been a “ON CALL” employee. This didn’t mean I had to “check in” with the office but it meant that I had to be available for possible emergencies. Although this continues today, luckly I have only worked for one employeer that ran a 24/7 shop so I didn’t need to worry about the midnight calls. In technology field, it is normal specially management positions that ON CALL is added to the job description and should be just the norm of expectation.

    • #3215782

      Depends on the business, job

      by maevinn ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      For some jobs, yes, it requires being available 24/7. That’s something covered during the hiring process (or it should be!), and as long as the employee understands it, no problem. That said, I do NOT think it should be 24/7/365. That’s a much different story.

      But, being a military spouse and DoD employee, I understand ‘always on call’ in a slightly different way. Does not matter what our plans may be, Uncle Sam can always change them, any time.

    • #3215746
      Avatar photo

      Actually I hate the idea but it’s also necessary

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      In my current position I have 10 techs working for me and I try to minimise any outside work hours work though it does sometimes become necessary. We continually have a person [b]On Call[/b] just in case something goes wrong after normal hours but if it’s a real emergency they know that they can call on others to help them depending on the place involved and how much [b]Down Time[/b] is costing.

      Over all we try to do the majority of normal Maintenance work outside of normal business hours mainly because you hear all kinds of complaints when you pull a Mail Server off line.

      Now that we work predominately [b]Small Business[/b] the need isn’t as great to be on call 24/7 and many times we can cure a problem over the phone or with remote access but there are always exceptions to this as well. When SP1 for XP became available we worked 16 hours a day over the Easter break to change 2,500 product keys in a government department and got it done in under 4 days. But when SP2 came out we had to change the product keys again and this time the Sys Admin who was new didn’t see the need to wait back with us and allow us access to the building during out of Business hours to it took a very long time to change the keys the second time. The staff where told to make the computers free as soon as we arrived which in reality meant we mostly had to wait up to 30 minutes to change the keys. Then WGA came out a couple of months latter and we had to do it all over again on the same system and the same way as we did with SP2.

      Everyone of us would have preferred to work after hours when there was no one to get in out way and slow us down. Then there are the regular after hours work that is just part of the job and we set things up that way and while the work is generally boring it’s necessary to have someone there just in case something goes wrong so we rotate that work between ourselves.

      I don’t like it but unfortunately it’s necessary but I do try to minimise the impact on my staff so they are not constantly exhausted and if someone been called in the previous night for a prolonged time I send them home to sleep it off.


      • #3215598

        Col, that is when

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Actually I hate the idea but it’s also necessary

        people like me who are useless during normal business hours are so handy to have on staff. 😀

        someone who is available for emergencies, without it being extra work, and can do the normal after hours stuff as part of the normal workload.

        • #3214264
          Avatar photo

          It’s the work that we are doing now that’s the trouble

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Col, that is when

          When I worked Big Business I could get any of my team to walk in at any time now that I’ve supposedly gone into semi retirement that option no longer exists. 🙁

          These people work 8 till 5 most days and when a problem occurs they expect it fixed during the day without adversely impacting on their business so that’s the day shift covered. Which was my original idea work 1 or 2 days a week and play with my play toys the rest of the time and then previous staff members heard that I was back and chased me down. 🙁

          The bigger business will want us in after normal business hours so we don;t adversely impact on their normal business unless something nasty goes wrong so most of that work is after hours which is my preferred time to work. Then there are the couple of Government Departments that we do I’m still trying to figure out how that happened haven’t managed to work that one out yet. When we started it was good we would only work [b]After Hours[/b] so we had no direct contact with the bureaucrats it prevented me [b]Murdering them at will.[/b] :^0

          But with new System Admins that changed to working during normal work hours after all they had blown their budget already so they couldn’t afford to have someone to let us in and lock up after us now that they rely on [b]Electronic Security[/b] it was really much better when they had a person there to let us in and lock the doors after us when we left but the idiot thing is that they pay much more for us to do the work during the day when they have everyone there.

          Then because everyone has a High Security Clearance we do a bit of bank work generally supervising Blades transfers after business hours from the smaller data gathering centres to the bigger data gathering entered on a daily basis so it’s an easy plan you just need someone sitting there just in case something goes wrong so that they can patch something together to make it work and have the banks IT department come in the next day to do a proper repair the fact that ours work better is beside the point. 😀

          Most of what we call out of hours work is during office hours which is the killer. :0


    • #3215745

      Yes and no

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      Yes you want them to feel and be so rewarded by their employment, that they are prepared to go above and beyond.

      No you don’t want to make going above and beyond the normal day to day experience, well not if you’ve got two brain cells in contact with each other anyway.

      I was effectively as a mere lead tech on 24/7 for four years, a few times I wasn’t available but as they were paying me for it, so tuff.

      If they’d advertised what I was doing, the skills it eventually required, at the rate I was payed they’d have been laughed out of the market place.

      They got a good deal out of me, I got a good deal out of them, they enhanced my cv to the point where I got a ?10k pay rise for working half as many hours and none of that 24/7 crap.

      When I left of course.

      All in all I benefitted more than they did, but that just proves that extra adjacent brain cell can come in handy.

    • #3215743

      Not if I have to.

      by jim_p ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I wouldn’t mind it for the money side of things, but being on call is a real pain, I have been placed on call a few times, trust me. Knowing you can’t take a drive out of town to visit places. If you go to a party somewhere, it’s on the back of your mind that anytime there could be a call and you will have to cut your party time to attend.
      I suppose if you and other employees had a roster where you could take being on call in turns, this wouldn’t be so bad.


    • #3215640

      Depends on the situation and location

      by wingedmonkey ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I forgot what it was to have some them. Even when I’m Project Lead, I only have borrowed resources. That said, if we have a major roll out, or emergency replacement, It is expected that I and the team are on 24/7 to, “make it happen.” But we are compensated for our time and once the project is over, we return to our On Call rotations.
      So, working in a hospital, critical areas like the ICU, NICU, MICC, ER, Pharmacy have special consideration. If something goes down, and goes down hard. We pull out the recall roster and start calling from the bottom up until we have enough resources coming in to assist the designated responder and to fix whatever the problem is.
      So myself and the people I work with do not have the expectation that we are on 24/7, 52 weeks a year. But, I can’t think of a single one of us though who wouldn’t come in if needed for the patients wellbeing.

      • #3215481

        True heroics…..

        by compootergeek ·

        In reply to Depends on the situation and location

        Yes, when your IT job faces you with making information available so someone can perform their life-saving duties, then your efforts are heroic.
        This is where IT is a thankless job. Think about it, how many of us go out of our way to say thanks for a job well done? How about that trash can that is empty every morning when we arrive to work? Or how about that operating room that was so very sterile for the next operation?
        I sincerely am thankful there are people that think like you working in the hospitals.

    • #3215565


      by compootergeek ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      If you live in the U.S., EVERYONE, has a choice in how they operate their life on the job. Some choices come with rewards. Some with sacrifice. Some are easy, some are hard. Some make you strong, some make you weak…… I encourage EVERYONE to make choose their destiny.

    • #3215461

      Back in the dot bomb days

      by tig2 ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I worked for a company whose culture was “arrive early, stay late, work weekends”. They even “joked” about the Ops manager who kept a sleeping bag under his desk. (He did)

      I was there about 3 months before I realised that I was so burned out that I was living on auto-pilot. I changed jobs.

      A couple of months later, the company closed down (no surprise) and all of those people that had been sacrificing their lives had nothing.

      Some years later, I had a unique opportunity to examine what was valuable in my life. Work made the list, but peripherally. I get a sense of personal value from what I do. However, I can get that same sense from other avenues just as easily.

      I don’t want my teams to feel that they should spend 50-60 hours a week at work. However, sometimes the deliverable requires that. When those times happen, I have folks that can work from home. I make sure that the people on site see me on site as well. I won’t ask someone to do something I am unwilling to do.

      When the project delivers, the entire team knows that they equally share credit for the accomplishment.

      • #3214412

        When the project delivers….

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Back in the dot bomb days

        the entire [b]team[/b]…

        that is the operative word there, team.
        no-one person makes or breaks a project, unless they are the project manager, it is the entire team.

        the project manager can break a project through bad management practices, or make it through good management practices, since their choices affect the entire project team. No-one else has the ability to destroy team morale or make it soar.

      • #3214396

        My “year of living dangerously”

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Back in the dot bomb days

        I had a project almost a decade ago where I lived to work.

        I had been a desktop tech and had morphed into a project manager for enterpise desktop projects(at a Fortune 100 company). One of the development groups had been asked to investigate a public kiosk project that a sister company desparately needed help on, and one of the team asked me along for my knowledge of OS/Networking/Hardware issues. I went to the meeting, and afterwards got pulled into the debrief with the CIO. I was faltterd to have that CIO pull me from my job and assign me full time to the project team.

        Our team had a near impossible goal with deadlines set between our sister company and their client. We went for it anyway, working nights and weekends to get it done. I was allowed unlimited overtime, was paid to carry a cell phone and be accessable 24/7. I knew it would be like that for a year.

        I worked 60 hours minimum a week as did the rest of the team. It was like a family – we had dinner together once a week. We were rewarded with nights out – Medaevel Times, other dinners, Christmas dinner. But we also were on an electronic leash. I was called in a few saturday nights. I came in for 4 am a few times.

        In the end we were recognized and receieved an award from the president. But there were costs. One person couldn’t take the pace and left for something else. Another lost his GF after taking calls during a skiing vacation. I think if it had gone on another 6 months I might have burnt out.

        I’m glad I had the experience, and I might work on another project like that (I did Y2K) but I would do it as a career. You have to have a break.


      • #3214257
        Avatar photo

        Well back in 1974 we had a little flood here

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Back in the dot bomb days

        That required all of my team to be working close to 24/7 for about 3 months. We had to go into Medically Hazardous situations without protection and generally do the jobs that none of us where employed to ever consider doing.

        I had 2 teams working for me at the time the fitting team and the Installation team both where bolstered with all of all the service techs that where there roped into build up one or other of those 2 teams. The Mainframe rooms which where mainly all underground where all flood affected and everything had to be replaced.

        The first thing that we had to do was clean out the junk that had got washed in and then junk all the hardware in the place rip out everything and that included lifting the cable grates and ripping out every cable and anything to even looked as if it wasn’t part of the building. I started organising the work loads when the flood waters started going down allocated which companies got a higher priority and so on and more importantly who when where and when we would have the absolute minimum hardware available to do things. The real work started about 3 weeks after to water had gone down and we could start to clean up the mess as originally we had water restrictions in place so there was no ability to use water to clean out the places. We used fire hoses to clean up the worst of the mess and hose the garbage into open lift wells where it was pumped out. All the cable grates where scrapped and the mess hosed out where possible and the cables removed then hosed out again.

        For 6 weeks we worked nonstop with progress meetings at the office to see how things where going what hardware that as available was required where and so on but we got the work done and had everyone affected working with limited computing ability within 9 weeks of the water receding and then we spent the next 6 months getting everyone working properly again as the hardware became available.

        The 3 affected hospitals and then the banks got first priority then the business as we got staff and hardware becoming available. I visited every site and gave the members of my team strict instructions of what they could & couldn’t do there what risks they could expose themselves to and so on and how long that had to clean up the place. The hospitals where not affected by water restrictions so we where in there hosing out the mess as soon as the water had gone down and some mainframe hardware being brought in on boats pity that I didn’t have time to take any pictures as they would have made for some excellent laughs now.

        But every piece of cable had to be replaced starting with the electrical stuff and then we went to town getting things up & running again. I tried to get to every site at least once a day but it wasn’t always possible and I was running around putting out fires as they cropped up. We slept on site and did everything on site all for those 9 weeks. I had organised one of the staff from the business to ruin around bringing in clothes and the like and we had meals supplied by the business with an endless stream of Hot Coffee or Tea depending on what the people drank. Of course because I don’t drink either I missed out but I made sure that everyone of my team where well looked after and where willing to do the work that was necessary.

        We actually used the 3 week time period between when the water started to go down till we had unfettered access to all the buildings as a trial period working in the hospitals. Finding out who worked better with each other and then when the main work started I broke up the teams into smaller teams and sent them on their way.

        I didn’t get one complaint about the work plenty of complaints about not having the necessary hardware available when it was required but that was one thing out off my control as all the stuff was on the back of trucks making it’s way up to Brisbane from all over AU. Some took longer to get here than any of us wanted but we worked with what we had and made things work.

        After the main preliminary work was finished and we had everywhere up and running I threw a party for the staff and let them have some time off which they all deserved because of the truly heroic efforts that they had all put in over the few weeks that was the worst part of the job. Strangely enough everyone of them turned up for work without being required to because they all knew that there was more to do on the next working day after then first round of installations had been finished and not one of them would take the time off that I had given them.

        It took another 6 months to get everything finished to the same level that the places had had prior to the flood but most of that time was waiting for the hardware to arrive as after the initial air freight we had everything come by sea and I had just commandeered anything that was currently on the water till we finally got everything that we needed.

        After the initial work was finished I settled down to do the necessary paper work and I had so much help that it wasn’t funny every member of my team considered that I had not asked them to do anything that I personally wasn’t prepared to do and in most cases I didn’t want them doing some of the more hazardous work which I did try to do the majority of myself but most of the team who where waiting to get a clean run at the mess thought that I was having way too much fun using a fire hose to clean out the mainframe rooms that they all got in on the act. After that it was impossible to stop them doing what was required. We just killed the mains to the areas that we where working and ripped everything out once where had been given the all clear which was generally the first thing as every area that we walked into which had been underwater was considered as electrically unsafe so it all should have been dead but I made sure that everything was double & triple checked before anyone of my teams started. We did in 9 weeks what should have taken the better part of a year to complete and I had my staff laughing over the work that I had them doing during this time.

        There was no amount of money that could have repaid them for all their time & effort but I did organise some very generous bonuses as a [b]Thank You[/b] for their tireless efforts during this time as well as really good party on the premises after the initial work was finished where every one collapsed on the floor dead drunk and slept things off for a day or so. The Upper Management didn’t like the mess that was made but when someone came down to complain I just threw them out and told them not to come back my staff had done far more than anyone could ever ask them to do and the accountants where not going to ever be able to adequately find the necessary money to pay them for their effort so I was at the very least going to show my appreciation. The accountants didn’t even complain when I submitted my expense accounts for all the booze and other things for that party. 😀

        Edited to correct the typo’s.

      • #3213502

        Why knock yourself out?

        by colonel panijk ·

        In reply to Back in the dot bomb days

        Look, there’s no point in going far above and beyond the call of duty for [b]any[/b] employer. You’re just going to get pink-slipped in the next round of downsizings anyway.

        I talked more about being on call 24/7 in a related discussion today ([i]just because they go into work on Saturday, they think it is OK to call me[/i]) entitled [i]What’s your job description?[/i]

    • #3215451

      I Think It’s About Passion

      by gdrumm ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      Passion makes you do funny things. Passion will make you get up at dawn, work your butt off all day, go home, work some more, go to bed, and then get up and do it all over again the next day.

      If you love what you do, it isn’t really work. I operate from the “work IS play” mentality. Not because I feel obligated to, but because I love what I do. I love the company I work for. I love the job, I love the people, I love the culture.

      It’s exciting to be a part of a dynamic and growing company, and to be in a position that where you actually feel like you’re making a huge contribution makes you want to work harder and do more.

      I don’t expect everyone on my team to share my vision and passion, but I do expect them to be dedicated and loyal. For myself, I choose to work the hours I work because there’s so much to do and I’m passionate about getting it done.

      For my team, I don’t expect them to work as much as I do, but I do want them to be willing to put in the hours when it’s necessary to push a big project over the edge. I also expect them to take some time off every once in a while and re-energize.

      24/7? No. A passion about your job, the competence to get it done, and the dedication to see it through are more important than the hours.

      • #3214397

        A tad on the warm fuzzy side…

        by maevinn ·

        In reply to I Think It’s About Passion

        Sorry, but I think that’s a bit over the top in terms of expectations. I like what I do most days, but that doesn’t mean I want to give up family time to do it. I work so I can afford my chosen lifestyle. Jobs that meets some other criteria as well–such as, Does the company do something I can believe in and support–is a decision made before I ever even apply for the position…And NOT a justification for having me work over above my expected hours without suitable compensation.

      • #3232031

        I agree

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to I Think It’s About Passion


        I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be employed. My manager is so nice.

        I had to brush the mess off my shoulders five times reading this, my BS filters went into turbo mode.

        Unless you are the best boss since Santa, the first sentence would have had alarm bells ringing and you’d have seen a blur as I headed for the exit.

        I can’t stand this sort of drivel, I don’t work for my manager, I work for me. If it’s not rewarding I continue working for me, somewhere else !

        You want dedication, reward it.
        You want loyalty, give it.
        You want respect, show it.

        I go to work. because otherwise I don’t get paid.

        I enjoy what I get paid for, and I consider myself lucky in that regard, many don’t

        I love my family, they need money, so I work fo bstard’s who don’t love me.

        I enjoy making a powerful contribution, up until the point some b’stard takes me for granted and doesn’t reward it.

        I’m loyal to those who are loyal to me and I’m dedicated to getting paid, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this crap.

        I choose to work the hours I do, because those are the ones I get paid for, or it’s convenient or my train was late.

        I expect everyone to work the hours they get paid for, it’s called being honest.

        The biggest single downer of my entire career is that I know I could do better, if my manager had allowed me the scope to do so.

        As for my competence, well I’ve been continuously employed since 1981 and I have no friends in high places, (sometimes my attitude upsets them for some reason).

      • #3276760

        Nice idea, IF it’s a two-way street

        by server queen ·

        In reply to I Think It’s About Passion

        Unfortunately, this is totally a one-way street. Unless you’re the owner of the company, the “passion” and devotion is an implicit expectation of the employee, but is never returned by the employer.

        In return for my dedication, loyalty, hard work, and expertise, I’m still every bit as likely to be laid off, outsourced, or otherwise shown the door. If I work myself into a nervous breakdown, I’m likely to be terminated for taking time off to go into the nuthouse.

        The vast majority of people do not live to work. They work to live. I think the people whose chief regret on their deathbed was that they did not spend enough hours at work are few and far between. And what a sick world this would be if there were more of them!

        I just find it hypocritical in the extreme for an employer to expect an employee – who has no control of an enterprise’s direction, nor any guaranteed future with that enterprise, nor any tangible return on their personal investment – to dedicate themselves with unswerving loyalty to the enterprise and in return, receive only their regular paycheck.

        For my paycheck, I return hard work. That is the exchange. My employer has not purchased my life.

    • #3214410

      For me, the issue is less the hours worked

      by server queen ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      than whether or not there’s an expectation that I will be always accessible, even when I’m out sick, on vacation, out of town, etc. It seems, over the last few years, to have morphed from formal on-call rotations for operations that truly needed 7/24/365 support to everyone being expected to have cell phones, Blackberries, etc., and receiving messages at any and all hours. THAT’s what I object to, not doing my shift in a rotating on-call (which we don’t have anymore), and not working extra hours when something either has to be done off-hours or when a critical system goes down – it’s the expectation that they can interrupt my life at ANY time for ANYTHING, no matter how essentially trivial it is.

      I have no objection to that kind of full-time availability IF a) you’re being compensated in some manner for being expected to respond to all calls and emails within a certain amount of time on your off-hours, and b) it’s truly necessary for the operations of the business or enterprise. What I do not like is that now it seems that everyone is expected to answer emails on their Blackberry at 10 p.m. on Saturday because a manager forgot their password or didn’t receive an email from their spouse.

      I don’t know how we deal with this. Right now, until there is a formal requirement to do so, I will not carry a Blackberry or cell phone on my off hours; if I am required to do so, they are going to have to document their expectations and in what way (money or comp time) we will be compensated for doing so. What I don’t want is to have the Blackberry sitting there beeping at me at 11 p.m. Some people can glance at it and just ignore the less critical messages. I can’t. I’ll stress over any message. If I could be guaranteed that they would ONLY use it to contact me in the event of a true emergency – a critical server down, for instance – then I’d probably be less recalcitrant. But I’ve already seen what they’re doing to the people who aren’t as stubborn as I am – those people are answering trivial emails at 1 in the morning on their vacation days. That is ludicrous. I won’t do it.

      The people I see who are willing to be getting emails in the middle of the night are all either people with severe issues in their personal lives that they’re trying to escape (which they camoflage by talking about how “passionate” they are about their work), or else they are burning out and growing cynical, tired, and bitter. People need full, enriching lives. As the saying goes, no one ever said on their deathbed, “My one regret is that I didn’t spend more time at work.”

      Don’t get me wrong: I like my job, I appreciate that I’m paid to do a job, and I strive always to do well. I put in a full day of hard work when I’m here. But I never signed a contract stating that I would happily give up having a full life outside of work in return for my paycheck.

      • #3214379

        You Go…..(nicely put!)

        by compootergeek ·

        In reply to For me, the issue is less the hours worked

        VERY nicely put. As I stated before (and some one else stated before me…), people these days are having a heck of a time identifying what is urgent versus important.
        I don’t have to tell you to “have a happy life”.
        But have a good day!

    • #3214274


      by firstpeter ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      There’s a difference between being in contact 24/7 and feeling obligated to be available to their employer 24/7.

      The former is bad. Everyone needs a break from the office and all contact with peers, co-workers, direct reports and bosses.

      However, being available to me is given part of the job for high-quality employees. It doesn’t mean you never leave. It means when your boss calls you at 9pm on a Sunday night with an issue that needs to be handled before a 7am Monday morning meeting your response isn’t “Sorry – I’m not working today and I start work at 8am tomorrow.”

      • #3214155


        by kallhands ·

        In reply to Sure

        …and how much extra pay will be available for that high-quality employee? How will be price of that 24/7 availability be evaluated versus the 4-hour employee price…especially when everyone in the shop is salaried?

        I have no problem with the expectation, as long as there is an equivalent expectation of providing the necessary perks/pay/benefits to make putting my wife/kids/life in a permanently secondary state to potential job needs. Those benefits better be at a level where my wife and kids also see their interrupted vacations as worthwhile as well.

        Now, show me the company that has that specifically worded into an offer sheet or HR policy and I’ll be applying within the hour.

    • #3214273

      They try

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      They try to make it seem that I need to be available 24/7, but they are merely fooling themselves.

      Just TRY calling me when I don’t ‘feel’ like working, if it isn’t the shortest conversation ever, I will say goodbye and find a new line of work tomorrow.

      C’mon people it’s only work, nobody likes it, why dedicate yourself to it that way?

      Sure, we often like ourjobs, but would you still turn up everyday if you weren’t paid? NO.

      So why make work your life? The boss sure as hell doesn’t make YOUR interests his/her life.

      • #3214153

        perspective of ownership

        by kallhands ·

        In reply to They try

        This takes me back to a simple idea…people work jobs in order to pay for the life they want…they don’t live to work jobs. If they do, they forgot why the took the job in the first place. (note: Mother-Theresa types, and those “in it for the cause” need not reply, as you represent nowhere near the real-world majority)

        If someone has an ownership stake (significant share of company, C-level with major stock, outright business owner) that changes somewhat…but even then, they most likely created (or own part of) the business because they thought at the start that it would pay for the lifestyle they wanted. I’m sure that there are (proportionally) very few people out there who commit to enterprises for something other than the ultimate ideal of compensation.

        • #3215202

          I go to work

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to perspective of ownership

          Simply so I can go to the races with friends and bet a few ponies. Have a few drinks out or buy a nice bottle of Scotch fo rthe liquor cabinet.

          I am an avid outdoorsman do I need recreational toys, a guy knocks my door every month and begs for hundreds of dollars, the city then gets in line and demands for more money while threatening to leave me cold and without hot water if I don’t pay up, teh sattelite company wants their mone for my Internet fun, my local ISP wants their cut also. So I need to work and earn money to keep all these leeches of my back. Even then, after working for two weeks, the government needs money and they feel that MY money is SO important that they should be getting a tu of it too. It is kinda nice knowing I earn more than the government and that they need me to help them out, btu still, MORE money which means MORE work.

          Oh well, long weekend in BC so I get to NOT work and still get paid for it.

          I can honestly say though, if I didn’t have all these people begging for funding every month; I really don’t think I’d get up every morning and spend the day working for someone else on sunny days away from the mountains, streams, lakes and wildlife that make BC beautiful.

          No, I work for the paycheck, not the job, even though I have a cool job.

    • #3214229

      Depends on compensation …

      by therealpauper ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      If the employer wants me to be on call 24/7, then they’d better be paying me 24/7.

    • #3214105

      unfortunate reality

      by systemsgod ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      In a perfect world, we would all only work our 8 hours and go home without ever being disturbed on nights or weekends. Perhaps there was even a time when this was a possibility, but, because of the nature of many businesses and the demands of the modern world, it simply isn?t realistic.

      Most employers understand this. Where I work many people have flexible schedules: some come in at 5:00 am and leave at 2:00 pm, others come in at 10:00 am and leave at 7:00 pm. Some telecommute and work at home, and so they keep whatever hours they choose.

      In order to make our production systems available as close to 24×7 as possible, it means maintenance, testing, patching, upgrading, etc. is all pushed to “off” hours late at night and on weekends. Even then many users complain about the system not being available during those times. In order to respond to their needs and serve our customers (users) best, IT must be flexible…which means we pretty much have to cover 24×7, 365. Much of this time is spent “on call”, though, and during those times I try to lead as normal a life as possible. I encourage my direct reports to do the same. However, I am flexible and dont expect them to be chained to a desk from 8-5 if they were testing upgrades in the wee hours.

      It’s an unfortunate reality that goes along with the business and the times we live in. Our world today goes 24×7, 365 and so we all have to adjust to that. The old notion of working 8-5, M-F just doesn?t apply anymore.

    • #3213048

      IT – Diehards Wanted

      by grimshiire ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      IT = Life Disruption

      If you want to work in this industry, be prepared to make sacrfices. All the explaining in the world will not change this simple fact: We are expected to be available at all times, work at all Hours-Day-Weeks – No day is safe, No holiday that can’t be worked, no level of compensation to quell a bitching significant other.

      If you are un-willing to except the grind this lifestyle has to offer, find something else to do – Only Diehards Wanted

      • #3213016

        Complete and utter Nonsense or sarcasm

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to IT – Diehards Wanted

        I’ve worked in IT for 21 years. Done it all. Currently manage a hi skill team – the gurus who create new product and support the support and install teams on only the toughest challenges.

        If I expected this level of work from every employee all the time, I’d have a team full of tired angry burnouts who would be not much help to anyone. Like I said before, if you need after hours support, plan for it, rotate it, pay for it. If you can’t manage to do that, then you are a poor manager.

        Sure there are times when it may be necessary – when a new project comes online, or a customer crisis whatever. But if you have those continually you are in a poorly managed environment.

        I honestly believe if you are to excel in the “soft” parts of the job – communications with co-workers, customer empathy, influence skills etc., you’d better have a healthy life-work balance.

        BTW I work hard 50 hours a week, so that the rest of the time, I can relax. I don’t live to work, I work to live.


      • #3213092

        You are so full of . . .

        by a.techno.geek ·

        In reply to IT – Diehards Wanted

        Shit, the smell gives you away. You must be one of those HB! visa holders from India, you know one of those that the company has come over on steam trawler, then put you up in run down, rat infested rental and then deduct it from your pay so that actually you only earning about $3.00 dollars a day.

    • #3215313

      Turn IT Off…

      by adaple ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I had a job years ago that made me feel that way. I worked 18 hour days, 6 days a week. I also gained over 100 lbs, my health and my marriage suffered.

      I’ve since lost the weight, and the wife, and have had several jobs since then. In our realm it’s hard not to stay connected. For example, just this morning I saw one of our VP’s waiting for the elevator staring at his Blackberry like a deer caught in the head lights.

      If something goes down during the night, I get a text message on my cell phone alerting me of the situation. It’s then up to me to triage the call and determine a course of action. I do not check email when I’m on vacation and do not want a Blackberry.

      Turn IT off.. 99% of what you get bugged for can wait until the morning. And be careful I don?t call in sick.. 😉

    • #3213591

      Wireless Leash

      by chun.lam ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I feel obligated in some because since I work salary overtime is not offered which means it’s cheaper to have me work hours that are not in the 9-5 schedule I was originally told. Plus the fact that I was offered a blackberry in case disaster recovery has to be done. So I’m constantly looking at my blackberry when it vibrates/rings. It’s a wireless leash.

    • #3213556

      Sticky question

      by blarman ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I am opposed to being obligated or obligating my employees to worry about work once they leave, with very few exceptions, and those exceptions need to be spelled out in their job description and justly compensated for. I do this for two reasons: morale and law.

      Employees need time away from their jobs to take care of the rest of their lives. They can’t do this effectively if they can’t get away from their jobs. That stress will continually build up, decreasing productivity, until it gets released. If your employees spend a lot of time at work in non-productive time, ask them if they are getting enough non-work time to take care of things. If the answer is no, you probably need to back off or hire additional personnel.

      Second, it is against the law not to compensate someone for work they do for you. Courts have shown time and time again that employees engaged in work-related activities, no matter where they are, are on the clock and need to be compensated as such.
      This is not only a legal issue, but an ethical one as well. Many supervisors take advantage of the label “exempt” just to be able to pile enormous workloads on individuals so rated. Unless this was the hiring agreement, this is unethical (if not illegal) behavior.

      A job is a means to an end for most people (excepting the Type A’s). I think a lot of employees who feel an ongoing responsibility to work 24/7 do it as a reflection of their managers/corporate culture (and many managers and senior execs are Type A’s…). Managers need to understand that their employees may not be Type A’s.

    • #3213293

      poor “Americans”

      by tutor4pc ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      As a European I enjoyed my whole life in freedom. That is in freedom from slavish dependancy. Laws did not allow me to work on weekends except in cases of emergency. As a loyal employee I worked many days on weekends but got paid for it well. I always felt sorry for my US colleagues who believed their promotion depends on unpaid weekend work. I also feel it is strange that companies in the US ask what charitable work I do in my spare time and what hobbies I have. None of their business. I feel much more free in Europe.

      • #3232024

        You must be young

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to poor “Americans”

        Back in 1981 in the UK I was an indentured wage slave courtesy of Thatcher. Took me a long time to earn my manumission, course I did it the hard way, outlived my masters.
        There were a lot of times I had bite my lips so I could stay free from abject poverty though.

        I’m in the fortunate position, that I don’t have to bother now, but I’m not condescending about it. Seen far too many changes not to expect a downturn in my current freedoms, happened before, will happen again.

        I don’t feel sorry for them at all, they have many rewards for their lack of freedom, whereas mine costs me a lot. All depends on what you want.

        • #3209647

          Shhhh Americans ARE free

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to You must be young

          Well the pones on the corner by the bar are not but Americans (in general) actually believe they have more freedom than others. It’s ingrained into them while learning how they won both World Wars I think. Plus when your country deems itself, ‘the land of teh free’ what do you expect? I don’ tlivbe in ‘The land of the free’, I’m living in Socialist Canada, after imigrating from Socialist England (which must be right next door to Fascist Germany of course, which also neighbours those spineless French who are always begging for America’s help while doing nothing as a country themselves.

          So before some poor American realizes that we are all quite free also and we live with far fewer political and social restrictions than many Americans do, SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

          Be VERY VERY QUIET, THEY’RE HUNTING IRAQI’S, hee hee hee.

        • #3209481

          Oops Oz

          by jck ·

          In reply to Shhhh Americans ARE free

          you didn’t get it right…


          Gotta give it that Elmer Fudd flair… 😀

          BTW, I agree with you. Canada has all the conveniences of America (stores, cars,political corruption, etc), plus you have full contact strip bars and modernised social healthcare. 😀

          Lucky ba$tard …hehehe 😀 (BTW, I am looking at PEI if I can’t get to Ireland)

        • #3212594

          Freedom is a government con job.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Shhhh Americans ARE free

          You are only as free as the least free person in your community. Evetrbody is in a minority of one, so if our societies persecute minorities, then anyone of us can be the next victim.

          Anyone who does n’t think minorities are persecuted in our communities is free to leave their head in the sand until some goose stepping sadist kick’s their ass in the air because he was only following orders.

    • #3213103

      When I am paid 24/7/365 then I will be on duty . . .

      by a.techno.geek ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      that long, but Otherwise take 2 aspirins and call me in the morning. What I am trying to say here is that unless a company is willing to pay the bucks to keep a person at a job (whenever a person has to give up their time to be available 24/7, they should be justly compensated, instead of hearing, “if you wanna keep ‘er job,” routine) when their day is over. then the companies will understand that it takes some compensation to keep good people at their work/job 24/7. People are willing if they are:
      They are compensated properly (other then threats to their job)
      They get time off compensation

      There are scoundrels out that get others to do their work for them and never let their bosses know that it was John Henry that did thier job when the time came for a review.

    • #3214026

      I think I can pretty well sum it up here . . . . .

      by a.techno.geek ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      People that are willing to work if 24/7/365 if:

      They are justly compensated;
      Far too many jobs start out doing 8 hour days, then once (most foreign companies, most from India) companies can make money by making people salaried, as an excuse to over work and under pay a skilled employee. Does anyone think that the company is not making money when they send out an overworked employee to a client, when the company is only paying the salaried employee 40 hours?

      That the company shows its appreciation;
      It doesn’t take much to make an employee happy sometimes, such as having a company picnic in which the other families are brought together. And use a skeleton crew to man the company that day. Anecdote: When I was younger (in my 20’s), I worked as a Die Maker Helper in a small shop (only 8 skilled people worked there, the owner of the shop was not poor, his dad was worth only $20,000,00 and he was an only child). Owner around Christmas season says, “I am not going to be able to give bonus’ and Christmas checks this year!” Well the 8 of us got together told the foreman that come the first of the year, George could find an entirely new crew. George’s excuse was that he didn’t do too well this year (yeah, sure we worked 10 hours, 7 days for 4 months straight). Needles to say we got our bonus’ and weeks Christmas checks (kind of reminiscent “Christmas Vacation”).

      These are what I see repeated over and over again.

    • #3213726

      Short straw

      by sjmcd435 ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      While in some ways I am lucky in that where I work we are not working 24/7. I am the only one who does calls.

      Where I work I am one of only three people in the IT area. When I started one of my colleaugues had a family and didn’t want to be disturbed and the other lived out of town, given that I am single and live in town so I was basically given the short straw. While the out of town colleaugue has since left, the colleaugue with a family remains and it has become the habit to call me. Although fortunately I am not called out that often, with my last call out being months ago (I think it was at Easter time), so I have alot less to complain about than most people.

    • #3232037

      24/7 Obligation

      by techytype ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      Well, my circumstance is slightly different from the average employee. As the owner/manager of the company I must be available 24/7. However….before clients rreach me during off hours the phone system requires they acknowledge that support during off hours will be billed at the appropriate overtime rate. Amazing how most “emergencies” can wait until regular business hours when clients realize no free support for waking me up.

      More to the point, it is my opinion that unless an employer is compensating the employee for being available 24/7 (monetary, time off that they can actually use, vacation time, etc.) there is no obligation on the part of the employee to be available. The all too frequent unspoken threat of losing your job if you don’t work for free on your own time is a not so subtle form of debenture. This practice similar to slavery is illegal in so called civilized countries.

    • #3276814

      No One Should feel that way

      by bdulac ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I don’t think anyone should feel obligated to be available 24×7 even if it is “on call” whatever that means. All the people I’ve known that are on call are always expecting their beeper to go off or the cell phone to ring and then run out the door to correct some critical failure. It even gets to point that they don’t wanna make plans in case someting happens cuz their always “on call”. I think employers need to come up with better ways to utilize employee time without the pressure of always being available.

    • #3276731


      by jck ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I think that salary positions, as they are conceived and handled now in most business environments by management, should be abolished.

      Fact is, salary positions were originally created basically to be like what is now called “flex scheduling” in the HR world. Joe has to work 5 hours extra to finish a project for us, we give
      Joe 5 hours off later to spend with his family.

      I can not begin to tell you…well…yes I can…

      I have had *3* salary positions out of 8 I’ve had that did not require me to work outside of a standard work day unless I was going to be compensated post-fact with some form of comp-time.

      And, I feel lucky to have had that.

      I have been told though…at every salaried job I’ve had: “Salary means you work the hours necessary to perform your tasks” (or something closely worded to that).

      Fact is, most present day management holds the mentality and has no issue in the business world with doing all the taking of effort their employees will give (either through dedication or coercion) and seldom give back to the contributing individual(s) anything that substantially compensates them for their sacrifice.

      Do I feel obligated to come in after hours? No.

      Have I ever came in/stayed on-site after hours? Yes.

      Why? It was my job.

      Even in the case I was working 7 day weeks up to 15 hours per day on a project management had let the customer go past the change deadline without scheduling slip into the timeline…I was salary…and, I got no compensation…I got no thank you gift…I got no extra paid time off.

      All I got was a “thank you” from the project manager who said she’d be “working right there with you” to meet the deadline.

      Then 2 weeks later, she took a week off to go to a spa while we were all still inside a secured building with no sunlight working 7 days a week instead of being with our families and/or friends.

      I think (in the USA) a standard needs to be set/present/mandated (whatever it takes) that an employer can’t expect a salaried employee to work a over-standard hours schedule on a frequent basis without some form of remuneration or compensation.

      Asking your labor force to give until it hurts and then give them a band-aid for gaping professional flesh wound of burn-out and/or personal sacrifice is not professional, ethical, or moral on the business community’s part.

      Essentially, I think this question has to be asked of management in the business world:

      Do you think it is acceptable to abuse employees through expecting or demanding them to constantly work extra hours because you pay them well?

    • #3276714

      Reality of the Business

      by skicat ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I wouldn’t call it an “obligation”, but I do expect my staff to be prepared for “the call.”

      I do have a couple of members that refuse to take part and that is fine. They are also aware that because of their lack of participation, any bonuses or perks will be reflected. This isn’t a punishment, but if I have a guy who is willing to go the extra mile should be rewarded. If you only work “9 – 5”, that is fine, but don’t expect to be rewarded for just doing the minimum.

      Because of our business, many projects do require us to work “off hours.” Also, if you have remote users, there are often issues that arise after hours. The 24/7 workload should be evenly distributed so no one feels the sole burden, and those who do put in the extra effort… reward them!!!

    • #3276681

      No hiding the 24/7 requirement

      by bughuntermi ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      Having ‘grown up’ with a company who strongly believed in family first and strength of individuals, it was hard to believe this type of ‘requirement’ exists. BUT, to make a long story short – the company sold to a corporate entity, went public, everything came down to the bottom line $, new VP of Dev was hired. One of the first statements out of his mouth was, “I’m amazed nobody here is putting in 12-14 hour days to impress me”. It goes downhill very rapidly from there. He ‘eliminated’ all the positions held by those over the age of 40 and those deemed ‘unnecessary to coding’ (i.e. BA, SA, QA, PM and CM – just a house of coders now)and hired in the wee 20-somethings with no spouse, kids or sig. other at a mere pitance of the price. You know the kind, just out of college, eager to please, will code for days without looking up, can survive on carbonation and carbohydrates. They do not question the 24/7 rule. It has become the expected norm, while the shop I described at the outset of this is now the rarity.
      Only recourse was to get out and start our own shop with solid ethics and expectations. Funny thing, the clients call us a ‘breath of fresh air in a bloated industry’.
      If you want to read an eye-opening book, check out ‘Joy at Work’ by Dennis Bakke.

    • #3230035

      Managers over-sell; customers believe; staff stuck in the middle

      by finn2 ·

      In reply to Do you want your employees to feel obligated to work 24/7?

      I had a manager who included 24/7 support in a contract with a customer. He did this despite there being no contracts with his staff that specified that they were on call outside office hours. (Contracts with them said that *if* they answered their phones outside working hours they could charge time. There were no stand-by payments; obligations to answer; or formal teams of answerers)

      The manager knew this and later “solved” the problem by having the managers below him have a hot-line phone for one week in ten that *they* had to answer whenever it rang (theoretically being on this rosta was optional, in practice refusal meant not being a manager for long). They *were* paid for being on standby ! (Ironic that). Needless to say if it rang they then couldn’t get hold of anyone who could do any real support as they had sensibly turned their phones off during the night.

      Throughout all this the technical staff bore the brunt of customer’s compaints. After all the customer was paying extra for 24/7 support …

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