Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thoughts on Overtime Work

When a staff worked hours beyond the normal office hours, he should received overtime pay, right?

Yes and no. Yes if he is required. No if he is plainly killing time at the office, and OT wasn't approved by the direct head.

When I was just a newbie at an audit firm, we were told not to overshoot the budgetted working hours for a particular client. If you worked in an audit firm, you'd know how it is during busy season. Work 16 to 20 hours, yet claim ony 3 hours overtime. Or to some extent, claim nothing at all. Martyrs, eh!

When I joined another company after audit life, I thought my job would be easier. It wasn't. In fact, I spent more hours at work as compared to my previous job at the audit firm. And so I made efforts to fix the system and hired competent people. After a few months, nobody from our group stayed beyond office hours. How's that for the manager?

When I arrived here in Manila, I also noticed that plenty of my staff were doing OT work. I asked them about their family life, and what they do other than work. I learned that they also longed to go home but because of the volume of their work, they have to stay and render overtime. It seemed that everybody were resigned to the idea that they have no option left but to render overtime. Their head, was also staying late. And this is what I noticed:

1. The manager gave the staff reason to work OT
2. Free meals with no limit
3. Late afternoon instructions, with the 'urgent' tag, when actually, it can be done the next day.
4. Lack of planning on the part of the supervisor and manager

Having started from the associate position, I know why I wanted to work OT. And these are some of the reasons:

1. OT pay is good.
2. There's no reason to hurry for home.
3. Free meals
4. It's traffic at 5pm. Leaving at 8pm or at a later time is much better.
5. There are those who gauge one's dedication by the number of hours spent at work
6. Your co-workers have become your friends
7. Work is fun.

From management's point of view, this I also learned from experience, that there must be something wrong with the department if people there put in lots of overtime hours. It could be a problem of efficiency and lack of proper planning. One has to change the mindset of the department head when it comes to overtime work.

From the top, we went to the middle. We had the supervisor check the job description of each associate and compare it with their actual work. How much time will the supervisor need if he's the one doing the associate's staff? Is he going to do it differently? These are some questions we asked. After a week, the supervisor reported that we need one more staff, then the others will no longer have to work OT.

Today, my department has lowest number of OT hours. And on most nights, I am the only one left from my department.

1 comment:

jho said...

and i thought sa office lang namin ang may walang katapusan na OT. Actually, in my almost 12 years of working, wala pa ata sa 5 beses ako ng OT. Why? kasi i would rather arrive early at work. Plus, i find it na parang ineffient ang tao if he renders OT always. May mga ganyan na tao kasi sa workplace ko. Ang nakakainis pa is that buti sana kung nakikita mo na talagang subsob sa trabho sila. e madalas laging wala sa area. Siguro kasi kinukunsinti nun boss nila. He keeps on signing their OT forms.